Wednesday 27 January 2021

A reminder of Hatton Locks on our lockdown walk

What is the connection between a rainwater gully in a Norfolk village and the Hatton flight?
The answer: the cast ironwork is made by Ham Baker, the company which made the distinctive paddle gear on the Grand Union from Calcutt to Knowle.
I looked for a photo of mine which shows the Ham Baker lettering on the paddle gear but couldn't find one. Here's a general view of the paddle gear.
I got quite a surprise - and a pang of longing to be working locks again. Yes, even Ham Baker ones (which I like, by the way).

Saturday 23 January 2021

Signs of hope

Spring is not here yet, but there are plenty of indications that it's on the way.
And here's a shot of sheep at Wymondham Abbey from yesterday's walk.
Looking forward to getting back on the water ... (will that do, Paul?)

Thursday 21 January 2021

Seeds and sunset

On our walk today we saw seeds getting ready to be dispersed by the wind.

The light was fading, this was the best closeup I got:
We wondered if it was clematis. 

Further on we were treated to a nice red sunset. I liked the sticking-up scaffolding poles and the ribs of the roofs. There's still a large amount of house building happening in our village.
And a couple of mature trees to finish off with.

Sunday 17 January 2021

Garmin GPS shows where we've walked

Some years ago I bought a Garmin E-Trex GPS handheld device.  The main reason originally was to use it as a speed indicator for the boat, until I realised that the ordinary car satnav would work just as well in that role. It has many display options, not just speed. It gives average speed, distance covered, location and height, as well as times of sunrise and sunset etc.

One page gives a track of where it has been with a zoomable scale.  In the photo below the width of the display represents 1.6 miles; the pattern indicates the various paths and roads we have walked recently.  Our home is approximately in the centre.

Saturday 16 January 2021

Snow in Norfolk - but not much

It snowed last night and into this morning. We went for our walk in the afternoon, when the snow was already melting. A slushy, slippery walk along the roads.
We saw a few snowmen - and just this one sledge.

Wednesday 13 January 2021

After 31 years my boots are broken in at last

I bought my Armond walking boots in a shop called Kyffin in Bangor, Gwynedd, in 1989. I was on attachment to the BBC there at the time, and wanted something sturdy and reliable so I could do some serious walking in Snowdonia.
As well as the boots the box they came in has somehow lasted down the years. But not the receipt. I seem to remember they cost in the region of £100 which, with inflation, would be £250 today. (I think you'd struggle to spend that much on a pair of walking boots, though.)

But they have been uncomfortable - until this week, that is. My left ankle bone always rubbed and felt bruised. On our latest lockdown walks I have persisted with the boots as they keep my feet warm and dry in all conditions - and a couple of days ago I realised they didn't hurt anymore. Hooray! After 31 years they are broken in at last.

I searched online for the shop where I bought the boots, but Kyffin in Bangor now appears to be a vegetarian restaurant. And before you comment, yes, I know they need some more dubbin!

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Mystery photo revealed

Yes, all those who said robin. This one posed beautifully for me on our walk the other day. Tomorrow I think I shall talk about boots.

Monday 11 January 2021

Mystery object: more revealed

Here's a little more. It's a common sight.
Enter your guess in the comments below.

Sunday 10 January 2021

Can you see what this is part of?

On yesterday's walk I photographed something for you to have a go at identifying. It's not canal-related (although you could see it in that environment).
I will reveal more (or the whole thing) tomorrow.

Saturday 9 January 2021

Frosty dew

Yesterday's fog was replaced by today's sun, which was doing its best to thaw the frost.
As we walked along a lane I spotted water droplets on a prickly bit of hedge catching the sun.
I liked the figure silhouetted in the light at the end of this tree tunnel.
(There are actually two figures but it's difficult to tell.)

More frosty leaves: this is a thistle.

Friday 8 January 2021

Foggy dew

It was foggy in Norfolk today. Our walk took us along a tree-lined footpath; drops of water falling on our heads the whole time.
Yesterday, in a different field - and in sunshine - we encountered a flock of twittering birds in a tree.
Unfortunately for the camera they were all looking the wrong way. We think they might be fieldfares.

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Stamp stats

We arrived back in Norfolk yesterday to a mountain of post. This comprised mainly Christmas cards: 41 altogether. As I cut round the stamps I thought it would be interesting to compare the numbers of first class, second class (and no stamp at all).
Of the 41 cards three had a first class stamp; 30 second class; and eight had no stamp (being hand delivered).  What else can I say?  Second class outnumbered first class by 10:1.  More people used Christmas stamps than definitives.  Nearly 20% of the cards were hand delivered.  (I have realised that the last three sentences sound like the setup for a logic/maths exam question.)

First class: 1 definitive (Queen's head only); 1 "religious"; 1 "non-religious".

Second class: 19 "religious" from 2020; 2 "religious" from previous years (I believe); 8 definitive; 1 "second class up to 100g"

Disclaimer:  I am no philatelist.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Stump figure gets all Christmassy

Just below Tyrley Locks, on the offside by a small wide, is a figure based on a tree stump.
At the end of a fishing line dangles a smaller, more macabre, figure.
Shortly before Christmas the scene received some festive attention.
I guess the liquid in the whisky bottle is not the original.
I like these quirks of the network. I wonder if anyone has collated them in a blog.

Monday 4 January 2021

Empress at Betton Mill

On a short walk today we came across nb Empress tied up by Betton Mill in Market Drayton.
Is this the former steamer built in 1898?
So ... Lockdown 3 begins.

Sunday 3 January 2021

Difficult to email CRT

Walking up the Tyrley flight a couple of days ago I saw that the brickwork at the entrance to the bottom lock was damaged.
It looked like it would take only a couple more knocks for bricks to be lost into the water.
I spent a good half hour searching the CRT website for an email address to send the photos to - and failed. Actually, some of that time was trying to discover exactly which CRT region the lock is in.

Eventually I filled in the online contact form and stated that I need their email address - and up pops an automated message to say that if I need to send photos an email address would be sent. (The hoops one has to jump through! And I am trying to help!) 

That was two days ago. I'm still waiting for a reply, although I accept that it is the weekend in a holiday period so things might move slowly.

Update:  I have now had a response from CRT so I have emailed them the photos.

Saturday 2 January 2021

From sun to snow in seven

Yesterday morning I helped nb Telesto up the Tyrley flight in bright sunshine under a deep blue sky.
This morning the sun lit Bridge 62 on the Shroppie ...
... and this is the same scene seven hours later.

Friday 1 January 2021

A frosty end to the year

I was surprised to see ice on the Shroppie in Market Drayton yesterday. Yes, it has been cold enough, but there's always such a large amount of water coming down the Tyrley Locks that I had thought that that would prevent ice forming.
However, these moorings are downstream of a large overspill weir. I guess the excess water disappears down there. Jan and I wish you a very Happy New Year and look forward to being able to do more boating and meeting people than we did in 2020.