*****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.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

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.

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