Wednesday, 22 June 2011

So a fairly uneventful trip down the lovely Nene until...... we moored up at Alwalton. We heard a WHUMP,looked at each other and said blimey that sounds like something has exploded. Went outside, and just after I took this photo, there was another big WHUMP, and a gas bottle? flew up into the air in flames. It tutrned out to be on a farm, a load of propane gas cylinders had exploded. It was quite exciting for a time, not so nice for farmer boy, though.

So, now we back home. Car is poorly and needs a new alternator, doing some deck- treating, a wedding to attend, and then down to see the grandchildren, and pat Rebeccas' tummy, as she is expecting another boy. !!!!!

Then on our about the 22nd July, we will be off down The Great Ouse to Bedford, taking in all its tributaries etc.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

some sort of dragon fly

little backwater nr Cogonhoe.

........ some poo ( Badger ????)

Please reverse Trundle back and get me that ball, oh pleeeeeeese.

Vintage narrowboat and butty. not many of these left.

Homewards down The River Nene.

Well, we are having a nice trip, as usual, along the nene. We chummed up with a young couple to do the large locks, which makes things a lot easier. They were travelling down to The Great Ouse to Earith, to have their boat re-painted. A nice couple.

So first night was Northampton after having “ Pumped Out”. Met a few boats co ming back up to the canals, who said that whilst the nene was very pretty, it wasn’t for them, as mooring was too hard, and not much in the way of facilities. Well, you do have to work a bit harder for finding a place to moor, and you do have to walk to find shops, pubs, pubs and shops. But heyho, its all part of the fun of it.

Next night was lovely Cogonhoe, on the cow meadow. Complete with great walking around the large fishing lakes. Saw a bullfinch, and we watched tench( a bottom-feeder fish), playing and basking at the top of the water. They kept sticking their fins out of the water. !!!! very unusual to see.

Last night was a great mooring at Denford. We have tried ( unsuccessfully) to get on this mooring for the last 2 years, when going up and down the Nene. There’s always been another boat there. Tch. !

There is room for just 1 boat, but 2 could get cosy and squeeze on. Its at the bottom of a lane, that leads straight to the village pub( which we tried…….very nice and dogs welcome too. Well it is shootin’huntin’fishin’ country that we are in now, and the world and his wife seem to have Labradors !). Some great field walking, and I think I may have found a badgers set and as we are avid watchers of springwatch , I found some poo( chris packham likes poo), that I have photographed for you. Doesn’t have a curl at the end, so not a fox. Could it be a badger ?

Today, Thursday, back at Ashton Cut, and watching the Red Kites, and trying to see their chicks.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Where's that partridge?? in a pear tree ?

Lovely 1 room cottage at the junction( cor, summat smaller than our lodge !!!!!)

...... and the guest bedroom.!

Ghost dog beer. !!!!

Thursday we trundled down to the Welford Arm, watered up and then started our way back to the Watford staircase of locks.

I was off the boat and walking Finlay. When I got back on the boat Mick was agasp and said that he had seen a ghost dog ! Eh ? what?

“ I saw what I thought was Finlays tail and shouted to you that “ I can see you, no need to hide in the reeds”, but there was no-one there”…….Now then, notice the pics of the cans on top of the boat ? well I reckon that hobgoblin is a bit tooo strong. !!! we think that it may have been a reed in the sunlight looking like a dogs tail ???? NO? I didn’t think you would buy that. So, ghost dog, it is.

Lovely stretch of canal with great moorings, and interesting walks around the wheat-fields. The farmers set-a-sides are lovely with wild grasses and lots of wild pink clover, which the bees really like.

Finlay enjoyed pulling me around the perimeter of the field in pursuit of a partridge , and we saw evidence of foxes - scat, lots of it.

Now we are at Buckby. Will go for a pint tonight before dinner.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

That is the wood( mit badgers!)

Lovely mooring

I wonder how long this will stay here.

Monday nights morring spot.

Monday we cruised back up the Oxford canal towards Braunston. This canal is quintessentially “England”.

So 9 days left before we start back down the Nene. Do we go to Milton Keynes, and say Hello to Mel and Pete or do we go left and cruise a bit of the Leicester arm.?????

Well ,as we will be going off down The Great Ouse towards Bedford in August( and Mel, if you are still following this, you did say that was an easy place for you to get to !) we have decided to trundle down towards The Welford Arm , and then turn back and explore Crick ( shops n pubs !!!!).

Tuesday we looked at 12v fridges in The Midland Swindlers, I mean Midland Chandlers. We need a new fridge, but do we go 12v @ £600 or 240v @ £100. ( we have an inverter), plus a generator??? Decisions, decisions.

Did the Braunston locks with 3 Ozzies. Greg had said that they were rank amateurs, and boy, was he correct. Anyway, Mick and I imparted some knowledge, but we both got the feeling that they were not enjoying the experience. Hard Work. !!!!

Passed Pete and Carol( forgot the name of their boat), travelling with the folks on NB Sorted. ( they all hang out at Floods Ferry.)

Washing is out on the towpath, but on an airer today.
Finlay has just had a good walk around “Fieldside Covert”( a small wood by the canal).

And Gerry, if you are following, we are moored exactly in the same spot, that we first saw your daughter( she was wearing a pirate hat) on your NB Dash.
As far as I am concerned, this is the most beautiful mooring spot, EVER. ! quiet, views all around, a small wood.etc. I am now trying to talk Mick into venturing in there this evening at dusk, WITHOUT Finlay, as I reckon there are badgers in there.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Thursday we arrived at Aynho. And that was as far as we can go this time. Lovely mooring, wide towpath, so the laundry was done and hung out. The bbq was cleaned down, ready for our 1st bbq of the year. Found our way during the afternoon to the wharf
Andtried a Mint Magnum - 10/10. anyway,. The big news of this day was that I was texting someone from the back of Trundle, and turned to say hello to a passing boater – he was an old boy in a floppy hat. Turned back to my texting and then the light-bulb effect kicked in and I realised that I had just passed a hail fellow well met with none other than Timothy West !!! didn’t see his Mrs – Prunella Scales, though. I immediately texted everyone I know, and had quite a few “ WHO?’s” in reply. PHILISTINES. !!! He had been down to the festival at Braunston and I believe had had a “go” at skippering the Vintage NB President.

Friday was a return to lovely Banbury, and this time it was my turn to wander the streets and charity shops looking for boat treasures. Found a few things!

A local boater had told us about a good Indian rest called Jaipur, so in the evenng, we changed into non-boaty attire and hit the town. The Indian was excellent, with some rather nice touches. E.g with the hot towels came a bowl of quartered oranges to suck on and clean your mouth, plus a complimentary “copita” or very small glass of brandy for mick and baileys for me. Then we went to an old fashioned oak floored pub for 1 drink, and then back to Trundle, no tv signal,so we watched a film. It was 11.30 before we hit the sack. That is very late for us. !!!! and I had a slightly thick head in the morning……. Tch tch.

On Sunday making our way down the Claydon lock flight, we came across Pauline and Gerry on NB Dash, going the opposite way. We had cruised along with them a couple of years ago, and enjoyed their company very much. It was great to see them, albeit sad that we were not all going along in the same direction. Gerry likes wine. ! and I can remember that the last time we saw them we all had an enjoyable time sampling n slurping. The ways these things go, we will see them again at some point and hopefully we will all be facing the same way.

It was busy on the flight, and we passed the time of day with another boater, who had had a bit of a rough time at the hands of a Hire boat from Nr.Rugby. There were 9 or 10 on this boat, and alledgedly they were not very nice, foul language, drunk, rude etc. I think I may have been tempted to speak to the hire company.

Before we left our mooring on Sunday morning, I had heard a noise on the top of the boat, Mick was at the front somewhere, so I enquired “ was that you on the top of the boat?” When I saw this, I guess it may have been a goose or large duck. !!!!

what is Finlay staring at ?????

Voila !

mick loses a penny!
don't think it's in there .

Thursday, 2 June 2011

7.15 am !!!!! Pleeeese get that cat out of my chair....pleeeeese I smell dog.

Monday we left a great mooring-Again- and moved up to Cropredy for water, even though there was loads of it falling from the sky. Cold and wet, so like everyone else we moored up and called it a day. 30 mins later, after hot shower, warm soc ks on, and a nice cup of tea, we felt a bit more human. It’s still part of narrowboating and good fun, though.

Inbetween showers we took Finlay for a walk…………………OFF THE LEAD> ! it was fine going up the canal, but when we turned around, he had spied a little snicket into a cow field with …..RABBITS. Gone in 30 seconds. Mick was annoyed and upset, saying he won’t be able to find his way back to us, will get lost, etc. I pointed out the dogs have terrific noses and that Finlay would be able to smell us, I mean he would be able to smell Mic k and therefore he would come back. Buy the time I had finished this diatribe( is that the correct word ?), Finlay, was behind Mick. Tongue lolling( that could be smiling, I guess), and smelling a bit suspicious ( cow dung). Seeing as he is having such a miserable time, we let him enjoy being whiffy.

Tuesday onto Banbury. Met up with Rick and Val, which was lovely. They are a bit naughty, ‘cos they always take us out for lunch, and they always turn up with a pressy for me and a bottle of red for Mick. Naughty but very nice. Had a good natter and catch up with them, and we will be meeting up again, when we go through Weedon.and hopefully,( its here in print,Rick and Val), we will be visiting each others’gaffs over the winter.

( We bought 2 water pistols for 2 young lads that live on the south coast,I think we had better by a few more to even things up a bit, as we will be visiting in July .!!!!!!.... another good reason to stop in Banbury)

Cousin John and Wife Sue, and their chums, will be starting their NB holiday on Saturday---- looks like they have made the weather turn good for them, anyway. They hire a …………69footer !!!!! and they will be cruising the lovely 4 counties ring. Lucky beggars.
Have a good one, but I will give you a call sat or Sunday anyway. Hope you don’t suffer with The Wind.!

We have now moved down to Aynho. Met a very nice couple called Chris and Joy on NB Wrens Nest and their puss, Jade.( a stylish british smooth hair). She certainly has chutzpah, as she helped herself to Finlay's chair.! Finlay scuttled off into the boat. Cor, and I remember the days when he would have given chase.

Today ,Thursday, will be staying put,as the weather is hot, hot , hot. And its washing day, boat cleaning day, bbq day etc. then we will turn back and have a day and night in Banbury again. Fancy another lunch out, R and V ????? The town is lovely and Mick and I really enjoyed staying there. And now that we have done all the sight-seeing, I am going off on my own to “do” the Charity shops…..looking for boat treasures, antique velvet etc. There is also Debenhams, Monsoon( my very fave shop),H&M etc., but can’t really justify any more clothes. Don’t wear some that I have. However some of the boaty clothes are now resembling rags and cleaning cloths so maybe……….