*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Saturday 31 July 2010

Saturday Sprinkle.

Hi Friends.

There was a very strange noise on our roof at around 7am this morning. I lay in bed and had to really think to remember what it was and then it came to me. It was rain yippee. Well it was yippee for all of 5 minutes and then it was gone again. The only thing it managed to do was dampen down the dusty towpath. We are so in need of rain, but from looking at the forecast it does not look likely that we are going to get a lot over the next few days.

As I got out of bed I felt like I was walking down hill, either that or I had been drinking in my sleep. We were listing into the towpath, which was a little odd. Normally when we list it is the other way because the water level is to low. It seems as if the water level went up over night and so we were listing the other way as the mooring ropes were a little to tight. So whilst I walked Pad, Keith was readjusting our mooring ropes, so that we were on an even keel once more.

Last night we had pulled the boat forward, on to some deeper water, because we were actually sitting on the bottom, so as the boat in front of us left, we moved into their place, hoping for deeper water, which is what we got thankfully. It is getting harder and harder these days to find deep water places to moor up. Everywhere is always so shallow, and that is due to the lack of dredging and the shallow draft of the pleasure boats these days. I know that the historic boats with a deeper draft than ours have real problems. They regularly have to moor up a couple of feet away from the bank and then have to use a gang plank to ge ton and off of the boat. Which is fine and dandy, but when you have a wimp of a dog like we do, gang planks are not great. Pad hates gang planks with a passion. He will eventually use one if he has to, but prefers to be carried. I have never known such a wimpish Collie.
With the usual morning chores done and dusted. We put on our walking boots and set off for a nice walk. It is my aim to get us walking for at least an hour a day whilst the weather is nice, because once we are on our coal run, we will be to busy. We walked to Denham Green and Denham station. We then walked back towards the gate for Broadwater and Korda Lakes. We turned left for Broadwater Lake and walked along the edge of a exquisite expanse of water, with a wide variety of waterfowl and insects. Even without our binoculars we could see Giant Grebe, Pochards, Little Grebe, Cormorants, Swans, Mallards, Tufted Ducks and others. We tried to walk around the whole of Broadwater lake, but got halfway round when we came across a sign saying "No Public Access" so had to retrace our steps. It certainly has a special beauty and charm. There were people out on boats at the sailing club. Across the lake we could see Keith's sisters house, so gave her a wave. Broadwater Lake is absolutely stunning, with oodle's of waterfowl and wildlife to look at.
This Comma Butterfly was just one of the Butterfly species we saw.

There were also a lot of bird and bat boxes up a long the river and lake, which encourages birds to next close to a feed source. I could have spent the whole day just walking around the lake, but lunch was calling and we were both rather hot and bothered, so we walked back to the boat having done 4.67 miles in all. I made some salad wraps and a cold drink and we are watching the qualifying for the F1 race tomorrow. We will do Korda Lake when we come this way again. The rest of the afternoon is going to be spent relaxing.

Friday 30 July 2010

Old Boats and Swans Beak.

Hi Friends.

Having had a somewhat restless night. At one point I just lay in bed and listened to the silence that was all around me. I must have drifted back off to sleep, because I then woke up and it was 8am and my better half was getting up to go to the bathroom. I put the kettle on and noticed a bow getting closer. Something told me I knew this boat and low and behold it was Elaine and David on NB Patience. I quickly got dressed and poked my head out of the engine room to say good morning to Elaine who was steering the boat. David was working the lock, so I gave him a cheery wave. They are on their way to the National Festival at Beale Park in August. Keith walked down to the lock to have a chat with David, whilst I did us some breakfast. We will see Elaine and David in October for the Village at War at Stoke Bruerne. Having had breakfast and walked Pad, Keith and I then enjoyed a lovely stroll around the lakes between Denham and South Harefield. The views across the lakes which originally was used for gravel extractions is now a haven for allsorts of wildlife. Whilst walking alonside the Denham Quarry lake, we saw Giant Grebe, Herons, Common Terns, Mallards, Coots, Moorhens and that is just a small proportion of what lives there. Keith spent some of his younger days on the lake where he learnt some of his early boating skills and they still have plenty of boating taking place there today. We could see a group of children waiting to go out on the lake. We walked behind Harefield Marina and back out on to the road, before walking back along the towpath to the boat. We decided to move Hadar to The Horse & Barge at South Harefield, which took a whole 35mins to do 1.5miles! We are going to spend the weekend here, as we are hoping to have some visitors over the weekend.

As I prepared some lunch, a feathered visitor came a calling. It was this beautiful Swan with a lump taken out of the end of its beak. He was a cheeky fellow, knocking on the boat to ask for some bread. Of course I obliged, feeding him some bread which was a little dry around the edges. Not that he cared, he was only to happy to take it out of my hand and not in an aggressive way either. He had his fill and went on his way. I have set up the Tv ariel and we have a fantastic signal. We even have digital, so I can watch the F1 GP this weekend, if we are not invaded by to many visitors. We also have Film 4 which is always a good watch, when there is nothing else on. There is a WiFi signal from the Marina, but it is secured so we cannot use it. Just as well our T-Mobile signal is a good one. So this will be home for the weekend.

A Facebook friend had a close call last night, when he saw out of the window of his boat another boat approaching from the opposite bank, this other boat was on fire. Thankfully he had his wits about him. He untied and reversed out of harms way. The sad thing is, the people that had bought this boat, had only had it a couple of weeks. There has been a few boat fires recently and one has to wonder if these are due to people being careless or are accidental?

Thursday 29 July 2010

Denham Deep and Village.

Hi Friends.

We are now moored above Denham Deep Lock having done 0.7miles, 1 lock, in 40 mins, it was only a short jaunt, as we are in no hurry. Once we moored up above the lock, we walked to the very pretty village of Denham. The village is approximately a mile from the canal. You walk through the Colne Valley Park and across the Golf Course. Having looked around this picturesque village, with St. Mary's Church, which is absolutely beautiful, we had a coffee at The Green Man, which is right next door to yet another pub The Swan. Some very famous people have lived in Denham. These include Sir John Mills, who lived in Hills House from 1975 for 29 years. Cilla Black, Paul Daniels, Roger Moore and others have made their home in Denham, so as you can imagine it has some rather large homes in it, worth a lot of money. The village has a lot of character and chocolate box charm. Denham Village survives as a peaceful and unspoiled area of historic buildings. It is defintely worth a visit, even if it is only for a drink in one of the four pubs. We chose to go to The Green Man for a coffee, as we were both in need of a drink, but it was to early for anything other than coffee.
Denham was also well known for its film studios, which were operating from 1936 to 1952. Films such as Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), Thief of Bagdad (1940) and many others. The studio no longer exists, which is a great shame.
Having enjoyed a lovely stroll back across Denham Country Park and the Golf Course, where the meadow was alive with butterflies and insects.We called into the cafe by Denham Deep Lock and bought some Pickle and Chutney. The Bramley Apple Chutney was excellent in the sandwiches we had at at lunch time.
After lunch I got down to cleaning the boats brass and giving the boat a wipe down, as it was covered in allsorts of things.
There were boats coming and going, up and down Denham Deep Lock. One of the boats coming up left the paddles up, so I had to close them down, otherwise eventually we would have been lacking water. Then later in the afternoon an ex-working boat, came up through the lock and the lock wheeler dropped ever paddle grrrrrrrrrr, obviously they are not worried about the damage they may cause and the repair bill which British Waterway's will be left with should they have to repair the paddles should they break, which is easily done, if the paddles repeatedly get dropped.
I have had a wonderful day, which has ended in a nice relaxing shower and a cuppa.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Oishi - Green Tea - Boobs

Oh how I wish this was possible.

I first watched this on LadyBanana's blog, and just had to post it. Thanks LadyB.

This would or could be the answer to every woman's dream.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Short back and sides, along with good food.

Hi friends.

What a strange day we are having, as far as the weather goes?
One minute it is sprinkling us with a few drops of the wet stuff and then it is humid and sunny. The forecast was for heavy rain, but so far that has not materialised.
You wait now, that I have said that it will chuck it down ha ha ha.

So the day began with a lovely lie in, after a fantastic nights sleep. Thankfully Pad was not desperate to go out, so I did not have to spring to life to early. Marmite put in her usual morning appearance, which ended up with her under the duvet all curled up in a ball. That was however short lived, because once up the bed was rolled into the bed 'ole and put away. Oh the joy's of not having to make a bed properly, it is heaven I have to admit. Not sure how I will feel when I am in my dotage and have to crawl on my hands and knees in the bed 'ole to make the bed up. Not even sure if I will be able to do it then lol.

Dressed and off up the towpath with an over excited pooch, who wanted to attack my shoes for pleasure. Pad has these moments of total madness sometimes and there is no reason for them it seems. But it made for a little amusement, before it was back to the boat for breakfast. I had just poured my cup of tea down my throat and hubby was ready for the off into town. Wallet check, Key's check, Sunglasses check ok we could go. I suppose it is about a half mile walk into the town from where we are moored and by the time we had got there, we were both rather hot and sweaty. So it was an opportune moment to find a cup of coffee.

Why is it some places want to charge you £1.35 for a small coffee, when you can go practically next door and get the same thing for 95p?
I refuse to pay over inflated prices for tea or coffee. So we had the 95p cuppa and very nice it was to. I find Costa Coffee and Starbucks so over rated and so it was a normal old cafe for us.

Next on the list of things to do was to get my hair cut. Now this is another money wasting thing that annoys me. I want a straight dry cut, no washing or frills and yet some places want to charge me £30 grrrrrrrr. Thankfully Uxbridge has a SuperCuts, where I can get exactly what I want for £12.95. Thank goodness for SuperCuts and their fabulous staff. So I sat in the chair and had one and half inches lopped off.

Isn't it funny how much better you feel after having your hair cut???Next port of call was Curry's for a Blu-Ray DVD Player, because our DVD player is dead, deceased, no more. We found a player which suited out needs to a point. It was not 12 volt, but then none of them were. But it is pretty low on watts, so it would have to do the job. We get to watch our DVD's with a better quality picture woooo hooo.
Having had a wander around the town, which was heaving with people, now that the school holidays are upon us, we made our way back towards the boat. I then came up with a brain wave of having some lunch at The Swan and Bottle Pub. I have never been in their before, but hubby has with his family many years ago. The pub is lovely and homely inside. Keith went to the bar and ordered our food and drinks. At lunch time you can get a 2 course meal for £6.95 each, which is very good. Our first course arrived, I had Scampi and Chips and Keith had Beef and Ale Pie with mash and veg. Both meals were very nice indeed. When it came to the pudding we both had the Apple and Rhubarb Crumble, I had Ice Cream with mine and Keith had the Custard and whilst the Puds were lovely, we did have to wait for around half and hour for them to arrive, so the service is a little hit and miss. I guess with it being lunch time they were busy, but even so I did expect it to be better service. I would however eat there again.
We walked the meal off as we stroled back up the towpath to the boat, where we immediately needed a cold drink. I then set about moving some coal in the hold. I needed to readjust how it was sitting in the hold, so that I could get the bow to come up a bit. Having done that we then sat outside and watched the world go by. Actually no Keith was doing his Crossword and I was knitting yet more dishcloths. I was however keeping a close eye on the looming dark clouds, which I felt sure were going to being the heavy rain forecast, but nope all's we got was a few spots in the end. It has been another good day all in all and now I am everso slightly shattered, so will put my feet up and enjoy a quiet evening.

Monday 26 July 2010

Time to move on.

Hi Friends.

We have left the Boathouse, Harefield after a fantastic weekend. I headed to bed last night at 10.30pm and did not wake up until 6am. I only woke up at 6am because of someone was outside making a racket. I then dozed on and off for another couple of hours and it was then 8am and time to get up. Because Dave and the gang had boats going out this morning, we needed to move, so they could get their boats ready. So I was up and dressed and lifting Pad off of the boat to walk him up the lane. When I got back I then did us toast and a cuppa for breakfast, before we said cheerio to everyone and set off down Coppermill Lock. As we arrived at Black Jack's Lock a boat was coming towards us, having come up through the lock, so we thought brilliant, it is set for us. But oh no, as we approached someone was turning the lock on us arghhhh. Keith let me off and I said "Good morning".
The woman said "Sorry I did not see you coming".
My reply to her was "The sound of our engine was a give away that we were coming".
This seemed to go over her head, so I left her to it I was not gonna waste my time saying anymore.
We left them to go on their way and we were soon down through Black Jack's leaving Black Jack's Mill behind. Black Jack's Mill is a Victorian property. There has been a mill on site since being recorded in the Domesday Book. For many years there was a well-regarded restaurant in the adjacent building, but this had closed by June 2006 and is now a private house, Mill Cottage. The main house itself is a luxury bed and breakfast. We cruised onward to Widewater Lock and through the Colne Valley, which is absolutely beautiful. NB Apollo was just about to come off of their overnight mooring and so we shared the lock with Sue and her lovely family, who are out for 10 days. We went on ahead to Denham Deep Lock, which is one of the deepest locks in the country, where another boat was waiting to go into the lock, so we waved NB Apollo on so they could share the lock with the gentleman single handing, as we were going to be stopping after Denham Deep. Whilst at Denham Deep Lock, the drizzle began to fall, but it was not enough to get you really wet, it was really quite refreshing. We are now moored above Uxbridge Lock having done 4.1miles, 4 locks, in 2hrs 25mins this morning . We are looking forward to spending a couple of days here to go shopping and I hope to get my hair cut, if the price is right. Keith also wants to go down to the Chandlery to buy some oil, so we can give Hadar an oil change. The weather seems to have taken a downward turn as it has been raining on and off. So we may not go to far this afternoon.
Having been moored up for over and hour, it is clear this is the M25 here, with boats speeding past. This could be interesting with the pins in. Will keep you posted.
One thing I immediately noticed when we had moored up was the distinctive sound of the wild Parrots. Not only is their sound distinctive, so is their lime green colour. It is reported that there are over 10,000 of these beautiful green birds in and around London. I think they are fantastic.
After some lunch, we walked down to the Uxbridge Boat Centre to get some oil for the engine, but were disappointed to see it was closed. So on the way back, we managed to get the bits and pieces he wanted from Denham Yacht Station, just below Uxbridge Lock. It was their gain and the Uxbridge Boat Centre's loss.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Sex and Good Grammer‏.

Thank you to Tracy for sending this to me. It made me giggle.

Sex and the importance of good grammar.

On his 74th birthday, a man got a gift certificate from his wife. The certificate paid for a visit to a medicine man living on a nearby reservation who was rumored to have a wonderful cure for erectile dysfunction.After being persuaded, he drove to the reservation, handed his ticket to the medicine man, and wondered what he was in for.
The old man slowly, methodically produced a potion, handed it to him, and with a grip on his shoulder, warned, 'This is a powerful medicine, and it must be respected. You take only a teaspoonful, and then say '1-2-3.' When you do that, you will become more manly than you have ever been in your life, and you can perform as long as you want."The man was encouraged. As he walked away, he turned and asked, "How do I stop the medicine from working?""Your partner must say '1-2-3-4,'" he responded, "but when she does, the medicine will not work again until the next full moon." He was very eager to see if it worked so he went home, showered, shaved, took a spoonful of the medicine, and then invited his wife to join him in the bedroom. When she came in, he took off his clothes and said, "1-2-3!" Immediately, he was the manliest of men. His wife was excited and began throwing off her clothes, and then she asked, "What was the 1-2-3 for?"And that, boys and girls, is why we should never end our sentences with a preposition, because we could end up with a dangling participle.

A good time had by all.

Hi Friends.

It is the morning, after the day before, which was Pisces Anniversary Party. She is 75 years young now.
I along with my better hard had worked hard for a couple of days with Dave, getting the Boathouse ship shape for Pisces 75th Anniversary. We cleaned and painted everything to within an inch of its life. Which I think did not do my cold any favours. I struggled yesterday with coughing and so left Keith to help out with the hanging of signs and further painting, whilst I cleaned the inside of our boat, which had dog hair in balls on the floor. Pad's hair had gathered in little pockets, like tumbleweed. So I put the hoover around and did a general tidy up. Later in the morning we moved Hadar over the canal and moored alongside Pisces, which meant a lot to Keith to see Hadar and Pisces moored side-by-side. Because our boat is a copy of Pisces, all dreamt up by Keith over 40 years ago.
The afternoon drew ever closer and a few people began to arrive, so the festivities kicked off, with trying to get the Bar-B-Q going. At first it seemed to be cooking on gas, but with no one keeping an eye on it, it soon died and was an absolute pain to get going again. In the end we managed to get one side up and running, but left the other to go out completely. With any party the drink always flows freely, and this party was no different. Everyone that came to the party, bought some food for the Bar-B-Q and something to drink, and Dave also supplied some drink and food as well. Keith enjoyed catching up with some faces from the past. Lots of memories were dragged kicking and screaming into 2010, as they recalled things from way back when. A good time was had by all as we wished Pisces a Happy Birthday with a glass of Champagne. Here's to another 75 years. I struggled a bit with my cold and only actually had a couple of glasses of Cider and something to eat. The problem I had was, the more I chatted, the more I coughed, so I did not say to much for the whole event. In the end I was being eaten alive by flies, so at 11pm, I retreated back to the boat, where I listened to the partying going on. I have to say I do find that when people drink they get very loud and I find that difficult to cope with. So for me being back in the peace and quiet of the boat suited me more. I could cough my head off in privacy.

I dare say today, we will be cleaning up after the night before. As I took Pad for his walk, I noticed lots of plates with food still on them and plenty of empty bottles etc. So we will be helping to tidy up no doubt.
Because we moved over yesterday and moored alongside Pisces, Paddy cannot get off the boat without being carried over the boats. He is a wimp and will not jump from boat to boat. So to get him on and off the boat, we have to carry him like a baby. I am not sure if his fear of jumping gaps stems from his puppy days, but he does not like leaping across holes and it is even worse if water is involved. Bless his cotton sock.

Today I would like to say "Good Luck" to Wendy my sister-in-law, who is doing Race For Life Today and Happy Birthday to Dave.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Ricky to Harefield.

Hi Friends.

Having spent an enjoyable day in Rickmansworth. We took Paddy for his evening walk around the Aquardrome lake and they were still water ski-ing. It amazes me how they actually manage to stay up on the ski's. I guess it takes a lot of practice, as well as upper body strength? Pad was gagging for a drink part of the way round and so he went down to the waters edge, just as the ski boat was on its way. His face was an absolute picture. He would be hopeless on a beach with the waves coming in. He was not at all happy at getting his paws wet and no amount of encouragement, was gonna get him into the water. So we gave it up as a bad job and headed back to the boat, after a very nice evening walk.We are now moored at Coppermill, Harefield opposite where Pisces moors, having done just 2.3 miles, 2 locks, in 1hr 45mins. Our first port of call this morning as we set off was Tesco's at Rickmansworth. We then got to Stockers Lock, where we got chatting to John and his wife who live in the Lock Cottage. Having said cheerio to them, we went past the farm where Black Beauty was filmed. Stockers Farm has its own facebook page. We seemed to be in constant tickover, due to all the moored boats. We were told that one boat had been moored on 14 day moorings for over 3 years.... What the hell is that about???

Having decended Springwell Lock, on the far side of the canal are the Maple Lodge sewage works. To the right of these are the Springwell Reed Beds, an area of 6.5 acres, a nature reserve cared for by the Herts and Middx Wildlife Trust. We were soon at Coppermill now called Royal Quay. This was built in 1803 by the Mines Royal, and produced sheet copper (brought by canal), used to coat the bottom of Royal Navy ships. The Copper ball on the dome of St Paul’s cathedral is said to have been made here. Once there and moored up on the towpath and then were given a lift across the canal by Pisces to her mooring at the Hillingdon Narrowboat Association we were immediately welcomed by Dave Wright, who owns Lupin FMC and helps to run the boats. We had offered our services for a few days to get the place ship shape for Pisces party at the weekend. She is going to celebrate her 75th Birthday. But before we got started, Dave cooked us a fab breakfast of Sausage, Bacon, Egg, Mushrooms, Liver, Kidney and Bakes beans, it was ohso scrummy. I then got struck into some painting, whilst Keith did some weeding. Keith was given the opportunity during the afternoon to take Pisces up to just below Springwell lock, where dave had to saddle up a horse and take it up to a riding stables. I am a huge lover of horses and used to ride a lot as a kid, so it bought back huge memories for me. Dave rides a Western Saddle, which is beautiful. After a couple of hours watching the horses, Keith took Pisces back again to her mooring, brought back a lot of memories for him, from his days as a 15 year old working Pisces, especially reversing her back to the Stink 'ole to wind her. If only our boat reversed like Pisces, but that was the unique thing about the original Star class boats.

Back at Pisces base again and a well earned beer was at the top of the list of things to do. So Dave poured us all a beer, whilst tales from the past were bought up and chatted about. It was then time to say good evening and head back to the boat, but not on foot. Dave suggested we take the inflatable, so he started the engine and I climbed into the boat with great care. I had visions of me falling overboard, which would not have looked very good. We made it home safely and a great day was had by all. Tomorrow we are going to do it all over again.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Life in the fast lane.

Hi Folks.

The British Summer continues in the same vain. Wall to wall sunshine, with a breeze at the right moment to cool you down everso slightly. Yep I was greeted by a lovely sunny yet again this morning, when I stepped off of the boat to take Pad for his jolly, after what was a fantastic nights sleep in the countryside. We are most definitely gonna stop at Cassiobury Park again, because it was so quiet. On saying that though I did wake up in a pool of sweat. Sorry for being so graphic, but I was running in the wet stuff. I am sure some of it was due to the heat, but I know that most of it was due to the flippin Menopause. It is now getting out of hand and is made worse by this hot weather. Still I look at it, that it will not last for ever (I hope).
Jobs done, breakfast done, cuppa drunk and it was time for the off. So we said goodbye to Barbara on NB Cloud 9 and I said cheerio to the Cygnet that had been left by its parents to fend for itself. It has to be said it has the hump at being left a lone. But as I told it yesterday, we all had to leave home at some point and your time has come. The expression on its face did not give much away, but hopefully it will be ok.
Our morning cruise was pretty quiet. There was absolutely nothing going in our direction, so we were going it alone down the double locks again. At the second of the Cassiobury Park Locks, the paddles were all up, and a BW boat was sitting in the pound. So having set the lock in our favour, I walked down to ask the workmen if they wanted me to leave the paddles up. The reply was "No, we are going up now". So as we exited the lock, we left it open for them and wished them a good day. Whilst moving I tried to note down all the places that we maybe able to moor, if it was deep enough, because mooring places for us are getting few and far between, especially on the designated ones, because they seem to be full of continual moorers down this way, which really is not on.
As we left Lot Mead Lock and headed towards Batchworth Lock, we were greeted by this obstacle. Some bodies boat, had taken it upon itself to escape the mooring. It was attached at the stern, and hopefully someone on the BW moorings will secure the bow, before the boat totally escapes to pastures new. As we made our way to Batchworth Lock, I spotted my favourite boat on BW moorings. I call it a shed on water, but it is so quirky that it is beautiful. Whenever I see this boat it makes me smile.
having done 4.1 miles, 7 locks, in 3hrs 20mins. We did Batchworth Lock with NB Solace with Lynda and Jeff onboard. We then pulled in to take on water and empty the cassette. Thankfully we were able to get a mooring just before Tesco, which we will visit in the morning.
it was 12.30pm and our minds turned to lunch as we moored up. Keith suggested the Chinese Buffet, which we always love to go to when we are in Rickmansworth, so we shut the boat up and hot footed it into town. Tangs does a lunchtime buffet for £5 ahead, which is the second cheapest we know. Tummy nice and full, we had a wander around the shops and found a small saucepan in one of the Charity Shops. Our other small pan has losts its non-stick and is hopeless, so was glad to pay £1.45 for a new one.
Back at the boat, Keith surfed the net and I went off with the camera, to see what I could photograph at the Aquadrome. I found this dear little bee, busily working away. The Aquadrome is not only a haven for wildlife, it is also used for water sports. I sat and watched as the water skier's lived life in the fast lane. Thank goodness they cannot do this on the canal LOL.
When Pad is due for his evening walk, we may take a stroll around the lakes and enjoy what the Aquadrome has to offer.
Yet another fabulous day.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Two's Company.

Hi Friends and Visitor's.

It has been the most splendid days cruising today.
My cold has almost gone thankfully. I seem to have stopped sneezing and now just have a rather runny nose. But I actually feel fine.
I did not sleep to well last night. Most of it was caused by the heat and the rest of it was caused by the rowdy guys, who were walking across the field behind us. They were obviously drunk and high on life or something else. They were very noisy and this was bothering me. I was sincerely hoping they kept away from our boat.
We were awake early, so I got up and made us a cuppa, which we enjoyed in bed, whilst discussing the coming weekends fun and games we are going to. We then got up and had breakfast.
So Having done all the usual morning stuff, I got the boat ready for today's off and whilst doing so NB Constable went past. No sooner they had gone into the distance, we were ready for the off, but we did not think we would catch them up to share the locks. We got to the first lock and they were just leaving it, but were very happy to wait for us at the next lock, which was very nice of them.

Marjorie, David and Eric were on a deadline, as they need to be back in Slough tomorrow (Wednesday) lunchtime, as David has to crew a pair of boats on the Severn. So we were on a mission to keep them going. David was walking between most of the locks, setting them along the way, whilst Eric and I worked the locks and Marjorie and Keith steered the boats. It worked like a dream until we got to Kings Langley Lock, which was when we got behind a Community Boat, this slowed up progress somewhat, because they were out on a day out. The lock was also filling extremely slowly, due to badly leaking lock gates. We now had a queue behind us now, this showed just how slow this lock was. In the queue was the Community Boat Belfast, which had a crew of children onboard. Yayyyy we had many hands to make light work. I got them working by helping to open and close the lock gates, they were having a wonderful time. For the crew of Constable losing an hour was a real downer, but we soon picked up the pace again, once we cleared the Community Boat. I should say we were not speeding or leaving lock gates open. We were cruising at normal cruising speed and making sure all paddles were down and gates were shut when exiting, we just made sure we did it economically and therefore were working at a pace. It was really lovely to cruise with a crew who knew what they were doing. It was a real laugh and lots of jolly banter was passed between us all. We had planned to stop above Lady Capels lock, but with no mooring to be had, we stayed with Constable and made it to The Grove, Cassiobury Park Watford, having done 6.2 miles, 12 locks, in 4hrs 10mins. We said our goodbyes to the Constable crew, hoping they would reach their destination in time.
We moored up just before Grove Mill, which an absolutely beautiful place. Cassiobury Park is Watford’s secret gem. not too far from the town centre, the park is a tranquil and relaxing place.
The Earls of Essex lived in Cassiobury House for more than 250 years.
As we cruised around a bend, a voice from a moored boat, enquired as to whether I was still sneezing. It was Barbara on NB Cloud 9, she has become a friend on my Facebook page. We never expected to see her, but was so pleased to put a face to the name. We decided that if we could get the boat in, we would moor up behind Barbara and spend the night. Hooray the boat came into the side and so we banged in our pins and tied up. After a chat with Barbara, we were in need of lunch as it was now 1.30pm and my stomach was really growling.
With lunch done, I went exploring with the camera and came up with a few delights.
I stood in the middle of a grass meadow and the only sounds I could hear, were the Skylark and the Grasshopper's. Getting this photograph of a Grasshopper was difficult, because they do not stay still very long.
Unlike this extremely beautiful Comma from the Nymphalinae Family. Ixt was more than happy to stay still for the photograph. I could have stayed in the meadow all afternoon, it was so sublime. But there was a cuppa calling my name. I spent the rest of the afternoon chatting to Barbara on her boat and on ours. So much to chat about, in so little time. I can honestly say that Barbara is a scream and a wonderful lady.
We have had dinner and are now watching a brilliant digital TV signal.... Note to self- Moor here again sometime.
So I am now off to take off my shoes, put my feet up and relax, after what has been an excellent day.

Monday 19 July 2010

Keep In Touch.

Hi Folks.

Thought I would share this great little site with you that I have just found.
It is called CutConnect. It keeps you in touch with other boaters.

Yeah I know your thinking, but we there are lots of sites like that on the net. Well I just thought I would tell you about this one. It looks pretty good, so why not give it a try.

From Berko to Boxmoor.

Hi Folks.

We are now at The Fishery Inn, Boxmoor, 3.2 miles, 11 locks, 3hrs 50mins. Wanted to moor at The Three Horses at Winkwell, but not deep enough, it was last year!

We left Berkhamsted at 8.30am, having been awake since 6.30am. My sore throat has now turned into a cold, but I am not feeling to sorry for myself. I will just keep on sneezing and sniffing until it clears up. With no one to share the locks with yet again we came down through the first lock on our own and spent all morning by ourselves pretty much.
I love this Totem Pole. It comes from Southern Kwakiutu in British Columbia, Canada.

Near Bridge 144, Blue Boar are dredging the canal, to back fill where they are putting in new edging on the offside. I got chatting to one of the workers, and he told me they would be there for another 7 weeks. So no doubt we will be seeing them on our return trip.
I should have suggested they dredge at Winkwell, on reflection. I must remember to mention it on the way back. After all if you do not ask.

We arrived at Winkwell having down the Winkwell pair of locks, and moored up near to the Swing Bridge and the Three Horseshoes Inn. But no sooner we had put the kettle on and sat down, we were listing as boaters drew water off of the pound to fill lock 60.
This was hopeless, what is the point in having a 48 hour ringed moorings, if boaters cannot get in on them?
So we untied the boat and moved the boat backwards, but it was no use, we could not even get her into the back. She was sitting over a foot away, which was absolutely no go for Paddy, who hates having to jump anything. I decided the best thing to do was to have a quick bite to eat, then set off and find somewhere else to moor. I was kind of hoping another boat would come down the locks and we could pair up. My prayers were answered, because no sooner we had eaten lunch a vision appeared in the lock. It was NB Solace with Lynda and Jeff onboard. I enquired as to whether they were mooring up or going on and they said they were carrying on. So I asked if they would mind us sharing with them, which they didn't. I then helped them down through the lock and then went ahead and set the Swing Bridge. Just as one barrier was going down, a flippin car appeared from nowhere, so I stopped the bridges process to allow the car through. The gentleman driver did say "Thank You" as he passed, which was very polite of him. I attempted to get the bridge going again, but clearly it did not like me stopping it in mid process and so it refused to work. Jeff very kindly took over and hey presto it worked. Sometimes it takes a man's touch LOL. Bridge and lock done we were both on our way. For us the jaunt ended below Fishery's Inn Lock, where we were able to get the boat in on a piled mooring with some lovely shade from trees. We said cheerio to Jeff and Lynda and wished them well. This is going to be our mooring for the night.

Sunday 18 July 2010


Cyclists behave.

Hi There.

Sitting here I am listening to the cyclists going by and is amazed at how fast they are going past. I then came across this write up from the 12th July on
Narrowboat World. Maybe cyclists need to slow down, before some does actually die.
Whoever decided to make towpaths cycle routes needs to reconsider their decision. Because not only do the cyclists go ...to fast, they are also chewing up the towpaths, which will mean more work has to be done by BW. I read a sign the other day that cyclists should do no more than 10mph arghhhhhh that is way to fast.

I should say that I am a Cyclist myself, and I do try and behave in an appropriate way, when cycling on the towpaths. People forget that the towpaths are used not just by cyclists, but by walkers, fishermen and others, so please take time think of others, when your hammering down the towpath on you over priced bike.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Over the Rainbow.

Hi Friends.

As we settled in for the evening the heavens opened and I caught sight of this rainbow out of the galley window, so just had to stand out in the rain to take the above photograph. I absolutely love rainbows. I wonder if there truly is a pot of gold at the end of one?
I had somewhat of a disturbed evening. It all began really at 8pm when the boat behind us started up his flippen engine. Maybe his clock was out by a couple of hours, or just maybe I need to tell him, you are not supposed to run engine's or generator's after 8pm or before 8am. My problem is, I am not one for confrontation's, mainly because I am not sure how the other person is likely to react. Anyway it went on till 9.10pm and then got switched off, thank goodness for the bit of peace. As my throat was not all that good, I was in bed at 10pm, hoping for a half decent sleep and in a way that is all I got. Because there were people walking past the boat very late, and then early hours I could hear I woman laughing, I think she was over in the park. Did not dare get up to see what she was doing. I may have seen more than I bargained for LOL. So I slept on and off until 7am and then that was it, I was awake listening to the trains, thundering along the track on the offside. Some of the trains which have been thundering by have been passenger trains and others carrying goods. It is a very busy track.
8am and we were up. I folded the bed away in the cupboard.
Sleeping in a back cabin, means we do not have to make the bed as such. We just bundle it away in a cupboard and shut the door, it is fantastic.
Marmite usually wants to help with the process of storing the bed away. She likes to meow instructions and generally get in the way. It is the same thing every morning, either me or the other half.
Up and dressed, I took Pad out for his morning stroll up the towpath. For some reason he was in a hurry to get done what was neccessary and get back to the boat. More than likely his stomach was calling for his breakfast, which is usually two small doggy biscuits, so not gonna fill him up, but he always looks forward to it anyway. He is so easy to please.
Hubby laid the breakfast out and made a cuppa. it was nothing exciting, just our usual cereal. We were now set up for the morning, so prepared ourselves for a walk into the town to see what delights it had to offer. Saturday is Market day, so we were hoping to find something interesting. Unfortunately that did not happen. The market is not that big and consisted of a couple of fruit and veg stalls, a bits and bobs stall and the others were supposed to be like antique stalls, but were really selling tat. We walked up both sides of the high street and popped into all of the Charity Shops, to see if they had anything worth purchasing. These days the Charity shops have got so expensive we have found, so we left empty handed. We did pop into the Waitrose store to get some Wine Gums for me to suck on (last of the big spenders). It was then back to the boat, to put the generator on, because I really had to do a laundry wash as the machine was full to over flowing. Not only that we needed to charge the batteries, as it seems the Alternator may need to have its belts tightened, it does not seem to be doing the job as well as it was. We will be checking this over the weekend.
So as I type this. The washing machine is now on its second load. I only use the half hour quick washes, when it is coloureds. It is lunchtime, so I am now thinking what to have for lunch and we will then see what this afternoon holds. Pad is asleep in his bed and Marmite is in the back cabin snoozing. Oh to be a dog or a cat in my next life. I only want to go to a good family though ha ha ha.
Ok off now to raid the fridge for some lunch.
Have a wonderful Saturday.
My thoughts are with a family member, who is non to well at the moment, so lots of healing thoughts are coming your way E xxx

Friday 16 July 2010

A little Rock and Roll.

Hi Friends.

What a night we had. I can finally say the DVD player is no longer. It worked for all of 20 minutes and then gave up the ghost, so we will be buying a new one at some point.
The wind continued to blow a hooley all night, which meant despite making sure the boat was securely tied up, she still kept hitting something on the mooring. Also there was a lot of things knocking about on the roof, due to the wind. It took me a whiloe to drop off to sleep and then when I thought I had been a sleep for hours, I discovered it was only 1am, which was not good news. I also realised I had developed a sore throat, which I absolutely hate getting. I can cope with almost anything, but sore throats I hate with a passion. There was nothing for it, but to get up and get a drink, which woke the other half up, who wanted to know if I was ok.
I said "I just needed a drink". So he turned over and went back to sleep. Leaving me laying awake once more.
7am and I was awake again, listening to the wind and the birds that could be bothered to sing. With hubby getting up to use the bathroom, I decided to tidy away the bed and get dressed. I laid on breakfast and a cuppa, before taking Pad for his morning constitutional. The one blessing from having strong winds all night, is the swigs which break off, making great kindling for our stoves. I am still collecting wood for the winter. I gathered as much as I could in my arms and trundled back to the boat.
We were ready to set off at 8.45am. First destination Cow Roast Lock. I was a little surprized to see that one of the lock cottages is still for sale. It is such a pretty place, I thought it would have been snapped up. Maybe it is the asking price, which is putting people off.
At Dudswell Lock we met up with Neil on NB Slow and Easy, he was going as far as Berkhamsted as well, so we made the most of sharing the locks. I walked between some of the locks as they are only a quarter of a mile apart from each other and it made life easier for the other half.
The one thing I have noticed on the cruise from Braunston, there are pockets of persistant moorers. How do I know they are persistant moorers you thinking. They are a giveaway, because they set up home on the towpaths and they leave all their rubbish everywhere. I just wonder where they have all come from. My guess is London. With the Olympic in 2012, I bet they have been moved on from around the site, and this is where they have ended up. WOnder how long it will be before they are moved on again?
We are now moored in Berkhemsted, having done 3 miles, 7 locks, in 2hrs 30mins, and we will be here for the weekend.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Looking for.

Hi Friends I have met and yet to meet.

I am wondering if anyone out there can help me?

I am looking for a couple of things. The first is a pattern or an idea what a 1930's Apron was like?

WHY you ask?

Well when we go to Rallies, I want to dress up in 1930's dress. Usually I wear the Victorian boatwomans outfit, but our boat is designed on a 1930's working boat and I would therefore like to dress the part. I bought a dress and a cardigan the other day from a charity shop, which looks the part, but I am having problems with the Apron.

My second request is for a hand winding Klaxon. We have a push down one, which sits on the slide. I find it difficult to use, because being only 5ft, I am lacking enough height to push the lever down. So I am on the look out for a windy one. If you know where I can find one, please let me know.

Thunderstorms and Wind.

Hi Folks.

Over the past few days, we have been told that we are going to get rain and more rain, which would be lovely, because we certainly need water to keep the system full. Having moored up yesterday, the storm clouds were gathering in the distance and were blowing our way. Within an hour, there was a huge clap of thunder and the heavens opened. I thought whoopie here comes the rain, and about time too.

We had three huge claps of thunder and the rain absolutely hammered down. The surface of the water, looked like it was boiling or the rain drops were dancing. Having had so much dry weather, it was wonderful to see the rain falling, but it was short lived, because it seemed no sooner it was raining, it then stopped and the sun came out. It was more like an April shower. So rain over and done with for the night, the wind really got up, it was blowing a hooley all night. But we had a great TV reception so we were not bothered.
I was awake at 6am, this was mainly due to the fact that my shoulder was non to happy. I had been lying on it, which did not help. It did not bode well for the day. I got up and did my shoulder exercises, to help relieve the pain, so was hoping that it would be ok for the locks, I was going to have to do today. After breakfast we set off from the mooring, and up the Marsworth Flight. The wind was blowing a hooley across some parts of the cut, which made for a difficult morning. We were on our own, there was nothing much else moving. This was probably due to the wind. I am not bothered what weather I move in. It is all apart of boating, you just get on with it. The Tring Reservoir alongside the flight was full, which was good. Because all's I have been hearing, is the fact that the reservoirs are either very low or empty. We arrived at the top of the Marsworth Flight and there were two boats ready to come down, so we left the gates open and made our way past the dry dock, where there were a couple of old wooden working boats waiting to be worked on. The Bulbourne moorings were very quiet. It looks like the continual moorers who were there for ages have been moved on. There were a couple of boats moored up, one of them a shed on water, which had no licence and looked like it was only just floating. We decided as it was only 10.45am, we would carry on to near Cowroast. We are now moored at Beggars Lane Wharf on the Tring cutting, having done 4.3miles 9 locks in 3hrs 10mins.
The shoulder is not to bad now. I am going to put some ice on it later, to see if that helps. Right now it is time for some lunch and then I may actually clean the brass in the back cabin. There is no point in doing the outside brass work, because the weather is so unpredictable at the moment. But I can do the brass in the back cabin, which goes dull after a few days due to the moisture in the air. I am a lover of clean, shiny brass. I have put the ariel up and we have some sort of a signal. It will do for the news and weather.

I told you yesterday that our DVD player had died, well I am pleased to say it is alive and kicking. Last night I thought I would try it out, to see if it was dead or not and low and behold it worked. I deduced that because we had DVD's behind the TV, which is on a swinging wall bracket, air could not circulate around the TV, this meant the DVD player over heated, and therefore stopped working. Having cooked down, it now works again and I have removed the DVD's and books from behind the TV. Money has been saved, which is always a good thing. If the TV is not much good this evening, we will be watching a DVD I reckon.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Leighton Buzzard and beyond.

Hi Folks.

So much for watching anything on TV last night. The signal was so bad, we only had BBC1 and that was bad. So we dipped into the DVD collection and watched 'The Dirty Dozen' first and were watching 'The Golden Compass' when the DVD player packed in arghhhhhh. So hubby set up his computer, so we could finish watching the film. After that it was time for bed.

Awake early, as cars and people were coming past the boat. So we were up and ready to set off at 9am leaving the Globe Inn behind once more. Our first port of call was Tesco at Leighton Buzzard. I went in and got a few bits, which hubby stayed on the boat. It was all done and dusted in 30 minutes and we were on the move again at 10am. I put the food away on the move.

On this boat the food is always on the move. In the hutch are Chickens and there were more in a cage on the stern. Fresh Eggs everyday mmmm. I have seen a lot of different animals and birds on boats but this was a first for Chicken's.
Have a look at this photo and tell me what you see or don't see?
We did not see it until the last minute and by then it was to late to slow down to tickover.

It was a year ago since we were on this part of the system. Even in that year there have been big changes. We arrived at Grove Lock and was shocked to see a new Marina above the lock. Grove Lock Marina was finished in December 09 and looks very nice. We got through Slapton Lock and as we left the lock NB Skystone pulled out in front of us. We both got to Horton Lock and I set the lock as the gentleman was single handing. When I say single handing, he was not a lone, he had his dog Sadie onboard. But as he said "I have not trained her to do the locks yet". So it was down to me, with his help once in the lock. Now the plan had been to stop above Horton Lock, which is where we have stopped before, but we could not get in at all. The pound was down about 4 inches, which did not help. So we decided to carry on with NB Skystone. I went down into the galley and made us some lunch, which consisted of Panini Rolls and homemade cake. I was gonna need the energy for the remaining locks of the day. The one thing I really needed was a drink, but there was no time for that. I was in charge of the locks and the one swing bridge. We arrived at the swing bridge and I opened it for our boat to go through and NB Skystone was following close behind. Coming in the other direction, was a small plastic cruiser, which what sounded like a very poorly engine. We passed through and before NB Skystone could cruise through, I heard an elderly gentleman on the cruiser shout "Floor it, go on go for it". They barged their way through, meaning NB Skystone had to take evasive action. Apparently they said that they did not see him, but that was rubbish, because it was on a straight. I hope their boat breaks down in the middle of no where, after what they did.
After a busy day, we are now moored below lock 37, Marsworth pair, 8.7 miles, 10 locks, 5hrs 40mins. Some of the pounds were a little low. It has been another good day though. I know I will sleep well tonight. NB Skystone carried on up the next lock, so we may see him again tomorrow.
Thankfully my shoulder seems to have survived the day ok. I am not in any major pain, which is a blessing. The TV ariel is up and we have a fabulous signal, so it will be a quiet night in front of the box tonight and probably an early night for me, as I am feeling cream crackered right now.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

No Chocolate.

Pub Lunch was called for.

Got the hump
Good afternoon.

Whilst moored at Fenny Stratford, we listened to the local radio station and it seems there is a row brewing because of a Gypsy travellers site, which is due to be built near Fenny Lock. A Planning application (09/01942/FUL) has been recieved to develop land at Fenny Lock, just off H10 Bletcham Way to provide 10 pitches where families will be able to stay for most of the year.Each pitch will consist of a hardstanding area for vehicles and carvans and a small amenity block. This site will be similar to the Calverton Lane site (which is currently under construction). It is now hoped that because of the government cuts, this project will be stopped. I am sure that this will run and run, because where they want to put the site, there is a wooded area and this is of course a place of natural beauty. I am not for or against these sites. But I do wonder why they call themselves travellers, when they do not seem to travel anywhere.
We left Fenny Stratford and it has to be said that it was a little overcast. Whilst the other half filled the day tank, I took the TV ariel down, No idea why we bothered putting it up, because the signal was so bad, we could just about get BBC1. Still we got the chance to see some of the news. It was then over to the DVD collection for the evenings entertainment. With the ariel down, fenders up and ropes undone, hubby moved the boat whilst I walked down to the lock to open the swing bridge across Fenny Lock, before opening one of the gates to allow the boat in. There was a boat waiting below on the Sanitary Station, he was coming up. So as we slipped out of the lock, he slipped in and we went on to the Sanitary Station to empty the toilet cassette, get rid of rubbish and to take on water. Having done a couple of washes, I thought I may as well top up the water tank. We were soon on our way, with plenty of boats going in the opposite direction, but nothing going our way, so locks were going to be on our own. There never seems to be anyone around to share with, when we need them ha ha ha.
We got to the Soulbury Locks and still no one to share with, but there were a pair of boats coming down. We got through the first lock and the pound was down by at least two feet, which meant it was going to be difficult for the boat to get into the lock as she is loaded. So I had to open the paddles and allow some water down to enable the boat to crawl over the lock cill and finally into the lock chamber. By this time the pair of boats coming down were waiting to use the lock. I was told by one of the ladies on the boats, that the pound was low all the way, which did not bode to well for us, because we need deep water. We said our goodbye's. I wished them well for their trip and then went on our way. As it turned out the pound was not to bad at all. We arrived at The Globe Inn, Linslade and were able to moored right outside the pub, which was really nice. Whilst I mopped the bow deck down and the gunwales, Hubby was checking out the lunchtime menu, so i saw my chance to say we would eat out for lunch. Yayyyy no cooking tonight. Having locked up the boat, we had a lovely Fish and Chip dinner, for puds hubby had a Treacle Pudding with Custard and I had Pot du Chocolat which was ohhhhhhhhh so yummy. It is always such a treat to eat out. Back on the boat, I have tried to get a signal for the TV, but it is not looking good grrrrrrr. So the DVD collection will come out again.

Monday 12 July 2010

Boating in the rain.

Hi Friends.

Having had a fantastic nights sleep, I woke up at 7.30am and heard the boat Two Jays heading off from their overnight mooring. Even though I nodded off for another half an hour, I knew that I would have to get up, because Pad needed to go out to do what all dogs need to do in the morning.
I got dressed, put on my shoes and Pad was ready and waiting to go out. Once the bed is put away in the cupboard, he sits and waits by the back steps, ready for me to open the door. With lead on and poo spade in hand, we set off across the park. The one thing that Campbell Park is lacking are Poo Bins. There is not one to be seen anywhere. I am gonna have to write into the Council and suggest they put some bins around the park. I have not even seen any litter bins, and yet the park is very tidy. Walk over, back on the boat Pad and Marmite were given their breakfast and we then ate ours. It was then time to say cheerio to Pam and Mac on NB Mona Lisa, as they were heading off in the other direction. Just as we cast off and left the mooring, some wet stuff began to fall from the sky.
Yippee it was raining.
It was wonderful to feel the wet stuff on my face. I did put on my coat and hat, but did not bother with the waterproof trousers, as it is still humid. To begin with, the rain was only light to begin with. But as we approached Fenny Stratford, 3.7miles 1hr 30mins, the rain started to fall heavily. As we rounded the corner, I was amazed to see that the Fenny Stratford moorings above the lock were empty, so we decided to pull in and moor up. No point getting soaked for no reason, as we are not in a hurry. Not sure what we will do for the rest of the day though. I need to clean the brass in the back cabin, as it is looking a bit dull. But apart from that it will be a realxing time I think.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Baking Sunday and not just the heat.

Hello fellow bloggers or blog readers.

When I went to bed last night, I had no sooner put my head on my pillow, when I heard from not to far away 'I will survive' by Gloria Gaynor. There must have been a party going on somewhere near. I did see a Circus tent up in the park, so maybe it was coming from there. Then hubby joined me and I heard 'Good Vibrations' by The Beach Boys. I was beginning to wonder if they knew something I did'nt ha ha ha. As it turned out there were no vibrations of any sort, as we were way to hot and tired, but I did survive.

We had a lay in and I did not get up till gone 8.30am. If it had not been for the mutt needing his walk, I could have easily of lay in bed for another hour. But as I am not an owner who just opens the doors and allows him to walk himself, I had to get up and take him for his morning stroll, on what was a very breezy morning. It actually felt like there was rain in the air, with the dark clouds looming overhead, but it did not materialize into anything and soon the sun was shining once more. They say the sun always shines on the good, so this must mean I am very, very, very good......... Not.

After breakfast, I was in a baking mood, so thought before it got to warm, I would bake us a Victoria Sandwich, so got out all of the ingredients and put two sponge tins in the oven for 15 minutes and hey presto a Cake was born.

Now I did not learn that much at school, but I did learn how to make great cakes, even though I say so myself. After the cake was caked and was cooling ready for its Jam and Butter Icing filling, I put a quiche in the oven to cook for tonights dinner. That way we could have it cold with potatoes. There would be no need to have the cooker on then later, making the boat hot inside. With all that done, I spent the next couple of hours chatting to Mac and Pam. Boater's always find things to chat about, there is never a dull moment for us. I made us all a cuppa, because nattering is a thirsty business and it was my turn to brew up. Some of the stories that Pam and Mac tell are hilarious, I could spend all day nattering, but it was then lunchtime and the F1 GP was about to start, so we went our seperate ways for a couple of hours. The race was a fantastic race from Silverstone and congratulations to Mark Webber for winning. It was nice we had Brits in 2nd and 4th. Lewis Hamilton came in 2nd and Jenson Button was 4th, having come through the field from 14th on the grid. Race over and it was back to some more nattering with Pam and Mac. I had asked Pam about making me some porthole lace for 5 portholes and low and behold she had already made me 2 bless her. So I paid her for the 2 and she is gonna make me 3 more and put them in the post to me for October, when we are back on the coal run. I am not in any hurry, these new ones will be spares.

All in all we have had an excellent day. I am so glad we did not move off this morning. I have really enjoyed Pam and Mac's company. We are all heading off tomorrow, we are heading to Fenny Stratford and they are heading back to Cosgrove. But no doubt we will see them again very soon. This evening will be spent in front of the TV watching the World Cup Final between Spain and Holland. I am backing Spain. I just hope that is not the kiss of death on them.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Fast food and great conversation.

Hi Folks.

Well what a fantastic day I have had. We walked into town through the park, which is fantastic. If you have never been to Milton Keynes, you really should come and have a look at the town and the park, it is lovely. Our first destination was looking for somewhere to have a drink, because in this heat wave, which we are having at the moment, taking on fluids is important. We ended up at the outdoor market, having a coffee from one of the cafe vans, which was actually really not bad. The outdoor market is a mixture of fashions, fruit and veg, shoes and bits and bobs. I reckon you can buy most things there. With the heat building, it was nice to get into the shopping centre and the air conditioning. Milton Keynes has a massive shopping centre, which has all the usual stores, but it does not have a Primark, which is a huge disappointment to me. So if anyone is reading this from Primark, please open a store in Milton Keynes. I love Primark.
Why you ask?
Because their clothing is cheap. Living on and working a boat does not warrant expensive clothing, because it gets dirty very quickly and can be ruined in no time. So I either go to Charity Shops or Primark. Mind you some of the Charity Shops have got very expensive of late. I will not name, names they know who they are. You can no longer get a bargain in some of them, which is a real shame.
Having walked around the shops and bought a couple of items. None of them exciting believe me, we decided to go to Pizza Hut for some lunch. Normally we would go for a Chinese Buffet, but we fancied a change and a Pizza was the order of the day, with a nice cold drink. I think the last time we had a Pizza was in Milton Keynes a year ago. That is how much we eat Pizza's lol. Lunch over we wandered back to the boat, through the park and came upon a Cricket match going on at the Milton Keynes Cricket Ground. It was way to hot to be running up and down a cricket ground, that is definite, but the game must go on it seems. We left them to it and were soon approaching the boat, where Mac and Pam were setting up shop on the boat NB Mona Lisa.
As they worked we chatted and drank coffee and chatted some more. Before we knew it, it was time to feed Paddy and run the generator. Pam makes cabin lace and is going to make me some port hole lace, which is great, because it is not easy to get hold of. I am only to happy to pay her for her hard work.

Whilst the generator ran, I did a laundry wash and hung it in the engine room and on the stern. It will not take to long to dry in this heat. Although a nice breeze has got up, so who knows we may get a cooler night.
At this moment in time, we are watching the TV and enjoying another cold drink. I think we must have drunk gallons today. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Grumpy Old Woman.

Morning all.

Done my Grumpy Old Woman bit already at 8.15am, with a woman whose dog ran at Paddy growling. Paddy was on his lead behaving himself.
The woman said "Does your dog not like other dogs".
My reply ot her was. "My dog loves other dogs. But I chose to have him on a lead to avoid dogs like yours".
I told her. " Your dog should be on a lead". But she walked off just saying ok in a snide tone.
I was clearly in the right, because Paddy was under control, so why do I feel like I was in the wrong arghhhhhhhh?

It is going to be a scorcher again today. I am so glad we have some shade under trees.
We are going into town this morning for a mooch around the Market and shops. We have already decided we will catch the bus and not walk, because it is already hot out. I am sure as a woman I will come back with something. It will not be shoes or handbags, because I don't do them. I do however need some t-shirts for working in. Boring I know, but needed. I am hoping we may even have some lunch in town, which will mean I do not have to do anything on the boat for dinner tonight. I hate cooking when its hot and we are now getting cheesed off with salads. I think I have done every sort of salad their is. But if you can come up with another idea please let me know, as I am running out of ideas.

I am listening to the local radio and they are talking about a pub, which has already got up their Christmas decorations. Are they totally barking mad, or is this a ploy.
I actually think they are barking mad, but it could work in their favour, because everyone locally is now talking about the pub, so maybe they will get more Christmas bookings due to this ploy. or it could go horribly wrong, and people will avoid it like the plague.

Right I am off. I may post later, if I am not to cream crackered. Have a lovely day.

Friday 9 July 2010

Good afternoon.

Phewwwww its hot, hot, hot. There was a distinct lack of sleep last night onboard...
It was all due to the heat and no not what your thinking. The boat was not rocking all night. It was way to hot for that. We were both awake to hear the start of the dawn chorus. One little bird started it off and then the choir joined in one by one. It was really quite magical.
We left the Cosgrove mooring having spoken to Hazel the mooring warden. Hazel makes fantastic, Rag Rugs if you are looking for someone to make you one. Other than that we can sell you one of ours lol.
It was nice to see our first Canada Geese of the year with their young. There are non up on the Leicester Section, that we have seen over the Winter. Another bird missing up there as well is the Heron. Maybe they need to come and see the surrounding, they would definitely stay if they did.
With only the one lock to do, which was done with a hire boat, we had a lovely cruise to Wolverton, where we stopped to go to Tesco for a food shop. I got more salad stuff and squash to drink. In this weather we all need to keep our fluid levels up, otherwise we could dehydrate. Back onboard, I unpacked the shopping whilst we moved.
We met the fleet of 7 working boats travelling from Paddington to Atherstone carrying gravel, trust us to meet them at a bridge 'ole! It was fabulous to see them all, doing the job they were built for. The draw back for them and for us as a working boat loaded is the other boats on the cut, who do not have a clue what they are doing. My advice is stay well out of the way of the gravel boats, especially the ones that are towing, because they cannot stop easily. We did not have a problem, because we knew what they were going to be doing, so kept out of their way enough for them to come straight through. Not sure whether the two hire boats behind us, would have known to have kept clear.
Because we had one of the hire boats up our stern having let the gravel boats go through, we decided to pull over at
The Black Horse, Great Lindon, and let both boats pass, as they probably had to get back to the hire company. We waved them on and let them pass. What happened next was extremely annoying. No sooner they past us and we moved back out into the channel, they decided to pull in and moor up.
Why oh why did they not shout to us they were going to moor up?
That way we would have just kept going arghhhhhhhhhh. Don't get me wrong I love hirers I really do, but these really annoyed me.
So we pasted them, and went on our way. We are now moored near Gulliver's Milton Keynes. 7.1 miles, 1 lock, 3hrs 15mins. We will be here for the weekend now. I have just made us some salad wraps for lunch with Garlic Mayo, and I think for dinner we will be having burgers in buns, as it is way to hot to cook.


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