Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Bulbourne welcome?

I moored up at Bulbourne,  just above the Marsworth flight, nearly two weeks ago. It's a green and pleasant spot, with the short but delightful Wendover arm ahead and the bird paradise that is the Tring cutting.
The towpath is also a lane to some cottages and just as I was tying ropes, a man in a huge car pulled up, opened his window and said "how long are boats allowed to stay here?". I'd just that minute arrived so I said I wasn't certain, and he said "is it two weeks?". I thought it probably was and he nodded in a pointed manner and drove off. A couple of hours later, I saw his car come back and park at one of the cottages. Looks like he lived there and presumably passed the CRT mooring sign I now saw near his house, most days.
I really felt he'd taken one look at my boat with its wheelbarrow and bike and garden and decided I needed my card marking.
I'm leaving tomorrow but am booked into Bates's boatyard nearby in a couple of weeks time so won't be going far, which may annoy Mr Welcoming Committee somewhat!

In the same vein of paranoia, I came for a pint of cider to the Grand Junction Arms (canalside at Bulbourne) this evening with a view to having a meal here tomorrow with a visiting friend. I asked if they had anything vegan available. The nice barmaid didn't know but an in-charge-kind-of-person came out the kitchen to say they served neither vegan nor vegetarian meals. It was said in such an abrupt and unfriendly way!

There's probably no connection but neighbouring the pub are 3 pretty cottages,  all with Ukip posters in the windows. I wonder if the famous Ukip tolerance of difference has spread around the village. It's strange. These lucky people live in a beautiful place in the countryside. Houses must cost a fortune here and there are mostly two cars in every driveway.  I somehow doubt their lives are blighted by marauding foreigners, yet the capacity for hate and exclusion seems to be thriving.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

how fast?

I think this pin's unusable now, thanks to whoever thought they were still on the motorway.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

busy days
We had a really lovely day boating with Sue and Richard of nb Indigo Dream, enhanced by the presence of dear greyhounds - 7 at one point! Some lovely photos can be found at the link above (I'm writing on my phone and just can't seem to place links where I want them yet!)
Here's my own favourite photo of some of the hounds..

Sharing locks up to Berkhamsted was good fun and it was warm and sunny and ended with us sitting outside a pub by the canal, with dogs - perfect.
A few days later, I moved Blackbird up to Tring on another gorgeous day. There were very few boats on the move mid-week so I could take my time going up the locks. The only encounter with moving boats was when I came round a bend to find this:

A moored boat had come adrift. I helpfully nudged it back into place, only to have the boatowner's friends turn up and tell me the boat was facing the wrong way -oops!
I also passed and exchanged a few words with a friendly couple, enjoying the sunshine aboard their boat and then noticed the boat name - Derwent 6. In the past I've read their blog and thought 'they sound like nice people to know' so it was great to put faces to names at last.

This Sunday, we had a busy day of enjoyable things, starting with a cracking car-boot sale at Chiswick. A flat tyre on the bike meant we ended up walking most of the way there but
it was a warm dry day so it didn't matter. I bought a fine electric fretsaw -a real bargain at £22, but wasn't sure how to get it home - until Simon turned up trumps with a bike-trailer he bought for £10. We impersonated horses by pulling it back by hand :-)
Later on we went to the Little Venice cavalcade and watched some of the boat manoevering.

We had cider in the sun and bumped into friends for chats in a way that always seems to happen at Little Venice. Then it was into Paddington station to meet my son from his train, before he headed out to Lyon with his job. That was lovely too.