Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Hanging around

We are currently moored on 14 day moorings between Market Harborough and Foxton,  awaiting weekend visitors.  Like everybody else we are dodging rain/storm/showers and humid conditions, but hey, so what, we have had a great summer so far so a little rain is more than acceptable surely?

Setting off towards the pub, Bridge 61, and a welcome lunchtime pint.  (Kath, I tried Inclined Plain and thought it was very pleasant)
 The plain and simple interior of boaters pub, Bridge 61.  In winter that fire is roaring and the place is usually packed with boaters and their mutts.
 Bridge 61 and the Foxton Trip boat
 Out dog walking in the afternoon
Not a clue, but very pretty and very busy hence the blur..

Sunday 28 July 2013

Tesco delivers and we leave MH

Mr Tesco turned up yesterday a bit delayed, but we had been texted to inform us of the hold up and then a bit lost, I had give him final directions to Union Wharf, but he made it and we proceeded to unload the provisions and hand-ball them over the railings to the boat. 
Hasn't life got a lot more convenient for boaters since the advent of the Internet? Banking, shopping,d deliveries, bus and train times, travel tickets, contact with family and friends all made so much easier now days.
 Mr Tesco arrives
 The dogs guarding the groceries wine
As soon as we had the food loaded and put away we said a farewells and slipped out of the basin.  Water, refuse and cassettes had all been taken care of before the food delivery so there was no delay.

 Another glorious sunny day and we were not going far - all of a mile, before mooring up and setting the TV for the F1 qualifying later that afternoon.  I took the dogs off for a walk across country to the village of Lubenham and by the time we got back the humidity had gone through the roof, a sure sign that the weather was about to break and break it did!  The sky darkened, the thunder rolled in and the heavens opened.  I loved watching the rain bounce up from the surface of the water and beat on the cabin top but I felt aggrieved for the poor ponies tethered on land across the cut and unable to move to seek any shelter at all.

 Moored up

 Up and on the move by 8.30 this morning we are only heading as far as Foxton, some three/four miles away but as it happened I spotted a likely mooring with gap in the hedge for TV signal just short of Foxton village and here we have moored.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Snakes in the....

Grass snake taking a swim across the cut....looking for his/her lunch of frogs and toads

Harborough stay

We have stayed in the Union Basin at Market Harborough for the last two nights, plugged in to shore power AND water.   I spoke yesterday to Caroline, one half of the husband and wife team that manage the basin and the hire fleet here, and asked if they would consent to Yarwood having a Tesco delivery here; no problem, so we are awaiting our delivery this morning, getting ALL the laundry up to date and then we will be off.

 Reflections of the very sympathetic 90's development in the basin
 Going continental and just sitting beside the wharf enjoying a beer and a dish of olives.
I was a bit concerned that a bar/restaurant in the basin would bring with it noise and drink fuelled idiots but I found that I managed to keep myself in check, didn't get too drink fuelled and hid the idiocy rather well...  Seriously, no disturbance at all and a requirement to clear the outside tables by 10.30pm because essentially this is a residential area.

The cupboard was bare when we came into Union Basin, the plan being to stock up with food when we were here but we have been lazy and taken advantage on being close to a town.  Thursday evening we wandering into town and had a curry and last night we again walked in but this time for an pizza (Joe) and a salad (me). 
During the day we had both independently gone walk-about .  Joe found a barbers and was shawn and I found the Joules shop and bought things!   I also found Frank Gilbert's wonderful emporium see below..

 And the inside is just as crammed and just as enticing...wonderful shop!
 The grammar school as was, and a signature of the town right in the heart next to the church of St. Dionysus's
St Dionysus's church tower and spire

Thursday 25 July 2013

Destination Market Harborough

Yarwood approaching Debdale Wharf
We left our mooring this morning at about 10.30 and headed south towards Debdale Wharf where we topped up our Gerry cans with diesel (86.85p per litre), emptied the cassettes and continued on towards Foxton.  We were going to stop for water but all the moorings with access to water were occupied so we carried on through the two swing bridges on the Market Harborough Arm, destination Union Basin Market Harborough.

 The sun has got his hat on again and the canal is looking rather splendid don't you think

 Foxton swing bridge
 Fungi on an oak
 The waters of the MH arm are very clear and edged with water lilies, meadow sweet and rosebay willow herb and the butterflies are busy, busy, busy.  What a lovely walk today, all eight and half miles!

 Union Basin Market Harborough
 Joe winding Yarwood using the prevailing breeze and me as an anchor point...it looked very convincing and competent I might add.  I am going to hire myself as a professional 'anchor point'..
Moored up, £10 fee paid, shore power connected and a visit to a restaurant planned.

Feeders and plugs and reserves

Leaving Joe playing with masking tape, paint and rollers Wednesday afternoon I took myself and the dogs off to explore.  First task as we headed north along the canal towpath was to find a spot where the dogs could access the cooling waters of the canal.  The dogs usually find 'the spot' and stand chest-deep in water waiting for, and expecting me, to find 'the stick'.  Once found, the fun begins with Fletcher out pacing Floyd in the swimming races and Floyd out dunking Fletcher in the 'let-me-have- that-stick-or-I-will-drown-you games.  Meantime I get soaked and have heart failure wondering if Fletcher is going to survive the latest tussle.

When the dogs were sufficiently cooled down we progressed along the towpath passing a feeder stream to the left of the canal and then finding a discreetly hidden style a little further along on the right (towpath side) where we crossed a fence on to a path that descended below the canal.

 Feeder stream enters canal on the left bank

At the bottom of the track is a tunnel beneath the canal bed which will take is across a series of fields toward the high ground of Saddington Reservoir.  Fortunately the cattle had vacated the pastures we had to cross - cows with calves at their sides are not a good mix with dogs.  The cattle are quite likely to ignore you but they definitely do NOT ignore the presence of dogs.

 I spotted this marker post in the field below the canal, G J C, Grand JUNCTION Canal the original name of what is now known as the Grand UNION canal.
 Approaching the embankment of the Saddington Reservoir I passed this...a big bath plug lives in here?

 Saddington Reservoir.  Built between 1793 and 1797 to provide water for the Grand Junction canal and covering about sixty acres.  Excavated in a natural hollow with its northern end banked it is fed by Saddington Brook.

 The dogs checking out the embankment at the northern end of the reservoir

 Retracing our steps we pass this overflow from the canal above us
Back through the tunnel beneath the canal

Yes, that's the way over the style and back up to the canal. 
All in all a pleasant two hour walk, more swimming for the dogs on the way back to the boat and then a cuppa and a read in the shade of an ash tree for me.

Going down....75feet

At 10.30am on Tuesday I got a text message from friend and stalker Amanda to say that they were at the bottom of the Foxton flight of locks and would REALLY, REALLY like to help us lock down... Looking out of the porthole I could see the rain bouncing off of the cut!!   She can't be serious can she, move in the rain, whatever next?   
By 11.30 the rain was not bouncing quite as high so we donned some wet gear and headed off towards Foxton summit to fill with water and descend the 75ft to the bottom.  As we arrived the rain stopped, hooray, and the sun came out, double hoorays all round.
Boats coming up the flight meant we waited about an hour but we all, we had been joined by the intrepid lock wheelers David and Amanda by now, we all, had a cuppa and a bit of Foxton Cafe fruitcake while we waited our turn.

 And we are off
 The flight was heaving with gongoozlers and we any number of little children 'pressed' into action helping to push open gates and wind paddles...chimney's next my lovelies!
 I think she is chatting up the Lockie here..

 David can't remember where he has put his windlass...
No, it is not in your pockets..
At the bottom of the flight we moored up behind Nb What a Lark and dragged David and Amanda into Bridge 61 to sample the ambiance and delights of a real boaters pub.  I am also pleased to report that Amanda is beginning to develop a discerning palette for real ale...She prefers Lion to Bridge 61 for instance so who knows, next year we could find she has joined CAMRA..
 The next thing was to press David into giving Yarwood a spin.
 Off he goes and apparently the experience was Ok David reporting that Yarwood kept a straight course and was quite responsive. 
 Yarwood has turned (winded) and What a Lark is about to and there is a bit of macho banter going on here.
 A farewell photo..
Next morning and it was time for David and Amanda to return Nb What a Lark to her berth and head back home to their working lives.

Until we see them again..take care