Sunday, 10 February 2013

Confusing information

You may not immediately spot anything unusual about this photo of Bottisham lock but, from where we are moored, it's about 30 minutes into a one hour walk and G is with me!
Despite virtually no rain recently, there's still plenty of water hurling down through the sluices
This lovely old wooden boat, 'Jester' is moored at the Cam Conservator's depot, I wonder where her destiny now lies

With G taking a train back to Ely for physio on Friday, and the weather gorgeous, the day was all mine to set off for a bit of a marathon walk into previously unexplored territory
This big lump of 'Watership Down' gave Muttley a bit of a dilemma; not knowing which hole to stick his head down first - of course, when he did, they all legged it out of the others 
Now I had left Clayhithe, walked through Horningsea and arrived at this signpost from the right. Horningsea shows to the right (correctly) along with Fen Ditton; both being 2 miles away. If, however, you look at the left signpost ........ mmm!
 I turned right here, my destination being the village of Stow Cum Quy which, it says here, is 2 miles away - no matter how far I walked the village of Quy was always 2 miles away and (I promise) I wasn't going around in circles
In the end I was concerned about the time (and poor Baxter) and gave it up, visiting the excellent Quy Fen - more of a common really
Where we met and played with the lovely John Terry - evidently the lady could have a dog if the husband was allowed to name it! Who knows, perhaps drink had been taken.
A lot of territory still unexplored out here, but I had been walking for several hours on the often heavy going
so I crossed the Fen and headed directly for home; ignoring the signposts and relying on the GPS/memory map.
Large parts were under water but it was still possible to get round most of it 

Friday, 8 February 2013

The wind is still following the same pattern...

... quiet fist thing and gaining momentum towards lunch time. By the time we had re-filled our (now nearly empty) water tank on Tuesday, the wind was so strong that we only just managed to get off the side. Fortunately Bottisham Lock was in our favour so we didn't have a repeat performance trying to get off of the lock landing. It was nice to see that all the sluice work there had been completed and the temporary bridge and polythene wrapping was gone.

They'd moved it all upstream a bit to the road bridge at Clayhithe where we moored - perhaps a bit of a mistake with hindsight as they continuously run a generator to operate power tools

 On our way back from a walk into Waterbeach we found this bike half hidden in the bushes (it wasn't there on the way in) so we pulled it out and padlocked it to a sign on the towpath to see if someone came looking for it as it was in pretty good condition. No one turned up so we 'phoned the Police and they came and took it away. If someone stole it, why would they then dump it? Strange
 The lovely woven willow bridge has also been completed since our last visit in November, yet it still appears to be taped off - perhaps elf and safety haven't given it the all clear yet

On a completely different subject, I had a bit of a problem with the sausage and bean supper I was making (cassoulet if you're posh) I was measuring out Canellini beans and didn't have enough so I chucked some smaller Flageolet beans in with them to soak. Then I realised that the big beans took 5 - 6 mins to cook in the pressure cooker whilst the small beans took 10 - 12 minutes; so the big beans would have been pulped and I had to separate them out again!!! It's sad really, but I didn't have enough to throw them all away and start again. I think G is in total despair of me. Why, I wonder though, do small beans take longer to cook than big beans? Why, I wonder, do I care - it really is time we got out of here; I'm losing it!

The reason I wasn't able to blog for a while is because, for the first time ever, we used up all our contracted data allowance with 3. 'We' couldn't understand how this could possibly happen until 'we' realised that 'we' had been streaming data so that 'we' could watch television in bed whilst I was reading. So that was it; no internet until the new 'month' started.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

And the lights all went out

in Massachusetts Ely. Friday G set off for the physio and I set off for the hairdressers nice and early so that I could have a good nose round all the charity shops and drop a load of books off before we left. Unfortunately Ely City Centre had been hit by a major power cut and nearly all of the shops were closed although the good old British enterprising spirit provided some excellent entertainment in various shops: WH Smith opened the front door and were happy to go and find anything you wanted (by torchlight) if you could provide the right money (perhaps the staff don't know about the till over ride button which opens the drawer in the event of a power failure). The butchers was a hoot with all their customers haggling over weights and then agreeing on a price. Fortunately I found one shop open that took my books so that I didn't have to cart them all back. At the hairdressers I was booked in for a cut and colour and I said that I was happy to have the colour rinsed out in cold water and leave with wet hair as long as the job was done. More difficult than that - they needed power to get the water to the taps in the first place; hot or cold! A 'phone call was made and the hairdresser and I trotted across the square so that I could be 'done' in another salon that had normal taps. I fared a lot better than the lady who they wheeled out to her taxi with wet hair still in curlers (they could have lent her a headscarf)!

We were delighted to find that Kevin and Debbie (WB Avalon) were in town so, with Lesley and Joe still at t'other end (prepping and shifting their caravan to sell it), we decided to try the Le Spice Indian Restaurant which none of us had been to before. It was all excellent but Kevin's Sea Bass was superb.

Saturday we were due to continue towards Cambridge in convoy with our current neighbours the Lucky Ducks, but Amy was rowing early (involving a return train journey) and they were waiting for visitors, so we ended up travelling separately as G was starting to worry that we wouldn't be moored up in time for the start of the Six Nations (sorry NB Beefur - didn't mean to mention that Welsh thrashing). As it turned out, we made good time due to the very strong wind pushing us upstream against the flow.
 Doesn't matter how often you cruise through Ely, the waterfront in the sunshine is a real treasure
 with a wide variety of craft
We managed to moor at the 5 Mile Inn and had intended to leave on the Sunday but most of the other boats left after Sunday lunch which meant we could have shore power and water so we stayed and caught up with the laundry backlog (from the Little Ouse still) and gave the batteries a good charge. We couldn't have had a better anniversary present as this was the last day of our 5th year afloat.
 The weather seems to be following a pattern at the moment; it starts off fine in the morning but by early lunchtime the wind is horrendous and I stopped walking the dogs across the Fens - it reminded me of my old winter walks along the beach with a North Wind trying to rip the air out of my lungs - and used the more sheltered, but filthy muddy, Fen Rivers path.

 Whenever we stop at Upware we always seem to get fantastic sunsets
 Roast duck and a glass of wine for dinner - washing machine and tumble dryer running in the background
 and this view from the bedroom porthole - a perfect end to our 5th year on board (except for a slight data problem that's stopped me blogging for over a week - but you can't have it all)