Thursday, 28 February 2013

Birthday bash.


As it had been Lynnes Birthday earlier this month we agreed that we would all meet up for lunch sometime to celebrate. So, today was the day we could all get to the Red Lion in Crick. We were pleased that the hot mulled wine was still on and raised a few glasses between us. As usual the food was good and hot with plenty of time for a good natter catching up on what we had been up to. With such excellent company the time flew by and we had spent over three hours mulling over our lunches and puddings. Perfick!

We then caught the bus back to Rugby, dodged the pushchairs and mobility scooters arriving unscathed to catch the No 10 bus back to our boat.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Walking Boots.


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Compare the old one on the left to the new one on the right.

I have done quite a few miles and a fair few locks in these comfy old boots, but didn’t think that they were available any more. As you can see there was not much tread left on the soles to cope with the icy, muddy towpaths that I tramp along every day. I have been looking out for some replacement boots for quite a while now and spotted these at Quinns Footwear shop in Daventry. My original pair were £20 and have lasted me about six years and were still surprisingly comfortable, breathable and waterproof! The only additional cost was to buy a new pair of laces for them. So, when I spotted them in the sale for £25, I thought to myself, ‘I don’t believe it,’ as Victor Meldrew would say!


It is essential to have non slip soles with good grips for negotiating around and over the locks, so I am well pleased with my purchase. May ‘Northwest Territory’ keep on making their wonderful boots.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Now that we have been to the knot tying evening, Bottle has been inspired to re-rope our rear fender button. He is using our large wooden chopping block to rest his work on, even so it is hard on his fingers and back. With this in mind he is doing a little bit each day, but still comes in from his workshop in the cratch a bit stiff. Now he has somehow caught ‘man flu’ so things have come to a grinding halt while he grumbles and endlessly blows his nose.

My first rag rug looks very nice, but there is a problem as some of the strands around the edge have pulled out. I only wish I could start my new rag rug, but I need to track down some more material to blend in with what I already have. Several live aboard folks have made lovely rag rugs. I would welcome any tips in order to improve the next one I make please?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

We be sad.


With Betty+Graham on nb Tranquility and Lynne+Paul of nb Piston Broke and have spent three happy winters being frozen in together here at Braunston. Over the three and half years aboard nb Oakfield we have spent time together cruising, shopping and dining together in various venues. We have picnicked on the towpath on lazy sunny afternoons with beers or wine and on board each others boats for tea and cakes. All in all it has been a very enjoyable time together. Anyway, they have decided to call it a day, sell their boats and return to the land. We shall miss their company as we cruise on alone now!


This is winter 2009-10 when the snow and ice lasted for several weeks and we experienced some wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Rope Tricks.


We joined in the evening of rope tying with Ken Nelson in the Bridge 66 Cafe at Clifton Cruisers. Coffee and delicious home baked cakes were served, then Ken proceeded to show us the knots that have various uses on narrow boats, for decoration and for mooring up. He put the pictures up on the screen, then quick as a flash demonstrated how  the knots were tied. He belongs to the International Guild of Knot Tyers and has his own boat with a butty workshop. We very much enjoyed the informal evening, especially learning the tricks of the trade in small groups afterwards.

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Some of us were better at it than others as you can see by the single piece of rope that has been made into what is called a ‘Turks Head’.

If you are interested in knot tying they have a website,

Monday, 11 February 2013



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This beautifully made mosaic is on the wall of Clifton-upon-Dunsmore Primary School. The lettering around it says ‘ Imagination encircles the world ’, if only this were true. I very much like the colours that have been used and especially the tiles with the impressions of hands in them. In some of the more sheltered corners the Snowdrops were doing well. Calling in to the local grocery shop I discovered a large selection of used books at 50p each, donated to charity. Luckily, I found one about the Cotswolds that I had not read.

Saturday, 9 February 2013



IMG_2633The Winter gales have returned with a vengeance  and the boat is rocking about quite a bit at times. We met up with Del and Al at the Cafe at Bridge 66 for coffee and homemade cakes, luvly jubbly! It was difficult to choose between the Banana/Walnut, Chocolate Gateaux and the Bakewell Tarts as they all looked so good. After putting the world to rights and general chit-chat about family life, we emerged realising that it was well past lunchtime! Funny how the older you get the faster time seems to disappear, especially when you’re enjoying yourself.

Thursday, 7 February 2013



Recently there have been a few sunny days just right for a brisk walk in the countryside. These bracket fungi looked rather like fancy little ears clinging to the foot of this tree trunk. I was glad when I returned to warm up inside our boat, as there was quite a strong chilly wind blowing out there. Although it did blow away the ‘cobwebs’, as they say.