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!
Tuesday 31 August 2010
Saturday 28 August 2010
Friday 27 August 2010
Thursday 26 August 2010
Wednesday 25 August 2010
Tuesday 24 August 2010
Monday 23 August 2010
Oh what a night......... No not the song by The Four Seasons. I believe the song was December 1963. My night was somewhat disturbed by the substantial amount of rain we had. The rain began pouring at 10.15pm and was still coming down as I took Paddy out for his morning constitutional. At 3.15am I woke up with a start as I thought I could hear dripping within the back cabin. I put the light on and jumped out of bed to investigate the source of this dripping. Unfortunately in doing so I had to climb over Keith, so I had woken him up. Having felt around all the places I thought the water maybe coming in, I could find nothing. However I did find water running down the chimney stack on to the stove, which had stained the embroidered cloth which is under the kettle and teapot. This was due to the fact that I had not put the saucepan back on the chimney after cleaning it all out yesterday. There was nothing for it, I had to brave the weather and go out and put the saucepan on the chimney. As you can imagine, I was soaked when I got back into the cabin, but the rain stopped running down the stack. I soaked the embroidered cloth in the galley sink and made us both a cup of tea. I realised the source of the dripping, was rain dripping off of the trees on to the slide. We sat drinking our tea and listened to the music of the rain on the roof of the boat, before settling down to try and get some kip. The rain has certainly not freshened the air, because we were both so hot that no duvet was required. I could say I was hot due to the Menopause or because of my personal Summer as Whoopi Goldberg put it on the One Show the other day. I think I am going to adopt her saying as it sounds so much nicer than Menopause ;0)
We did eventually get up at 8.45am and had decided to stay put because it was still raining. But like with most things we changed our minds when the sun came out.So at 10.55 we left our weekend mooring near The Globe Inn and set off with the view to get to Stoke Hammond. The canal was down a few inches, so it made for a fun journey. On arriving at the Soulbury 3 locks, we were listing as we approached the top lock due to a low pound. The locks were against us, as a pair of boats had gone down before us. So I set the top lock and then went and set the second lock. The pound was extremely low going to the third lock, but Keith managed to crawl into the lock. We had a quiet jaunt with very little moving. At bridge 109 British Waterways were repairing one of the bridges. It is a never ending job for them, as the bridges suffer a lot of damage, due to boats hitting them and heavy loads driving over them. We arrived at Stoke Hammond and moored up behind other boats. I made us some lunch and we then took a stroll into Stoke Hammond Village.The village sign reads A Thankful Village. Your now thinking why a Thankful Village? Of the 16,000 villages in England and Wales only 41 are called ‘A Thankful Village’. This refers to the fact that there is no First World War memorial in the village because fortunately all the men resident in the village who went to fight in the war returned home safely at its end. Stoke Hammond is mainly made up of houses. Unfortunately it looks like the village store and post office recently closed down and today the Dolphin Inn was also closed. Maybe it does not open on a Monday, or perhaps it only opens in the evening. There was nothing on the door to give us a clue to its opening hours.We walked up to the church St. Lukes for a look around. The Church was rebuilt in the 17th. century and is one of only three cruciform churches in the county. There is a single manual pipe organ inside. We did not hang around because there is a lot of building working taking place to restore the stone work. On our way back, we could not help but notice the very dark clouds looming towards us over the harvested fields and it was not long after getting back on the boat, the heavens once again opened. On the plus side we have a good TV signal, and can even get Film 4, so we are not going to be bothered by what the weather can throw at us for the rest of today.
Sunday 22 August 2010
Saturday 21 August 2010
Friday 20 August 2010
Thursday 19 August 2010
Have you ever slept so deeply that when you wake up you find you ache?
That was me this morning. I must have slept like a log, because the only thing that woke me was the sound of a Buzzard overhead at 5.30am. The one thing though I could have done without was the aches and pains in my neck and shoulders. I felt like a creeky old woman (oi I heard you say, "You are a creeky old woman"), as I got up at 7am to make a cup of tea, which we enjoyed in bed. Marmite came and joined us in bed. She loves to push her way under the duvet, especially if it is a little chilly. It did have that damp Autimn feel about it this morning.
Once up and about, Paddy and I stepped off the boat for his walk in beautiful sunshine. The House Martins were darting along the canal surface catching flies to feed their families and I saw the Buzzard fly over the lock. There must be a family of them close by.
The title of my posting today is abundance, because at the moment we have the highs and lows of abundance at the moment on the system.British Waterway's has notices on the locks asking people to save water, which is what all boaters should do anyway, by sharing locks etc. The pounds on the cruise this morning to Leighton Buzzard were low in places. If it is possible to share locks, then it is up to us all to do so. Sadly we were not able to share with anyone today, because there was nothing about. The five boats we saw, were coming from the other direction. But we always share when we can, even if it means waiting for a boat to come a long. So this is the low in the abundance stakes. The highs in abundance are with the fruit on the trees and bushes. Crab Apples, Damsons and Blackberries are in huge abundance. The trees and bushes are heavily laden with fruit for the Autumn larder. So I may just have to try making some Crab Apple Jelly. Keith rather fancies a Blackberry and Apple Crumble. I like Blackberries off the bush, but not cooked. The one downfall with Damson's is the pip inside them. They are all pip and not much fruit, but they do make nice Jam. I am also keeping my eye on the Hazelnuts as well, because there are loads of them, but you have to pick them before the Squirrels get them all.
We had a lovely cruise, with fantastic views over the Chilterns and although most of the seven locks were against us, it was still very pleasureable. We met a couple of the Wyvern Hire Boats and it was nice to hear that they had both enjoyed their holidays afloat. I get great enjoyment talking to the hirers. It is lovely hear what they have to say. The best sight of the day was the Red Kite, I watched coming towards me as I walked to the first lock. They are so distinctive with their Chevron tail. I felt very honoured to have seen one and hope that I can get a decent photograph of one someday soon.
We are now at Leighton Buzzard and after lunch we walked into the town to get some bits and bobs for the boat. No sooner I had put the kettle on, there was a cheery hello coming from the towpath. It was Carrie off of NB Blackbird, she had walked down to find us, having seen on the blog that we were going to be in Leighton Buzzard. I welcomed her onboard and we settled down with our coffee's for a good old chinwag. It is always so nice to catch up with friends old and new. We first met Carrie some three and a half years ago, when she was moored at Roger Fuller's. Living and moving around on a boat, can sometimes mean you do not see people for a year or more, but when you do get to see them, you have a lot of catching up to do.
Tonights dinner was Sweet and Sour Chicken with Basmati Rice and we are now settled in for the evening and watching the TV. We only have channels BBC 1 and 2 plus channel 4, so we may end up watching a DVD. At the moment we are being buffeted about by the Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club, who are racing up and down the canal. Just as well we do not get sea sick LOL.
Wednesday 18 August 2010
Tuesday 17 August 2010
From what I understand there was planning put in back in 2009 for 14 dwellings, so this must be a revised application, after there was uproar over the original plans. It will be sad to see another British Waterway's yard go. As boaters we can but hope that the people who move into the homes, love the canal and its heritage. Having read all about the plans for the BW yard we made our way on to the Aylesbury Arm and walked down a few locks to some lovely open countryside. There was a pair of Buzzards flying overhead calling to each other and the sound of water pouring through lock gates. It was very tranquil. Unfortunately for us, our boat is a little to deep in the water to get down there at the moment, so we will have to save the 16 lock trip for another day. It does look very pretty though and I would love to do it, just so I can say I have.
Monday 16 August 2010
Sunday 15 August 2010
Last night we were entertained as we went to bed, by some live music coming from the Tennis Club. It was so good that on my way to bed, I stood in the engine room with the door open and was having a boogie to what was being played. Who ever the drummer was he was excellent. I have no idea what time the party stopped, but nothing disturbed out sleep, so they must have left quietly.
We were awake at 4am and so there was nothing for it, but to make a cup of tea and to drink it in bed. It certainly did the trick, because I certainly went back to sleep and the next thing I knew, it was 8am and Marmite was on the bed complaining that she had no food in her bowl.
As the sun was out, we decided to reverse over to the water point to fill up and then were going to make headway.
As we passed Jenny and David on NB Sweet Dream, we said our goodbyes. We have enjoyed our time with them, they are such a wonderful couple. Next time we meet up the coffee is on me. Off we went into the first of the Gas Locks and low and behold a boat was coming out of the 2nd one. This was great and makes life so much easier. As our lock was full, I set the lock for them and waited, which seemed to surprize the gentleman steering. In fact his precise words were "Thank you, this does not happen to often" to which I replied. "It does with us, because we always allow the lock to go to the boat coming if it is in their favour". I find it totally disrespectful if you steal a lock off of someone you can see coming. After all what is the problem with waiting for a few moments. With the chatter over with, I wished them a good day as they exited the lock and we entered the chamber. After the Gas Locks, a lady was stood on the stern of NB More and said hello and asked how Hubby was. It seems she reads our boats blog. I do love meeting bloggers and readers.
All was going so well until we got to the bottom of Bushes Lock. We had passed some fishermen, but never expected to find on fishing on the lock mooring. Not only that he was using one of the bollards to rest his gear on. I stepped off of the boat with the centre rope and had to take the first available bollard to tie on to, otherwise the boat was going to take this fisherman's rod and keep net out. My dilemma was, do I say something to this elderly man, or do I just go about my duty and say nothing. I decided on saying nothing, even though I felt like telling him the error of his ways. In the lock chamber was NB Vital Spark and a boat I recognised from Facebook, it was NB Sometime. So I said hello to them and we exchanged the time of day as you do. We then arrived at Northchurch Lock and again as we approached it there was a fisherman and his son actually fishing in the bridge 'ole and on the lock mooring. I had to grab the centre line and tie to the first bollard to stop the boat ploughing through his keep net, which was almost in the bridge 'ole.This time I felt there was nothing for it, but to say something, because his keep net would be going around our prop as we entered the lock. So in a cheery voice I said "Good morning" to which he replied the same.