Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Lockdown day 65 - This green and pleasant land; a celebration of our canal countryside

...nicely splashed with a good helping of blue, dots of this and that from myriad flowers, and gold at the end of the day. Those of us who experience this every day are very privileged indeed.























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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lockdown day 62 - and I can't think of a title for this post.

The wind is dead. Long live the wind. Not that another one's with us yet. I slept last night without being shaken in the bed, and without the loud creaking timbers of the ancient galleon that I discovered yesterday was in fact The Pozzy, moored opposite us with her lines too tight, so that she creaks incessantly against her jetty whenever the wind is up.

This was the wind on the water two days ago,


and this is how it was today. Spot the difference.



The sky was awesome.



We had a visit yesterday from this little fellow.



It's a rubbish photo taken through the window, holding the camera with one hand that was also holding back the net curtain while the other one was holding a cup of coffee that had been on its way to my mouth. Not a good combination. Does anyone recognise the bird? The last time we saw one of these - it was actually two, but they were never close enough together for me to get a picture of both - we wondered if they were turnstones. Yes? No?


That's a pretty poor photo, too, but I expect it was taken through the window, holding the camera with one hand that was also holding back the net curtain while the other one was holding a cup of coffee that had been on its way to my mouth. It happens. Can any of you identify it with any degree of conviction?

One of the things brought to us from the house by Steve a while back was my favourite guitar. I hadn't played it for months, and it was like welcoming back an old friend
I celebrated by burning a CD (labelled "Guitar Fun") of  a lot of my favourite guitar-led music, retiring to the bedroom and playing both CD and guitar at high volume; one of the advantages of having no near neighbours! The disadvantage was the very sore left-hand fingers and the unforgiving cramp in the wrist.

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Friday, May 22, 2020

Lockdown day 60 - Just observations

I've discovered that Sunday at around 10:00am is the best time to go shopping at the local Co-op.  The parking space in front of the shop was entirely empty, there was no queue, and never more than four people in the shop at any time. I wore a mask for the first time, but it almost felt obsolete.

Grace has made two masks; one like this, but with the addition of a very effective bendy bit (very technical!) over the bridge of the nose,


and one like this, made out of a t-shirt of mine, and providing four thicknesses of fabric over the nose and mouth.


Swan update...


The cygnets are growing very fast.




(The nasturtiums have suddenly shot up, too!)

We'd been hoping that the parents would get round to showing them the weed that grows at the waterline all around Kantara, but it took them a while to register this.



(Oh, good grief, look at that paintwork! It'll be tidied up as soon as we can move.)


Then, lo and behold, they came again, this time to give it a proper try.





It's supposed to be very nutritious, and I'm sure it's a better diet than the bread they get fed with at other boats. It's not detrimental to the boat in any way, and it'll break off in a few weeks of cruising, but I find it very annoying at the moment.

During my coffee routines over the past few days, I've been fortunate to see a kingfisher flying from boat to boat opposite me, perching on a tiller or taff-rail for a few moments before moving on. The photo's not mine (I wish!)

Sorry, whoever, but I really have no idea where I got this photo from!
Shortly after the kingfisher finally disappeared, I watched in amazement as a crow made three attempts to fly low and slow over the water, apparently to pick something up with his talons. He failed, but what was he after? Fish?

Then there was the comedy of a mallard trying to land on NB Charlton's solar panels, angled at about 45 degrees. He slithered off backwards, but managed to gain some kind of purchase, which involved a great deal of wing flapping and foot scrabbling, but failed finally. As he slipped back down the glassy slope again, he tried hooking his beak over the top of the panel, and this worked for a few seconds, inasmuch as he stopped sliding off. But getting to the peak of his summit meant having to let go of his anchorage, and this meant... he simply fell right off in a most ungainly fashion. I can't swear that the noise made at that moment by other ducks actually was laughter, but it certainly sounded like it.

(If you're a boater who's been disturbed by a laughing duck at silly o'clock in the morning, it's a sound you hate!)

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lockdown day 59 - Revisit this day, May 18th 2014

How we'd love to be doing this simple, well-travelled journey down the Grand Union today!

We were on our way down to Stoke Bruerne, where we were to meet our friend Michelle and take her onward with us for a week's holiday.












But the matter of when we might be able to cruise again is still very uncertain. We're happy, though, very thankful to be here. There are many people far worse off than us at the moment.

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