Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Off to Ricky!

Early start yesterday, just before 8am we pulled pins from

… Cassiobury and it was already warm
…passing on the way historic boats StaffordHyperion  and Elstree

At Lot Mead Lock the lock house is beautiful and I wondered if the whole of it was always residential or if part of it was for other BW related activities ...
… in conjunction with this building opposite which is also now residential.
A very smart dutch barge as we approach Batchworth Lock

We pulled in at Rickmansworth Tesco for a big shop and then were lucky enough to get a space opposite for the night and decided to spend the day here today and it’s been hot, hot, hot! Far too hot to be out and about so we stayed inside with the fan pushing warm air around the boat!
… so we left it until nearly 5pm before venturing out for a walk around Batchworth and Bury (above) lakes but it’s still hot!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Cassiobury Park, Watford

This is one of our favourite moorings, walks in the park, people, boat and wild life to watch ...
 On their way to the next performance
 Just balls of down!
This has been the weekend for the Grand Union Challenge - 100k run, jog or walk from the start of the GU Canal in London to it’s end in Birmingham.  Cassiobury Park is the halfway point.

Nowhere near 100k for us though yesterday, just a gentle walk around the park and wildlife centre ...

Yesterday it was a hot one and the park paddling pools were busy, lots of noise and splashing, lots of fun.
I’ve been inspired by Irene’s wild life photography and although my camera is small but has all the bells and whistles I’ve never got the hang of ISO and Aperture, Exposure, Macro etc, but thought I’d have a go when I saw this tiny moth on the inside of the bathroom porthole (I’m not a person who goes hunting for bugs though) the picture was taken on IA (intelligent auto!) Rather pleased with it!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

And we’re off …..

Happy, Happy, Happy!
We spent 10 days at Apsley during which time I attended my last hand therapy session at Hemel Hempstead Hospital.
Before leaving we had a final top-up of fuel from Jules Fuels, this is them coming back up from Nash Mills the following day to start their trading cycle once more and I know that they would have it no other way! 

After reversing to use the services we moved down 4 locks to our usual mooring just before Kings Langley where we stayed for 7 days 

Kings Langley’s All Saints Church has a modern hall on the back but was unfortunately locked up so we didn’t have a chance to look around.  The High Street is very pretty with lots of independent shops and cafes … a good way to spend a very pleasant hour or so.

Whilst moored there George travelled by bus back into Hemel to keep his appointment the dentist and had his stitches removed.  He doesn’t have to return there now until September 

 …. so …. we’re free …… yippee!

 So an early start this morning leaving our mooring at 7 o'clock
 passing the resident heron waiting for his breakfast to come along

and some lovely gardens which back onto the canal

you may just be able to see the Mallard with what is probably her second clutch of ducklings in this garden

 I love this stretch of the Grand Union Canal around Abbots Langley and Hunton Bridge
 although a few of the bridges are at rather awkward angles to the canal
 and the pretty Grove Bridge looks good in the sunshine
 Grove Mill
 Mrs Mandarin with her chicks

3 ½ miles and 8 locks later at 11am we’re moored at Cassiobury, a place we love; our son is coming to visit and life is good.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Congratulations to ...

… to number one grandson Adam
… who now has a 2:1 MA in Film and Television from Glasgow University.
We are very proud of him and love him dearly.
Girlfriend Emma has also received a 2:1 but I’m not sure in which subject - congratulations Emma!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Knashers and peepers ….

From the stern deck just after 8pm - lovely!

You may remember that George broke a tooth (crown) back in March and on our return from Scotland started treatment in Hemel Hempstead.  The dentist, on removing the post, found that there was a serious infection which had accumulated in the space around the crown's ‘post’ over the 20-odd years it had been in place (it was actually a good thing that the tooth was knocked out when it was because it could have caused very serious damage to his jaw and his health). 

So, on Wednesday it was time for the dentist to put an implant into his upper jaw (he’d previously had x-rays to confirm that there was sufficient depth in the bone between his teeth and his nose to take the implanted post).  Under local anaesthetic his upper gum was cut to approximately ½” either side of the site and the dentist removed all the fibrous tissue that was the infection and this was when it was confirmed how serious the infection could have become.  The dentist then implanted a post (artificial root) into the upper jaw and topped it with a cap which will be removed eventually for the post (abutment in the picture below) to allow the ‘tooth’ to be fitted in 10 weeks time.  

George’s mouth is sore, the stitches are catching on the inside of this mouth above his lips and the area is rather swollen.  He has antibiotics to take and must wear the previously provided denture when eating to keep the area as clean as possible and because it’s a front tooth he can’t ‘bite’ as it’s too painful and he has to be very careful not to knock the area as it could dislodge the implant.  So at the moment he’s eating food that doesn’t have much substance to it at all!  He’s hungry and not a happy bunny!

On a lighter note ….
View from the bow yesterday morning.

Yesterday we went to the opthalmologist with Molly and good news!  The drops she’s been having for the past three months have restored some sight to her right eye, kept the eye pressure in the normal range and have prevented any further damage with regard to the glaucoma and displaced lens.  We will still need to return for regular checkups especially to measure the pressure in both eyes, but hey, brilliant news!

Would have liked to sit outside the Paper Mill for a meal but as George is having trouble eating it wouldn’t be much fun for him, may be next time.

We shall stay here in Apsley until my next physio appointment next week, it’s a lovely mooring especially in the sunshine but I understand that rain, hail, thunder and lightening is on its way today!  George says ‘bring it on!"

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

A change of scene

 We waved Marilyn and David off early yesterday morning and we’ve decided to follow them down to Apsley this morning rather than staying in Hemel.

We were on the road by 8:30 and moored up in front of ...
 … Pat and Roger who were just getting ready to move off - we wish them luck with their future plans
… and Waka Huia where we had a chat to Marilyn, David and their friend Barry before they too pulled pins and moved on.  Happy summer cruising to both of you and we look forward to meeting up with you both sometime in the future.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Odds and Sods and a surprise

Since my post of 1st June (Monday) at Kings Langley ...

 We took a walk between showers to a green area to give Molly a blow-out

 … where we saw these two birds having a bit of a tussle - one is a red kite, not sure about the other though, perhaps a sparrow hawk or harrier - any ideas?

We pulled the pins on Wednesday, winded (turned) Still Rockin’ and headed back to Hemel

 … through Nash Mills Lock where the Laburnum is making a wonderful display

 … and negotiated George’s favourite worst nightmare of a bridge by Apsley Marina.

I attended my consultant appointment at Hemel hospital and he was so pleased with the progress on my hand that I don’t need to see him again but to continue with the hand therapy as required.

The centre of Hemel is coming along very nicely, it will be lovely for families to be entertained whilst Mum or Dad is shopping and there is plenty of seating areas to sit and people watch.

That afternoon we were on the move again and I’m sure you’ve guessed the plan …
… through Winkwell where amongst other information this notice board tells the story of Lock Keeper Joseph Buck who in 1898 drowned in his own lock.  It suggests that as it happened on Christmas day and because he lived next-door-but-one from the Three Horseshoes public house and it would have been a dark walk home that night!

 … to the lovely moorings opposite Pix’s Farm at Bourne End
… where we were able to have a bbq on the wide towpath (too smokey to be at the stern today hence George has his back to me!)

We walked into Berkhamstead to collect post including a package from my sister containing this beautifully knitted cover for the anchor which sits in the front conservatory cratch (the cover stops the metal of the anchor from discolouring the plastic window).  It certainly brightens up the bow of Still Rockin’ and I love it!  Thanks Sandra!

On Friday 5th June I was having great trouble loading the blog post of the first anniversary of the launch and living on Still Rockin’ and we later found out that 3 was doing some maintenance on the local mast and this would not be complete for another five days.  I couldn’t wait that long without posting a blog so we decided it was time to move.
So we were up at 5am on Sunday to a chilly sunrise, only 0.3 degrees, so we wrapped up warm and set off up two locks, which we left open, to wind (turn) and back down again.  Our planned destination was back to Hemel but as we arrived at The Three Horseshoes in Winkwell at 9am we decided to pull over and have lunch in the sunshine - it was lovely, especially because no cooking and washing up was required by us!

We were glad that we did because the next boat through the swing bridge was unable to close it and it took some time for C&RT to attend and fix it.

And low and behold just after we’d returned to the boat after lunch it broke down again. The pub manager wasn’t happy and neither were the pedestrians who’d parked in the pub carpark, gone for a walk and were unable to get back to their cars.

We were relaxing after our Sunday lunch when there was a knock on the boat side and this diminutive lady with a strange accent was telling George that she followed our blog.  It was of course Marilyn from Waka Huia who a short time later came onboard with hubby David for drinks and a look around their first wide beam boat ... I think they liked it.
Lots of stories and laughter ensued … I think this was when Marilyn was telling us that she doesn’t ‘do’ locks as she’s always on the stern in charge of the ‘big dick’ whilst David, well …. I’ll just leave it there!  It was brilliant to meet up with them both and I’m sure they will become good friends in future.