Thursday, 13 November 2014

..... and so to bed.

I am writing this from home now as I bet you have guessed Reader.  I feel bad not winding up properly last week but after we got home its been a bit wedding focused here.  If you are not a Frequent Flyer to this blog, our daughter is getting married in Feb 2015 in New Zealand and there are things to do now.  
     We have had a Bunting Workshop here this weekend (or I could say a Sweatshop), 120 metres of bunting is going to fill someones suitcase and I am hoping its not going to be me. But it is made now and is currently decorating my lounge nicely.  
It worked well with me and all daughters plus friend Clemmie (and the groom had a go too).         The next day was the Clucky Day..... not heard of that you men boaters???  Well its a day when mother, bride and sisters go off trying on wedding dresses, shoes and the like, mostly for fun when you already have one.... This did backfire slightly as the bride is now on her 4th choice of dress.... can't say more.

So then back to Market Harborough, we had a fun weekend and on the Sunday a good lunch was had by all at the Waterfront restaurant.  We had to part company with our fellow diners on the Sunday afternoon and The Yarwoods made a prompt getaway  the next morning they have all sorts of jobs to complete before they go to Spain for the winter, but I had decided that a morning shopping in town.  I brought a new dress,   David on the other hand went a bit mad, hard to believe I know.  It happened in Waitrose of all places, 25% off of all wines, so he brought some.

So back to the boat, the roof was in need of a scrub, then underway to Foxton, very sad I felt to be going home finally, but its been a pretty long cruising season for us.
On this leg we did actually see the Kingfisher that was elusive two days ago.  It was about 1pm when we left the basin, the sun was out and in places it was blinding off of the sparkling roof!

NB Yarwood on their way, Bon Voyage crew

I like what the sun did here on my phone

Glorious day, gee wilickers though it was cold

Arriving in Foxton, there were just a couple of boats that came down then all quiet.  Although we were minutes away from Debdale Marina, our winter base, it is closed on a Monday so we were going in on the following morning.
This was Foxton early the next morning...

Pretty beautiful eh?

Bridge 61 in soft autumnal light.

So the boat was popped into her winter bed, we loaded the car, and like the nincompoops we are we had forgotten to bring up with us in late August the mini electric radiators from home, so someone has to go back and put them in...

When unloading the car at home, David had a count up of wine...  we have 72 bottles here!!!!!
I told you he went a bit mad.
See you all next year.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Friends and Cocktails

After a bit of fannying around this morning, we made our way along a pretty great stretch of canal to Market Harborough.  Its about 5.5 miles there to Union Basin where we were meeting friends. The sun shone as it has most of this last week.  I had my eyes peeled all the way for Kingfishers which nest along here, but I was disappointed today.  I learnt from an expert that at this time of year they are not feeding their young so are not out as much.  You really do appreciate TV's slow motion cameras when you do spot one as in a blink of an eye they are gone in a flash of blue and orange.

The reeds glistened in the sunshine 
Leaf soup. Bungs yer prop up a treat.  Not at all annoying.

We came to the swing bridge just outside Foxton village.  Its a cantankerous old bridge this one, weighs a ton and hates being pushed around.  I was struggling with it and just then a friendly lady walked by and offered to help, thanking her as she hopped to and got the ball rolling, she told me that CART had done work on this bridge, however when she does her 4 mile walk here every day, she often helps boaters with it. 

We arrived in the basin, and turned around,

This is an old Bonded Warehouse now a rather nice restaurant.

We we looking all around to see where our friends boat was....

Spotted it yet?

There she blows!

NB Yarwood.  HERE    The boat was blindingly shiny, but yes you've guessed it, Lesley said it needed polishing......!
We moored up just outside the basin on a nice vacant straight section with our own water tap laid on.

We invited them for cocktails and supper and it was rather good too.  Waitrose's current monthly recipe cards for red salmon risotto and black forest fruits calfoutis. Went down rather well, as did Lesley's Brandy Sponge, I do love a woman who splashes the brandy around a bit, hic.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Just left last nights mooring, how pretty is this?

We had plenty of time this morning to get to appointed place, that is to say The Bridge 61Pub at the bottom of  The Foxton Flight.  We arrived at the top in a little over an hour, passing by these trees...

Running the gauntlet.
The worst ones have with fallen or been removed however the angle of their growth of these remaining ones gives me the screaming abb dabbs, so David drives as fast as he can under these.
As we edged into the first lock there was a fair few people watch and taking photos, it was only about 11am, the crowd got bigger and bigger....

With the undivided attention of two lock keepers, who did lots of the work although Reader please be assured that I repeatedly asked to swap sides so that I could do the paddles, we made super fast work.  Turned out for the luck watchers that 6 or 7 boats had gone through much earlier, we were the last boat to go through the locks today.
The crowd grew as we progressed down, and a cute set of three little brothers who were thrilled to be invited to open the gates for me.  Their mum was cautious and hung on to the youngest one so that was good to see, but another mother had her small son, maybe 4 years old,  on a sit on scooter, she held the dogs lead while the child on the scooter peered over the empty lock side, Reader it was so scary I had to look away, the lock keeper tried to tell her to keep him back, but she merely replied that he won't go in.  So that's alright then!
The crowd stayed with us all the way to the bottom where fond farewells were said and the children all waved goodbye.  I am happy to report small child indeed not fall into the lock, however this year several people did.
I walked down and over the bridge followed by a couple with a small girl, I took the centre rope from David and we moored up.  As they walked past I heard him say "That was Prunella Scales"
as he walked off I collapsed into a heap of helpless giggles, you see Reader in China, if you don't know her, HERE  she is a well known British actress who is 82, currently I am considerably younger than this but clearly today didn't look it.
David when he had stopped laughing his head off, realised that this made him Timothy West who is 80!!

We moored here after I had got express permission from the lock keeper

This is the sign

Frankly we didn't really understand this sign, does anyone?

Sunset from the bridge
Supper was a very cheesy mushroom omelette.

My favourite place.

So a nice morning with sunshine too.  This section of The Leicester Arm David and I consider a bit to be "Ours", we don't mind other boats using it,  and when we reach here we know that we are almost home to Debdale, it does make you a bit sad because although it is the most loveliest section its getting towards the end of the current cruise and in this years case the most fantastic summer of weather and cruising.

We had a lovely run up to Bridge 50, it took about 3.5 hours and I loved every minute of it.
Here are some of the sights.

Lots of pheasants running about the path.


What a great sight.

This is Oilseed Rape, look carefully and you will see it flowering in places, it should do that next April!!!!

Welford Arm moorings, usually at least two boats here.

This farm is opposite, we say its The Grundy's Farm

An avenue of yellow and green leading up to....

Leading up to The Husbands's Bosworth Tunnel

The Laughton Hills, home to buzzards and our mooring tonight. 
The view from the cratch.
Supper was with friends at The Bell in Gumley.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Prettiest canal in the world

The morning proved wet.  It was expected and the back cover was on so no great shakes.  We were well on schedule for the end of the week so I could do that thing I LOVE, staying in bed with a great book, tea delivered and later breakfast.
When it dried off, David did the car shuffle and at the same time exploring more of the immediate countryside and discovered that on the nearby Stamford Estate is a monument to Percy Pilcher,


Killed at the age of just 32, he could have beaten The Wright Brothers into the air.  David says most interesting.

We had decided to move in the afternoon as the forecast said rain again mid afternoon. Lunch was brilliant,  halloumi cheese, with olives and that revolting char-grilled artichokes, (which I think are food of the devil and actually had to spit out, something I haven't done since childhood!) crisps, chilli jam and tomatoes, oh and a glass of merlot that needed finishing.  

This looks colder than it actually was. 
This Leicester Arm is just the prettiest canal in the world


So at his leisure we set off to do a couple of hours, after one, the heavens opened and I disappeared.  Shortly after he moored up, pretty cross though, the forecast was rain mid afternoon and at 2pm David did not consider that mid afternoon.  I pointed out that the clocks had gone back.....

Greens turning yellow

Yellows turning copper

I have cushions on the boat this colour

Thats pretty much where we stayed.  A pretty spot and later in bed we listened to owls hooting just outside.