Sunday, 8 December 2013

Pipe the still

Looking around our home mooring around sunset. Earlier Pete had suffered a close fly-by from a kingfisher.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Off to plork

Off to plork - play + work - goes the Canal & River Trust waterways operative. First from the car park, then on the drive opposite Bella, then on the bridge, Hilda (the van) carries Chief Running Water on his way.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

More of enjoying our new home home

We've never watched leaves fall. Seen that they've fallen, yes, but as the hatch was opened for a usual "hello morning" visit, sounds caught the ear. Birds? No. Squirrels? No. Leaves falling after last night's frost. Floating shards of gold. Gorgeous.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

My side hatch

This is one of the blessings of our new permanent mooring. There are so many! This is one of the blessings which is most inspirational, rain or shine. This stunning view. Trough the gap in the middle, we catch site of the M1 between junctions 16 & 17 and the occasional West Coast mainline train. The villiage on the hill is Long Buckby, about 3 miles away and our nearest shopping area.  This is the morning cup of tea view, the home lunch view, the evening wind-down view.

Friday, 27 September 2013

From both sides of the kitchen

This is one of the things we love about this new mooring. In our previous home mooring, we were in a hollow, carved out of the hill for the marina to join the canal. Now we're on a ridge with the fields falling away both sides. In front of the kitchen sink, we see boats sleeping away, waiting to be woken by their absent owners living in houses somewhere. Look closely and you see our tiny little alien, making sure that the electricity goes around. Behind the kitchen sink, the golden glow hides the sight of miles of fields and hills rolling east into Northamptonshire. We hear the M1 between junctions 16 & 17, but it's such a steady quiet roar that it sounds more like a waterfall. As we look through the gap, we can see the tops of lorries in the distance and the occasional train on the west coast main line. Seeing both remind us that our life on a 250 year old waterway is as much part of the modern world as anything else.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Morning views

What's the biggest thing about the new mooring? We're moored on the outside of the marina on the canal. The difference is amazing. We used to be tucked up in the corner of the marina, on one side of a slip of land, the other side of which was the canal. We could see boats passing by the canal entrance just near us, but being in our home-home meant that all the familiar canal views were on hold until we travelled out. We saw boats, yes, but the boat yard, offices and all the yard workings were quite obvious as well.

Now all of that boat yard stuff is a number of boats away. We look out of the kitchen window and see lovely landscaping and a peaceful range of boats, bow or stern end toward us with water (and often ducks) in between. We open the side hatch in the morning and, ah, there is the view we love.

Monday, 23 September 2013

The trip to new home-home

The first two pics are Braunston - the boatyard and the bottom lock. It was a good day with a warm fine mizzle. Perfect. Elizabeth boated with Pete up to the top of the flight of 6 locks then left him to do the tunnel alone. She walked back to Reg (parked at the studio) then drove to Weltonfields and walked back along the towpath to meet the family. The next shot is Pete at the helm just before he pulled Bella alongside at the bridgehole to collect E. Travelling together again, we rounded Norton Junction and were delighted to again pass Glad, our neighbours from our old mooring.

The next sequence of pics show us coming out of the woods (wonderfully named Cornerwell Spinney) and seeing the light at Weltonfields, cruising alongside the Marina, then turning and coming in to berth. The final shot is the new view from deck.


Moving Day begins

Here we are, moored up at the watering point in Braunston, where the Oxford Canal moves south after iron bridge and the Grand Union Canal moves east. We set out just after 8. It's one of Pete's rest days, having worked the weekend, and it's a studio day for Elizabeth. She's being alternatively creative.

What fun to move home without moving vans and boxes!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Swift and Bella

We do love this life.  This morning, whilst Elizabeth was just prepping her desk work day after the domestic bits, along comes an engine and hey, presto, it's Pete on Swift.  He and Neil were moving her from her work at Hillmorton Locks to her next bit of work on the Buckby flight (Whilton locks).  It is such fun to have home and work so incredibly integrated!  The bottom pic is where Bella and Swift crossed paths - the little nesting of the Oxford Canal, north section just by Bridge 89 in Braunston.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Braunston again for another week

We used Hillmorton to turn around yesterday and head south again. Last night we moored in between Bridges 80 & 81 on the Oxford, just an hour south of Hillmorton. A lovely quiet spot where we've moored before. Knowing Braunston and mooring habits of boaters as we do, we knew that we had to turn up in Braunston early enough for travellers not to have arrived yet and for over-nighters to have left. So after Hillmorton, we had to stay out in the gorgeous middle of nowhere, as if we'd arrived in Braunston last night around 6pm, there would have been no free moorings.

As it was, we pulled into Braunston by bridge 89, just near where we'd left yesterday, and a boat was just pulling out. Ideal. Moored up in a glorious spot by 11:30. Brunch next, then off to get Reg and buy a few pieces of wood. Our afternoon was the fun of shelf building!

Today's new sets of shelves

Suddenly we spotted gaps. Around the same time as digging out the tea and coffee pots really got on our nerves. So here are two new sets of shelves on either side of the kitchen/galley port side cupboards. We like them. A. Lot.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

A farewell to Hillmorton

We set off to a mizzly day just after the Braunston morning traffic. We knew we needed to turn around and the nearest winding hole was just outside our old Marina. So we decided to turn in the Marina and take on some of our coal now stored behind the office. We'll collect the rest once we're at Weltonfields.

The rain held off and we had a lovely cruise. We were delighted to slide into Hillmorton Wharf on the visitor side. Pete walked the mile to the shops to fill up for the weekend whilst Elizabeth did laundry and changed around the bow storage ready for the winter.

The pics are variously travelling north, prepping for and then taking on coal, and then waving goodbye to Hillmorton. The last shot is tonight's evening mooring in between Bridges 80 & 81 on the Oxford. Lovely.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Warmth for the season

Here we are, Squirrel lit for the first time this season. We were so damp, the laundry couldn't dry outside and the inside was too cool. One simple answer - dear Squirrel, our Morso stove. Yes, we're now a bit too toasty, but how wonderful. Josie's happy!

Sunday, 8 September 2013


Maybe it was the bells that brought the sheep together

Braunston Autumny morning & and a small reflection

What a gorgeous day to step out with Josie. This is what greeted us as we stepped up to the deck facing Braunston bottom lock and the Chandlery. Gorgeous.

We are all so pleased to have travelled Pete's patch this summer. We never expected it to gift a new home-home, but we did expect to enjoy the canals again. Last year, largely marina based, we almost forgot why we live this way. What a lovely reminder this summer has been. Of course, all has been helped to full rose tint by the unexpected actual summer. But the big thing this year has been travelling in tiny sections and staying a while in each place. We used to pack in a travelling day, moor up to take a train somewhere, then travel again. We seldom stayed put to get to know anywhere. This year we have added a few more villages to the "we like this place" list and are delighted.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Braunston for a while

After much struggling with 2 tunnels and 13 locks we limped into Braunston with enough time for Pete to finish putting a shine on one side before going to the Admiral Nelson for a well-earned refreshment

Dishes on the move

I don't mind doing dishes (Bella has let E write). I hugely enjoy doing dishes on the move. Each time I look out of the kitchen window, the scene changes. I'll hear Bella do an astern and a slow down and know that a bridge hole is coming up, turn my head and, yes, there is the boat Bella waited for gliding by. Bella slows again and I turn to see the moored boats. Doing dishes on the move is one of my silly delights.

Back to Watford flight

What a stunning day! And here we are, going south (and downhill) at Watford. One pic is the lockkeeper cottage at the top, the other is our view south.

Setting out again

Up early this morning and here we are, watering up for the last time in Crick this year. Probably. It's a glorious sunny day with hints of Autumn. Perfect!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Crick visit/living

This is a lovely spot, needless to say, made lovlier because of this fabulous extended summer.  Rain has held off and we have been enjoying the deck, the views and the lovely village.  Elizabeth's work has not needed too much internet this week, so she remains chilled. Ish.  Pete's been arriving back in sunshine after days on the cut and it's been a good week!  A few views: