Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Friday 30 November 2012

Frosty walk to Milton

We managed to tax the car yesterday and the Post Office clerk DID look at all the documents I produced so the rummage of the previous day was not entirely wasted time and effort.    Joe is now going to retrieve the car from storage tomorrow so that I can go off to Essex early next week ahead of our planned Christmas visit.  I will stay just a couple of days which will allow me to get Mother into Southend for her Christmas shopping and see my nephew Jack who hits the big SIXTEEN  next week!  Where have all the years gone....

Anyway, last night's temperature drop has frozen the ground so our walk today was in better conditions;  muddy fields and dogs mix wonderfully but the impact on the boat is less desirable as you might imagine.    Today we walked back along the towpath towards Cambridge turning off just before Baits Bite lock and walking up into the village of Milton and Milton Country Park.  A pleasant perambulation for a couple of hours in the winter sunshine before heading back to a comfy chair by Yarwood's stove where I will vegetate until it is time to rustle up tonight's dinner. 

 Cam side walk
A  memorial in Milton Country Park to mark the 50th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in France on 6th June 1944.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Doc search

It has been a bit of a domestic day today, I baked a banana and walnut cake and cooked a roast with oodles of fresh vegetables for lunch, a late lunch that is after a pint at The Bridge at Clayhithe. 

Between the rain showers the dogs have been walked a couple of times and then Himself and I both turned the boat upside down searching for vehicle documents; we need to tax our car and get it back on the road ahead of the Christmas visit to family in Essex.   We have ended up downloading the insurance and printing a new copy of the certificate because the DVLA site says we need to produce the documents - of course when we present all this paperwork at the Post Office counter tomorrow the clerk will inform us that they don't need it because they are linked to the DVLA server which will confirm MOT and insurance status!

Still, the printer got a dust down....

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Water point...under water

There was fun and games yesterday morning when it came time to fill Yarwood's water tank and take our leave of Cambridge.  We were originally going to move out of town on Saturday but driving winds lost out to prudence in the arm wrestling contest and we stayed put. 
So despite the river bank being swamped by flood waters yesterday we really did to replenish supplies.  I donned my rather fetching rubber shoes (cut down wellies) and prepared to splash about in the very cold water.  Joe winded Yarwood and after a couple of attempts managed to get to the opposite bank against the weir stream.  I stepped down from the gunwale with the centre line on what I hoped/believed was the bank six inches below the water level and got Yarwood secured.  There seemed little point Joe joining me and also getting cold and wet so he stayed aboard passing me keys and water hose and cassettes and I did the necessary.

Adjusting trouser level in the shallower water by the service point

Back aboard and heading down stream out of Cambridge.  All the permanent moored boats had poles down to stop them slipped over the bank.  We gave a farewell toot to Nb Lucky Duck as we passed but they were not about.
I stayed aboard until Baits Bite lock after which I walked the dogs along the river to where we were planning to moor.

Moored at Clayhithe in the sunshine.
Yarwood with NB Matilda Rose behind us

Sunday 25 November 2012

Zomerland coming to grief

Dutch barge (Tjalk) Zomerland came to grief last night slipping her moorings - or having her mooring slipped by some miscreant, who knows -  above Jesus Lock in Cambridge and finding herself held against the weir barrage by the strong stream.

 When I came past a couple of boaters were valiantly trying to get a line to the bank and haul her to safety.

It was a VERY lively night with Himself getting up twice during the dark hours to secure something clattering on Yarwood's cabin top and then to check our lines.  The wind has lessened a bit today but the river levels are up though not on strong stream warning as yet.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Thinking of buying a boat?

If you a thinking of buying a boat, James and Amy, owners of Nb. Lucky Duck, are selling her and want the word out there in blogdom.  Here is the link to Lucky Duck's description and contact details for any enquiries.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

City living...Cambridge

We moved off towards Cambridge on Monday.  Enjoying rather agreeable weather  Jill and I decided to walk to Baits Bite lock with the four dogs and meet the two boats there.  However we had arrived at the lock some half an hour ahead of the boats so after a quick phone call to check, we left Graham and Joe to work the lock between them and we continued our walk into Cambridge.   We moored up on Midsummer Common immediately in front of fellow bloggers James and Amy's narrowboat, Lucky Duck.
Joe and I wandered up into town to pick up our forwarded mail from the Post Office (Post Restante service) and have a wee wander before calling it a day and settling in front of the fire aboard Yarwood.
Tuesday we were awake before cock-crow as the dedicated rowers of Cambridge were up and at it before first light...
and wanted everyone else to know!! 
With dog walking duties fulfilled in the morning the afternoon was spent going to the cinema to see the latest Bond film, Skyfall.  Joe, Graham and I went ( Jill giving it a miss) and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  In the evening we all joined Amy and James and went to the local pub for a drink where we were roped into a quiz night.  Much hilarity ensued and we ended the evening coming a creditable second and having a jolly good crack.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Road to Lode

After a grey and damp Saturday which saw the dogs walked early and the humans heading off into Waterbeach for a pint or two, Sunday arrived guilded in autumn sunshine.  Joggers and walkers were already out and about as Jill and I emerged from our respective boats and headed off to explore.  Jill had Memory Map loaded on her mobile phone but we hadn't gone far before we found we had 'walked off the map' on the phone so we were soon back to our normal state of being lost...
Ah well, never mind.
We continued onwards, walking the bank of Bottisham lode (lode - a man made drainage ditch/dyke) until we came to the edge of a habitation.    Not a clue where we were until we hauled up outside a church and found we were in the village of Lode...

Which takes it's name from,
you've guessed it,

Bottisham Lode

 Thatched cottages abound
 And in Mill Lane we find a working water mill, Lode Mill owned by the National Trust.

 Lode Water Mill
 A tree lined avenue - so unusual and welcome on the fens
Heading back to the boats on an almost deserted country lane

Saturday 17 November 2012

Upware to Bottisham

Having just enjoyed a couple of nights moored at Upware, outside The Five Miles from Anywhere Inn and connected to shore power, we moved off just after 9am yesterday morning.    The occasional access to shore power allows us to 'condition' the battery bank - as if I know what I am talking about???

 Moving off in a cold a misty morning
 Leaving the MR crew snoozing..
After an hour cruising we approached Bottisham lock and once through we moored on the Goba moorings just beyond where we were joined by Jill and Graham after an hour or so.
In the afternoon Jill and I and the four dogs set off to find some alternative ground to cover and came back through a stand of willows where some harvesting had been done.
 A typical fenland scene, a stand of coppiced willow

 I think this is a willow of bridge under construction??

Update - this morning we passed the chaps working on the bridge, along with the child labour.   They told me that they were Engineers and were working with the Woodland Trust and Cambridge University design engineers to build the willow structure.   - apparently the kids spend most of the rest of the week up a chimney..

Willow withy ready for use in the construction of the 'bridge'.
The usefulness of willow is interesting, with modern applications including willow being grown as biomass for use in electricity power generation.  The willow's growth rate is phenomenal and managed cropping makes it a super 'renewable' source of power apparently.

Friday 16 November 2012

Against animal cruelty?

If you are appalled by acts of animal cruelty you might like to take a minute to sign this petition to DEFRA about the use of bolt guns to destroy Greyhounds.  The petition is asking for DEFRA to ban the practise that allows an untrained, and apparently uncaring Greyhound owner, to use a bolt gun on their dog....
Truly unbelievable...

Here is the LINK to the petition

Joe blog post - Techie odds and ends

First off, odds one,  many thanks to MSC Boat Products.  The ammeter on the 12 volt panel failed and when I contacted MSC they were very helpful and a replacement was provided free of charge when the original unit could not be repaired.

Odds two.
The old Francis type searchlight we have on Yarwood looks really good but it is not an ideal tunnel light as it does not spread much light  nor was it designed for a 12 volt system.   The only 12v E27 bulb I have found is an incandescent pearl 60w used in an inspection light.  I have managed sourced an E27 to GY6.35 adaptor which allows a 50w halogen capsule to be used, with the potential for higher wattage's available.   My most recent purchase is an LED which was listed as a 7w 120 SMD unit on ebog. This might not be any more effective than the halogen but for under a tenner including P&P I think its worth a try.

However, as there are no tunnels on the River Great Ouse I will have prance about on the tug deck on a really dark night to do a comparison.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Oooos and Arrrrrs in Ely

We went to Specsavers in Ely and got our tickets for the Ely firework spectacle last Saturday where we joined the thousands that had gathered to watch the display in the Cathedral grounds.   Though late starting, because the organisers were delaying the start in order to allow latecomers in, once it got going the pyrotechnic extravaganza was a credit to the organisers and the city of Ely.


And Wow again..
After the fireworks we just managed to blag a table for four in a local curry house; all those extra visitors were busy filling up the restaurants of Ely who were doing a roaring trade.