Friday, March 11, 2016

Out and about

Val Poore (VallyPee) commented on my last post that her weather in Rotterdam has become warmer and sunnier, and "we are emerging from our holds and doing boat stuff. Lovely!", and it's been like that here today, too. People are out and about where they had been staying in because the weather was just far too cold and dreary. But today, folk have been cleaning and polishing their boats, taking their dogs on extra-long walks, standing around chatting together. A few boats have gone out for a weekender; Foxton, Welford, Market Harborough. We'd have done the same, but we're happy to be here doing a few jobs towards being ready to set out for the Lee and Stort Navigations.

The weather was fine when we got back on Monday, too. Terns screeched at trespassing gulls, swans floated stationary in the middle of the pound, a kingfisher sat on a pontoon post and watched blue tits and great tits feeding at a nearby bird-table. Reed Warblers warbled in the reeds, and the Buntings... bunted nearby.

But Tuesday was very different, and birds and humans alike retreated from the cold, overcast gloom. The swans abandoned the water to graze on the marina banks, ducks sheltered from the wind under the pontoons. We found the warmth of the boat a good reason to stay in.

It rained on Tuesday night. It poured continuously, and we awoke to the drumming on the roof which signals "torrential". Turning over in bed, I noticed a distinct list to port, but I was comfortable where I was. I could deal with it later. We weren't sinking, there was no emergency. Then there was a hammering on the roof of Cream Cracker next to us, and Neil's voice calling out urgently to Darren. I got up and threw some clothes on, and hurried to the front of the boat. Neil was there before me, loosening our bow mooring rope. The water had risen no less than six inches overnight, and the rope - just like Cream Cracker's on one side of us, and Emma Jane on the other, and probably the ropes of most of the craft in the marina. We'd never seen the canal this deep; so deep that it was touching the bottom of the pontoon walkways, and our step/jump down out of the boat onto it was noticeably higher.

The rain continued through the day. Time to go to the cinema, to see "London's Fallen".
"After the death of the British prime minister, the world's most powerful leaders gather in London to pay their respects. Without warning, terrorists unleash a devastating attack that leaves the city in chaos and ruins. Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) springs into action to bring U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to safety. When Asher falls into the hands of the sinister organization, it's up to Banning to save his commander in chief from a horrible fate." (IMDB)
Action-packed, gripping, very entertaining. Built on the ludicrous premise that the leaders of the world's largest nations would all attend the funeral of the British PM. The Americans just don't get the idea of Prime Minister, do they? They think he's just a President who lives in a small house in a London backstreet.

Just before we left to go to the cinema, we heard the sound of several emergency vehicles speeding down nearby lanes, and wondered what the problem was. As we drove into the village, we found out. A normally small stream that runs through Yelvertoft had burst its banks, flooded a dip in the road to the depth of several inches, breached the doorways of a number of houses, and trapped some elderly folk who had to be rescued by raft. As did the staff and children of the primary school! Cars couldn't pass through the flood. One had already come to a halt part-way across it. Fire crews were at work attempting to pump the water away. We turned around and left the village via another route.
(Northampton Chronicle)
(Rugby Advertiser)
(Rugby Advertiser)
(Rugby Advertiser)
(Rugby Advertiser)
So off we went up the A5, only to find that a stretch of this road, too, was covered in inches of run-off from the fields. Not enough to stop traffic, but enough to slow to a crawl even the largest lorries. A flood in a dip in a country road forced us to cross it by putting the off-side wheels of the car up onto the pavement on the wrong side of the road, and drive through on a tilt. It was crazy!

Returning from the cinema, there were no problems. Even the Yelvertoft flood had subsided. It all went as quickly as it had arrived. Boats in the marina were back at their normal level. Very strange.

And today.... lovely again! I feel that cruise coming on soon!

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