Thursday, 21 January 2016

New Year Interlude

Dear Reader, 

Well Happy New Year to you, its been a while but we are here happy and alive still.

The other day as the cold snap approached we nipped up to the boat to check all was well which it was.  WaL was covered in ice but all happy still there where we had left her.

David played about with cables and wires, he did his usual head scratching, then a little chin rubbing and ummmmming.

This is a one moving around Debdale, listen to the ice crunching.. 

So this is we four in The Bell at Gumley for hot soup and a thawing session before returning to WaL.... My new Selfie Stick is going to be such fun this summer!!!!
Then when I was almost totally numb, we left and drove south to Banbury.

Amanda and David had come on over to play boats too, in fact they played "Convoy" as we drove through the green and pleasant land to Banbury.  On a bit of a schedule now as we had a table booked for supper in the evening at HERE  The Moon and Sixpence at Hanwell, just three miles outside Banbury and well worth the bike or taxi ride when we are this way again on the boat.

At the pub we met Joe and Lesley who you remember Reader went across The Wash with us last summer. 
So good to catchup with them again.  NB Yarwood has spent the winter tucked up nicely at nearby Cropedy.

The next morning, some of us joined The Yars at Cropedy, to help them start off their 2016 season.

All thermals on as they pull away from the diesel bay at Cropedy Marina

Thats Joe in the driving seat back there.

Lesley frightfully pleased to be moving again.

Bye Cropedy!

One of these poor darlings was shaking like a jelly for the short ride to the bridge hole.

All discerning Lady Boaters are wearing purple this season

First lock of the day and virgin snow all around.

First lock of the year and Joe is smiling.

We walked the Claydon Flight

The author holding gloves.

Yes with snow on the ground these "Fisherpersons"must have such unhappy home lives to drive them out of doors thus.

"Here comes dad"

Last lock of the day

Joe pulled over after the top lock and after a lot of boot banging and scraping we took off the boots and piled into Yarwood for hot soup, pasties and tea.

Yarwood was going on further towards Fenny Compton for the night and after we had feasted the phone rang.  They had only done a runner from Cropedy Marina without paying for the diesel they and filled up with earlier! 

Easy mistake when you are talking, I must try it.
Home for us again and no boating till after another daughter has married (Reception at our house!) so look forward to seeing you then.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Pretty in Pink.

So carrying on from last evening this was the stunningly lovely sunset.  Although I have seen from Social Media sites that lots of places have had marvellous sunsets these past days, none reported from The Leicester Arm though.

I just love how the intensity changes with every minute

But this was today setting off, nice and relaxed about 9am, pootling along but both of us feeling sad really.  When we leave The Laughton Hills, right here, there is no going back, meaning that we are almost home and going to leave the boat.  

He kept saying how cold it was today.... can't think why!

He has lovely brown legs, but scarily white ankles and thighs. Luckily small children and other civilians don't get to see them.

Lovely black & whites wandering through the trees.

Look at these trees leaning....  I think its best to shoot under these as quickly as possible.  It reminds me of that children's party game Oranges and Lemons where the chopper comes down to cut off your head.

We arrived at The Foxton Flight, where there was a bit of a bun fight and all the locks were shut.

In one of the locks, one of the paddles had become blocked by a large piece of concrete....
What the heck are large pieces of concrete doing there I hear you ask....

Well, back in August this happened   HERE .  An elderly lady of 78/9 years, stepped backwards off of the pedestrian walk way to let someone past who had two dogs on leads pass.  She simply toppled backwards down into one the water filled pounds and with unbelievable bad luck at the same moment as one of the paddles was raised on that lock sending water from the side pound where this poor lady had fallen,  into the lock by way of an undergound tunnel, so this poor thing was sucked head first through the tunnel in the surging water and came up in the lock.  Her only bit of good luck was that it was a short boat and there was room for her to come up to the surface (Had it of been a longer boat like WaL which fill the entire lock, she would have stayed under the boat and drowned.  
So with a head wound and a shoulder injury this poor poor lady was airlifted to hospital.  I understand she survived by a miracle.

Well Health and Safety decided first of all to fence off all the pounds to prevent a reoccurrence.  Then had a rethink and decided to "Block" the tunnels somewhat by placing large wire baskets full of concrete lumps in front of the tunnels so people can't get sucked in again.  It was one of these baskets that had split.  
We arrived at about 10am and the engineer not expected until 2pm.
We pulled back, moored up and went shopping in Market Harborough in the car.  We got most of the errands completed and new shoes each and by the time we had returned to Foxton, parked the car and walked back to WaL all the other boats had gone down the flight.  We stayed put  and decided to go down early the next morning.

There is one lock behind me and about nine others down there.  The views are amazing on a clear day.

This is the lock below the half way passing place, half drained.

This is the half way passing place drained

A side pound drained 

So where that poor lady fell into wasn't that deep....

New addition to Foxton this year, a young non shy Heron.
We brought Pizza Express pizza's from Sainsbury's in town and had them for supper with coleslaw, a few wedges and salad after a smoked salmon starter.  We had been going to eat at Pizza Express in town but it seemed a shame not to be on the boat for the "Last Supper"   I also had a chocolate Sundae but David has a will of steel and declined.  I could have brought him one and eaten two.

Next morning bright and early off went his nibs to report ourselves into the queue for the descent at 8am.  

I look upon Foxton as a total pleasure and love to be here.  

David was squawking that he was cold and he wanted to do the locks.....  Imagine not wearing trousers and then feeling cold?

Me deep in discussion with a very nice man.

I had half the layers on he was wearing but I wasn't that cold..

Yep, there's that Boating Hair, I have a hairdressers appointment booked already.

Oh there he is, I gave up and let him warm up a bit.  

He had to be reminded to drop the paddles Reader.

My view, its a little claustrophobic...

The rear view.

So with the last lock complete and a cheery thanks to the lovely pair of volunteer lockies we made our way the mile or so to Debdale Marina.  
Its a bit like moving house when you leave the boat with all the "Stuff" that we have used since WE BEGAN  back in April.  It will seem ages until we return, but in the meantime theres's a wedding to host at ours in April, these daughters are marrying thick and fast.
Its been the most brilliant adventurous trip and I would like to thank those Jolly Chums Joe and Lesley on NB Yarwood plus Boys for a Fabulous Summer....  Lets do it all again next year?