*****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..*****

Tuesday 31 August 2010

Stoke Bruerne for Lunch.

Hi Folks.

It was certainly an Autumnal morning, when I opened the back cabin doors to the world and there on the surface of the canal was a fine mist. On the towpath it looked like we had had a slight frost as well. This spells the beginning of Autumn. I have certainly noticed that the nights and early morning's are colder, so I wonder how much longer it will be before we need to light the stoves.

After walking his lordship, we were ready for the off at 8.30am. First destination was the Sanitary Station at the bottom of Stoke Bruerne, as we needed to take on some water and once again empty the toilet cassette. Our cassettes generally last up to 5 days all being well. We have a spare just in case we should get caught short thought. It always pays to be prepared. And if we really get taken double short we have a spade. There were a few boats on the move this morning, as we cruised lock free to the bottom of the Stoke Bruerne flight. We arrived at the station, just as a couple of boats were leaving, which was extremely handy, otherwise we would not have been able to get in. Moored up and filling up with water already was NB Mandalay, so having connected the hose to the tape and started the fill on our water tank, I went and enquired as to whether they would be going up and would they like to share. They were very happy with the idea of sharing the locks on the flight. Whilst they had been moored up, they had been out with a boat magnet, search for a side door which belonged to one of the Hire boats from Oxfordshire Narrowboat's Company. It seems a hirer managed to lose one of the doors whilst mooring up. If I tried to explain how it happened it would take me ages so I will skip that part, but I will say it is easily done if your not watching what your doing, when mooring up. Sadly they had hand no luck with the door, but had found a windlass, mooring chain and a sheered off propeller.
We had a lovely cruise up the flight with them and also met up with Mac and Pam on NB Mona Lisa, which was fortunate, because I wanted to pay Pam for my porthole lace which she had kindly made for me, so we exchanged money for goodies, caught up on news and then said our goodbyes for now, whilst Keith was off to the next lock with Mandalay. I did a quick sprint up the towpath to catch them up as the lock gates were closing behind the boats, and we carried on our way. We got to the top two locks and the gongoozlers were out in force with their camera's. This was certainly not the time to make a prat of myself, so concentration was needed. Phew flight all done and I did not disgrace myself. Infact I think I made one little girl very happy, when I allowed her to help me open and shut the lock gates on the top lock. We said cheerio to NB Mandalay as they were carrying on and we found ourselves a mooring. Duncan on NB Zendu was already moored up selling his painted wear. It was nice to see him again, as it had been well over a year since we saw him at Cowley.
Lunch was taken at the Spice of Bruerne Indian Restaurant. We had a lovely set lunch for £6.95 each. It was my treat. On the way back we collected a form for the Village at War weekend, which is held on the first weekend of October and headed back to the boat. It is busy outside with lots of people walking the towpath after visiting the museum. The trip boat is also up and down. It is wonderful to see Stoke Bruerne so busy.

Saturday 28 August 2010

Relaxing Bank Holiday Weekend.

Hello friends.


The first day of the Bank Holiday and was clear some boaters still thought they were on the motorway. As a friend said on his facebook "Surely the object is to sloooooooow riiiiighhht dooooooooown in every way? Body, mind, spirit and velocity". I found myself agreeing with him 100%. And yet if you ask these people nicely to please slow down, they will tell you they have. Yet on a couple of occasions yesterday, I heard them slow down further once they have gone past us, so I think they need to learn more about the speed of their boat.
The one joy of not moving on a Bank Holiday weekend, is you get to lie in, so I took full advantage of this idea and did not get out of bed till 9am. The lie in was much needed because the task of the day was to remove some of the bagged coal from the hold to allow the bow to come up.
Why you ask?
The reason for doing this was to get the front locker drain off holes out of the water, so that I could change the wooden bungs we have in at the moment, whilst we are loaded with coal. One or both of them were leaking, meaning we have about an inch of water in the front locker. So Keith and I removed about a tonne of coal from the hold to get the drain holes out of the water. I spent most of the morning prostate over the bow trying to stop water getting into the front locker, but replacing one of the bungs did not work, because having reloaded all the coal, it was clear that it was the other bung which was leaking. The decision was taken to abandon the task and wait till we are in dry dock to do it properly, because Keith was having a problem with making wooden wedges, without the right tools. Job abandoned which my ribs were grateful for, because they were now quite sore from laying on the edge of the bow. It was now lunchtime so I did us Hot Dogs and we settled down to watch the F1 qualifying session, which was pretty exciting, with Mark Webber taking pole and Lewis Hamiliton in 2nd. Having lifted coal out and then back into the hold, neither of us was up to doing much for the rest of the afternoon, which was just as well, because the afternoon was besieged with heavy showers.
As Autumn draw ever closer, the TV on Saturday evening's gets more entertaining and we have the X-Factor back. Yayyyy something to chuckle at for a few weeks. I know that many do not watch the X-Factor, but it is good for its laughter factor. We enjoy watching people make complete fools of them selves and then you get those who actually have real talent. Lets take Mary Byrne, what a find. Mary 50 works on the till at Tesco and she has an amazing voice. I think that since Susan Boyle came into our lives, the more mature lady has realised that they can achieve their goal, it is not to late. I think it is fantastic that women like Susan and now Mary are living their dream. On the down side you get people like Michael Lewis, who turned up dressed like Michael Jackson and basically tried to sing and dance like the great man. He failed miserably and yet blamed the audience for being negative, they were actually booing him, because he was so bad. Sorry Michael you are Delusional. I would hate to think how he will get on at work after that performance. So with Saturday done and dusted it was off to bed for a much needed sleep.


It was a rather overcast start to the morning. But Paddy needed his walk, so we stepped off of the boat and headed up the towpath. I took a bowl with me in a hope that I maybe able to collect some Blackberries for a crumble. The pickings were a little lacking as we walked past NB Lady Elenor, where her owners were sitting out on the bow enjoying a morning cuppa. "There are very few Blackberries as the farmer has cut the hedge" I was told by the woman on board, which I had to agree with her. Nevertheless, I did cover the bottom of my bowl by the time we got back to the boat. Keith had laid up breakfast, which was only cereal this morning and a cup of tea. Having fed Mog and Dog, I took my bowl out on to the towpath to see if I could find more Blackberries. I was in luck in the opposite direction. I climbed up alongside a bridge and there was a bush laden heavy with Blackberries.
I ended up almost filling my bowl, which was plenty for the Apple and Blackberry Crumble I wanted to make for Keith. I am not a lover of cooked Blackberries, so I would be having my own Apple Crumble.
With two Crumbles made, I also did us a Cauliflower Cheese for dinner tonight and whilst that was cooking, I cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom. Our bathroom is more like a wet room. It is only 2ft by 4ft, with a walk in shower, toilet and tiny basin. I like to wash it down with bleach to keep it clean and fresh. We only have an extraction fan to get rid of condensation, so it can get a bit of mildew in the cupboard and behind the toilet. But I keep on top of any problems that may cause. During the Winter when the stove is going and the radiator is on, there is not a problem. All jobs done it was time to sit down for lunch and watch the F1 GP from Spa and what a thrill the race was with Lewis Hamilton winning in the end. Nothing much was done for the rest of the day, which suited me fine.


A much better day weather wise, so I cleaned the outside of the boat, which included the brass work and then prayed it would not rain. There were plenty of dark clouds overhead throughout the day, but thankfully the rain stayed away. After the brass cleaning it was going to be a lazy afternoon in front of the TV watching the film Tora, Tora, Tora, a real classic.
We enjoyed a fantastic weekend and I feel refreshed for the week ahead.

Friday 27 August 2010

Lady found in the Oxford Canal.

On Tuesday the Oxford Canal was closed after a woman's body was found floating in the canal as reported by Narrowboat World. Her body was found at Shipton-on-Cherwell, north of Kidlington, This is a tragic story as the woman has not been identified yet.

What I found really disturbing was the fact that tension's arose amongst some of the boater's and one saw fit to break through the police cordon because they could not wait any longer. The woman's body had been recovered from the canal, and they are now not treating her death as suspicious. If this had been a crime scene this boater may have disturbed evidence. We are all on the system to chill out and take life easy, it is not about being in a hurry and these circumstances meant that people had to exercise a little patience.

My thoughts are with this woman's family. If you have any information about this woman please contact your local police. “Somewhere there is a family missing a relative”.

Bank Holiday Weekend.

Hello Friends.

Another Bank Holiday Weekend is on our doorstep or in our case knocking on our back cabin door and we always like to find somewhere to moor, where we can just sit and watch the world go by. Boating over a Bank Holiday Weekend is usually a bit of a nightmare, with boats everywhere.

We had another night of heavy rain, so it felt a little damp again as we sat in bed drinking our first cuppa of the day. Most morning's Marmite gets out of her bed and comes into our's, but this morning she had snubbed us, so Paddy thought he would take advantage of this opportunity. He started by putting his head on the bed and then crept his front end on to my lap. All's he ever wants is a cuddle. I drew the line at allowing him to get up on the bed completely, because I know he will not lie still. This was the moment when I decided to get up. It was refreshing to see that the overnight heavy rain was now just drips and drops, when I took Paddy out for his morning stroll along the canal. There are some lovely walks at Cosgrove, but they would have to wait for another day, because we decided that we would set off for somewhere out in the countryside. We managed to share Cosgrove Lock with NB Free Spirit, who was going off to be painted. Our first port of call was to be the sanitary station to empty the toilet cassette. We pulled into the station which was surrounded by metal fencing and there were men working at the block. Thankfully we were able to empty the cassette straight into a pipe and for anyone wanting water, they had put a tap on hand, so you can still use the station. We said cheerio to Free Spirit and headed off.
We headed off under Soloman's Bridge, which I think is such a pretty bridge. It is one of the most unusual on the canal network. The gothic style bridge over the Grand Union Canal was built in 1800 at the insistence of a local landowner.
We found a nice mooring out in the countryside between bridge 62 & 63, between Cosgrove and Yardley Gobion, having cruised just 2.7 miles, worked 1 lock in 1 hr 15 mins. I have a view from my galley window across the field which is lovely. Marmite and Paddy will be able to play out on the towpath as well, if there are not to many walkers and cyclists. Having moored up, I made us coffee and then set about tidying the inside of the boat, because there was dog hair balls blowing around in the saloon. Once that was all done I had a mind to get out my baking dishes to make a Lemon Drizzle Cake.
I love making cakes and this is one of my favourites. I have also made Lemon Chicken for tonight's dinner, which we will have with rice.
With the Bank Holiday Weekend almost here, there are a lot of boats moving to and fro, so we may just decide to stay here for the long weekend. We almost decided to have lunch then move to Stoke Bruerne, but the worry is that when we get there, we will not be able to moor up, because it gets very busy. We are fortunate that this mooring seems to be deep, which is great for us. This is the first time we have ever stopped here, so we will make sure we make a note of this mooring for future reference.
With boats coming and going past us, I am beginning to notice that some of the boaters have no concept about the idea of slowing down past moored boats. So this could be a rock and roll weekend, if this carries on. I do get quite cross when boaters do not slow down to tick over when passing moored boats, because what they do not realise is I could be carrying a pan of something hot and this could go over me should I lose my balance due to them going to fast. I wonder how long it will be before a major accident like this will happen.
Talking about accidents. I was chatting to someone this morning and they told me that one of the Wyvern Shipping Company hire boats partially sank in Lock 10 on the Buckby Flight on the 24th August. Thankfully everyone on board was unhurt and the boat was refloated and towed back to the hire company. it just shows that great must be taken and you have to concentrate on what your doing at all times.

Latest news from Narrowboat World. Thieves broke into 12 boat at the Ash Tree Moorings at Rugeley on the Trent and Mersey Canal. It is worth remembering if you are on a mooring and leave your boat for long periods of time. Take anything of value off of the boat, because sadly there are people out there who have no respect for others people's property.

Thursday 26 August 2010

To move or not to move?

Hi Friends.

You can certainly tell the August Bank Holiday weekend is on the way. The weather has turned wet, cold and miserable, just the sort of start to the weekend the National Boat Festival expects every year. I can imagine all the volunteers are in their wellies and rain gear at Beale Park. I hope it brightens up for them, otherwise they will end up in a quagmire by the end of the weekend.

We were in a quandary this morning as to whether to set off or not. We had had non stop rain since yesterday afternoon and it was still pouring when I took Paddy out for his walk.
Yesterday afternoon there was a knock on the engine room door, and standing outside was a very soggy looking Carrie. I invited her in for a hot coffee and a chat before she cycled off on her way, heading for Crick and camping along the way. I hope she makes it ok.
So back to the decision to move or not to move. After some ummming we decided that we would make a move towards Wolverton, where we wanted to shop at Tesco. We donned our wet weather trousers, donkey jackets and hats and left our over night mooring. Cruising in the rain is actually not to bad if you have the right clothing and it is not to cold. It was quiet on the cut, with not much moving, probably due to the rain, but as we approached the Aqueduct near the disused windmill at Bradwell, the hotel boats Snipe and Taurus were coming across the aqueduct, just as we approached, Keith got Hadar to reverse as quick as she could, which has to be said is not that fast, because she always has to think about it. But there was no collision and we passed with a cheery good morning. It was lovely to see them again. We arrived at Wolverton and did a reasonable size food shop at Tesco, which I put away whilst we moved on towards Cosgrove. Having arrived at Cosgrove, we found a place to moor in front of Historic working boats Beverley and Ascot run by Gary. He was not at home, but his cat Oliver was on patrol.
Hazel the mooring warden came and said hello and also gave us the new Towpath Talk, which was really nice of her. We had not read one for a while. We get on really well with Hazel, she is a lovely lady, who makes amazing Rag Rugs. Having caught up on her news we let her go on her way and we got on with boat jobs.
I stood in the back cabin looking out at the cut and was mesmerised by the Swallows, House Martins and Swifts which were darting, swirling and swooping along the surface of the water. despite the weather and the cold, they were clearly busy catching flies and bugs to feed their families. At times they came so close to the boat, it is amazing how they do not bang into things. It will not be long before they head off for their Winter home in Africa. Swallows alone can cover up to 200 miles a day in daylight hours, which is truly incredible. It is hard to imagine these tiny little birds doing up to 22 miles an hour everyday.
It is now time to think about dinner and the evening's entertainment. I have yet to put the TV ariel up yet, but we usually get a good signal here. It is time for me to go and see what we have on offer for dinner, so I will wish you a good evening.

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Great Linford.

Hi Friends.

It was an overcast start to the day, with an Autumnal feel inside the back cabin. Having seen the weather forecast last night, which is dreadful for today, we were up and on the move at 8.05am, with a view to reaching somewhere near
Great Linford, if there was anywhere to moor, because we have never visited the place and have heard it is lovely.

We arrived at Linford Wharf, having cruised the 5.8 miles, I worked 0 locks, in 2hrs 25mins. So a very easy trip. I did get to steer the boat through some of Milton Keynes, which I really enjoyed.
I don't get to steer to often, but love doing it because it gives me the chance to get more used to the boat. I am still learning and as they say the best way to learn is to do it.
All moored up, I made us a coffee before we set off for Great Linford Village.
The Manor House is very grand and imposing. It belonged toir William Pritchard, Lord Mayor of London, decided to make Great Linford his principal country seat and built the central block of the present Manor House in 1678. The estate passed to Sir William's relatives, the Uthwatt family who, in the mid-18th century extended the house to its present size. The Uthwatt family remained in the house until 1972. Near the Manor House are 6 Almshouses, for six unmarried poor people of the parish, they are now used as Arts Studios.
The Nags Head, is a 15th Century olde worlde thatched cottage style pub. It has original beams, low ceilings and two real fireplaces and looks stunning from the outside. They seem to do a good variety of food on the menu for reasonable prices. The whole village is very charming and we both enjoyed our stroll.
Back on board I did us Baked Beans on Toast for lunch and we sat listening to Jonathan Vernon-Smith on his local radio show. The topic of today's phone in was about the lady who put a cat in a wheelie bin. I was appalled to hear the news on the local radio about a woman who put this cat in a wheelie bin. What this woman did was completely outrageous and I hope that she woman does not get away with what she did, because the cat was stuck in the bin for 15 hours. What was just as shocking, were the people who rang into the show and were happy to say they had done cruel things to cats as well, these included shooting a cat with an air rifle and shutting a cat in a cellar. So much for a being a nation of pet lovers.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Bletchley Park.

Hi Friends.

Up with the larks, well almost. The alarm went off at 6am. Early I know but we wanted to get to Fenny Stratford, as we hoped if we could find a mooring we would visit Bletchley Park. Keith has been wanting to visit the home of the World War 2 code breakers for a long time, so we were hoping today was going to be the day.
We arrived at Fenny Stratford having cruised 3.4 miles, working 2 locks, 1 swing bridge in 2hrs 20mins.
and wanted to take on water, empty the toilet cassette and get rid of rubbish, but someone had beaten us to the Sanitary Station, so we asked if we could put our boat a long side them, which was fine with them. Once they left we moved into their place and got our jobs done. We then moved up through the lock and swing bridge and moored up on the 24 hour mooring, which was plenty of time for us.
After coffee, we walked up to Bletchley Park, which is a bit of a hike. You need to walk up through Fenny Stratford and through Bletchley, under the railway line and Bletchley is on the left. After paying our £10 each to get in, the first port of call was the cafe for a much needed coffee. We then set off around the Mansion first, which we both found completely amazing. It is an absolutely beautiful place, sad to think it was almost pulled down.
Following the deaths of Sir Herbert and Lady Fanny Leon who owned the Mansion, the Park fell into the hands of property developer Captain Hubert Faulkner, who intended to demolish the buildings and sell the land as a housing site. Before the demolition could take place, Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair (Director of Naval Intelligence, head of MI6, and founder of the Government Code and Cypher School) bought the site with his own money (£7,500), having failed to persuade any government department to pay for it.
Bletchley Park played a huge role in helping us to win the war and is well worth a visit. There was a Winston Churchhill exhibition, which I thought was fantastic. All the items are owned by Jack Darrah. Bletchley Park is also the home of Colossus decoding machine.
With everything seen and feet aching, we made our way home to the boat and are now going to enjoy a very relaxing evening. My feet are screaming at me at the moment, so I am off to take off my walking shoes.

Monday 23 August 2010

Let it rain.

Hi Folks.

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

Sunday Roast and Fishing.

Hi Friends.

I can officially say I will not be watching the 3rd Alien film after a restless night. I sat and watched the 2nd Alien Film with Keith last night, and whilst I did not think it was to bad, I could feel my adrenaline level rising. I did not sleep well and Keith said I was moaning a lot in my sleep. I know that I woke up sweating from head to foot, which had nothing to do with the Menopause. I gave it a go and now know it is not for me.

So here we are Sunday has been and is now almost gone. Having done some of the boat jobs yesterday. Today I wanted to get both chimney's cleaned out ready for this Winter's fires. Having taken Paddy out for his morning walk up the towpath. I got back to the boat where Keith was cooking Egg and Bacon on Toast. There is something very nice about the smell of Bacon cooking first thing in the morning. Breakfast over and my dirty clothes on, I was ready to get on with cleaning the chimney's. I opened the back cabin doors and found a fisherman had set up his gear at our stern. I soon realised when I stood on the back counter that we had another fisherman at the bow as well.
We were hemmed in by an open fishing competition, which began at 10.15am and would go on till 3.15pm.
Undeterred by the fishing match, we got on with the job in hand. I found our chimney brush and swept the saloon stoves chimney, which was actually all that bad.
The back cabin stove was a different matter. I had to take the chimney off of the stove and take it on to the bank to clean it out with a crowbar. Keith held the chimney whilst I welded the crowbar. It has to be said that I do not have great aim when doing with hammer's etc, and I missed when I rammed the crowbar down the chimney. I caught Keith on the hand, which made him winch a fair bit. I am amazed he did not say the odd naughty word. Maybe that was happening under his breath. I took over holding the chimney and let him chisel off the tar, which had gathered. We got the chimney as clean as we could and I then put it back on the stove. Keith then pushed new fire rope in around the top of the chimney. It was a job well done and means we can have a fire whenever we want now. I looked like I had been down the Black hole of Calcutta, so had to have a good wash. I bet the fishermen thought we were mad.

I made a coffee and we stood on the back counter watching the fisherman at our stern. It was not long before we got into conversation with Andy. He was taking part in an open fishing competition. I found it very interesting and learnt a lot about fishing in competition and what it takes to be this competitive. The rod he had cost him over £2,000 alone and then he had all his other gear. It is an expensive hobby. Last week he was taking part in the National Fishing Championships on the Trent at Nottingham. We were chatting away and he then got a bite. Straight away he knew it was something big. With lots of care and concentration, he landed this 14lb 8oz Carp. Along with the Carp he caught some Bream as well, but it was only enough to give him 2nd place, as they downed their rods at 3.15pm, a man came along and weighed each catch. No win today for Andy,never mind.
By watching Andy fish, it gave me a greater appreciation about how difficult it can be when boats are coming past and how rude some people can be on boats towards fishermen. Andy asked a couple of boaters if they would stay in the centre channel, and they were both pretty rude to his polite request. They did not seem to know why he needed them to stay away from the offside. It was because he did not want the mud churned up to much, but they both took offence without any reason. I know there are issues between fishermen and boaters. I have posted a couple of times about disrespectful fishermen, fishing in places they should not be. But competition fishing is different. These people pay to fish in the competition their peg cost them money, today it was £20 a peg. So they have as much right to be on the canal as us boaters do. Not only are they very polite, they also take great care to look after the fish and the surroundings. We always slow down for fishermen and are polite to them as well. I remember a few years ago when we were cruising, a fisherman asked us to speed up, because the water was to clear and he had not seen another boat all day. We duly obliged and I hope he caught his fish. I treat people, like I wish to be treated myself. The boaters who were miserable today should be ashamed of themselves. With the competition over with Andy packed away his gear and thanked us for our hospitality. I have sent the photo's I took of the Carp to him, as he said "No one will believe he caught it".

Did you see the news about the Carp which died on the 18th August. A mirror Carp weighing 32kg passed away at the age of 45. The fish, named Two Tone for its unusual colouring, was caught around once or twice a year by anglers and less than 50 times in its lifetime. Two Tone was due to be buried alongside the lake today.

During the fishing competition, Keith and I decided to have lunch at The Globe Inn. We both fancied a roast dinner for a change and we were not disappointed. I had roast Turkey with all the trimmings, and Keith had the roast Beef also with all the trimmings. it was like a Christmas dinner. There was four veg and three lots of potatoes, plus a Yorkshire Pudding. It was an extremely good lunch, washed down by a pint of in house Cider and a point Old Speckled Hen. It certainly set me up for the afternoon of fish watching and dish cloth knitting. We are going to have a nice night in, probably watching a DVD again, but NOT Alien 3.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Down and Dirty on Saturday.

Hi Folks.

My Saturday morning began with waking up early yet again, so we had a nice cuppa in bed before I got up and dressed, so that Paddy could have his morning walk. Not even Marmite was out of bed, which is not like her. Maybe she was staying put because it was a grey, overcast start to the day, but as the day has worn on, the sun has come out.
I was hoping that when I took Paddy for his walk, I would spot the Muntjac Deer, which live around here. We saw them when we were here once before, but there was no show this morning. I did not even hear them calling last night, so maybe they have moved on. Muntjac were first introduced from China to Woburn Park in Bedfordshire in the early 20th century. Due to escapes and deliberate releases, Muntjac can be seen all over the country. A common name for a Muntjac is a "Barking Deer", because of their call, which sounds like a dog bark.

Back on the boat, cat and dog got fed, Keith did us Mushroom's on Toast for breakfast, which is a great way to start a day. We have a list of jobs to do over the weekend, but before starting them, I walked up to Tesco to get Keith some throat pastilles and Wine Gums to suck on as his bad throat is not giving in. That is one of the joys of getting a Summer cold. The walk took me only 15 minutes, I was actually in a queue for the till longer. But not being in any hurry, I was not to perturbed. On the saunter back, Carrie came out and said "Good Morning". We exchanged chitchat and then Carrie gave me a bottle of her Elderberry Linctus, which she makes herself. Keith has tried it and said it was very nice, so here is hoping it will help.

When I got back to the boat, Keith was hiding in the cupboard under the sink in the galley. He was changing over one of the pumps for the saloon stove as it was not working anymore. We have used two of the four pumps we originally bought, so we are beginning to think we need to come up with another idea on the pump front. Keith has a pump in mind for the future, but iot costs £160, so careful thought needs to be given before we spend that sort of cash. Job one done and on to the next one, which involved pulling up the flooring in the back cabin. Keith greased all the nipples on the drive shafts and topped up the oil in the gearbox, whilst he was doing that, I was laying down the Puppy Pads we bought from Leighton Buzzard. My hope was that they would soak up the grease and small amount of water in the bilge. I had to distort myself into some odd positions to lay the pads down, but within second I could see the pads working. Yayyyy success was made and I managed to clean up the sticky mess or at least make a dent in it. I have laid a couple of clean pads in the bilge just to soak up what is left and will take them out when we have the floor up next. Keith finished his job and I then got a scraper in the bilge and managed to scrap up some of the gunge. I do get all the best jobs ha ha ha. I am joking, I enjoy getting down and dirty, not only that Keith had worked hard. So that was another job done. We put back the flooring and mats. It was now time for lunch and a sit down. I still have chimney's to clean, but I will do those tomorrow. I am going to have an easy afternoon. We have no TV signal so we can watch DVD's or listen to the local radio station. Last night we watch DVD's. Now anyone who knows me, will know what I do not do scary movies, but last night I sat down and watched the first of the Alien movies. I tried to watch it back in 2000, but just could not cope with the alien in it and the blood. I sat through the whole movie without hiding behind my cushion, which is totally amazing. I may try and watch the 2nd film tonight.

Friday 20 August 2010

Short and Sweet.

Hi Friends.

Having had a rock and roll evening, in the boating sense due to the Canoes going past at speed until 8pm. We had a good nights sleep and were awake at 6.30am. When I wake up early, I tend to lay awake and end up with lots of things running through my mind. This morning it was the thought of jobs that need to be done over the weekend. But first of all we needed to get up and dressed. I got up first as usual and put the kettle on for a morning cuppa and I laid up breakfast, which was nothing special, just cereal. Paddy then got his walk up a lovely piece of towpath, which has not been done that long. There was not a another living soul around and the only things I could hear was the sound of the train and birds singing.
Having got back to the boat, Paddy and Marmite got their breakfast and we then got the boat ready to set off for Tesco, which was only a 10 minute jaunt. Luckily the 2 hour shopping moorings were empty, so we moored up, donned our backpacks and headed into the store to do a food shop.

Is it just me or has your food shop gone up over the past few weeks?
Our's has certainly gone up in price and yet we are not buying anything any different. There was a piece on the news saying that food prices are going to go up due to problems with harvests etc. So we will all have less money in our wallets.

I put away the food we had bought and made us both a coffee, before we set off from the Tesco mooring. You are only allowed to stay on the mooring for 2 hours, which is plenty for a food shop. If you wanted to go around the town, which is close by you would need to moor up on the 14 day moorings around the corner.
We set off for our weekend mooring near The Globe Inn. The whole jaunt took 1hr 35mins, having done 1.27 miles, and worked 1 lock. Not the longest day ever done ha ha ha. But this was planned by us.

We have few jobs to do over the weekend on the boat. Keith has to replace the broken circulation pump for the back boiler, grease the UV joints and rear bearing, check oil level in the gearbox, and polish the engine. We will both start to clean out the bilge under the boatman's cabin floor, which over the winter gets water in it due to condensation. yesterday we bought some Puppy Pads to lay in the bilge to soak up the water. If your not sure what Puppy Pads are, they are used when your toilet training your Puppy. Mind you when I have toilet trained my puppies I have always used newspaper, but newspaper will not do the job in the blige. My other jobs include cleaning the chimney's ready for the Winter. I also have the Brass to clean if it does not rain. No point in wasting Brasso if it is going to chuck it down. I also want to give the boat a general clean through and then any other job that comes to mind. It is true to say that there is always something to do on a boat.

Lunch time arrived and I made us some Chicken and Salad wraps, which we enjoyed with a cup of coffee. I then came up with the bright idea that we should go for a walk across the Ouzel Meadow and see where it would take us. It actually took us on the Greensand Ridge, which was really pretty. I was surprized how sandy the soil is here and how red it is. Along the Ridge are some very elderly Oak trees. Apparently Greensand Ridge was formed about 125 million years ago by layers of sand, clay and chalk being deposited in a shallow sea. I bet if the old Oaks could talk they would have told us some tales. The Greensand Ridge Walk is Bedfordshire’s premier long distance walk passing through Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire. The Greensand Ridge Walk is actually a 40 mile / 64 km walk. It starts in Leighton Buzzard and finishes in Gamlingay. We did not go that far, but enjoyed the part we did. We ended up walking through another part of Ouzel Meadow and back up to Leighton Lock, where we called in on Carrie on her NB Blackbird. Carrie invited us onboard and we sat nattering over a coffee. Blackbird is a lovely homely boat inside. I love some of the touches Carrie has added to her.
Back onboard our boat, another coffee was needed as I prepared dinner. Tonight we are having a Curry Feast. I have made a Mince Beef Curry and with it we will be having Cous Cous (We like it for a change). Whilst in Tesco we bought some Samosa's, Onion Bhaji's and Spring Rolls, which we will have with our Curry. Many have a Fish and Chip Friday, we are having a Curry Friday instead.

Steps done today: 7696.
Fitness level is getting better.

Before I go today, I just want to say my thoughts and prayers are with the family of Geoffery Bacon, after he was attacked on the doorstep of his own home by a mugger who stole just £40 and a bus pass. Mr Bacon was a Second World War veteran, aged 90, he posed no threat to anyone and yet this mugger has taken a hero to soon. It is reported that Mr Bacon was once a driver for General Eisenhower in France during the 2nd World War.
If anyone knows who did this dreadful murder, please contact your local Police Station or contact Crime Stoppers. What makes someone do such a thing?

Thursday 19 August 2010

In abundance.

Hi Friends.

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.

Steps walked today 9371 ( almost 10,000)

Wildlife seen.
Red Kite.
House Martins, Swallows and Swifts.
Coots and Moorhens.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

A beautiful day.

Hi Folks.

As I type today's posting, the sun has just come out yippee.

Having enjoyed a nice day yesterday, during the evening I walked up to the reservior to take some sunset photographs and although there was not a decent sunset I did get this rather moody photo. The sky grew darker by the minute and no sooner I had replaced the lense cap to my camera, the rain began to fall.
As I made my way back to the boat, the heavens opened and it was raining cats and dogs. We had an absolute deluge of rain which lasted for a good few moments. Just what is needed right now. It continued to rain through out the evening and was still coming down when we went to bed.

After the drama's of the smoking generator, all was fine when we ran it again and it was turned off after just over an hour. Now any respectable boater knows that you do NOT run your engine or generator after 8 pm. This obviously does not seem to apply to some people, because the boater moored opposite us, for the second night running began running his generator at 7 pm and did not turn it off until 10pm. This is so disrespectful to people not just on the other boats, but also to those who live in the houses. What made it worse is this boater is on Permit Holder Moorings. Ok rant over again.

It is now Wednesday and we set off at 9.30 am. First job was to empty the toilet cassette and get rid of rubbish at the Sanitary Station at the BW yard at Marsworth. Next time we are this way, the BW yard may well be no longer, if the planning permission goes through for the 12 dwellings. So I have taken plenty of photos for future reference. We headed for the Marsworth pair of locks and as we got into the lock, it looked like a boat was ready to leave the moorings behind us. So I shouted to them "Were they coming down". I got a wave of arms and a gentleman said "No we are not". We then preceeded to go down through the first lock, and I went and set the second lock. As we got into the second lock, the boat that had said they were not coming down, were setting the top lock for themselves. So it was obvious they were coming down after all. We decided to wait for them in the second lock and they came in alongside us. They told us that they did not think they would be ready to share the top lock with us and that is why they said they were not coming down. I said to the woman "Well we are in no hurry and would have been happy to have waited. It is much better to share the locks, so that we can save water".Anyway we shared the lock and they then went ahead to set the Swing Bridge. Just as we were coming out of the Bottom of the Marsworth Pair, Roger on Turnothworld was approaching. Turnothworld is a copy of a Bridgewater Tug and it was built by Roger Fuller in 1998. She looked lovely having just been repainted. We exchanged a quick conversation with Roger and his wife, before we both went on our way. The boat we were travelling with had done the Swing Bridge and we followed them through. They then said " There was a single boat going down the Seabrook Locks would you like to share with them", so I said "yep that is fine, we will go on then". As we came through the Swing Bridge another boat was coming at speed from the opposite direction and unfortunately there was a collision as we passed them, which was not our fault, they should have slowed down. It turned out that the single boat going down was a day boat from Pitstone with a group of adults onboard. I offered advice on doing the locks as we went down the two locks, which I think was welcomed. We are now moored below the second of the Seabrook Locks and the day boat went off on their day trip.
After some lunch Keith and I enjoyed a nice stroll along the towpath and back. Had fabulous views of the Chilterns. Watched the House Martin's dart in and out of their nests on Seabrook Lock Cottage and saw a pair of Kestrel's attacking a Buzzard, that was obviously to close for comfort for the Kestrel's liking. You see such wonderous things on the cut. That is why I love this life and everything it offers, including our very good friends.
With the TV ariel up and a good signal, we are going to settle in for the evening.

Steps done today 6771.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Giggles and Plumbing Excitement.

Hi Everyone.

Before I begin on today's post, I just have to tell you about yesterday afternoon and evening. During the afternoon, we were hailed by a voice which sounded familiar. I looked out of the galley doors and saw NB Valerie with Les and Sue onboard. I had been a good while since we had seen Les, so it was wonderful to catch up with him as he waited to enter the lock with another boat. Les has had a tough year, and has clearly struggled through this year to get moving. We exchanged news and wished him well as he went on his way. Happy cruising Les and here's hoping your year improves.

8.30 pm and dusk was already beginning to fall. Oh heck Winter is someing. Anyway I heard the roar of a boat engine and saw a boat coming along side us to use the lock. I got up to see if it was anyone we knew, which it was not. There was then voices shouting from another moored boat, asking this couple on the move, where they had been. The reply was " We got lost on the map and have come the wrong way, so we are going up this lock and then mooring up, because we have had enough". I just stood in the galley and giggled.

How on earth can you get lost on the canal?

Which map were these people reading?
You see and hear it all on the canal that is certain.

So here we are, it is now Tuesday and a bit overcast. It looks like we had some rain during the night. My morning began at 7 am with a cup of tea in bed which was very welcome. It is a real luxury for us to be able to sit in bed and drink a morning cuppa. When we lived in the house we rarely did it. Still our lives were a little more rushed in those days.

Paddy and I took a walk down the Aylesbury Arm and met a boat just beginning down the locks. The first locks down are staircase locks. I offered to close the gate as the boat descended into the second of the staircase, which was accepted. I then carried on with our walk down to the fourth lock and then began walking back to the boat. I on the boat coming down it had Market Harborough sign written on the boat, so I was interested to know if the couple were from Market Harborough. It turned out they were not, they had bought the boat secondhand and had not been afloat for long. The Aylesbury Arm was certainly not lacking in water. Water was flowing over the gates and into a field on the offside. I then discovered from the gentleman on the boat, that he had left a bottom paddle open on the lock above because the lock was flooding. I explained to him, that if he does that, he will drain the pound above, which will flood the pound he is in and this will therefore flood into the field. I could see I was not really making any sense to him, as he was new to this. So I told him that he should not leave any paddles open unless advised to by a BW notice on the lock, because he could end up draining pounds and flooding areas. I am still unsure if he really understood what I was saying. But this is happening more and more. People are coming on to the Waterway's and do not have a clue on what they are doing. When people buy boats they really need more education about the waterway's before they embark on their new life. Just my opinion.

Back onboard and breakfast dealt with. We set about sorting out our plumbing job. Keith wanted to put in some stop cocks in the engine room for the back boiler pipework off the saloon stove. We had bought all the bits at Cowroast Chandlery a few days previous. We dismantled the shelving in the engine room and he set about adding new stop cocks. That went fairly easily, which is amazing, because normally when we do any work on the boat, it always takes far longer than it should. Keith also put a stop cock in the galley cupboard for the pump which pumps the water from the back boiler to the radiator in the bathroom. I filled the system with water and Keith checked for leaks and nothing was found phew it is a miracle to behold.
After some lunch, we took off for a walk around the village of Marsworth. The village name is Anglo Saxon in origin, Mæssanwyrth, and means 'Mæssa's enclosure', it is a very pretty little village. Marsworth is located at the Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire border, about seven miles east from Aylesbury, Marsworth village sits at the junction of the Grand Union Canal and and its Aylesbury Arm. The village can be dated back to 970, before the Domesday book started, and one of its oldest buildings is All Saints Church, which is delightful. There are also some very pretty cottages to be seen as well. Having seen the village we walked back down to the canal and past the British Waterway's yard, which we have used for the Sanitary Station on occasions. We were heading for the Aylesbury Arm.We noticed that on a post was planning permission for 12 dwellings to be built on the site and conversion of the old workshop. The boaters facilities are going to be upgraded as well which is good news.
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.
Now there was I saying all went well with our plumbing work, I just knew I spoke to soon, because as I sat typing this posting, Keith jumped to his feet and said "What the hell is that". There was smoke in the engine room. He immediately switched off the generator which had been running for about half and hour. We were running early, because we have people moored behind us and we want to be anti-social. With the generator switched off, we stripped down the shelving again and found that a pipe had come apart, so there was no water in the skin tank cooling the system. At least it was an easy problem to solve. So we have just reconnected the pipe and filled the system up with water and all is now running again after I bled the cooling tank under the bed. Oh what a day of great excitement. I think I need a stiff drink now.
Special gentle hugs to Heth from NB Takey Tezey who has been in hospital after a fall on their boat. Lots of TLC needed. Take things easy Heth xxxxxxxxxx

Monday 16 August 2010

Fly Tippers and Ice Cream.

Hi Friends.

Despite doom and gloom forecasts by the weather people, the rain turned into nothing today. I wa expecting to wake up this morning to puddles and lots of rain, but instead it was sunny with a breeze. Up and about the hounds walk came first on the agenda, as he would be crossing his legs if I wasted anymore time. So with lead on we set off up the towpath and then down into a field Keith had found during Pad's evening walk. One of the first things that I saw was this bed matteress. No this was not left by anyone driving by, because it was alongside the canal and no road insight. This was left by a very naughty boater, who should be completely ashamed of themselves. Why on earth could they not take it to a refuse point. Now the farm of this Wheat field will have to clear this away, which is not very nice.
Pad had his nose in the ground and came across this skull from an animal. I do not know what sort of animal, but it had been dead a long time. What ever it was had some good teeth.
Walk over and done with and breakfast polished off, we readied the boat to set off for the Marsworth flight, which begins at Bulbourne and ends at Marsworth, with 7 locks in the flight. We arrived at Bulbourne and the old BW workshops, which are I think are very beautiful. As you approach the top lock, you have the Wendover Arm to your left. We have been up there by boat once, but it was to shallow and I almost had to get off and push the boat. With no boats to share the lock we set off down the first of the flight, which winds its way down the hill. At lock 4 we met NB 'Let It Be', who were coming up with a widebeam behind them. One thing was certain there was no lack of water this morning, even though the reservoir was a little low we found out later. Water was pouring over the lock gates nearly all the way down the flight. There are some lovely views as you make your way down the flight. You can look out over the reservoir and see some stunning countryside. Because all of the locks are pretty close together, I walked between each lock and kept an eye open for any boats that maybe coming in the opposite direction, just in case the locks were already set for them. There is nothing nicer than a brisk walk on a sunny day. As we approached the last lock, a boat was coming out of the chamber, leaving it for us to enter, which was very nice of them. Keith had spoken to a lady on NB Helena and she wanted to share the lock with us after she had winded in the pound, which was fine. So we sat in the lock and waited whilst Molly winded her boat. It took some doing, because firstly it was a tight squeeze and secondly she got her stern fenders jammed against the piling, but a gentleman grabbed her bow rope and between them they managed to turn her around in the direction of the mouth of the lock. These things always happen, when lots of people are watching, which was the case. Molly apologised for holding us up. I told her it was not a problem, as we are not in any hurry at all. We are not on the Waterways to be in any sort of hurry. If we wanted to race from place to place, we would be on the motorway. With her boat safely in the lock we decended down and found a mooring behind her on the 14 day moorings. Now the last time we were this way, we ate at the White Lion, which had been turned into a posh pub. I remember it well, because they had just opened and were are sixes and sevens. We had Spagetti and Meatballs, which were ok, but not worth the money we paid for them. Later we were told we should have eaten at the Anglers Retreat. So Keith went to see if the Anglers Retreat was doing food, whilst I sorted things out on the boat. Lunch was definitely on, so we locked the boat up and took the short walk to the pub, which is really very sweet and much more our style. We both had the Chicken Saag Curry with Rice and Naan Bread, which was very nice for £6.25 each. The beer and the atmosphere was good as well. Infact we had some free entertainment courtesy of the female chef. From looking and listening to what was being said, we gathered that not only was she catering for the pub lunches, she was also doing a buffet for someone and she was not amused at how things were going. To say that some of the language was colourful was an understatement, but it did make for some cheap entertainment. The pub was very busy for lunches, which I can imagine happens a lot. I reckon by the end of the day, she will be frazzled. After lunch we walked up on to the reservior, to check out the water level. It was down 4 to 5 feet, so there has clearly been a drain on this source of water. When we came up over a month ago, it was full up. It just goes to show how much we need rain. At the lock there is Bluebells Tearoom, and they do Ice Cream as well, which I have been told is very good, so on the way back to the boat, I bought up both a Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream. I can tell you it was fantastic. Normally when we come this way the tearoom is always closed. It was our lucky day today to find it open. It probbably also has something to do with the fact that it is the school holidays.

Sunday 15 August 2010

Bad Tempered Sunday.

Happy Sunday friends.

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.
I then said "You may like to remove your keep net, because when our boat goes into the lock, we may end up chewing it up. Do you realise this is not a good place to fish". He looked at me with a look of distain on his face and said "I have been fishing here for 20 years and I do not care about what you say". He then started to remove his net, but then carried on fishing with his young son. I explained to him the reasons why it was not a good place to fish, but he went about his fishing and ignored me, so I thought well in that case you get what you deserve. As it was the boat did not damage any of their gear, but these selfish fishermen make it so bad for all the good ones. if both the fishermen had read the Waterways Code for Anglers they would know, Don’t obstruct locks, bridges, designated moorings,water points or turning points. I think they both broke ever rule this morning. It also says Boat crews need access to the bank within 25 metres of locks or moveable bridges so do not fish there. I am going to get some of these booklets and hand them out next time.
Having arrived at the bottom of Cowroast Lock, we could see a widebeam was coming down, so I stepped off, took the centre line and tied the boat up. As always I went up to the lock to see if I could help out. Whilst there an argument broke out between a husband and wife, who were on the water point. They were travelling with another boat, who was sitting in the middle of the canal waiting for us to come up. Having let the widebeam go hubby bought our boat into the lock and I began opening the paddles to fill the lock with water. This couple on the water point were still going at it hammer and tongs. The couple they were travelling with just said they do not have a clue what they are doing. We left the lock and the chaos and found a mooring near Cowroast Marina. I made lunch and then we went to the Chandlery to get some bits for jobs that need to be done on the boat before the Winter.
There is no proper TV signal here, so we will just have to try out a Blu-ray DVD tonight. I will tell you want I think of it tomorrow.
Steps done today 3860, this includes walking the dog.
Collisions. None today.
On this day in History.
Allied nations celebrate VJ Day. VETERANS, politicians and royalty gathered to remember the sacrifice of those who fight for their country on VJ Day. It is so easy for us to forget what so many did for us. Without their sacrifices we would not be a free nation today. So spare a moment to remember those who lost their lives so that we may live ours in peace.


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