This is Steve & Viv Carter's log of the trips and travails on the narrowboat Adagio – liveaboards from October 2015. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain)” email@example.com
We always planned to visit the boat once a month – at least. And so here we are on a 4 day, long weekend – celebrating getting engaged on Valentine’s Day itself – 35 years ago!! It was 2 degrees on the boat when we embarked on Thursday night … only now some 24 hours later, is it starting to warm up. We have thermometers and thermostats everywhere but they do little except to smugly say . . you should be warm by now!
Well, Toby’s happy – 3 walks a day and a place by the fire.
Viv’s happy – the Wi-Fi is now working in the marina, well sort of. It wasn’t working at all for the 2 weeks at Christmas but Viv’s back surfing.
We had an unwelcome visitor last night – a wee mouse! All of the dried food had been sampled, including the bar of soap, toothpaste and great chunks of loo roll missing as he/she made their winter nest. So a lot of grub was chucked and a remedy sought:
We started off in true fashion – pub on the way here – the marvellous and newly opened Head of Steam pub in Lilbourne … well, it was on the way and it seemed a shame not to stop. (see https://www.facebook.com/LilbourneHeadofSteam )
We visited Paul Smith (author of the Liveaboard website) in Calcutt Boats – very nice marina and setting with 110 acres of woodland. A trip to Daventry for mouse killer & secure storage bins to deter future rodentary visits.
Saturday, 14th: after a few chores (including disposing of the wee mouse), we took the dog and walked to the Wheatsheaf pub in Crick – see link above. A good hours walk followed by one of the best steaks that I’ve ever had. Always a tad wary of ordering steak out … when they give you the “special serrated knife”, ooooh, is it going to be that tough?? But it was fine; more than fine, in fact even though I was expecting a 10 oz steak, it came in one large lump, more like a fillet, very interesting but very tender & tasty! They also had Oakham’s Citra on tap too. Just the matter of that hours walk back.
Well, I think we passed the test. Two weeks with the whole spectrum of weather: gales, rain, sleet and an iced-in marina! Not 100% enjoyable and I think it has taken the gloss off of the living aboard dream a bit. Is Yelvertoft still “the place to be”? Hmm, maybe. As Paul Smith says in his newsletter this month ( http://livingonanarrowboat.co.uk/newsletter-archive/2015-01-04-newsletter-more-winter-cruising/ ), it does seem to be draconian in its rules & regs! But it’s a start. We look forward to the Spring & Summer cruising.
With Nottingham just an hour away, we took the chance to re-visit Plumtree and Keyworth – where we lived for three years (1990-93). We took lunch at the Plough in Normanton on the Wolds – http://theploughatnormanton.co.uk/ – with excellent food and Jaipur beer! We also wandered round the city centre, looking at the lights, the Christmas Fayre as well as re-stocking tobacco at Gauntleys We then went back to Cropwell Bishop to walk on the disused canal and Hoe Woods – a regular trip with our first dog – Buster! Lots of mud but a good trip. We ended with a visit to the Cropwell Bishop Creamery for some Stilton.
unlikely they’ll ever fully restore the Grantham Canal owing to the ground where gypsum deposits have always caused leaks – here’s one of the wide locks.
and someone found what little water there was – Swamp Dog!
We are up on the boat! Last year we went to Cuba … this year our holiday is in Yelvertoft on the boat, yes, two weeks. At least we’ll see how we fare with two weeks of winter survival. Well, it was 6 degrees inside the boat when we arrived but an hour or two later and it’s up to 20+. The Squirrel stove – on, gas central heating – on, tree lights – on, dasher – on, dancer – on, prancer – on … .
Yes, it’s the Ol Codger’s birthday and we went off to Market Harborough for the day – about 30 minutes away and also a walk around the famous Foxton staircase locks
Here we are at the old wharf, about half a mile from the town centre. We first came here 20 years ago – with Buster. It was very derelict then with broken buildings and not a nice place to stop. Now, it’s all refurbished and chic!
Lunch in the Three Swans (even a star filter does little to enhance the subject matter!).
On to Foxton locks – a clever flight of seven staircase locks – each one joined to the next, which gives rise to some pretty deep lock chambers
Time read the Towpath Talk paper
There used to be an inclined plane here – a sloping escalator that dragged boats uphill in big caissons … all gone now
it reduced the transit time of the staircase locks, quite a feat
A grand day out followed by a cook-in, wine and of course some birthday cigars – thanks chaps!
Ah, the morning mist across the marina as I take the Boggle on his first walk. Off to Nottingham today (less than an hour away) to visit my tobacconist & the Grantham Canal. We lived up here some 20 years ago and it will be so good to see it again and take Toby for a walk – where Buster walked was all those years ago …
Hmm a lot has changed – city centre full of trams and a huge Christmas fayre.
Gauntley’s – my pipe tobacco shop. I usually buy online but it’s good to visit in person – I even managed to get some of their special Christmas mixture – not on sale until tomorrow – sshh!
Off to Hickling and a stroll on the Grantham Canal.
I doubt we’ll ever see boats back on here but it’s a great little waterway.
Iris & Cliff liked it . . “Do you like Hickling? I don’t know I’ve never Hickled!”, said Mum after a few beers!
A much better path nowadays – the dog loved it! We would come to various sections of this canal with Buster …
Very odd sign – “you don’t get many of those about”
Up to Clarke’s Bridge. Chris phoned me , Viv phoned me . . must have known where I was! Dog was very happy. A great trip.
Now back to me boat and the log fire!
Thanks Chris & Amy for the texts/calls letting me know you’ve remembered the ol’ codger’s birthday! Cheers
Well done Viv for posting a parcel of cables & chargers – I can charge the phone and upload some phone pix wot I took.
Enjoying my week up here – although the chores seem to lead to more work . . my efforts to replace the broken glass on the Morso Squirrel stove failed as the new glass was thinner and the screws didn’t hold it . . my efforts to tighten em lead to one shearing off. Woe. Off to Midland Chandlers to get sommit – they only had the same glass but I bought a new screw – £1 please! My neighbour & good friend Nick sorted the door by drilling out the old screw & tapping a new one in . . fixed! And the fire was still alight, Brilliant. Where am I? Oh, here:
Nick asked a favour, if we could move from B2 to B4 as he wanted to bring his other boat, a barge, across and park it next to his as he wanted to work on it. No problem – short cruise out & back – arrow shows how far we’ve moved.
Walked the dog up Cracks Hill yesterday – there’s a beacon on top and good views of Crick & back towards our marina – all very rural:
above is our very rural marina! Below is the other view to Crick:
and that beacon, followed by a very happy dog – lot’s of walks and squirmies
It’s a lovely place here – walking the dog with the sun coming up over the very still marina … swans gliding in … nice. Not many chores left now – the engine had an oil change & I’ve victualed the boat with more gin!
Well, Viv’s coming up on Friday & Saturday’s my birthday!
Hello Chaps Well, we normally go away for my birthday … somewhere warm – last year it was Cuba but this year, nope. So I said Let’s go up to the boat … I’m up here for the week “doing boat things” Such as repairing my Squirrel – yes, you guessed it’s having problems with locked nuts. I broke the glass door and it also doesn’t seem to shut properly . . so I’ve got the bits but lack the wherewithal, as usual . . I’ve also got the change the engine oil . . sounds straightforward . . Viv joins me on Friday – coming up by train. It was 8 degrees when I came on board today but with the gas central heating on and the Squirrel burning logs n coal, we’re up to 19 now And very cosy it is too. The Wi-Fi is so cr*p in this marina, that I’m having to sit up in the cratch and write this – only place there’s a signal. Still a chance for a smoke and a new euphemism – my cratch is smoking! How’s yours? Brief Howdy to the Cardiff girls – I’ve got 1 kg of Caerphilly maturing nicely and over 1 kg of little Bries going nice and fluffy – in a nice way, too Must try and carry on this cheese lark – it’s very rewarding! Well no TV tonight as after 2 hours of “playing” with the Sat dish and sat box, I give up … Apparently, it’s got to point at TWO satellites at once 28.2 and 28.5 degrees E … .invalid postcode errors …so back to me book & scotch then . . Hopefully I’ll get time to take some piccies too. Cheers