The day began with no wind and with the sun trying to come out, so having done a few jobs onboard we headed off at 9.30am.
The railway is never faraway or the B488. There are some stunning views across the valley as we followed the River Ouzel closely. With all the rain we have had lately, some of the meadows still show signs of being water logged. We approached the Soulbury Three Locks (20’3”) and N.B Autumn Glory was coming up, we had first met them way back in 2001, which seems like a life time ago now. The wind was now beginning to get up as we made our way to Stoke Hammond Lock (6’11”). Below the lock there is a double arched bridge; it shows where the locks were once doubled. As we approached Fenny Stratford a Kingfisher was sitting in a bush watching as we past it by.One of these days I am going to get a close up of a Kingfisher LOL. This time of the year is such a great time for seeing them, as there are no leaves on the trees and bushes to hide them. We came up through Fenny Stratford Lock and Swing Bridge, and then moored up for the rest of the day.
Friday 28th November.
We had a bright chilly day which was spent doing boat jobs. We took a walk to Wickes and Halfords on Watling Road, not far from the canal, you can also find a 24 hour Tesco there. We needed to buy some more distilled water for the batteries from Halfords and a hot water cylinder jacket from Wickes, which we wanted to use to try and insulate the generator to cut down the noise inside the boat when it is running. Normally when we have the generator running we have to close the doors into the saloon, but the hope was that with a cylinder jacket over the front of the generator it would cut the noise down, meaning we could leave the door open. Having found everything we were looking for, we also went to Pollards Ironmongers in Fenny Stratford, it is an Aladdin’s cave for bits and bobs. Once again we managed to get everything we wanted, so it was back to the boat to start on the jobs in hand. It turned out that the time had sped by so quickly that the light was fading, so Keith only had the opportunity to fix up a socket, the rest would wait for the weekend. Whilst Keith was working on the socket, Alan from N.B Wol (Mooring Warden) came and paid us a visit. He has been the mooring warden at Fenny Stratford for several years and was telling me of all the bodies he has found on his stretch of the canal over the years. It was enough to put you off mooring there LOL. It is clear he never has a dull moment and really does love the job and meeting lots of boaters. The temperature was dropping rapidly so we both decided it was time to stop chatting and to retire to our boats for the evening. Keith would have to venture out with Paddy at 6pm for his evening walk. We ran the generator with the cylinder jacket over it, just to see if it would make any difference. It certainly cut the noise down a bit and therefore we were very hopeful that when it was fitted properly it would work a treat.
We sat and watched the TV nice and snug in front of the fire, with a heavy fog now drawing a veil over the canal. ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ was on at 9pm. Martina Navratilova did a fantastic job on the bush tucker challenge, which was jumping across Mini’s suspended in the air. She had to retrieve tags from each car; each tag was a meal for camp. Martina got all ten tags and was never fazed when a mini would plummet into the lake behind her.
Are Keith and I the only ones who cannot stand David Van Day?
He is really getting right up my nose. Now I know that the program is edited to within an inch of its life, but that man never stopped going on about his birthday. We both laughed when his birthday cake blew up, served him right. He is such a rude person and I find very sexist; I only hope he does not win. Having watched that, it was then off to bed, in a nice warm back cabin.
Saturday 29th November.
We were awake early, but snuggled back down as it was cold, we both went back to sleep only to be then woken again by knocking on the side of the cabin. Bleary eyed Keith got out of bed to find a gentleman standing on the towpath with money in his hand for coal which he wanted delivered to a house on the offside. Keith explained we were still in bed, so the gentleman handed over the money, gave us instructions as to where the coal should go and left. With that we got up as it was 9am, which was a lie-in for us. After breakfast I took Paddy for his walk, whilst Keith prepared to do some electrical jobs in the engine room. The electrical jobs took till after lunch, we then started packing the cylinder jacket around the generator, before replacing the shelving. It was now time to test the generator for noise, so with the press of the switch the generator roared into life. Oh peace, what joy. The noise from the beast had been cut right down, so we should now be able to leave the saloon door open when it is running.
Having done the boat jobs for the day, we delivered coal to the house opposite and were then flagged down by a boat wanting coal, kindling and firelighters. The boater and his son were complaining about how much the local marina was charging for coal, and said that they would sooner buy their coal from the boats. It has been a very grey day and cold through out. We will be spending another evening snug inside watching what the usual Saturday night feast of TV.
Sunday 30th November.
For the last day of November, it turned out to be a total washout weather wise. It has not stopped raining all day long, so the only times we ventured off of the boat, were to take Paddy for his walk. The rest of the day has been spent cutting up t-shirts for Keith's rag rug and I did some more to my second boatwoman’s shawl. Working Boat Banstead came past us during the afternoon, with her steerer hunkered down against the heavy rain. We had seen earlier in the year that Banstead was up for sale, so are wondering if she is now under new ownership?
November looks to be ending wet. The forecast for the beginning of December is not much better. We have our Christmas tree and decorations out of hibernation so we may put them up tomorrow; a lot depends on whether we stay in Fenny Stratford for another day or so. We wish you a peaceful and safe week no matter where you are or what you are doing.