Saturday, 1 November 2014

Back down Watford and tucked into home home

We like locks. We went down Watford today, the day before it closes for essential maintenance. One of the things we like is what grows inside them, the reducing water often exposing beautiful moss. In the autumn, gorgeous coloured leaves stick to the mud along the wall and the artist in us both grins.

Photos attached show the lock walls. Then there are shots of the working boars ready for Monday's works, the one near the bottom lock holding the new gates.

We're back in Weltonhythe now, probably tucked up for the winter. But the odd weekend cruise is not off the agenda at all.

Moored near Yelvertoft & a celebration

We were in Crick for a night. Lovely mooring, but terrible communications. We have rather got used to both being good now! So yesterday, we travelled a huge distance (not!), went a mile and a bit more north and stopped in Yelvertoft. Slightly better coms, a nicer mooring and a gorgeous day.

Elizabeth set to baking and Pete set to cleaning the chimney as it was so warm we let the fire go out.

By the evening, we had fresh olive & parmesan biscuits to have with our caviar, cream cheeses and Cava. A celebration was had! We start our eighth year aboard now, yesterday being the 7th anniversary of moving on board way back at Oxfordshire Narrowboats.  No regrets. Not for a moment.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A last little weekend

We set out on an unseasonably warm and gorgeous Autumn day, heading north. We went through the gentle Watford locks, climbing up the seven, including a 4 lock staircase, to blue sky and dazzling colour. Through the Crick tunnel again - we've done it lots in the last year - and this time we're moored up past Bridge 12 opposite the garden centre.

News of the day is that it is so warm, we didn't want to light the stove. But we had to. The Christmas puddings need to steam!

Monday, 27 October 2014


This trio made for a very tuneful alarm call

Back home home for a tiny moment

What a lovely travelling day today. We realised we were moored in the very English named Landing Spinney. Our home mooring is just up from Cornerwell Spinney. Makes us wonder if they were named in the days of early small aircraft...

Again, we went a bit forward backward, going through leaf soup then clearing the prop. By the time we got to the Buckby flight, we were delighted to be greeted by two CRT volunteers who worked the flight with us. What luxury!

We're here for a day or so, then heading north towards Yelvertoft.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Moored into a beautiful Autumn evening

Here we are, 8 very slow miles north of Gayton, through Weedon and in this little lovely corner near Bridge 21. It's always slow travel in the Autumn, as we pick up leaves and sticks around the propeller en route and need to stop, throw the propeller into reverse, and dislodge the collection. There are also heaps of moored boats in this stretch, requiring slow passage. That said, it's been a glorious dry cool-ish day. Perfect.

Special feature - Northampton Arm

Today we walked the Arm rather than boating it. The Northampton Arm isn't really an Arm (cul de sac canal), but the connection from the Grand Union canal through the River Nene to the more eastern waterways. If we baoted to Cambridge, this would be part of our route. It's a dear narrow canal, dropping down 17 locks to meet the Nene. The countryside is classic Northamptonshire agricultural with rolling expansive fields.  Beautiful elephant grass with it's purple seed heads grace a large field about half way down the Arm.

After the flow under the M1, everything changes. Graffiti on lock gates, overgrown vegetation and the thunder of traffic point toward the Northampton town industry where the canal runs into the river. A canal of two natures, this is one of Pete's "offices", a daily visit if he's managing water on section 2 of his patch. We even met his unofficial colleague, a local man known for raising a sheckle or two by winding people through the locks.