Friday 7 December 2018

Mae West famously said...

So yes, Mae West famously said "It's not the men in your life that counts but the life in your men"  and Reader yes this is what Amanda and I have to deal with, anyone know what vitamins we need to buy?

Friday night

Saturday night, might have been the other way around.

So this morning started off with rain, we knew it was going to and Amanda and I had prepared ourselves by staying in bed.  Later after heeding the Lock keepers advice, when asked what time the locks close this time of year he replied 15:30 Oh ok said we all, then he added the caveat that this was the time the locks are locked and that last boat in is 14:45 to give the crew time to get through the ten locks, then he said quietly that you best be here way before then as if there should be a queue you won't get through.... so we decided to get a wiggle on and arrive at 13:00.  Madness I know.

Arty shot heading towards Husbands Bosworth Tunnel (For my Reader in Brazil;  great name isn't it and England is full of them)

I announced that I wanted this for breakfast and was met with a long face BUT there was such a happy discovery under the sofa

Another pretty sprinkling of gold.

This tree was a bit in the way, but we didn't realise how much in the way it was...

It's been walloped several times.

We went on for just over an hour to turn at the Welford Arm. Much to my surprise there was a boat moored up there.  No road access near here either.  

As we made our way back we had a good old snoop at the new Marina that's being completed now at North Kilworth, it looks very nice, or will do when the grass has grown.  We met someone who was involved with the construction, he said they were four years into a nine month contract...

Frequent Flyers to this blog might recognise these moored boats, they have taken up residence along this stretch, they have changed bridges in the last 18 months or so.
A bit more room at least to where they were previously.

First lock going down this time.

I encouraged David Lewis here at this slightly off line lock by calling down to him as he passed underneath not to sctach my boat, he didn't.

Getting down the flight in comfortable time meant that we had time for a drink in Bridge 62, I had mulled wine which was very moorish.

WaL sitting pretty 

Amanda had made a veggie lasagna for us this night and my golly it was DELICIOUS   HERE    followed by apple crumble with custard, well that was a real treat too.

The Lewis's left to get home.  They have work tomorrow and next weekend they are away on a real holiday celebrating this, any guesses as to how many years?  

The next day and David and I popped WaL back to bed and prepped her for winter.  

We hope to have another winter break in the New Year if all goes to plan, New Year in Holland has been suggested too (sorry Netherlands).

Bye for now. 

Wednesday 5 December 2018

A rain dodging cruise

Well Reader, here we are on a short winter jaunt.  
You well might ask why...?  Its December, it grey and its wet,  but, we had to do a test drive as the last time we were aboard polishing her, we had a problem with the inverter.  It was as dead as a Do-Do.  

It's a pity really, we've been told that they should last fifteen years and NB WaL is only six years old.   So the inverter was sent home to Holland    (or now that I have a Dutch son-in-law I now know the correct term is  The Netherlands).  

The inverter has proved to be certainly dead and beyond repair, so we have a new one.    On that same trip last month, the Lockgate stove failed also needing attention, the gas cooker which is in times of chills is used as a mini radiator also failed as did two of the four gas burners oh and I nearly forgot the water pump broke too.
Can you imagine how blue the air was?  And that was just me.

So happily its has all been fixed and we were looking forward to having a little run out.  

The Boat Sharers had received a call and were available for fun too.   The first evening we met friends from the area Ed and Jane, also farmers, we all met at the Boboli restaurant in Kibworth.

The next morning after David Lewis had been 'dan the 'ole' changing our engine belts, we set off for Foxton.  I had given the choice of routes to Amanda, either to Market Harborough to include some time at the shops or up the flight to Welford.

Here are the resident swans at Debdale.

Amanda chose to go to Welford so we went up the flight.
Here is Amanda, on lock duty in her splendid hat, I too had a hat on but David calls mine supremely hideous so I have saved you the shock.

There she blows, finally, the boys had washed the roof and put water in her while Amanda and I walked up the top to book in with the Lock Keepers.

Little twins in red.

We were the second boat that day.  I hoped for a clear run but just as with buses, two more boats arrived to come down so we had to wait in the middle pound for them to pass us.
I left Amanda on lock duty and I went to warm up the soup.

Very low pounds today.

Damp afternoon and no people around, the two boats having vanished.

Top Lock

Weekend crew.

Sweet Cheeks Lewis.

 So we trundled along munching on cheese biscuits and wine, enjoying the changes in the sky, it was supposed to clear up and be sunny!

Lovely open views towards Lubenham, see the sky in the distance?

She had her mouth full of cheese here.

I just loved how the few remaining golden leaves decorated this tree.  Pity the sun wasn't on them.

Didn't have to share this sight with any other boats.  

So as you might be able to tell the time had marched on and we knew that we wouldn't make it to the Welford Arm in the light so without much bother we moored up at The Laughton Hills.

Now actually I'm not sure if this was the evening or the next morning but they were very similar scenes

Now Amanda took this one and several other crackers, I have tried to put them up but my computer said nah, it knew I had stolen them, they were lovely.

So here we were, we had turkey curry out of our freezer that David had made curry with.  Every year at about this time we have turkey curry, to make room for the next lot of turkey going into the freezer in a few weeks time.  
Dessert was carrot cake with the cream cheese icing.

Saturday 27 October 2018

Boating at last

You best go to bed early Lisa, we've got to be up early, really early says David
I can get up, says I.

And I did, we left home at 06:30 and arrived at Marlow to visit The Rockers!

Know who The Rockers are?   HERE  The lovely George and Carol.  We had been invited to join them,  on the way to WaL (Who needs polishing) for a bit of a Jolly....

On arrival, a marvellous arrival,  Bacon Butties were served with lashings of hot tea.  We needed hot tea as it was cold, I mean winter had arrived that morning, the day before I was sat in the garden, in a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes as I read Exit West by Moshin Hamid, I am going to a book event with the author on Sunday and I haven't finished it yet.

So where was I?  Oh yes I remember, I had brought especially a new thermal long-sleeved undergarment and I needed it. We were in for a bit of a treat as the Thames looked fabulous, sunglasses were donned and off we went for a fun day boating.

Although we have enjoyed George and Carol's hospitality during this summer, we haven't ever been on a moving wide beam, this was to change today as we were generously included in a jaunt.

So we started off from Marlow and headed upstream, 
Bisham Abbey is very close by and here is a shot  of it as we passed.

Pretty quiet on the river today.

Here is Still Rockin' coming into a lock, maybe Hurley Lock..?  Wide eh?

Action shot of me, yes that is my shoulder, but look over my shoulder to see a wide beam with a narrow boat strapped to its side,  we pulled over to let them by as we wouldn't have all fitted through.

George supervising closely as David had a turn at the wheel, wide beams have wheels not tillers, but George does have a tiller in case of emergencies I understand.

Carol supervised me as I learnt how to crew a wide beam, its a bit different.

Medmenham Meadows

We stopped at Medmenham for homemade mulligatawny soup, my favourite.  

Three quarters of WB Still Rockin'

One third of WB Still Rockin', the grass was knee deep in poxy goose poo so I only tip toed this far.

This boat can turn not exactly on a sixpence but very easily, and what pretty Violas Carol has planted up.

Medmenham Abbey, it still has the builders in.

You can read about it HERE

Danesfield Spa Hotel, quite fancy a night or three there.

So we finally left the Fine Company after saying our goodbyes, it had been a brilliant day plus a beautiful boat and we thank you both very much for making us so welcome.

Onward though, northwards to Leicestershire, Debdale marina and WaL.  
Here she is, they must have had heavy rain here followed by a stiff breeze as most of the leaves have vanished from the roof, I'm not saying she was clean but it sure saved us a lot of sweeping.

Bags onboard and David fired her up and off we went.

So it wasn't a thrilling trip, we didn't go far just out of the marina and down the way, down to a favourite mooring of mine.  We rinsed, wiped, washed, rinsed, wiped and then polished and buffed.  When it was done, we hopped down to the basin at Foxton where we turned around  and came back to my favourite place and repeated the whole process.
My back had a thing or two to say, David was braver and didn't moan.  

I was pretty sickened to find that the Gin Cupboard was empty, David in his lack of wisdom had removed all the wine from WaL and taken it home last time, I thought that was an error at the time but he insisted.  I shall hide some if he thinks of this again.

Pretty pretty mooring, 100 metres from Debdale, no sheep this time.

Minutes before sunset, see the shine on WaL?

Nice sky on the water.

So frequently flyers to this blog may remember that on the very first day of our cruising season this year way back in April, we had a water leak    HERE   so what do you reckon the chances are of having one on the very LAST day of our cruising that we should have another.... you've guessed it.

So out came David's tool box for maybe the third time this year;

David's tool box, see how shiny and new it all looks?

Action shot of David attempting to fix the leak, sadly he says he doesn't have the right sized spanner or some such.  I did the mopping and sponging and he made supper.  Note that he has had to wear my pink glittery slippers as his were left at home.

Sadly the leak couldn't be fixed by my Hero so it's a job for the marina to do.

We are now home again, the fun weekend on WaL with the Lewis's has been postponed for the winter, but frankly if its too wet or too cold.....

So until we meet again Reader, stay warm and dry I plan to.

Weekend away

It was supposed to be a fun weekend on WaL,  Amanda and David were joining us in a day or so but when we arrived at WaL there was an electrical fault so we abandoned ship and fled to Norfolk, it was a surprise to Amanda and David who had become unexpected hosts as opposed to guests.

We awoke to a very sunny Norfolk and went on a trip to Holt,  nice shops in Holt, after some shopping and an extremely good afternoon tea at a posh tearooms we drove to the coast to Blakeney for a look at art galleries, (three) and a bit of nose following...

Blakeney, not a breath of wind.

There's a hotel here I might investigate.

Low-ish tide.

On the way home, we popped to two Walsinghams and a pretty nice sunset.

The following day The Yars arrived.  Remember The Yars?  Joe and Lesley lived aboard two narrowboats, NB Caxton 
and NB Yarwood, Lesley kept a blog during those years but now they live on dry land and are close enough to join us for lunch.  

We went for a stroll in the park afterwards, Houghton Park that is,  HERE     full of deer, big brown ones and pretty little white ones, but they are devilish shy and won't be photographed.

A phone snap so fuzzy, apologies.

Here's the gang, they were all pissed they never smile this much usually.  David thinks its still summer, he might have changed his mind this weekend with temperatures of 5C.

Big brown ones, equally shy.

Pretty or what? Little cherubic darlings who stole Lesley's heart.

So after a fine Sunday Lunch at their local the follow day we took our leave, not the weekend we envisaged but a great one, but it still leaves WaL needing to be polished.