Sunday, 28 April 2013

Living the life of Riley

I don't actually know who Riley was - must Google it. To me it means good; company, food, walking and ale. We have all of those here in abundance.
 Open country between Ringstead and Denford looking across towards Woodford

 It must be summer as the weed cutter is moored up at Woodford Lock
 The cottage coming into Woodford has been re-thatched since I last did this walk - someone's been a little carried away with the animal/bird ornaments on the roof ridges

The Cock Inn at Denford has changed hands since Christmas but, it seems, has recovered the original chef and re-opened the restaurant only a week before we arrived. We had a lovely evening in there on Friday and chose from a limited, but interesting, menu. Most of the food was very good (one starter and one main course dish were a bit ordinary) and the wine was at a pleasantly reasonable price - so many of these places pile on the pounds for fairly ordinary wine; not the case here.

On Saturday the four of us traipsed into Thrapston to top up with perishables at the co-op and buy bits from the excellent hardware store. We retired for a pint and a sandwich (only the pubs that did good ale didn't do sandwiches) before taking ourselves back to the bus stop to catch a bus home - only the bus didn't come so we shivered in the cold wind for about 40 mins. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Sunday morning was a nice walk before dinner on No Problem with the 'Mini Coopers'. We seem to have fallen into a rather nice pattern where Vic makes a fabulous traditional Sunday lunch and G or I provide pudding. Then the Mini Coopers come round to us one night a week for some 'mucked about with' food.

Tomorrow we're out for the day with my cousins and Tuesday we'll rouse ourselves to move on a lock or two. Sigh. 'Tis a hard life

This guy has a hard job; he's trying to construct new allotments out of pasture land

 I love this rolling countryside

 The lovely river fronted Denford village

 and our moorings by the lock

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Wadenhoe to ..... plan B

Kayak level pictures from yesterday
 The church at Wadenhoe - prior to the bell ringing practice in the evening which nearly sent Sue demented!

Our Wadenhoe mooring
 We set off for Thrapston this morning; Titchmarsh being the only lock of the day and Sue and G were quite happy gassing in the morning sunshine
 Vic and I (the lockwheelers) were also happy as there was no need to wind paddles with this much water coming over the top gates
 The mill here is the home of the Cruising Club.
 Which quickly saw our arrival at the Sailing Club outside Thrapston where we had intended to moor. However, the next obstacle is our nemesis; the very low Islip footbridge (I can't remember how long we've waited to get under this bloody bridge in the past) and rain is forecast so, at a quick management meeting, it was decided that if we could get under it now, we would as water levels are probably about to rise. But, could we get under.
 The airdraft signed under the bridge was 2.05 metres and we need 2.09. A bit marginal that, so a more accurate assessment was made
 with a weight (our sea search magnet-Vic's clever idea) on a bit of string dangled until it broke water
 and then measured
 resulting calculations sent Vic and G scurrying off to dismantle MR's solar panels/ top boxes etc
 whilst Sue made a cuppa and fed the dogs Bonios through the serving hatch
that done, we headed off for the bridge with fingers crossed whilst Sue took theses pictures
 it turns out we were over cautious and slid under with inches to spare
 probably only needed to remove the smaller solar panel; better safe than sorry
so we headed off to Denford  for the night. No Problem leaving Islip Lock with the Mill in the background
 Sue's turn for a bit of excitement next: through the arch of the town bridge
and then swing to port and reverse parellel to the bridge
 and in to get water
whilst we re-assembled MR's roof items before passing through the next (and last) Lock of the day at the beautiful Denford

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Ashton to Wadenhoe

We'd intended to move on today but, as our next mooring will be Thrapston and, relatively, inhabited by others, we decided to stay another day at our idyllic moorings just to do  a few more things in the sunshine.
 like a pint at the pub
 a walk above the Nene Valley

 into the pretty village of Aldwincle
 starting to, finally look a little like spring

 and returning to lounge in the sun after reversing up for water
 but first I had to wet the bottom of the kayak for the first time this year - hard work against the stream and the wind, but delightful drifting home on the flow just listening to the 'cawking' of the pheasants and the tapping of a woodpecker.
It would, however, be remiss of me not to include some of the pics from the previous two days.

Sue (NB No Problem) had mentioned on her blog (not clever enough to do the linky thing, but you know where to find her) about re-fueling at Oundle Marina
 She also mentioned how difficult it was to leave and hang a right to continue upstream - well mentioning it is one thing - seeing it is better
 The Marina exit
 and No Problem is running out of room - Sue needs to start the turn, but she can't as the stern is still within the confines of the narrow exit
 all she can do is stick her nose onto the far bank until the stern is clear and then spin round it. It was tight for us but Sue and Vic are 3 foot longer
 The sensational Lilford Hall with it's amazing chimneys - just before Lilford Lock where we were stuck on strong stream with Lesley and Joe and NB Yarwood for a week last year on the way out
 how gorgeous are these - I think it was their eggs that I ate for breakfast this morning
 the boys (and girls) are loving it here
 and Baxter has taken to sun-bathing on the gang plank

 I just happened to have the camera handy and caught Daisy mid pounce. Fortunately she missed and this rodent lived to fight another day.
Have I mentioned how much I love the River Nene?