Thursday, 26 March 2015

One mile, three locks and a birthday!

After returning from my appointment at the fracture clinic this morning in the pouring rain we had a cup of tea and an early lunch and decided that we’d risk the blustery wind and travel a bit further south.
 Leaving the first lock of the day (Boxmoor Bottom Lock) behind us
 … and passing the handy canalside B&Q 
… it didn’t take us long to reach the much needed services at Apsley
… and we're now moored up outside Sainsburys.
And the birthday - Happy Birthday to my ever-loving George!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Our Molly ...

 … has a new toy!
 … come and play with me!

 … again!

… disembowelled but still smiling … and Molly had fun too!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Leaving Winkwell

 Love is in the air over on the fishing lake
 09:30 looking for an eclipse, no such luck!
Winkwell Swing Bridge swung ...
 Not seen that notice before … Ten-bob eh, that’ll be 50p in new money!
 Passing through!
 Quite a force of water coming into the canal from the River Bulbourne just below the lock
 10:14 and the cloud thins a bit - isn’t nature wonderful!
 Plagued with clouds of midges this morning, for some reason they hang around and annoy me but leave George completely alone!!
 The Fisheries Pub and lock and a handy boaters refuse bin.
Moored up just above lock 64 (above B&Q).  
The weather yesterday became lovely and warm after the sun came out from behind the moon and we sat out on the back deck for a couple of hours relaxing.

It’s surprisingly quiet here, there are people passing but they’re mostly going from here to there and not gongoozling in through the boat windows.  Jules Fuels is coming along on Monday so we’ll move off again once the tank has been filled.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Fantastic cruising days

A lucky snap of the resident kingfisher at Cowroast 
… before we left on Tuesday morning.

The sun was doing its best to make its presence felt as we cruised toward the first lock of the day
Someone has put in some effort with the spring flowers here
Our original intention was to make short daily cruises over the 60 lock-miles to Harefield Marina and our first overnight was to be here below Northchurch Lock but we couldn’t get into the side properly because there’s a wide ledge here.  We had lunch and walked down to Berkhamsted to see what the situation was there and because the day had brightened and I was managing well with my splinted hand steering, we decided to carry on.
C&RT certainly need to sort out the mooring situation by Waitrose at Berko, I’m sure that most of the boats moored have been there longer than 14-days.  Some of them have winter roving licences which I thought were not supposed to be moored on visitor mooring sites.  We’d seen a couple of spaces down the next lock so we carried on.
You can’t beat a goose down bed for comfort!
Walking back to Still Rockin’ after a good meal at The Boat.

Wednesday morning was warm and bright and we were ready to move off after I’d shopped for a few supplies.

I love the look of this area, it’s all about the canal.

A carpet of tiny chickweed round the capston at Ravens Lane Lock, the first of the day.
A very pretty wooden boat above Top Side Lock
… and far reaching views at Bottom Side Lock
Sewer Lock lived up to its name … they must have just had a delivery … it stank!! We had to wait ages too for the lock to fill as the bottom gates leak so badly, in the end I went to help with pushing the gates open, but the one thing in its favour, it did empty quickly!
The swans were enjoying the sunshine too
The top gates of lock 59 at Winkwell leaked so much I thought we’d never make an exit at all! There’s certainly no shortage of water on the Grand Union!
What a beautiful packet boat moored above lock 60, I think it was called The Lady Edwina.  
Moored up for 48-hours opposite the Three Horseshoes pub where we had our dinner (I know, real gadabouts us, dining out two nights running!)
Now this is what you call a dedicated gardener behind our mooring.  The water she is standing in is the River Bulbourne!

Two wonderful cruising days and one day off today, we’re ready for the off again tomorrow.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Plumping up cushions should have a health warning!

On the 29th January I was plumping up the sofa cushions, holding the cushion in my left hand and doing the plumping with my right when I dropped the cushion and hit the end of my middle finger of my left hand with the full force of my right hand! Ouch!!

The finger swelled up immediately and soon became black and blue but as we were going out to lunch that day I ignored it hoping that once the swelling and bruising got better the finger would be ok.  As most of our readers know we’ve been a little preoccupied this past three weeks or so and over this time most of the swelling has gone but the finger has become increasingly painful in use I can’t bend the finger to touch the palm of my hand.  So I’ve done something about it.  

I called NHS 111 on Wednesday and spoke with a doctor who was a bit incredulous that I’d not done anything sooner and advised me to visit Hemel Hempstead hospital to check it out. The department at the hospital is not A&E (they go to Watford) but an Urgent Care Centre where I went this morning and saw an A&E Consultant from Watford Hospital.

I have probably chipped a bone on the lower joint but in 6-weeks it’s mended itself so it didn’t show up on the X-rays. He arranged for the finger to be splinted and I’ve got to return in 2-weeks for a followup appointment at the fracture/hand clinic.
I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to manage, I can’t even wash my hands!  

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Molly’s eyes - update 4 … and moving on!

The visit to the ophthalmologist yesterday went as well as could be expected.  As we thought, the drops have done their job and her pupil is now kept very small to stop her lens from coming forward and she has less sight in her right eye than she had even last week. She re-did all the tests and thankfully the pressure in her eyes has reduced to 8 and 10 (it’s hard to think that just 3-weeks ago the pressure was 64 and 45) Fantastic news! 

We discussed with the vet what Molly’s future will hold and were told that she would eventually go blind completely but could obviously not predict how long she will have her sight.  Provided that we continue with the drops, Molly is comfortable and not experiencing any pain in her eyes (which would mean that the pressure had become high again) the vet said that Molly would cope reasonably well with being blind, probably much better than her owners!  We will return for re-testing in 3-months time unless we have any problems.

So now we can move on ...

 We left Bulbourne this morning in the bright sunshine and cold wind
… and with Molly in pole position
 … soon arrived at Cowroast
 … passing Mike’s boat Independence to the water point to fill and empty where required.

 nb Ruby Too got into a pickle at the winding hole (turning point) where he made the mistake of letting the wind (the actual blowing stuff) get the better of him and managed to hit three other boats!