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.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Easter in the north west

I wrote this blog at the beginning of the week, however, where we were moored at Long Itchington there was very little signal, using the internet reminded us of dial up days!!! So as we’re now in Leaminton Spa the reception’s just fine.

Rainbow Long Itchington
Magnus the mud monster

On Hesketh Bank
We hired a car and went to Heather & Jason’s for the long Easter weekend. The journey there was VERY slow as we set off so late Thursday afternoon, the M6 was solid just about the whole way and we did an average speed of 25mph!!! Enterprise the car hire people offer a pick up service, which we’ve not used it before as we’ve been within walking distance of them, however, they were 2 ½ hours late picking us up, they didn’t charge for the second driver as a good will gesture.
 Ada & Dale arrived at Heathers early Good Friday morning. We walked on Hesketh Marsh that runs along the banks of the River Douglas, we didn’t see any narrow boats going along it on their way to the Lancaster Canal though. Nikita was very upset at the amount of rubbish that had been washed onto the marsh, so we filled my collapsible shopping bag and she carried as many plastic bottles as she could. Magnus as usual picked up as much drift wood as he could for us to burn. Saturday we went to Chorley as Ada & Dale think they’d like to move there and the kids did an Easter Egg hunt at Botany Bay’s outlet shop. Plus, we just had to have a pint at one of our favourite pubs The Bob Inn, in Chorley market. The tide was in at Southport when we went there on Sunday and the kids picked up shells. We had a lovely warm sunny weekend, apart from Monday when we had snow and rain for the drive home, but the roads were clear & we made good time. I think the Midlands must have had a lot of rain while we were away as the tow path appeared as deep as the canal and the River Itchen had burst it’s banks.

Hesketh Marsh by River Douglas
Driftwood fire

Nikita's marsh rubbish

The chaps from Colecraft have been and fully assessed our side hatches and front door and will do the work at the end of May. So we’re off for a bit of spring time cruising.

It was lovely to have a brief chat about boating and more importantly spinning, this afternoon with Billy & Jane on Betaine Spirit, 168 as they cruised by.