Friday, 18 January 2013

Today …………….

…………….we were supposed to be heading off to Southampton to spend the weekend with our friends.  Crick to Southampton in the snow we’ve had today?  Madness, so we stayed put and took Maisie out for a walk instead. 

She just loves the snow!

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                             just ………………

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                                              wanna ……….

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                                                                         have …….

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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Crafty goings on …..

One down and one to go.

This Winter I have set myself the task of replacing the rag rugs in the back cabin.  I did some about eight years ago – just making it up as I went and ‘having a go’.  This time I’ve done a bit of research – I’ve read an instruction book (!!) and had a good look at rugs made by the experts!  So, this time ………… I’ve made it thicker by cutting the strips of fabric wider and by putting them closer to each other and I’ve been a bit more selective about the type of fabric I’ve used.  I’ve also included a more defined pattern.  I’ve been surprised by how much material I’ve needed but I’m pleased with the end result of this first one.

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I really hadn’t had one-too-many when I cut out the shape of the base!

It’s this strange shape to fit the strange shape of part of the floor in the back cabin!



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John, (not to be left out), has made a start on painting a ‘new’ bucket.  Back in Alrewas in the ‘summer’ a rather entrepreneurial resident had displayed some unwanted bric-a-brac for sale outside their house so I bought this old bucket:-

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It’s transformation is underway ………………



Friday, 11 January 2013

Maisie has a visitor……

We often have visitors to stay but this week, it’s Maisie’s turn.

Meet George ………………………..

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He’s a poodle crossed with …………………. we can’t decide!  We were told Jack Russell but, try as we might, we can’t see any Jack in him?   As you can see, despite the fact that he didn’t really know us, he’s made himself well at home!  He’s being a really well behaved visitor.

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Well,  she’s not so sure now!  She made a big fuss of him at first but …………… he wants all her chews, all her toys, our laps and is even partial to her new bed!

Maisie doesn’t do share!!


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Ever since we’ve been in this marina we’ve been told there are big carp in here.  The marina staff are regularly having trouble with fishermen wanting to cast lines in the marina entrance.  Apparently one or two determined fishermen have even tried using remote controlled model boats to deploy bait into the marina!  Well!  Yesterday, however, we actually got to see what all this extraordinary effort is about.  At least three enormous carp were cruising about outside our kitchen window.  Their mouths were easily the size of tennis balls.  They truly were massive fish.  We tried to get a photo of course but the reflection on the water was against us.  Still, ……

Ashby St Legers ……………..

is a village just a few miles from Crick.  It’s not on the canal.  Driving through,  it feels as though the whole village is a conservation area – there are so many old stone, thatched buildings.  The most impressive of these is what remains of the original manor house.                        The Gunpowder Plot is believed to have been contrived in a room over the gateway to the Manor House.  Apparently the locals still refer to this room as the ‘Plot Room’.  Robert Catesby, the main man in the conspiracy, was heir to the estates at Ashby.  He never did get his inheritance of course because he was killed in a battle fighting for what he believed in.

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There’s a nice pub/restaurant in the village.  Dogs are allowed in the bar which is a bonus but it’s a bit on the expensive side.

There are lots of nice villages around and one of the good things about having access to a car for the winter months is that we get to see more of the surrounding area.  Thanks to our friends Ken & Sandra we have acquired a little old ‘banger’ affectionately named by me as ‘Gertie’.  We have suffered a lot of teasing about her but she is proving to be just right for our needs!!  We are already close to doubling her mileage!


Monday, 7 January 2013

Especially for …………..

J.G. alias ‘Tray, the Expert’.

If Nosey Parkers come to close ……………….. they get allotted a job!

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BUT ……………..

All efforts are later rewarded ………………

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Great to see you, Derek.  Hope you had a good journey back to Cornwall.  xxoo

Friday, 4 January 2013

Consciousness Regained!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all.

It’s time I came out of hibernation and at least put my blog back on ‘trickle charge’.  By that I mean - keep it ticking over with an entry every now and then.

A lot has happened since my last entry but I’m ashamed to say that I have just wanted to ‘winkle away’ – ie: tuck myself away in a shell to reflect and lick my wounds.  Enough now of that!  It’s a new year,  time to get-a-grip and move on.

We had a productive week back in Staines (upon Thames!) on the run up to Christmas and it has been really good seeing so many ‘old’ friends.  They all helped me to re-charge my batteries and replenish the spirit in more ways than one!!  We had a lovely Christmas Day on Ben’s barge.January 2013 013

New Year saw us in Harlow with our dear friends, Mick and Lynn.  Despite the torrents of rain we went walking – well, hairy mutts insist on it even if you are nursing a self-inflicted headache!  The Lee Valley Country Park was heaving with people as usual but, isn’t it good that such a lovely resource is so well used by local people?  Dogs can run free and cars can park …………… for free! 

The Lee NavJanuary 2013 021 (1024x768)igation runs right through the middle of the Park.  We cruised this back in 2010 and I remember thinking how fantastic it was to be able to moor up for a few days and access the lakes and bird hides.  On New Years Eve we walked along the River Stort at Roydon.  Another lovely waterway to put on our ‘visit again’ list.  

We caught up with the two younger generations of Claytons which was lovely, ate a lot and drank alot ……like you do!


So, all in all, 2013 has got off to a very positive start for us.  (Mind you, so did 2012 but by the 8th I knew all about my brother’s plight and it went consistently downhill from there.)

POSITIVE THINKING!  On our way back to the marina on New Year’s Day we made a detour to Hitchin to see our friends Kim and Mark.  Within 5 minutes walk from their front door is lots of open land so ……………. more dog walking!  They also have some rather special visitors to their back garden …………… BLACK squirrels.  I’ve heard of their existence but …… as Mark says, ‘seeing is believing’.  The photos are a bit fuzzy due to being taken through an understandably-in-need-of-a-clean window …………….

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Back here in the marina quite a few moorers have come to their boats for the New Year period.  This includes our friend, Rodney who, this time is accompanied by Derek – collectively nick-named by us as ‘The Trotters’!  More socializing!  More indulgences!

It will all calm down soon and normality will return.  It seems that we can enjoy a mild week without rain!  I can hear the tow path and fields around here heaving a sigh of relief.

Our neighbour, Lynne (n/b ‘Piston Broke’) has gone to visit her son and his family for a few days.  Given the dry spell, Paul is threatening to ‘get outside for a bit of touching up’!!  I think she needs to get back a.s.a.p.!!!!!!!!!!!!  xxoo