Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Just to let anyone interested know, that I wads Hacked 2 weeks ago, and have only just been able to rectify it.. so sorry.  keep away from anything thats sent to you saying "private message ".  !!!!

I have a new email address now, although the blog shows my old one, which has been closed.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The river level has dropped very slightly, but not enough to go yet.  There are quite a few boats now all breasted/rafted up, and waiting for the off.  Could be tomorrow.  We are now crowded with a big hire boat from gayton, plus another private boat.   They are at all sorts of angles, as this little mooring at the nine arch bridge is small and tricky to get into.

The river inspector, Roy Smith, has been to see that we are all okay, and is there any help that we need.  What a nice bloke. NB Arachne had the personal touch, so to speak, as their thetford cassette( toilet), needed to be emptied at an elsan point.   Then EA guy, Dave Barnard, came and collected  Peter and his poo, and took them off to get it emptied.
Roy informed us that there is a problem with the Peterborough Pump Out, and that as we get closer to Peterborough, we should give him a call, and if the problem is not fixed, he will send out a portable pump out.

We are now overdue on our licence, and some people haven't been able to get one. !  However, we have been told that , because we are stuck through no fault of our own, this will not be a problem.

One can't say fairer than that.

Top marks to all the EA blokes, I say.

Monday, 6 August 2012

So, that footbridge twixt Islip and Thrapston has stopped us, and other boats.

We had a lovely showery trip along some of the prettiest parts of the Nene, but we have paid for those showers, with the river level rising.

Stopped at Irthlingborough on Saturday night, and watched Jessica Ennis, plus others doing Britain proud.  There were a few other boats moored up, who were on their way back to their moorings at Billing Marina. They had obviously been having a good time. The lady off one boat clutched her empty gin and tonic glass and announced to all that “ I’m p****d”    Charming.

So now hanging around the nine arch bridge at Thrapston.   Mick has just started fishing, and caught a baby roach on just the hook.!  No bait.
Went to sample a beer at The Woolpack, beer £3.40 per pint, and the inside has been comtemporised. So not a lovely wee pub with inglenooks and brasses. !
 A grass snake, that we think may have been dying, as it kept rolling over on its side.

 NB Arachne head off in front of us.

....and Peter drew the short straw of the first lock wheel.

 All the stuff off the top of Trundle in readiness to get under the bridge. 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Had a nice time at Earls Barton, good mooring, but in the “wild”, which means a leap for the bank, and then out with the gangplank.  We had our own herd of sheep,  some gypo hossies, and we even managed to have our pre-dinner drinks on the bank.  Nice.

We left this mooring today(Saturday), and did a stop n shop at Wellingborough, and then on to Irthlingboro, for the night.  Massive storm, just as we moored up.  This could make the river rise.  We had been told by a passing boater, that the notorious Islip foot bridge was difficult to get under, its always the same, when the Nene is full of water. !

The Hotel boats, who should have been going down to Peterborough to collect another set of passengers, had to turn back as they are 2m10, and the bridge is 1m70.  No way for them to continue, so they will have to make other plans.

Tomorrow, we will try for Thrapston, which is the other side of this pigging bridge, we will take all the plants off  the top of Trundle.  Fortunately, we are a low boat, so might just make it.  If not, it may mean stopping at the mooring that has a very nice pub close by. J

 Cor, that feels better.

 1st downpour of the day !

 Earls Barton

 Finlay in the swim

 Finlays new best friend.

 I wonder if Larry the Lamb can tell me how this lock thing works. ????

 Lovely mooring.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

At Gayton, we saw Peter and Jean on Arachne.  They had an engine problem, and will meet us down in NHampton to do some of the locks down the Nene.

We started off down the flight, and Jean came and joined us, and set all the locks down to the motorway bridge ( 12). what a pal.  Thanks Jean.   It makes a big difference to have a crew.  That part only took 1.5 hrs.  The next few locks are more spaced out( so to speak) .

There was a numpty trying to help at the flight.  He sleeps in a barn and asks for a tenner to do all the locks in the flight.  However, as well as carrying a windlass, he also carries a  of beer. Totally sloshed.  I was struggling with one of the heavy old paddles, and he stood there winking and trying to say “ can help” wink” let me ‘ave a go”.  I said “No thanks, its 9.30am and you are drinking beer, dangerous stuff”.  He shuffled and lurched off up the locks to find the hotel boats, that were following us down.

.  I understand he gave them a hand.  I also heard later that he had decided to shed all of his clothes. !   Now, it must have been a day for getting you kit off, beause at the penultimate lock, 2 young fellas turned up with a big ruck sack, they were polite, but after we had left I looked back through my binoculars, and one bloke was using a wrench to lift the paddle to fill the lock,and the younger fellow, took all his clothes off, before putting on some shorts.  I have been seeing some sights, goodness me..

We waited at Northampton Midsummer Meadow, for Peter and Jean to arrive, and then set off to Weston Favell, for Thursday  (tonights) nights mooring.  \only short distance for us, but P and J, had been on the go since 6.45, to get down the last locks of the Rosersthorpe Flight.

Wednesday evening, at this splendid mooring, I tied up some fatty ham in fishing twine, and went “Craying”.  Caught these critters.  American Signal Crayfish, that are destroying fish stocks, and our own native crays.  I just kept pulling them out one after the other.  In the end I had to phone a friend,   Rita and Scooby on Festina Lente, to find out what to do next.  They are good at this wilderness stuff. !!!!
I got all the info.  Had bad dreams that night about putting a live creature into boiling water, but the next morning, I did it without fainting.   I reckon I might be a bit of a female Ray Meers type.  Can we eat the Canada Geese, that are everywhere making a pooeee mess????
I showed Mick( not good with crustaceans, and only really likes fish n chips.) and he just muttered  something about I must be bloody mad. !
Ate ‘em for lunch with a marie rose sauce.and salad and a can of San Miguel.EXCELLENT.
The Nene is beautiful, as usual, and we are heading for Earls Barton tomorrow.  A Field mooring around a lake. mmmm
 the last of the canals for this year

...a bit reedy, too.

 Midsummer Meadow, a new parasol and...................

 Crayfish.Alive in a bucket

 Hotel boats Oak and Ash 
 Crayfish. Boiling in a pan
Crayfish. DEAD 

 and for all that effort, this was the result.  about 2 tbsp. !

 Peter and Jean on NB Arachne

 Lovely mooring at Weston Favell


 looks like rain.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Well, we are moving fast now to get to Gayton, Sob Sob. ( I will be fine once we get started down The Nene).  Monday nights mooring was lovely, at the top of Norton Junction. A real nice country mooring on rings( Mick likes these, as he doesn't have to hammer the stakes into the ground).
A good start off in the rain, and we picked up a hire boat of 3 New Zealanders. The ladies got some lessons in locking from me, and we all had a jolly good time going down the  Buckby Flight. These locks are deep, and the gates heavy.  They were on a meha trip of Europe, and were really enjoying their narrowboat experience.

Saw Jenny( Weedon Boats), the lady who used to own the hire fleet, of which Trundle( then Ragweed) used to belong.  She was on another boat going in the opposite direction, and called out that " She's looking good!".   who? Moi?   No, our dear old Trundle. These boats are very distintive in  their design. and we love her. !

So tonights mooring is at Gayton, ready to do The Rothersthorpe Flight of 17 leaky old single locks down to Northampton, where we leave the Grand Union Canal, for this year and join The Nene.

Next stop Northampton, Morrisons for a pie, and Argos for a parasol. !!!!!