Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Requiescat in pace

Various things have been keeping us very busy over the last week or so, and will continue to do so for a while longer.

Yesterday Jan's mum died at home, aged 91.

We shall miss her but are comforted in the knowledge that she is now with Jesus.

We are currently at the bungalow in Writtle with Jan's dad.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Triple parapet bridge

Someone a while ago wondered whether there were any more examples of a turnover bridge with attached roadway besides Bridge 95 on Braunston Puddle Banks. Last year I found one on the BCN (Spon Lane Bridge on the Old Main Line).

And here's another. Bridge 47 just north of Gayton Junction on the GU.

Not a good photo, but Milton Road crosses the canal on the same structure, meaning that between the two parapets is a third wall separating the road from the towpath as it is taken over the canal.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Any entomologists out there?

I found this insect while I was chopping logs this afternoon.

I tried to find out what it was, but it appears that there are a million known species of insect and a further five million species waiting to be discovered. It's probably something common, but my cursory glance at some pictures didn't help.

Here's another shot with my finger for scale.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Those Wilderness boats at Stoke Bruerne

A few people have mentioned seeing the little convoy of Wilderness boats heading south on the Grand Union. We saw them at Stoke Bruerne, tied up below the bottom lock, just over two weeks ago.

That's it, really. We should be back on the boat soon, so I'll be able to start posting more up-to-date fare. Until then I'll have to rake over old photos ...

Friday, 14 April 2017

Carrying the cross

Today, Good Friday, is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar, when we remember the death of Jesus on the cross. In our Norfolk village we carry a large wooden cross through the streets between the parish church and the Methodist church, alternating the direction each year. The walk is done at a slow pace and takes about half an hour.

We walk in silence - well, that's the idea, anyway. This year we ended at the Methodist church where we had a service followed by hot cross buns.

This is the first time we've been at home for Easter for a while. Over the last few years we've been at Tamworth/Polesworth, Nantwich and Market Harborough, all by boat.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Seeing Nutfield reminds me ...

As we passed through Blisworth two weeks ago there was Nutfield tied up. I was saddened recently to read of the death of someone closely associated with Raymond, the butty usually seen with Nutfield.

I first met Steve Miles at a book signing at a boat festival a few years ago, although I knew him only as Geoffrey Lewis, his pen name. Since then we exchanged greetings whenever our paths crossed, usually on the cut somewhere. He was always cheerful, friendly and ready to chat. Steve Miles made a big contribution to the waterways through the Northampton Branch of the IWA, the Friends of Raymond and the Buckingham Canal Society, being a past chairman of the last two organisations. He wrote detective stories and children's fiction, weaving in tales of the canals. Steve died on 9th November 2016, aged 69.

Mike Freeman has written an appreciation of Steve Miles on the Friends of Raymond website.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Lock against you with exit gates open? It's not always a lazy boater's fault

As we climbed Stoke Bruerne Locks a couple of weeks ago nearly every lock was against us, as I think I said at the time. Some locks' top gates are balanced such that they swing open when the lock is full. Lock 19 is one example.

Until I went to close up after Jan had steered Jubilee through I had thought that we were following a boater who couldn't be bothered to close the gates after leaving the lock. Then I shut one gate only to see the opposite one open by itself.

To empty the lock in this scenario you might think you need three crew - one on each top gate to hold it shut and one to raise paddles the other end. But all you have to do is crack open a bottom paddle a little and then walk to the errant top gate and close it. The slight flow of water out of the lock will tend to pull the gates to. Then the lock can be emptied as normal.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Picture perfect?

At the end of March we left our mooring at Thrupp Wharf Marina, saying goodbye to our neighbours Paul and Pam on Intrigue and to marina owners Roy and Val. The weather was breezy but sunny and warm for spring.

Few other boats were about and we were enjoying being on the move. Do you like my picture? No, of course it's not perfect, but I'm quite pleased with it.

We didn't chase this heron for long.