Monday, 31 January 2011

Another cold morning.

A really frosty morning and an early morning perambulation, with the frost on it the countryside takes on a numinous quality,

like an illustration for a childhood fantasy,

could this be an Ent lurking on the golf course?

The mundane becomes beautiful.
But already



and daffodils are heralding the turn of the seasons.
Unfortunately the barbers was shut today so my silvery locks have survived and I had to go and sit in the Red Lion while Jill had her hair done; and lovely it looks.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


Sunday, full English Breakfast and then feet up. Anyone who has a dog will know that that is not allowed, so we donned walking boots and set off up the towing path, Ashby mud is of a particularly clinging consistency but the Leicestershire countryside is pure English,

with that wonderful mix of hedges,

fields and farms. Narrowboaters have all the best bits to themselves, how selfish.

I found the spare battery, it was in the camera bag, silly place to put it; so lambs tails.

After about twenty minutes old fatty went on strike, she'd had enough and as I had no intention of carrying her we dragged back to the boat.
Tomorrow Jill is having her hair done, noises are being made about the state of my barnet as well, looks like the Barber of Bosworth could have another customer.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Dawn, Market Bosworth.

Dawn at Market Bosworth, a beautiful clear, crisp morning. After the weather forecast I was expecting to find the hedgerows clinquant with frost but no sign,

just a skim of ice on the cut

and the early morning chaos of the local rookery where the birds are busily preparing for the breeding season. The local ducks are also pairing, or tripling, up for nesting, fights between drakes are breaking out, usually with the duck egging them on. Sorry, pun unintentional. I suppose I could mention feathers really flying but that would be a pun too far even for me.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Plague, spring and something else.

After surviving all that time in close contact with humanity without ill effect I now have a stinking cold, (It's really man flu' but I'm too brave to give in).
Looking at the weather forecast, bless the Met. Office, we decided to move on to Market Bosworth just in case. On the way up the lambs tail catkins were out in full force, SPRING! Apart from the freezing temperatures that is. Needless to say the camera battery went flat and I couldn't remember where I'd put the spare; look, there is nothing wrong with my memory, I remember things perfectly, I just can't always recall what I've remembered. Now where was I? That's why there are no piccies today!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

With one mighty bound he was free.

It may look just like any other bit of canal under louring January skies but to me at the moment it is the most beautiful length of cut on the system, because we are moored on it.
This morning we returned the hire car and then it was back to the boat and slip and proceed, at last we have crept out of the marina and not even the wind and the steady rain could add a touch of dolour to our departure.
Many thanks to Lee and Co., if you're going to get stuck in a marina there are many worse than Trinity but oh how good it is to look out again at fields, hedges and an infernally muddy towpath.
We have only seen one other boat moving today, perhaps the weather is deterring them. I think we'll have a day or two here, just to get used to wide horizons.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Plymouth with warships

My goodness, what fun,

erecting a bird feeder station (de-luxe) in the back garden of Natalie's house.

"Leg it, he's got a hammer!
It went up eventually but no one bothered to take a photo' of the finished article.

The wonder of discovering a tiny money spider spinning a web, it kept them enthralled for a good ten minutes.
In the afternoon we took a stroll on Plymouth Hoe.
Tinside Lido, it cost a fortune to refurbish and run and no one uses it, good scheme.

Smeatons Tower, I knew someone who dropped from the balcony for a bet, he broke a leg and won a fiver, well it's all a matter of your point of view but he was happy.

Drake, the bowling green is just behind him, honest.

I can't remember the last time I saw so many Grey Funnel Line in the
Sound, here's a couple of rather hazy shots to prove that the Andrew is alive and well, if somewhat depleted.
Tommy Shaw, welcome aboard, you'll love it, my apologies for denigrating the Viva, it was meant in a light hearted way.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Especially for Anon.

Arrived safely at Plymouth, medical scan proved that I'm going to live for ever and I bought a new pair of trousers at Matalans. That's about it at the moment, we're living life on the edge as usual.

Well here it is, just for Anon. who, a while back, asked for a picture of the rear of the restored Viva at Hinckley, I have no idea why anyone would want a rear view of a Viva but I'm an obliging sort so here it is, twice. Please note that some of the chrome trim is missing, oh Lord, I'm turning into an anorak.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Privatisation by any other name!

Still stuck in the marina, really thoroughly fed up now. Trip to Plymouth this week and then, all being well, we will be off on our wanderings again, roll on the day.
Our neighbours on the pontoon took us out to a Ghurka restaurant, absolutely brilliant, if you're ever in Hinckley give it a try, it's up the top of Castle Street. Thank you Derek and Sally off Salpender, will certainly try any others we come across.
I see the Shroppie is closed above Tyrely locks due to a rock slide, it appears that it is going to be a long job as they think the cutting face will need stablising after the cut is cleared. More expense for B.W. and probably another bad year for businesses along there. Woe, woe and thrice woe, B.W. heads for the third sector anademed with vast expenses. I worry about where the cash will come from to maintain the system, can anyone see cyclists coughing up cash to hurtle along the towpath or anglers shelling out more than the pittance that they currently contribute? What chance local councils fronting up for the canals that go through their patches, the square route of b****r all at a guess. Nevertheless we will wander down the primrose path of, not quite, privatisation, like Little Red Riding Hood going to Grandma's house.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A puzzle and a rare sighting.

To break the monotony, yesterday, we walked up to Morrisons instead of Tescos, it's a good couple of miles from here so it stretched long under exercised muscles, we then made a circle of it by returning via the town. Just opposite Morrisons is this place, complete with obviously faux windmill.

We have a problem with this pub/eatery, why is it called the MILEstone when the theme is so obviously windmill? Jill's theory is that it was supposed to be called the MILLstone but when they ordered the signs the sign makers misread the order and by the time anyone realised the signs were in place and it was easier to let it remain the Milestone, I can only go along with that.

As we walked alongside the A447 up towards Morrisons we came across the first glimmer of the spring to come, frangible as cobweb but nevertheless still there, catkins ready to open and spray out their pollen into the warm air we are all waiting for.

Is this a first ever sighting? It was a chap actually cleaning road signs, soapy water and long brush in evidence, although the finished results were not overly impressive at least the effort was made!
Anyone who remembers my earlier post about the problems of replacing batteries in a boat whose fitout is not the most carefully thought through will be pleased to hear that my autoschediastical floor support is still holding up, although what will happen once we start moving is still open to discussion.
For anyone who is fed up with my sesquipedalianism I can only apologise. Get out of that one Cairstine!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Monitoring the Ashby

At last, this is the sloes hanging up in a jelly bag to extract the last drop of gin, we now have two bottles of ruby nectar, another week or two and consumption will begin, aahh, bliss.

You never know what will sail past on the Ashby, it appears to be a monitor but not a Roberts class as the gun turret is mounted too high. Just showing off, H.M.S. Roberts was up the creek at Devonport when I joined the navy, she was the last ship with 15" guns in the R.N. and was pointed out to us trainees, that is my total knowledge of monitors.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

How time flies.

I wasn't going to do a post today but after visiting Tescos I felt compelled. Sitting on one of their shelves was:-
Enough said.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Another bit of Hinckley.

Yesterday, in need of exercise, we set off to walk into town but then Lee, marina manager, offered us a lift, which, shamefully, we accepted, so much for exercise.
We had never explored Hinckley Castle or the interior of the church so we found our way around the council offices into what proved to be an intriguing little park dominated by

the church and bandstand, which was actually playing music, as though the ghosts of long dead musicians were still trying to attract an audience, spooky.

Also the remains of the motte and bailey and the moat of Hinckley Castle, built just after the Norman invasion and abandoned by the 13th C. (I read the little plaques they put up.)
The top of the motte now houses the town war memorial.

Wildlife abounds, I'm quite proud of the blackbird.

The parish church stands amidst the leaning memorials to local inhabitants, some date to the early 18th C. and all are carved from slate, the inscriptions as crisp now as the day they were cut.

Couldn't resist this one, you just don't get names like that anymore.

Graffiti belongs to all ages, the modern stuff was totally uninteresting.

The interior of the church boasts a thriving coffee shop, a second hand book stall and a positive swarm of vacuum cleaners being wielded by the holy dusters.
We did walk back to the boat, unfortunately via Subway so all calories used replaced.
This morning it snowed.
Now it's raining, tomorrow?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Moan, moan, moan.

Well most of the ice has gone and it is now blowing a gale and raining, this winter is certainly giving us a fair selection of weather, any bets on a plague of locusts at some time?
As I have to go down to Plymouth later in the month the decision has been taken that we will remain here until after that, joy and happiness, stuck here for another fortnight and as the marina is not organised along eleemosynary lines it is costing us shillings numerous, will have to hire another car, money, money, money and me a poor old pensioner, did I not mention the rise in V.A.T? It'll be going round with the begging bowl soon.
I do enjoy a good old moan, it means I fit right in with some of the miserable old gits I keep bumping into.
If any of you find weird long words occasionally used in the blog don't get confused, my eldest daughter sends them to me and challenges me to fit them in, adds a challenge to blogging!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Back Home.

After new year at father's we came home yesterday via the M40, sighted about twenty red kites along the way. Then the A423, the Oxford was clear at Banbury but still iced at Fenny Compton and the G.U. was frozen at Long Itchington when we crossed it. Needless to say the Ashby is still solid although the ice in the marina is thinning slightly.
Much as we had a brilliant time away we were so glad to get back on board, get the fire going and settle down in our own little world.
Got to go back to Plymouth later this month as I have been booked in for some scan at the local hospital, as we are still registered with our Plymouth doctor everything happens down there. Nobody asked if I wanted this scan and I'm not even sure what it is but Jill says I'm going so I'm going. It will probably tell me I'm ageing, overweight and alcohol sodden, that'll be a surprise then.
This is an expensive time of year, Xmas, boat licence, insurance all come at once, nowt in the bank account but an echo, oh well, Jill says I need to lose weight, at least my wallet's a sight lighter!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Well that was 2010, 2011 looks very similar at the moment.
Happy New Year to everybody who stumbles across my humble drivellings.