Monday, 2 July 2018

In the shade at Linslade


We are moored in a perfect spot in the shade at Linslade, with willow trees on each side of the canal which means the boat only gets odd spots of sun through the branches. And the solar panels are still picking up just about enough rays in the shade to keep the fridge going and as you can imagine it’s working it’s little socks off!!! Our portholes can be completely removed meaning we get a nice breeze or should I say warm breeze but the temperature inside in the day in this lovely shade is 28-32c. So these temperatures are perfect for sitting on the tow path spinning.

John’s been busy repainting the doors and hatches that were adjusted a few weeks ago and touching up other odd bits of paint too.

The moon last week was beautiful. The day before we moved to Linslade we walked up from Stoke Hammond to The Old Red Lion at Great Brickhill. The views from there of the sun set over the valley were amazing. The short walk back down the hill at dusk took us ages as we kept stopping to watch the wildlife, deers, rabbits that the fox didn’t quite catch for supper and lots of bats, we could hear the owl but he didn’t fly where we could see it. The farmers have been very busy with hay making last week, thank goodness my hayfever doesn’t play me up anywhere as much as it did in my younger years.







 


Last Friday we got the bus to Luton for John’s annual eye test and to probably give blood at our donor centre for the last time. All the staff at the donor centre know John really well as he used to give platelets fortnightly and the procedure took up to 2 hours.






Saturday and Sunday I went with the Bedfordshire Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers to demonstrate at the South Beds Country Show in Harlington. It was predominantly a steam and vintage vehicle event with a small craft marquee, children’s rides and a small area with farm animals, which is where we were. Gosh, it was hot but we unlaced our corner to the marquee to give a bit more of a breeze. I don’t think the event was very well attended and the traders were all moaning about they wouldn’t cover their costs. John came on Saturday and demonstrated lucet and pin loom weaving.








 
We keep looking at the news reports about all the moorland fires in the north west. The smoke from the Winter Hill blaze was blowing over Heather & Jason’s house at the weekend.




Monday, 25 June 2018

Back to Leighton Buzzard


We are now back in Leighton Buzzard after spending a week at Napton Marina while Colecraft re-did the interior woodwork on our doors and hatches, plus upgrade them to double glazing. The boat is now just the way we want it, with no gaps around the hatches or door. We just need to paint the door exteriors over the next few days while it’s sunny and warm.
Napton Marina

On our way to Napton we spent a couple of days in Braunston and attended the village fete and tried out two pubs in the village. We walked over Braunston Tunnel, a fairly steep hill, so we can see why they had to dig a tunnel and not a flight of locks.
We managed to pass through Braunston on our way back south before their Historic Boat Gathering, there is restricted navigation via the marina during the boat parade. 'Adamant' a steam boat passed us on it’s way to the event, I could hear him tooting his whistle around some blind bends ages before it passed us. A little steam inspection launch went by too. 


Lane over Braunston Tunnel
Over the tunnel







 
over the tunnel



 










 
Tunnel airshafts




While we were at the marina we decided to have a Tesco delivery and stock up before venturing south through very rural Northamptonshire.

On our travels back south we managed to have a BBQ and I did lots of knitting & spinning.



















Ada and Dale visited on Father’s Day while we were at Stoke Bruerne and we had a nice meal at The Boat pub and spent the evening playing Northamptonshire skittles.


















I tried a new elderflower cordial recipe which had a large amount of citric acid and to our disappointment it was quite unpalatable with little elderflower flavour. We made a second batch and omitted the citric acid and it’s just beautiful. We didn’t waste the first batch, John just added some yeast and it’s fermenting away beautifully along with two demijohns of elderflower wine.


RCMP officer looking afte the wine


July could be a busy month attending all the knitting & spinning meetings in Bedfordshire before we head off to explore lots more canals. We are just waiting patiently for things to go through with our house sale, so we can just sail away into the sunset. 



Dragonfly
Dragonfly





Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Birthdays weekend

 
John on Magnus' scooter
Josh blowing bubbles
 













Tow path partying


 








 


Last weekend we had a mega gathering at Aylesbury Basin to celebrate John’s 60th birthday, along with my youngest brother-in-law Paul’s 50th, Magnus’ 5th and Samantha’s that was last week. 17 of us met for a meal in Aylesbury and all came back to the boat for a few more drinks and nibbles on the tow path. Luckily it was a beautiful day and we were all able to sit out until late in the evening. Samantha, Paul & Blue stayed with us on Saturday night and several other’s stayed at various hotels in Aylesbury. Heather & her family camped in Louise’s back garden.

Magnus on his scooter
Josh catching bubbles

















Edmund spent a week with us, which was great to have help down the Aylesbury Arm with it’s 16 locks, which we did on John’s actual birthday. The balloons Edmund put on the boat popped as we went past brambles and the low bridges. We encountered some froth in one of the locks, which looked lovely but became rather nasty scum when it dried. The beginning of his week with us was a big washout as we got drenched in a massive thunder storm on the first day, luckily the weather perked up as the week went on. 

Birthday boy locking
Oh the froth!!!





























We had a tremendous crew of 4 to help us back up the Aylesbury Arm on Sunday in the blistering heat. We are now making our way up to Napton, so Colecraft can sort out our leaky and draughty front door & side hatches.

Back up the Aylesbury Arm



Narrow locks & bridges on the Arm















We finally got our house sorted out and put in on the market and the first people to look at it have made an offer after just 3 days, amazing. As they are first time buyers it’ll probably go through in 4-6 weeks. It’s lovely to get cruising again as we’ve been hanging around Leighton Buzzard near the house for too long. Once the boat’s doors are sorted out we’ll head back to Leighton Buzzard to oversee the final bits of the house sale……..and then what!!!!!

One Sunday when we were at Leighton Buzzard we heard a ‘toot toot’ from the Leighton Buzzard narrow gauge railway, so we just had to stroll over and go for a ride. Sadly, the steam engine was being repaired but the little diesel one was lovely.

Leighton Buzzard railway
The end of the line


Waiting at a level crossing
Shunting our little engine















Today we saw our first CRT sign with their new re-branding logo on. There aren’t many people who like the new one it in comparison to the previous one with a bridge & swan on it.

CRT's new logo!!!!




Sunday, 13 May 2018

Perfect Sunday morning





We were only saying the other day we've never seen swans carrying cygnets on their backs, so here's how our Sunday started. One poor little cygnet was trying to hop on and just as they passed the boat he jumped onto mum's tail. We had the pleasure of meeting this family the other day when they popped past for a snack.



Plus, our neighbours right opposite with their brood of 8 moorhen chicks keep us amused. The parents come to get the porridge we've put on the bank. We guess it must be quite a squash in their nest as they spend a good bit of time in there. This morning all the little ones were out & about and one parent appeared to doing some major house work before they all got back in.








 







Last Wednesday we had a lovely helping our friend Annie back to her mooring in Marsworth after her weekend trading at Berkhamsted floating market. We rarely get to do locks together as one of us is on the boat. And we didn't take any photos.