Friday, July 13, 2018

Treasure Trail

The weather being what it was - and it was actually a bit cooler than yesterday - Grace and I took the opportunity at last to do the Foxton Locks and Village Treasure Trail.

This is one of over a thousand guided explorations of villages, towns and cities around the UK. This one was a Christmas present from Naomi and Eddie, and they got one for themselves that focusses on St Albans. They've already completed that, and we're looking forward to doing it while we're back there over the next few weeks.

The Foxton one was great fun. There were twenty clues to find and questions to answer, and it wasn't all easy, though the degree of difficulty isn't nearly as important as the enjoyment of the search. Though we know the locks well, the Trail still showed us things we'd not seen before, and taught us things we didn't know. And we'd never been in the village before, so that was all new to us. We recommend it highly!

Map of  Foxton Locks, the first thing we had to find and study

Bridge 60 at the top of the locks

Bottom Lock

This weather-vane was very well hidden

Outside the Foxton Locks Inn

Going up the Market Harborough Arm

Into Foxton Village

The Village Hall

 "Chiens lunatiques"!

A quiet place to rest in the shade

St Andrew's Church, Foxton

Footpath back to the locks

Parts of the old mechanism from the inclined plane

Looking up the plane as it is now...

...and down it to the canal

How it was the day it was opened (photo from

The centre pound - passing place!

The stop gate in the arm to the top of the inclined plane

And back to Kantara!

After a light lunch, we descended the locks and made our way out of Foxton to nearby Debdale Wharf, where we are now for the next couple of days.

The weather today is in very sharp contrast to how it was the first time we moored here, five years ago!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

We're on our way...

Okay, okay! If you're reading this, Val Poore, I know I once said that my favourite season is the one I'm in at the time. And I know I probably said something very similar about the weather, but I have to fess up now and say that this "hot spell" is just too much.

I sympathise with the fridge. It just can't get cool enough, and it's running its pump continuously. Which is where the similarity ends actually, because I simply don't have the energy to keep active! I'm really aggrieved that I've not been able to do the regular walks I'd been enjoying so much. Sunday, however, was exceptionally cool. The temperature was only 28°, and a decent breeze made it feel cooler still, so I took advantage of that, and walked for almost two hours, a circuit via Crick. I didn't take many photos because I was concentrating too hard on a podcast in my ears.

I arrived back at the marina to see Grace still working on the second Roses & Castles panel. She was in the shade on that side of the boat, and was intent on completing it very soon.

And in fact it wasn't long after that that the final stamens were added to the roses, and the job was done!

Kantara is complete!

I spent a while on Twitter the next day quite unintentionally convincing fellow Tweeps that I'd lost my marbles. The thing is that I was convinced I'd seen an eagle. It wasn't far away, and it stayed in sight for several minutes, wheeling and soaring, and I do know what an eagle looks like. Warwick Castle isn't far from Yelvertoft as the eagle flies, and I knew that they'd had eagles fly away from their display team. When I learned that Stan had been recaptured in 2012, and Nikita was back, too, I had to cast some doubt upon my sighting. Google could find no more escapes. Though it has to be said that if anyone who had an eagle illeagley lost it, they wouldn't be in a good position to report it missing.

Regardless, I did see an eagle. A bit of research led me to believe it was a Sea Eagle (aka White-tailed Eagle). The photo from Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, who report that the bird is making something of a resurgence in parts of the UK.

We're now on our way to Debdale Wharf for the zinc-spraying of the hull. We left the marina on Tuesday, stopping in the early afternoon at Bridge 27, where I finally got round to having a wander through the woods, then at Welford Junction (see how dry the grass is on the bank!), and this afternoon at Foxton Locks. Tomorrow, we'll do the short trip to Debdale, and we'll leave Kantara there on Sunday morning. She comes out of the water on Monday morning, and work commences. We'll head for the house, where work will also commence - decorating! Whoopee!!