Thursday 13 June 2024

A trip dowm memory lane.

We spent a comfy night at Norton Junction, the wind was still blowing and this morning we had to reverse through the bridge, avoid the boat behind and turn up onto the Leicester Arm.  Good thing I wasn't in charge of manoeuvres, but although I was ready with fenders all was fine.  We waved goodbye to the two guys we had travelled up with yesterday and set off for The Watford Locks. 

This Heron didn't move at all as we passed by.

Making our way up the lovely Watford Staircase Flight.

Nasty crack on the right of the bridge. 

I was watching but no bumps or tinks here into the staircase locks.

Watford was painless, we had expected to wait but no straight in, David was going to have filled up with water while we were waiting.  We decided not to water up at the top as it is a very slow tap.  

On we went, a boat went past with a familiar looking helm, later we realised that it was a member of the cast of that new Channel 4 programme called Narrow Escapes, they had been to Crick Boat Show.

We popped into Yelvertoft to have a pump out.  There we had the most expensive pump out we have ever had.  £30 and Reader it was a DIY one too!!!
You have been warned.

We spent one night at Bridge 22.  I mooring I always wanted to go to where in the past I had watched hares romping.  We got into a space amongst all the "continuous moorers" of which there are now many, but no hares.

The next day an early start to meet a friend.

Creeping into Husbands Bosworth Tunnel.

Some months ago David received a phone call from our old herdsman Calvin.  From where I was sitting I could hear what was being said.  Calvin had a new position as a herd manager now in Leicestershire moving south from North Yorkshire to this prestigious post, I could hear him saying all sorts of complimentary things about how much David had taught him, how much he appreciated this and all his success now he owes in part to David.  
Well Reader, it's not often I see him blush but that day was one.

The next surprise was the location of the new dairy farm, amazingly on the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union canal, where we were now.
A visit was planned, we didn't even need the car or bikes as the farm is quite literally at The Laughton Hills, one of my favourite all time spots.  
We moored up and walked over the bridge and there he was waiting to greet us.

We watched the start of the milking, (A much bigger parlour to our old one)

A sparkling clean unit too.

Calvin is a bit of a character, he came to us aged 22 after arriving in the UK on his own to make a new start from South Africa.  He spoke English of course and Afrikaans, plus one or two more African languages, Xhosa was one I think.   

Years later when he had progressed and our own herd had expanded and we took on first one, then two, then five Polish workers, they all got on swimmingly and Calvin learnt Polish too.  Today he employs one Romanian but I forgot to ask if he spoke that too.

Time flew as we had a guided tour of the farm and his plans for the next five years.  Surprisingly also I understood much of this farming talk. 

We walked back to Wal, all abuzz with all the news and moved the boat about 200 metres.  I asked David if he was tempted and if he missed our farm..... No.

Supper was salmon and asparagus and a cheeky little chablis, well half a bottle.

Sunset over the Laughton Hills, looking towards the farm.  It was freezing and the heating went on.


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