I popped to the shop for a few essentials before it began to snow luckily. Late afternoon Mark came by with much needed coal and diesel for us. He had been battling through horizontal snow storms on the way along today. He said he had put Khali inside to warm up a couple of times. She does so like sitting on the boat cabin roof to watch everything going on and have an occasional stroke though. What a lovely little character she is. Well done to Mark, he is much tougher than any of us, He has got to be to work in all weathers and it had began to freeze before he left us to deliver to nb Inca and one other.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
We left our quiet countryside mooring near Willoughby Wharf under stormy looking skies. It was fun steering around the twiddley bits with the wind cutting across the canal in some exposed places. As we passed the service station at Braunston we could see C&RTs solution to most canal-side problems. Surround the one tap in the large puddle with that orange stuff and close it off to boaters, amazing! The whole area is a swamp, and we get muddier here than we do walking along some towpaths. Anyway we were in need of a pump-out (£15) at the marina, luckily no other boats were around so we slid in easily along-side the wharf. We always use their hose to rinse the tank out and I flushed the toilet several times to clean everything. Afterwards we topped up the water-tank at the Stop House.
There seemed to be some ‘regurgitation’ happening in the toilet bowl, so we pulled the whole thing out to clean up the non-return valve. Here a bucket, disposable nappies and plenty of kitchen roll to hand is very useful. Then we found that the diaphragm thingy was a bit worse for wear, after all it has done good service for over five years. So, instead of just putting everything back together again we bought a new one from Middland Diddlers to replace it. I assisted the Cabin Boy to watch and learn in case I have to do it one day, but I hope not as it’s a bit messy.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
All seemed fairly quiet at Grantham's Bridge as we passed by ascending all three locks easily as they were all in our favour. At the top lock nb The Answer appeared and glided into the lock as we left.
As we passed Inca, Gary was busy mopping the decks as there are some very muddy towpaths in places. No chatting to Dave and Liz as we passed nb Horus this time, well it was the lunch hour. I thought this was a pigeon at first, then after downloading it and zooming in to see it more clearly, found that it was a bird of prey.
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
I think the reason why boaters just stop to shop at Brownsover, then move on is that it is always so noisy. The passing traffic never ceases from dawn until well after midnight there. Still a tight sqeeeze through Clifton Cruisers and they even seem to use the space to moor one boat where the canal narrow is.
Reg and Elaine were not aboard when we edged slowly past their boat, then on past nb Archie on the end. Phew, again we didn’t meet any oncoming boats luckily. Although they offer services for passing boaters it is impossible to pull onto the wharf as their boats are always moored there. Therefore, they must be loosing out on quite a lot of passing trade.
Monday, 26 January 2015
Seeing me, seeing you, ah ha, we said our goodbyes to Gary/Carolyn and Hamish. After nb Inca had left, this boat towing came to moor and I've never seen so much stuff piled up before, with not an inch to spare anywhere. I hope bits don’t fall off into the canal as they cruise along. We popped down to Tesco to top up our food store and had just put everything into a basket to queue up, when the fire alarm went off. So we spent about twenty minutes shivering in the cold wind outside with lots of others. Chilled to the marrow we were glad to climb back on board to warm up with a cuppa.
Thursday, 22 January 2015
Well the canal has frozen overnight several times now, but melted away in the warmth of the sun during the daytime. We passed by the water tap near Rugby, but the notice that was on it was too small to be read from our boat. So I walked back to see that while the nearby building work is in progress the tap is closed. So, fellow bloggers be sure to fill up at Newbold or Hillmorton before heading here! Nb Inca caught up with us and came aboard for afternoon tea and chat. Now we have been aboard for a chat over tea and scones with jam AND cream with Gary and Carolyn, luvly jubly. Gary and Della on nb Muleless have also arrived, it is nice feeling to be in the company of our new friends.
Monday, 19 January 2015
My first sunrise photo especially for one of our blog followers! see, I do get up early sometimes. We have had bitterly cold breezy times and the canal has been covered in ice overnight several times. However we have enjoyed some beautiful sunny days too. Today we caught the bus into Daventry to visit the dentist for a check up and have the remaining stitches pulled out. Of course the bus goes all around bow-wow land (housing estates etc) so it took over an hour there and back. The buses tend to be all shake rattle and roll around the country lanes and over various speed bumps. However the day was made more pleasant by having a meal in W’s with a couple of glasses of rose wine and a Guinness for the Cabin Boy. Hurrah, we are free now until the next appointment which is in six months time.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
What a gorgeous day today, even the ducks like a bit of sunshine, although it was fairly cold again today. The sky was ever changing from blue to grey, with bright white fluffy clouds and dark grey ones being blown across it, beautiful. I am taking it easy now as I have had my two wisdom teeth taken out, one each side and nine stitches in one of them. The Cabin Boy has now taken on the job of Galley Slave too and is providing, soup, scrambled egg and fish for me, perfick! So he’s taking good care of me at the moment, but I don’t expect it will last for long.
Sunday, 4 January 2015
….. but warm and toasty inside Oakfield. The cabin Boy does a good job when he stokes the Squirrel up. The kettle is always on and we can do our toast over the coals before it is made up in the mornings. There has also been enough sunlight to keep our solar lights in the cratch going from dusk until dawn. I quite like this kind of dry weather as we can still go out wrapped in layers of warm clothes. What I don’t like much is when the weather is cold, wet and windy and the towpath turns into mud and puddles, ugh. We have recently managed to meet up with Gary and Della on nb Muleless at last. We spent a couple of enjoyable evenings on each others boats chatting over a few glasses of wine, before they moved on, luvly jubbly!
Saturday, 3 January 2015
I thought I would add a touch of colour to some to the gloomy wet days we are having sometimes hereabouts. Birds are now pairing up and thinking about nest building ready for the spring. moorhens are usually shy birds but we regularly saw six of them walking the towpath to find food. They were busy pecking at things, I wonder what they were picking up to eat? This one reminded me of John Cleese and The Ministry of Funny Walks!