Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Awaiting delivery

I am still at Mother's and today we are awaiting the delivery of this lightweight transit wheel chair.  It is aluminium construction and weighing in at only 7kg and will be a very useful aid for getting Mum out and about.  Mum's walking has become increasingly limited so a visit to look around anywhere is not feasible; this contraption brings that option back into play and gives me the chance to get her out of her four walls when I am visiting.

I spoke to Joe yesterday and it seems he has moved Yarwood north to Hilgay Bridge after a 24 hour stop on shore power at The Swan public house Littleport.  Five wash loads done apparently and the battery bank fully charged...clever boy. 

Sunday 26 August 2012

Essex Island

In Essex again this week visiting Mother.  Today with the best weather of the weekend forecast I took Herself for a ride through some beautiful Essex villages and lovely Maldon town.   We went northwards to Mersea Island, (Essex coast east of Colchester) where we visited with friends holidaying there.  This is apparently the most easterly inhabitated island of the UK and reached  by a causeway called The Strood.

I took some photographs of a couple of Thames sailing barges moored in West Mersea - failed to put in a memory card in the camera though...doh!


Friday 24 August 2012

And another thing..

 We left the River Little Ouse this morning, blue sky, fluffy clouds and warm sunshine accompanying us all the way down stream to The Ship where we turned left up the Great Ouse to Littleport.   We managed to secure a mooring on the EA moorings alongside The Swan.  It must be karma because we arrived at lunch time and felt we had to have a pint to celebrate...

Farewell Little Ouse
As we were mooring up there was a group of people, perhaps 40-50 of them, walking along the flood bank with a banner held high in front of them.  The banner said, Latin Mass Society  (LMS) and from the pub patio we could hear chanting/singing.  I looked up the LMS and found that the group were on a three day pilgrimage to Walsingham in Norfolk and that the Society had been formed in 1965 when the Catholic church ditched Latin in favour of the native language of country they were operating in.  
The singers/chanters were practising in Latin and so absorbed that they failed to notice that their kids were bored witless and wandering along the moorings outside the pub.  I called their attention to a little girl of perhaps three who was climbing over mooring lines and heading of into the great unknown; an accident waiting to happen and I think we have seen enough of little folk losing their lives in water this year.  Anyway, child recovered, the singers soon left and I was free to watch the boats on the river.
Securely moored ON the Water Point
This boat caught my attention. 
 I watched them moor up alongside the water point.  He secured the boat and then he climbed on the front of the boat and dropped the anchor?  He then went and unlocked the water point and filled a plastic bottle with water returned it to the cruiser and then climbed out of the boat, along with his wife, and cleared off.  
Am I living on a different planet or is boating etiquette on EA waters so very different from the canals? 


We woke this morning to find we had company..  but our neighbours had more company than us!

 GOBA are just so considerate providing these scratching posts..
This is my best side..

Thursday 23 August 2012

Macro shots

I have been out and about with the macro lens again..

 Bizzy, bizzey Bee
 Damsel Fly
Thistle seeds

Wednesday 22 August 2012

His job...her job

Today was a day of chores...just little boaty chores that are part and parcel of this way of life and as such are not in the least onerous.

Me..clean the brass

There is considerably more brass than this but whilst I have cleaned the engine exhaust stack you might as well see it in all its 'glory'....

 Folding exhaust stack mark two..

We started with a standard 14" exhaust stack...himself complained about the fumes getting in his face...and lungs
So we ordered a 32" stack and then had the problem of low bridges to contend with.
With a bit of ingenuity, a rummage around the tinternet and a few hours work on his behalf we now have a working folding stack.  The white cord is being replaced with black cord and he has bought some brass fitments to tidy things up but the jobs a good un.

Joe's chores were to clear the weed hatch and...
to modify the boarding plank/staging plank so that it fits under our side hatch doors.

 Mobile workmate, glasses, pencil, tape measure, hack saw and
 look of concentration

 Profile reduced and strengthened so the side doors clear the plank


And while all this was going on...

Fletcher and Floyd spent the whole day swimming and demanding squeaky toys were thrown in the river for them to  retrieve..

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Little Ouse...again

We set off this morning heading north from Queen Adelaide on the R. Gt. Ouse as far as Littleport and the nearest waterpoint.  Here we replenished the water tank and set off again towards the confluence of the River Little Ouse.  We passed Nb. Lord Toulouse  just before we turned into the Little Ouse.

The Ship Inn standing sentinal at the junction of the Little Ouse.
Joe and Brian ( Nb Harnser) sharing a joke

Not far past the Little Ouse Moorings we slowed to shout greetings to Brian and Diana a board Nb.Harnser..there was a few ribald comments from Brian as Joe dipped his engine stack as we passed...
Passing Lakenheath Lode
We were flagged down by the crew of Nb Jay who asked us if we were planning on going to Brandon Lock?  We weren't as it happened but they wanted to let us know that the EA mooring has been taken over by a group of people and there is no mooring to be had? 
Moored up at our destination, the isolated GOBA moorings at Stop Lock.
We couldn't get Yarwood anywhere near the bank but a cruiser crew, two small lads and their Dad, caught our lines and helped us moor..thank you kindly.

Monday 20 August 2012

Varsity Boat Race 1944

I had been out and about with the dogs, trying to do a circular walk across the fens to Prickwillow, a quick drink (water) and a swim for Floyd and Fletcher in the River Lark then back across more fenland to the Gt. Ouse flood bank north of Queen Adelaide Bridge.  When I was almost back to boat I came across this plaque on top of the bank... denoting the finish point of a rather special boat race.

 It says..
The Third Wartime Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race 26th February 1944.  Re contested 28th February 2004 Fin
 Adelaide Bridge

Apparently the annual Varsity Boat Races were 'suspended' during both world wars as it was considered too dangerous to run them on their usual course along the River Thames.  In 1944 the Great Ouse hosted the race on a one and a half mile course between Ely and Littleport and you can see it here as filmed for Pathe News.

1944 Boat Race with Oxford leading and going on to win

Sunday 19 August 2012

Prickwillow Drainage Museum

Sun, Sunday and a engine running day at Prickwillow Drainage Museum.  We are in the land of the fens after all, low lying and waterlogged or at least it was waterlogged before the drainage programs enacted hundreds of years ago by Dutch engineers.   Once upon a time there would have been thousands of wind pumps operating to lift water from the lodes (drains) into the rivers but as the industrial revolution took hold, wind power gave way to steam and then to diesel.  The Prickwillow Drainage Museum houses a selection of elderly diesel engines, all British built and operated in the Fens to help continue to drain them.  This museum is very 'big society', operating entirely on volunteer labour.
We were up an about early, the dogs were 'mungry' and managed to oust Joe from the sack to feed them at five..so we had breakfasted and got some laundry done before setting off to Prickwillow.

 Early morning view from Yarwood's side hatch

 1912 steam driven fire pump.  The wheels were adding in the 1930's and the pump was towed behind a lorry by then.

 The steam engine was built in London

Once we were in the museum there was a program of engine running, each engine being fired up for a 30 minute run.

 A single cylinder diesel started by a compressor and running at 350rpm...a slow beating beast

 Mini tractor

We met Amy and James of Nb. Lucky Duck at the museum and shared a brief food/drink break before  looking at the engines and watching a two cylinder diesel being started by heating the cylinder heads with raging paraffin fires...primitive but effective nevertheless.

An immaculate  1950's MG TD
I was promised one of these by my Father when I wasn a child...he would get me one when I learnt to drive...still waiting however.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Passing through

We came back into Ely yesterday lunchtime but their was 'no room at the inn' for Yarwood, boats were three abreast at The Cutter.  We spotted Nb.Matilda Rose breasted with Wb. Avalon and soon after that, Nb. Lucky Duck.  The service point was clear however so we got on there for the water and the usual before slipping out of Ely looking for a mooring close enough for me to walk back into the City with Jack who was due to catch the train back home to Essex.
We moored at Queen Adelaide, a fifty minute walk back to Ely and the rail station but nephew Jack got off OK and the dogs benefited from the round trip.

We are not sure what the weekend holds at the moment but it might include a trip to Lincolnshire to pick up our mail and a visit to our caravan to ready it for our holiday in October.  We have arranged to leave Yarwood with Danny and Natalie at The Little Ouse Moorings for a month so we can go away caravaning and also fit in a visit to Essex for me to see Mother. 
I guess after that we will be heading back to the R. Nene, Northampton and the canals for the winter but in the meantime we still have quite a bit of leisurely exploring to do out here....

Friday 17 August 2012


This here creature is a Musk Beetle and apparently quite a rare sight..

Musk Beetle

Thursday 16 August 2012

Waterbeach to Upware

Yesterday evening the sun came out and the wind whipped up and whooshing past our side hatch came this beaut!  I looked it up on the Internet and found that this was a Tucker Brown, built in Burnham Essex and very, very valuable...

 A Tucker Brown sailing boat, a beautiful Tucker Brown sailing boat

 Tacking up river past us


We left Waterbeach and our lovely peaceful Goba mooring this morning and headed for the Five Miles from Anywhere Inn, barely an hour's cruising.  We thought lunch at the pub might be good and it was.. though perhaps the portion sizes are a bit over the top. 
After a lunch, Jack and I and the mutts walked along Reach Lode to the National Trust's Wicken Fen and had a mooch about.  There is plenty to see but I was particularly taken with this original wind pump, a single survivor of what would have been hundreds populating the fens .

Peacock butterfly?

Wednesday 15 August 2012


We slipped into Ely on Monday morning and managed to find a mooring beside the Jubilee Park.

Shortly before 1pm I was at the rail station with Fletcher and Floyd to meet Jack, my 15 year old nephew, who had travelled up from Essex to join Joe and I for a few days.   As soon as we had dumped Jack's rucksack back at the boat we toddled off into Ely to find us some lunch.  Dinner, the day is punctuated by meal times when you have a fifteen year old with 'hollow legs' staying, was a substantial takeaway Chinese affair...

Jack, techno whizz. Joe and Jack comparing IPad games

Jack, helmsman.

 Tuesday with the weather looking fair we set off for a cruise along the R.Cam.  As soon as Joe had got Yarwood out of Ely we had Jack on the helm for a while with we confined to galley duties producing the bacon rolls and cups of tea.

Jack, lock boy.  Getting grips with Bottisham lock

We decided to moor up at the GOBA moorings at Waterbeach and continue into Cambridge in the morning. 
 Jack, ball thrower.  Keeping the dogs amused

After a night here at Waterbeach we revisited the plans and decided to stay here on this rural mooring but take the train into Cambridge instead of the boat.

Jack, retail therapy adviser.   Jack and Joe off to catch the train into Cambridge for some shopping ( B&Q for Joe and Fat Face, Joules and shoe shops for Jack...)