Sunday 29 December 2013

After a manic Christmas...

It's time to chill out for the day with the self improvement book Baxter bought me for Christmas
Under his careful gaze, of course, to make sure I didn't skip any pages

Monday 23 December 2013

More visitors and shocking winds

As I type this the wind is, again, truly shocking. On Wednesday the wind blew my kayak straight off of the roof; it's padlocked at one end and I'm pleased to say it wasn't badly damaged nor did it scratch MR, but the noise inside the boat was horrendous.
 Just as G was about to do a bit of babysitting, Ian and Karen came passed and moored up on NB Tacet, so we were able to do a bit of catching up but G had to leave.
 Thursday saw us off to Grantham to visit G's Mum and the boys and I walked through the park and along the River Witham
 I should have taken the kayak
Before heading off to Grantham I knocked up a venison casserole and a lamb and apricot one to take with us for lunch; trying to get ahead of the game a bit - things didn't seem quite right when I sifted flour from the dredger onto the meat before browning it ......arrgh, G had filled the dredger with icing sugar!!!!!
I have 2 dozen mince pies, 2 dozen spicy sausage rolls and 1 dozen pork, leek, cream and apple mini pies. G's cooked the ham and that's us done now. Off to start peeling tatties and veg tomorrow.
So a very happy Christmas to you all and thanks for sticking with us

Wednesday 18 December 2013

A visitor with the best present

The weather wasn't up to great photographs so Adam (NB Briar Rose), who was meant to be doing a boat test, had an unexpectedly free day and choose to spend some of it with us - not only did he help out with a car hop, but he brought food. After lunch he got mugged by Daisy, whilst G preened himself for the inevitable photo.
This is the food he brought - home made sweet orange pastry. Seriously yummy
That got turned into these - not a lot left now!
So yesterday we cruised (we'd intended to move Monday) and what a glorious day. I've probably put too many pics up but when the sun is shining everything looks so gorgeous that you can't resist

Graham drove - the dogs and I walked

Filled the water and the diesel tanks
L-R is G, me with the camera, my up-side down steering stool, the VHF mast and a solar panel.
Pulled into Bugbrooke behind mates Debbie and Dave on NB Imeddit and just time for some playing and cuddling before a pint with the afore mentioned. Perfik!
It's not a bad life

Monday 16 December 2013

Fish for tea

Leaving the boat yesterday (to spend the morning with the family) I passed a jokey remark with John on NB Doubting Thomas. "if you catch a Zander and don't want it (you're not supposed to put them back) we'll be happy to have it"
and catch one he did 

Sunday 15 December 2013

It may have been drizzly

but we needed exercise after Baxter more or less confining us to barracks. My little water wood diviners soon found these, but they looked like they belonged to someone so ...... 
 Such a mighty railway runs through here but it's surprising how little the train noise disturbs you
 So it was off to Upper Stowe. 'Upper' being the operative word, but I reckoned it would do us the world of good and, let's face it, it would be downhill all the way home
 except things were not as they seemed - up hill, down dale, up hill down dale ......
 it's been a long while since I've climbed so many hills (I decided last year that I was getting to old for them - certainly multiple ones!) Nearly there now - one final push
 Gradually it starts to level out

 and the view from this place is amazing
 Wow! Location, location
 This path is my much loved Nene Valley Way again - a joy to be re-united

 Definitely a room with a view

 Sadly, of course, it wasn't downhill all the way home either - it was up hill and down, up hill and down, up hill .... and quite heavy going on that muddy trail

We were all feeling it a bit by the time we got back to the boat
 and needed a bit of a rest

No 2 buses

Yesterday we had an e-mail from Kevin Too and Harry to say they could drop by this morning and a 'phone call from Kaz to say that most of the grandchildren were going ice skating and would we like to go and join them. We had already recovered the car and arranged to drive across and meet Pete and Sally (my old mate and post lady) for lunch half way between us and their coastal location in Norfolk at March. It was about a 70 mile round trip each and we had a great time with a nice lunch at Mama Mia above the town moorings. Sooo sorry to miss you Kevin and I would have loved to go skating Kaz and kids.... no 2 buses...grrr

So; between my last blog on Monday and tonight we've, inexplicably, had no internet signal. G caught a couple of buses to collect the car and fetch it out to Weedon Bec on Tuesday, because Monday night Baxter had another 'episode' just like the one in September and we thought we would need the vet. We blamed the last episode on Muttley having a go at him and I now believe they are minor strokes brought on by stress - I believe this one was due to the noises inside the boat whilst I was stuck on the bottom and touching lock gates due to a lack of water in the pounds impeding my steerage (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!). They were inside the boat on their own and these noises are very loud inside. Normally they are out on the bank locking with me or out on the back deck - they wouldn't normally be inside on their own. Baxter went down flat again but completely recovered by Thursday. There are lessons to be learnt here and we need to keep him stress free as he gets older.
I blogged earlier about the problem of putting our boat name (French requirement) on our 'flared' bow flares - this is our solution. We think it's a good compromise without forking out even more shed loads of money
Wednesday, whilst I nursed cuddled Baxter, Graham had a rather exhausting but lovely day babysitting and Thursday we toddled down into the village for a pint and a bit of shopping - really not at all impressed with the general attitude of the staff at the Plume of Feathers which has been taken over by Everards brewery although they are dog friendly. We didn't stay for a second pint and the previously fabulous greengrocer shop (relocated) didn't know what variety of potatoes they were selling. No pastry for more mince pies in the village shop either. The locals are all still lovely but this place, to me, has lost it's pizzazz. Perhaps it's just me.
Yesterday I managed to get us out for a, much needed,  proper long walk - pictures won't load but Baxter full of it; such a relief to see him back to full health again