Thursday 30 April 2009

.....and he let me sit on it!

This "draft" was published by accident (aka Graham) this morning - I started, so I'll now finish.
Whilst I mentioned, last blog, that we had locked up the Braunston flight with John and Paula on Taurean, I didn't mention that we had moored up intending to have a pint together in the pub at Welton. We couldn't, however, get an answer on the 'phone so, as it was mid afternoon and a bit of a walk, we decided to push on & left J & P with a sense of unfinished natters (they were going straight on to London).
The next morning G fitted a new radio aerial (the old one had been savaged by too many centre ropes) & switches by my bed to turn the central heating and toilet pump (?) on & off. Then he re-counted the wires and now I can turn the central heating & fridge on & off.

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Staying put - or not

After he decided to move MR in the rain, it cleared up a bit and we decided to go for a short walk - needless to say, it didn't go entirely to plan & we needed to cross a field full of young cattle. There was actually a sign saying, "beware of the bull". If you think you can cross this field in 15 seconds, don't - the bull can do it in 12! It'll be fine he says, there isn't a bull in here. What about that one there, I say. No he says, it's just a big cow. If he's going to insult the testosterone I'd rather he waited 'til we were clear of the field. We made it, but the little buggers were frisking around hot on our heels. Trust me -I only took this photo when we were safely on the other side of the fence.
We then needed to turn right back to the canal but the farmer had closed off the access so we had to go miles out of our way and, of course, I was dying for a wee & it chucked a heaven load of hailstones at us.
This morning we played the, 'are we going to move?' game. 'If you want,' 'I don't mind, I just want to know.' 'OK we'll stay here now - we've a nice view'. 'OK, I'll just take the menagerie up to get kindling, then I'll make some pate'. 'Do you fancy a walk up to Braunston, I need to get some switches?' 'Yeah, but shall we just move the boat up a bit instead?' 'Ok, we'll moor up just South'. 6 locks, one tunnel
& hang a left onto the Leicester arm & we're moored up about 5.00pm. Locked up with some really nice guys on NB Taurean and it was only as we entered the tunnel that I remembered we were meant to get food in Braunston when we passed through "tomorrow". Do other people do this,or is it just us?

Monday 27 April 2009

The man has become a 'view' junkie

We'd thought that we'd stay put yesterday, largely due to the Grand Prix, but itwas such a gorgeous day, we thought we'd pootle to the top of the Napton flight. We hadn't been moving for very long when we were T-boned by a Napton hire boat - he didn''t seem to see us, we're only 66ft after all; fortunately there was no damage. We made good time (amazingly quiet for a Sunday), so carried on down through a few before mooring at 12.30 for lunch & GP. The top 2 photos show our lunchtime view.

As the weather was so glorious we carried on down the flight and on to the nice wide bridge 'oles of the Grand Union passing Graham from NB Alnwick who had just had lunch in the Bridge at Napton. We moored up just passed Wigrams Marina with, what I thought, was a very nice view - it was getting on for 6pm and we were all shattered. Including idiot upsidedown dogs.

Woke this morning to very heavy rain & husband donning wet weather gear - I looked at him in amazement & he said that he didn't like the view; we were,"too enclosed". So out he trundled into the monsoon (OK I'm exaggerating a bit) and moved the boat up to where the canal is cut into the side of the hill - barking, totally barking!

Saturday 25 April 2009

The Consequences of Ignoring a Breach!

For some reason the GPS thinks we're at Castlefield junction on the Rochdale Canal! We're not &, thus far, never have been. Perhaps the GPS is reincarnating or perhaps it just dreams of being there. Technology 'tis a wonderful thing, but when it goes wrong...... We are, actually, between bridges 130 & 129 and very beautiful it is too. Napton is 4 miles away as the crow flies and 6.6 miles by canal. It's great fun on foot as footpaths from each bridge allow you to cut out miles of bends & you can sit about looking cool whilst the boat driver slaves away at the tiller dodging oncoming craft.
I took the boys for a walk up into Wormleighton today off over bridge 128, what an amazingly beautiful, tiny, almost secretive place this is. All built around the manor and quite 'other wordly'. Like some kind of time warp.

I stopped to enquire of the guy in this cottage the whereabouts of the footpath heading out to the NE. I commented on what an amazing place it was. 'Huh' he replied, 'might look amazing to you luv, but it weren't very funny in winter at -10'. That told me then

As I walked out across stunning, rolling countryside, the evidence of pheasant breeding/rearing meant the dogs had to stay on leads. One huge area of woodland was completely surrounded by an 8 ft mesh fence with barbed wire on top & 2 strands of electric fence at 6 & 18 inches off ground level respectively - was the latter to deter fox or dogs? Those prospective pheasant chicks were better protected than most high security prisoners. Mad really when you think that you're hard pushed to give away a brace of pheasant these days (although we'll all ways be grateful). The big money/return on investment is all in the shoot.

Talking of monetary issues, the credit crunch clearly isn't an issue for this farmer and his kids - they were waiting for the helicopter to drop in & pick them up to go to Old Warden airfield for a few hours this afternoon. Popping by to look at the Spitfire & Hurricane before dropping them back at the farm. We had a few hours to spare but they never offered us a ride.

This is the panoramic view from our window tonight.

Beautiful Warwickshire - another very special day.
Oh yeah, the breach. The old moat round Stoneton Manor.

Friday 24 April 2009

Carnage Reduction

Well, perhaps no carnage reduction outside this barn (what, I wonder, is their destination?), the carnage reduction is regarding Daisy. In the 9ish days since she's been wearing a bell. Only one mouse, to our knowledge, has met a grisly end.
Set off this morning & polished off the first 2 or 3 miles & 8 locks in 2 hours - oh the joy to be on the move properly (as against fannying up & down). Sausage butties on the move, washing on, watered at Fenny Compton and knocked off a bread & butter pudding before mooring by bridge 130, lunch then foraging for kindling with the boys & Daisy helping. Afternoon nap then tea with neighbours on Matilda Blue who are also heading for Debdale, to be lifted out for shipment to Holland next week. All back to normal...........perfick!!
Daisy (no longer able to catch the real things) went for world dominance by kidnapping Muttley's 'wack, wack'.
It is 'wack' & not 'quack'. Wack as in wack you round the shins with it when he was a pup. The doggy revenge for bam bam (Flintstones).

The dogs waited patiently on the stern deck whilst we watered.
Claydon Top Lock Cottage looking pretty in the sunshine with it's new paintwork.
The crew of the Navy boat, NB The Andrew, seemed to get confused when we pulled over to moor - pulling in behind us & then getting stuck in the wind, so G helped them off.

Up and Away

No probs getting out of bed this morning. Leaving Cropredy behind and heading for Debdale (no time for any serious diversions now).

Thursday 23 April 2009

Menagerie in the sun from our trip on the S. Oxon

Well, would you believe it - glasses & lenses arrived, fit me & I can see (so no more eyesight excuses when I bang the boat!). The shower spares were there at the Post Office & the shower is fixed. Yexterday we moved into Cropredy passed the now permanently empty 24 hour moorings (except from about 7/8.oo pm when the hire boats move on for bed & breakfast) and managed to get a 14 day mooring (not that we need it now) behind a BW barge where they have infilled the eroded towpath. Moored amongst bare earth & BW tape but-hey-at least we can stay for a legit 48 hours and G has found this spot full of potential whales whilst dangling breadpaste.
So, quick trip to the farm shop for veg & eggs & G is off to plant the car at Debdale. Karen will pick him up and bring him & the kids back here for supper. I must finish Baxters hair cut & finish supper prep & then I intend to put my feet up in the sun with my book. We never stopped again yesterday.
So.......keep everything crossed.......tomorrow we're off. Any traffic jams caused by the emergency closure of one of the Napton locks should have cleared.