Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Friday 13 December 2013

Whiling away winter

Whiling away the winter days doing not very much really.  Most of the pre-Christmas prepping has now been done, just a couple more things to get and wrap and then we will be off to Essex next week for our family festivities.  This coming weekend we are heading to Lincolnshire for a couple of days, staying with friends Val and Alan; I have just washed the dog bedding so the Mutts don't give any cause for complaint from our hosts.....

Joe took himself into Leicester yesterday by train, a twelve minute journey from Harborough, and I took the dogs out towards Corby and East Carlton Country Park - a change from the towpath.

 A view across Northamptonshire from East Carlton.

 The bridleway that runs along the park boundary
 Opposite the church I came across a couple of paddocks with reindeer grazing
 Not sure which one this is but not Rudolph as the nose was definitely not red
Today, Friday, Joe and I went over to Debdale Marina to check on Nb. What a Lark on behalf of David and Lisa and I had a wander around the Foxton lock flight. The work has been completed and the flight is slowly being re-watered.
 Site fencing now removed
 Side pounds being refilled
 C&RT have tidied up this side pound, it was semi-full of rubble, and are now starting to fill it with water

 By Sunday the flight will be fully operational I would think
 I met this fine beast as I approached Debdale, a Kune Kune pig I think? I stopped and offered a back and ear scratch which was met with grunts of appreciation from my piggy friend -  Fletcher and Floyd were less impressed by solicitude .

A happy porker

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Ahead of the game.....for a change

We were out celebrating yet another Boater's birthday last night so 'fast day' was abandoned pretty promptly I am afraid as we trooped off into Town with our fellow winter moorers to raise a glass to Ann of Nb. Jeanie Deans.  Today but we picked up the baton again.  We also tackled the Christmas shopping and headed off to Leicester to do the deed and two hours later we were heading back to the boat, job done.  Tomorrow I will get it all wrapped and I am so proud of myself, this from someone who has shopped for Christmas on Christmas Eve before now!  And, the initial food order from Tesco will be delivered to Mother tomorrow ahead of our Christmas with the Family in Essex.

Monday 9 December 2013

Social Whirling...

What a weekend!!    It started with David and Lisa of Nb. What a Lark and Amanda and David of no boat yet but planning one for the future, meeting Joe and I in Market Harborough for the late night Christmas shopping extravaganza.  The Town really puts on a show with live music, Morris dancing, street food and much more joining all the shops who keep there doors open.  The town was thronged and the pubs were heaving.
 Morris dancers entertaining the crowds
 A very seasonal visit from one of Santa's transport department - aka a Reindeer
 A Burrell steam roller - if I am correct these were built in Thetford Norfolk
 Amanda and Joe
With no chance of booking a restaurant, I tried, we settled for a burger on the hoof  before wandering into The Angel Hotel for a warming glass of mulled wine.
 Lisa, Amanda and Joe in The Angel
Saturday and we went shopping in Harborough and were wined and dined aboard What a Lark in the evening and on Sunday we took ourselves off to Leicester by train to see Leicester Tigers play against Montpelier.
 As a rugby virgin this was going to be first experience of a pro Rugby game
 Enjoying a pre-match lunch in Kayal a restaurant that specialises in southern Indian cuisine. L-R Lisa, David L, Me, Amanda and David C.  Joe stayed on the boat with the dogs as we were going to be away too long to leave them home alone.

 Pre match we have the Tiger mascot with the little tiger cubs on the pitch.  Music was playing and crowds were filling the stands.

 Massive cheers and applause for the home team, here enjoying a pre-match group hug
 Slightly less enthusiasm for the opposition group embrace
 Action ! Montpelier have just been squished - this is new matchplay language

I loved it!  I loved the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the crowd.  I was so impressed by the complete lack of threat, no bad language at all and a complete mix of age groups and gender.  what a great experience!  Tigers took a very early lead and were soon a 24 to 6 before Montpelier pulled back.  The game ended in victory for Tigers, 42 to 32.
 Waiting for our train back to market Harborough l-r David C Amanda, Lisa and David L

 The last farewell to the Motley Crew, until next year...
Good night What a Lark!

Friday 6 December 2013

Leaf fall and brickwork

Market Harborough Arm, not water to wine but water to soup.
After Thursday's high winds the trees have been stripped of their leaves and now the canal is a leaf soup; colourful but tiresome if you are making your way through, the leaves gather around the prop.  I walked the dogs along the towpath to Foxton, somewhere to go something to do, and had a look at the progress being made on the lock flight.

The workmen were shimming the gates to reduce leakages and all the drained lock chambers have been inspected and repairs to brickwork made where required.  Look at the bridge base to the lock chamber.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Boater Birthday Bash

The winter moorers of Union Basin  were all out last night to help Gill of  Nb. Idunno celebrate her birthday.  We went to our usual venue, The Sugar Loaf where a table - read whole host of tables - had been reserved for thirteen of us.  For the more superstitious amongst us - definitely NOT me - someone added a Teddy Bear to the host bringing our number up to fourteen...

 The motley crew, Union Basin Winter Moorers

Gill, the birthday girl with CAKE!

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Where were we?...Ahh yes

Ahh yes, it's Friday and we have a visit from George, Carol and dog Molly of Nb. Rock and Roll.  We invited them across to check out Yarwood's fit out as they are using the same team to build their new boat as we had for Yarwood.  We were full of questions about the progress of the build and after sitting everyone down with a cup of tea and a slab of homemade bread pudding Joe and I set about the interrogation with alacrity.

 George trying to draft the layout of their new boat, ably assisted by Molly

 Molly answered the technical stuff...

 After hours of applying thumbscrews to our guests to extract information we decided we needed a respite and dragged ourselves off to find a dog friendly pub in Harborough and preferably one that did lunch as well: we took the guests with us of course.

 Unfortunately the pub we found didn't do food but did do dogs and suggested that we went and got ourselves a sandwich or takeout and come back to the pub to eat our lunch and have a pint...How very civilised!  Our host was Nick in The Kings Head and a jolly kind chap he was too.

 Heading back after lunch Carol and I dived into Gilbert's, hardware store/emporium extraordinaire where I  bought a galvanised pail for Yarwood's ash can emptying and Carol bought ceramic jugs to match her new crockery.
 Joe with new hand luggage and  Molly checking out why her Mum is striking this strange pose?
We walked the three dogs after lunch and then the rock and Rollers took their leave and we went back into town for the usual Friday night boaters get together at the Sugar Loaf.

Come Monday...
We took ourselves off the Mercia Marina to have a look at a widebeam boat.  And the reason?  We are intrigued by what the boat building industry is offering, or apparently offering, a V.A.T free widebeam if they are for residential use.   The new boat Brigantine, being marketed by The New and Used Boat Company, is such a boat and we went and had a look around and asked a myriad of questions about the tax position re HMRC and how this boat met the criteria to be  'a qualifying ship' under taxation rules.  The rules state that to qualify the vessel has to be 15gross metric tonnes this being a volume measurement.  To arrive at this the metric length is multiplied by the metric beam (width) and then by the metric depth to the deck and then by 0.16.  If you achieve a figure of 15gt or more and you are going to live aboard then your new build is Ex Vat. which if you are thinking of going this route could be very attractive.

 Brigantine, 60' in length, 12' 6" in beam
Cat swinging territory...

Tuesday 26 November 2013

That was the week that was...

You will have seen if you are readers of  the Still Rockin blog that Joe and  went to see Carol and George last Friday at their mooring in Droitwich Spa.   Their new boat is being built by the same team that built Yarwood,  Lambon Hull for the shell and Barn Owl Narrowboats for the fit-out so we were keen to see how things were progressing; we also wanted to hear about the whys and wherefores of their decision and what the future cruising plans would be.  What a great day it was and their new boat is already lovely to behold; just so spacious.
 L-R  Fletcher, George, Joe and Carol on top of Hartlebury Common overlooking Stourport 
Come Saturday we were expecting visitors aboard Yarwood, Joe's daughter Abby and her partner Wardy were coming to stay for the night and both dogs were eager to make them welcome - take advantage might be a better way of putting it...

Floyd taking full advantage of visitors, Wardy and daughter, Abby

Making himself even more comfortable - you will note that he is not a shy boy
On Saturday evening we wandered into Harborough and had a couple of drinks at the Sugar Loaf (our Boaters Friday Night watering hole) before heading for the local Thai restaurant and enjoying a lovely meal.   Sunday with a late cooked breakfast in side of us we drove our visitors down to Foxton to view the wonders of late 18th century civil engineering, i.e, the Foxton Lock Flight and the remains of the inclined plane.  A coffee ( Yes, a coffee, not a beer) at Bridge 61 to warm the cockles and then we returned to the boat and our weekend visitors escaped.  We watched the final 2013 F1 Grand Prix.
 Repair work on the Foxton flight, wrapped against frost
 Repairs to the brick work revealed the next day
 Repair detail

And, fanfare....
Tonight we erect the Christmas lights!!

There might be a few more...but it is a start

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Drained Locks

So following on from the saga of the failed/replaced water pump - my last post - Thursday was a haircut day for me followed by the  Friday Boaters Night Out at the Sugar Loaf pub in Harborough where the winter moorers of Union Basin have their weekly get together.  Come Saturday C&RT had opened the drained Foxton Lock flight to public viewing so we went along to have a look see.  There were two points of access to the emptied locks but the queues of people waiting to climb down the scaffolds into the locks were just too long for my short patience so the 'look see' was from a distance...

Looking down the drained and fenced off lock flight

All the side pound were drained
The culverts that feed the locks from the side pounds
The middle pound between the two flights of staircase locks - this be the lock entrance that catches many/most boaters out with the water flows slamming the bow into the entrance wall.

There were at least a dozen side fenders lying in the silt here

There were an awful lot of sightseers about all fascinated by spectacle of this bit of remarkable engineering.  Well done C&RT for allowing people to have a look. 
Having seen what I had come to see I walked the two dogs back to Harborough and Joe went off to Braunston to get the micro switch for the errant water pump.

And come Sunday we went into the town for a birthday lunch at the local Thai restaurant.  The buffet for £7.95 was excellent value and I am sure that we will be going back to sample more of their fare.