Sunday, 21 November 2010

This, That and the Other!


Boating news.

We are currently moored at the top of the Foxton Flight having reached here early Friday morning.  The Foxton Locks comprise 2 staircases of 5 locks each and are a really special canal feature. The whole of the Foxton area is, in fact, an enormous attraction and there are always lots of people milling about.

We first came here in “Ellenlatest 010” New Year 2006 and since then the area has been considerably tidied up and developed to attract more visitors. It has worked!

There are now excellent information boards and brass plaques, good pathways and the Inclined Plain has been cleared and a viewing point installed. 

 latest 011Maggie, of course, is only interested in seeing a rabbit!


Between 1900 and 1911 boats were able to go up and down this Inclined Plane in apparently 12 minutes instead of having to go up and down the locks which took a lot longer and became a major bottleneck.  It would be a huge attraction if the Plane could be put back into working use but I feel sure the cost must be prohibitive.

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Today, at popular times of the year, boaters frequently have to wait in a queue to go up or down the locks.

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Tomorrow we will begin to head back to Crick.  The plan is to get the boat into the marina sooner than originally planned so that we can get back to Staines together as there are domestic issues to address.  (See below)    Next Saturday, however, John reaches a SUBSTANTIAL birthday and we are hoping to be able to mark the occasion with a small celebration before getting bogged down with other things.

The Weathermen/women have not lied this time!  It has become MUCH colder!  We have lots of jobs we want to do on the boat over the winter – we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Domestic News

Both our mums have spent this week in St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey.  They have both had falls!  During the week we have received mixed and confusing reports.  Reports have been a mixture of:-  very dramatic, very gloomy, emotionally charged, opinionated, and, thank goodness, some calm, level-headed and balanced.  We were given the sensible advice that we needed to go and see for ourselves so that we could make up our own minds regarding the situation.  So, on Friday, with more than a little help from a really good friend, I went to the hospital.

John’s mum is medically fit and well but she is wobbly on her feet, has lost self-confidence and gets confused about things.  She is receiving occupational therapy and it remains to be decided whether she goes back home with a care plan in place or has some recuperation time in another local hospital first – either Ashford or Walton.  She is 89.

My mum?  Well!  At 98 years old she was completely coherent and aware of what was going on!  Of course she was not happy about being pulled around but, according to the Doctor, she was getting stronger by the day and he felt there was no reason why, with additional care put in place, she could not go home quite soon. My brother went very pale!!  The Doctor spent a long time clarifying for me what had happened to date.  She has a chest infection and a urine infection to clear up before anything can happen.  I have spoken to her about considering going into a home and she was calm and thoughtful about it.  We will see.

Even worse – as I was travelling back to Staines John received a phone call telling him that David, Lesley’s last partner, was also in St Peter’s Hospital having had a bad stroke.  Ben and I went to find him but I’m really sad to say that he was in a coma and had been since he had been found by his son on Tuesday.  David is only in his early 70’s and has always been so fit.  A salutary reminder to us all of how fragile life is and how important it is to make the most of every day we have.


  1. HiJohn I didnt realise you were coming up to 70 I thought you were younger than me Regards Paul

  2. Oh Ang poor you. We will give you a ring this week.
    Much love xx
    p.s Graham will be earning his money!

  3. Paul my friend, you're right as usual,we're all younger than you, the only 70 I'm approaching is the next bridge......(;-)
    How's the sign writing looking now it's finished? I bet it looks amazing. See you soon. John.