Monday, September 21, 2020

Braunston was busy...

Wednesday morning graced us with a warm, sunny sky, and we set off down to the junction and turned west towards Braunston. We'd been passed by very few boats in either direction, so we anticipated an uninterrupted journey through Braunston Tunnel and down the locks.

It wasn't quite like that, though, but never mind. It was a lovely day, we shared the locks with friendly folk on NB King's Gambit, and the hold-ups did nothing to take the smiles off our faces. 

We'd been asked to moor as close to AJ Canopies' base as we could, but Braunston was busy - it usually is - and we finally found a mooring quite a distance from ideal, right down by Braunston Turn, opposite The Boathouse restaurant.

I called AJ to tell them where we were, and one of their team arrived soon after. He did a great job on our cratch cover, and left within an hour. Grace went out for a stroll, to recce our winding at the junction the next morning, Business done, we'll go back to the marina now.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

"The poor old thing needs a wash."

It took me a few seconds of arm-pit sniffing, and an "Uh?" to Grace to make me realise she wasn't talking about me. We were part-way up Watford Locks, moored at the side of the pond above the second lock, waiting for a succession of  boats to pass on their way down.

It was Kantara she was talking about, and she wasn't wrong. I disguised my deep sigh by sniffing my armpits again. Washing our sixty-foot home doesn't come in my top fifty "really cool things to do on a narrowboat."

We were on our way down to Braunston, home of AJ Canopies with whom we've booked for them to replace several broken press-fasteners on our cratch cover.

We set out on Tuesday morning. The weather was summertime, and the living was easy. There were even fish jumping for the sake of those of us who know the song.

It's a long story involving a flight to Reykjavik, a potential drug mule and a knitted mouse, so I won't bore you with it here. Suffice it to say that we had Fluffy on board. It wouldn't be wrong to say he's seen better days, but he'd never seen one like this before.

The wait at the top of Watford Locks was far shorter that we'd expected. They've been extremely busy recently.

We moored in the early afternoon just up from Norton Junction. We were in no hurry. AJ Canopies were expecting us to be with them late afternoon on Wednesday.

I've lost count of the number of times we've moored opposite this ancient British Waterways works butty, or the two a little further down.

It's a very popular stretch of mooring, so we were lucky to get a space.


Tuesday, September 08, 2020

If the level gets to 100%, will we have to swim?

It's been warm and very wet outside, and equally warm inside, with the hygrometer showing the water content of the air as 82%! If the level gets to 100%, will we have to swim? 

What's 100% humidity like? I don't think I want to find out. This little guy knows full well.

When I have nothing to say, I turn to photos to tell their own part of  our story.

Mum and Dad swan are preparing their offspring to fend for themselves, and the family are to be seen often now with adults and juveniles some distance apart. Though here, they're quite close.

The parents took no action, in fact pretty much ignored the one on the right, when it hissed and spat at me for walking too close.

I end on a cloudy note. Clouds play a huge part in our story.


Thursday, September 03, 2020

This post is rather random, isn't it? Our life's a bit like that at the moment.

The marina was quite busy over the Bank Holiday weekend, with lots of craft on the move; largely non-residents paying a brief visit to their boats and taking them out for a spin, I think. We didn't venture out, though. We were committed to going back to the house on Monday - and trying to avoid the holiday home-going traffic - in order to take Jess to Luton airport at 4:30 am on Wednesday to board a flight to a three-month stay in Iceland.

Those days when the weather wasn't so good, the sunsets rewarded us for putting up with it.

Lindsey Ann and AtLast have both left their berths now, and once again our view from Kantara has widened, this time even more than before. We can now see "To infinity and beyond!" (Toy Story) (What do you mean, you haven't seen Toy Story??)

I picked up this poem from Facebook. We know Glascote Locks, and remember the slowness of the lock-filling process as we ascended the pair. This made us chuckle.

This post has become rather random, hasn't it? But I'll keep going. Our life's a bit like that at the moment. Random.

Our replacement burgee has arrived. Now all we need is the arrival of  weather that's consistently decent over a period of days; then we can go out on another paint touching-up trip and test it.

Why is it that we only see skies this friendly in the evening at the moment?

These ducks were rather alarmed to see me lying down and pointing my camera at them.

These wonderful fungi have popped up all over the place again, just like last year. I posted this photo in a few boaters' groups on Facebook, asking if anyone knew what they are. I mentioned that I hoped they were edible. I wish I hadn't now. It caused some controversy! A lot of readers mistook "Does anyone know what these are?" for "Can I eat these"? Okay, I did say that I hoped they might be a tasty addition to a plate of bacon, eggs and tomato, but I added to that "but I bet they aren't".

They're rather beautiful though, don't you think?

Back at the house on Monday afternoon - the M1 traffic was much better than I had anticipated - I found the garden looking fabulous. Well, fabulous in places, anyway...

And then came this morning - Wednesday. We drove Jess to the airport, and as I write she's settled in to the Reykjavik hotel room in which she is quarantining for a week, after which she'll move to other accommodation for the rest of her stay. The virus test she took as soon as she arrived in the town came up negative, but she has to take another one in a few days' time before she can go to work.

Jess has recently qualified as a copy-writer, and taken up an internship in an English-speaking magazine, Grapevine, and they've already given her assignments to do during her quarantine. Unsurprisingly, she's very excited about it all. After her quarantine week, she'll be in the Grapevine office full-time - though she'll be out and about a fair bit, too, finding material to write about. I'm not in the least bit jealous, I tell myself.

Meanwhile, it's pouring with rain here.