Wednesday, 30 April 2014

 This photo was taken from the Throne Room. !!! 

 Spot the odd one out

 Haha !   I spy the lesser spotted BBQ Man.

So having to nip in to Alrewas to get some Laundry gel,( I had made my own Eco friendly stuff, but it brings Mick out in a rash.), we are now at Fradley for music tomorrow night. 

We have spent 2 nights at the wonderful Branston moorings, They are delightful. and have been marked as FAB MOORINGS in our Nicholson guide. and NO BEER GOGGLES . !!!

CRT around here are red hot on people staying on the moorings, so if it says 48hrs, so be it
I walked off with Finlay to drop off some rubbish at Fradley, and a cycle bell made me jump, the Brummie on a Bike said, "  Well, you've walked in front of me twice ! "  to which I replied " Well, proves a point doesn't it. A BELL on a BIKE is a jolly good idea " DOH !!!!.   He didn;t have much of a sence of humuour.

To balance this out, a dear old codger walking behind us said " tha's a grand looking dog, theer" " 'e looooooks well -loved".  and yes he is. !  

So Where did I put the words to LincolnshirePoacher ?????  

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

So it was raining when we left Loughborough.  Stopped at Sawly on sat night. And then on to Swarkestone, where I had made  a note on the map that there were “ FAB MOORINGS”.   Hmm, well the last time we were here I must have had my beer goggles on or it must have been hot and sunny, cos we didn’t see any “FAB MOORINGS”. We saw some “ OKAY MOORINGS”. So that  was that.

Did some locks with a couple of ex pats from Australia, who are hoping to do 6 months here and 6 months there. Nice couple called Bruce and Sheila……………no not really Clive and Jenny. Actually.

2 elegant ahfgan hounds passed by, and Finlay engaged them in a bit of play. The blonde one was lovely. She was a people dog and was doing her best to push me over by leaning against me.Her hair was so soft. Show dogs, apparently.  

Today, Monday, we are moored at Branston.  Lovely moorings with a nature reserve and lakes.There is a nice part that’s called “ Doggy Dipping” area.  Its where folk can let their doggos have a swim, but no where else on the reserve, due to nesting birdies. Nice touch.

Saw a bloke walking along the tow path with his dog, he cleared up his dogs poop into a plastic bag and then ……………………threw it into the woods.  I wanted to ask him if he would not prefer to just hang the bag of crap on a tree or bush, but Mick wouldn’t let me.What a nob. !” The bloke, not Mick. !!!

Had a wonderful bbq lunch, trying out our new Cadac Safari Chef bbq paraphanalia. Excellent.

Now we will stay here and then on to Fradley for Thursday night, as there is a folk and sea shanty night at the Mucky Duck. I can hum the tune to Captain Pugwash. !!!!

Friday, 25 April 2014

So, mooring in Leicester is great, so long as you can get on the Castle Gardens mooring, and we did.  Three years ago, we saw a “down n out” here who had had his faced tattooed like a Tabby cat.  It was extremely funny. Well done by the tattooist , though.

After a night here, and being woken up at 4am by a load of drunks the other side of the river, we trundled off to a fave mooring --- Junction Lock.  We got a surprise.  What was once a lovely grassing mooring had had a tarmac path put through it for………………..wait for it………………….CYCLISTS. !!!! the boaters/ walkers nemesis.
 Look, we do not mind sharing with them, but not when they are doing time trials. They fly past, and I am just hoping to be around when one comes a-cropper, and I can put my St Johns life saving to work. !!!! Hah!.
However, we noticed that it has encouraged more folk to walk, so that has to be good. And after all, it is still a lovely place to moor up.

Loughborough basin, and on returning to the boat, a load of little scallywags shouted out “ is that your boat”? YES. “ ‘ow much did it cost” A FEW HUNDRED POUNDS . “ can we have a go on it”? ( you must be joking) “ sorry not insured to carry kids”.  Grumble grumble and away they went.

So, Mick had spied a huge b and q, and he wants to put up another shelf in the bathroom for all HIS toiletries/paraphanalia. So away he went with instructions to get some pork schnitzels from Aldi, ( thanks Scooby and Rita) on his way back to the boat.   I ended up having to phone him to make sure he was ok.  He replied, puffing and panting, that he had turned out of B and Q the wrong way, and was on the other side of Loughborough. !!!

 Castle Gardens Mooring. Locked at 8pm and opened again at 7am. We can get in and out as we have a Key. 

 Finlay looks such a grump !!!!

 Junction Lock. This was all grass 3 years ago

 Poor Daffy duck. This lock is in the asian part of Leicester.  

 Castle gardens mooring. arty shot. !

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Walking with Finlay along the towpath we spotted a wee mouse scurrying about, and when we turned around, he had come back out of the undergrowth and was scurrying about again.  Finlay’s sight is not what it was, otherwise Mousey would have been a tasty treat. !
Well we trundled off and got to Kilby Bridge. Moored up tight behind a working boat from the festival, and glad we did, as about an hour later we were surrounded by working boats.  They appreciate it when boats moor close as it gives more room for others to moor up.  Another private boat that had been polished to within an inch of its life( yes, and made me feel guilty!), was asked to move back to allow them in.  Talking with some of the blokes, they said that they often had problem with the private narrowboat owners,how strange. ! Perhaps they are envious. However, to own a working narrowboat costs a lot of money to keep it in good working order.

 A bit of excitement, when Mick had to reverse back through all these boats so we could water up.  One of the blokes said “ come on, don’t be shy, it don’t matter if you bang against us”.  However Mick did a damn fine job, and was commended for his efforts.
Missed the mooring at Kings Lock, just before the River Soar, so we were then committed to getting to the Castle Moorings in the heart of Leicester.

Bit of shopping tomorrow and then a short day to the Water Meadows at Birstall. !

 Mick begins his reverse with all eyes watching !

 "coming through"

 Job done !

 Remote lock

 Finlay patiently waiting 

 Arty shot

 ..... and another

 MeerGeese ????

 Mick sews a button on his trews, but finds that he has sewn it on the wrong side.  Guess what he said ????

 Trundle with the "big boys"

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Thanks dor the comments Melva and Gerry. !  yes Melva, I have tried to put a vid on from the phone, but it does not seem to want to work.  However those folks who have smart phones can receive them ! Do you have one,Melva ??? smart phone ???? hee hee.

Micks Double Glazing has worked, in the saloon area.  We can’t see out properly, but at least we don’t have to wear a scarf around our necks, when the wind is blowing against the windows.  Result.

We awoke Friday morning to the sound of 2 neighbouring Bulls having a “ bellow-off”.  We experienced this last year on the Oxford.  Boy can they make a noise.
Foxton was brill. We had thought that we would have a long wait, due to the Working Boat Festival taking place down the locks and into the Market Harborough arm, but we didn’t have time to fill up with water, and we were down them in 50 mins.  With a little help from some small children, that I bullied into opening and closing gates. NOT.  The kids are lining up to help, and all looking appealingly at any boater that happens to catch their eye. Great. Seriously. !
2 nights at Market Harborough then.  Hey, it’s a bit posh down here. The houses that we pass are ENORMOUS, and everyone has a rather cut glass accent, how naice. Even the shop assistants !. So Sat,. night, and it’s a wander out into town, and the pub, and then a nice girl in Mountain Warehouse told me ab out a nice family-run Italian rest for dinner. !  mmmmm.

Bugger, we should have booked. It was a lovley little restaurant, and it was full.
 So, off to Pizza Express we went, for great thin based pizzas. When we had finished we told the waiter that we were Pizza Express Virgins , as it was the first time for us, he then went on to tell us that so was he, as he was…………………..SPANISH. ! Whey hey,  we had a lovely chat with him, and he was thrilled to talk with us. I think.  He is married to an english lady and they have 2 kids,but as times are tough in Spain, he is here working.Fancy that.
We loved Market Harborough. It would be a great place to meet family and friends.
However, its Easter Sunday and its bleddy cold, so we have pulled up early.

Cava, Roast Beef and Easter Eggs. !!!!!!

There you go, Gerry. I have mentioned CAVA !!!!

 All the dogs have been having a sniff of My Little Pony. !

 Market Harborough Basin

 Tonights stop.

 Magnificent working boats

 and more.
 The houses that back onto the canal are locally called ' Millionaires Row'.   Huge. 
 Getting to the bottom Of Foxton Locks, not literally though.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

thats not going to work.

practising with a vid.
Cratch sorted out at Braunston,. The side painted at Braunston. New pump at Braunston. So thats enough of Braunston.

The lovely Watford flight was done, although we had to wait in the bottom pound for an hour, whilst 3 boats came down. No worries, we had lunch , and I took photos of all the flies that seemed to hand around this place. Loads of them. I hope its not something to do with our new Compostypotty.

Now moored at the Welford junction. Windy and looks like rain, but we are snug. and looking forward to cracking open an easter egg or two.  Ha !  I bet you thought I was going to say wine . !!!

Tomorrow the Awesome Foxton Locks. !

 Cor, look at this lot

 Watford Flight of locks. Mick is in the Staircase

 Stencilled the anchor. !!

 Lovely mooring

 View from the library !!!

 Crick Tunnel, Very Wet 

 The Bull has been busy, look at all these calves. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Watering up with a NEW Hoselock hose, that manages to keep Mick dry, we had a chat with a bloke on a boat with 3 Jack Russells and 6 Puppies, that he was hoping to flog for £250 each.  Bet the boat  ponged a bit or a lot.   Anyway I had a snuggle with a puppy, so sweet, but not my sort of dog.  Grandad Hurrey always favoured Jacks, and they all seemed to be called Rags. !
Did the Buckby lock with a hire boat. A really nice foursome.  The blokes were “ something” in the city. But with other boats going back to their hirebase on a Saturday morning, we were up them like a dose of salts. Great. Seriously. !

Now then, Airhead is still great, but I must remember to empty the pee-pot every 2 days, especially if we have had beer.  Emptied it the other morning after 3 days, and had wee wee all over my feet and splashed all around the sink.. I don’t want it to be a case of “splash it all over, ‘arry “.

Now in Braunston, and had to fork out for a new pump( a Gulper, seriously, that’s what they are called.) in the shower room.
The pump that came off was top of the range brass one, but sadly must be about 20 years old..   However, when Mick looked at it properly it is an impeller system, and although some teeth were missing and it was fouled up with hair, maybe it might just still work. ????

Picked up a Tillergraph in the chandlery, and saw that there was to be a big stoppage on the L and L canal.  Oh no, told everyone that we would not be getting up to the pennines this year. Anyway, talking to Jan about our misfortune, she enquired as to which Tillergraph and I looked at the date. Errr, Ehm Ehm,  its was November last year.   DOH ! 

So, Happy Days, we will still be Pennining, and still be going to Shabs Indian restaurant with Chris and Mike. !!!! Whey Hey. !

Sunny with a cold wind at Braunston

 thats us !

 give us a drink, come on


 Finlay loves to be free of the lead, !!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Wednesday was Northampton. Big Bertha ( pressure cooker) bought, and as Mick had nearly run out of scotch, we had a frantic rush to Morrisons. !
Thursday morning up the flight, and twas done in 4 hours. Some of the paddles  are worse than last year.  No’s 3, 6, 7 and 8/9, were almost impossible to move.If I had not had my strong mate with me, I would have had to phone CRT and ask for help. Seriously.
So at Northampton a new Bar/Rest being assembled on the Midsummer Meadow mooring. Looks like a lego ship
On the Nene, a visiting boat decided that it was ok to moor on a lock landing, and were dually told that it wasn’t . An elderly single lady travelling with 2 other boats apparently had quite a job negotiating this boat

This morning waking up on the GU always makes me smile. We awoke to the sound of our algae trimmed bottom being nibbled at by ducks, lambs bleating, a buzzard mewling and the Virgin intercity wooshing past over the fields. Great. Seriously.

We have fuelled up, and used a new Hoselock hose for watering up.  Now the Cap’n isn’t getting a shower every time he waters up. The other one we bought was cr..  rubbish/

Next stop Braunston for cratch mending, new shower pump etc, before we turn back to trundle up the Leicester arm.

Tonight a nosh at The Hearts of Oak. Great, seriously. !!!!

 Old grey face

 1st ducklings aaaahhh

 Trundle's spiritual home Weedon

 Its not THAT cold. !!!

 Lego Ship

 Lovely mooring at Midsummer Meadow

 Last lock on the Nene

 the End is in sight for the flight of locks.

 Hey, whats been going on here ????