Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Blue Haven is still our mooring

We're still here! You can tell by the lack of posts that not only are we still here, but also that when we turn on the computer it is mostly for work. It must be said that though there have been a few times when we could go out on the canals from our mooring, we have not been able to. Pete's description is that we're like a car up on blocks with the wheels taken off. The reality is that we are well and truly attached to the muddy canal bed. With the combination of Blue Haven not having been dredged in, what, eons, and the back pumps at Hilmorton Locks working far more slowly than they should and therefore not filling up the locks as quickly as they empty, and by consequence not refilling our pound enough, our particular basin is noticeably short of water. Or low on water.

We have got to know our neighbours quite well as we all gather together to try and rock and push a boat to the deepest part of the basin where it might actually get going. Over the weekend, when dear Purest Green wanted to enjoy the bank holiday, we were all grateful for the help of a passing hire boat using the basin for a reversing exercise when it shouldn't. Purest Green's crew had all but given up hope, then saw the opportunity and asked the hire boat for a tow off the mud. Hey presto, Purest Green made it on to the cut. No amount of pushing, shoving and gunning of engine moved Isaiah Grut and Bluebell, with barge pole, has only just made it to the other side of the marina. The only boat which seems to bop about with no problem is Roy and Barbara's Day Boat (which we call Dibble). A tiny little number, it is light, shallow draft and manages to chirp about all over the place.

So when Andrew and Sarah visited over the Bank Holiday weekend, we saw Foxton locks with inclined plane and the Hatton Locks - by car (!). Ah well. At least the weather was lovely! Today it is blowing a b*stard and howling a hooligan. We're best tied up!

Bella's garden goes well, with five plants re potted in wonderful 'Balcolnieres' - a rather showy name for green window boxes with water reservoirs. Saxi, Annabelle, Heidi, Perry and Lavender are thrilled. We have decided that they can pair up on the roof when we travel. At the moment, they look wonderful on the deck. We have taken pics, but you'll have to watch this space! For those who care, Fuschia has come back to life and flourishes. Elizabeth is shocked to realised she misses gardening! So there are now 12 plants on deck... This may stop.

Oh, and the parasol is up and we have had at least one breakfast on deck. Despite today's blip, it would seem that summer may appear.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Working aboard Bella

Just to show you that we are working and not moving :-)
Of course, Pete was not working at that moment, steeling himself from desk research to grab the camera! Here is Elizabeth at the desk, working on the laptop because it has the right points for the headset (note for anyone with Skype video...), but you can see the desk, the screen saver for the desktop computer (i.e. a photograph of our Swan, Jim, taken by Pete and fit to cardboard which sits on the computer in downtime), the mug of coffee, etc, etc. And the sunshine from an office with windows on three sides! She was teaching about Learner Engagement on a webinar for the University for Industry. People were logged in from around the country and apart from a power cut in Sheffield, it all went well!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Spring Scenes

Ah, the wonderful things we can see living on the water in Spring! Here is Mrs Duck with 8 of her ducklings... Sadly this brood has now been reduced to 6, the ever present food chain in action. But it is lovely to see her and hers. Pete took this photo on what he believed to be their first outing, they were so small! This was two weeks ago and now they are regular visitors for bits of bread around early evening.

Friday, 1 May 2009

We're still alive and well!

We're still alive and well, just busy as we noted we would be. Between us, we've been back and forth to London a few times, to Chester, to Crewe, even to North Wales. While one of us has been searching the internet world on financial inclusion, the other has been leading training and helping partnerships. Bella has been itching to get out and might just convince us that a Bank Holiday weekend needs to be a cruising celebration. We have all watched duckings scramble around their duck mum as she led swimming lessons around Bella and we have watched a very macho Jim Swan, wing feathers high on his back, as he has left his Rosie watching the eggs. Birds are munching their way through the feeder and Bella's neighbour Bluebell is now in Braunston as her owner gets to work on her blacking. Bella is enjoying the extra sunshine, though we are sure she misses Bluebell.