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.





Tuesday, 8 May 2018

First ducklings of 2018.




Today we moved a short distance from Linslade to Leighton Buzzard and saw our first ducklings of 2018, much later than our last two springs in the north west.

We have been at our house getting it respectable to put on the market in a week or so, exciting times for both Ada & Dale and us too. We really will be of not fixed abode soon.


The Art Boat















We have been moored in Linslade quite near The Globe pub for about 12 days and this bank holiday weekend has been very hot and busy along the tow path. We went to the floating market at Berkhamsted on the train yesterday and met up with our friends Yvonne & Mike. While we were there we met Annie from Marsworth who sells cards from her boat, plus Jan on The Art Boat who we had cruised with through Soulbury 3 locks, as John knows those locks well, Jan & I chatted on our boats while he did the hard work. 


Annie's Card boat
The Leather boat

















We went to Ashridge to see the amazing bluebells that carpet the woods and we just had to have our photo taken beside the Duke of Bridgewater’s Memorial, sadly it was closed, as a child my parents said 6d was too much to go up to the top.


















These little fish in the shade of our boat


Monday, 23 April 2018

Happy St George's day






Happy St. George's Day from Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire.  
Going to pick dandelions for wine later.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Travelling for a week


We’ve been travelling south for a over a week. We’ve had good lock partners for the journey. Firstly, nb Fleur de Lys, one of our boats elders, a 23 year old Braidbar boat, her new owner’s had her a couple of years. Secondly, nb Annie – hello Angela, who reads our blog.

It’s amazing to see all the fields so badly flooded and the rivers & streams so high. Blisworth Tunnel is always a bit leaky even when there’s not been a lot of rain, so we were prepared for the deluge from the air shafts!!! The end of last week was very damp and misty and pretty chilly too. This time last year when we were in the north west and sitting out and had seen lots of ducklings. We’ve seen geese & a swan sitting on their nests but no wee ones, yet.

So misty the crane's lost it's top




Cosgrove approaching aqueduct

 








 

We spent the weekend at Cosgrove and as Saturday was SO glorious we took the opportunity to de-mud the boat, inside & out. And it’s the first day we’ve not lit the fire this year. We’ve not moored at Cosgrove before and have been wanting to visit the route of the temporary canal that was built to carry the traffic until the aqueduct over the River Great Ouse was completed, which collapsed shortly after opening and had to be rebuilt again.
 
Sunday we strolled along the short stretch of the Buckingham Arm that is in water. Alot of work has been done to prepare more of the disused part ready to be refilled with water. The new A5 duel carriage way cuts the course in half. We completed the walk along the River and under the horse bridge at the viaduct.




Tempory canal course



Horse tunnel beside aqueduct





Lock gates temporary canal


















Buckingham Arm
Buckingham Arm














When we lived in a house I was obsessional about my compost heaps, so the last couple of years have been very tricky throwing all our peelings etc away. We saw a little liquidizer in Aldi, which was the answer. I now save the compostable stuff in my lovely new genuine Buckby bucket, liquidize it & tip it on the bank. You often see boaters kitchen waste in the hedges which I think looks unsightly, where as my tippings aren’t visible at all.



I’ve had a bit of a knitting frenzy these last few weeks and have finished John’s jumper and 2 pairs of socks for me, plus I have a third pair with hand spun wool are on the go. Our Canadian friends are expecting twin grand children later in the year, so that’s a bit more knitting too.













We have just arrived in Fenny Stratford after a sunny but chilly cruise through Milton Keynes.