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Friday, December 12, 2008

Bugbrooke to Buckby Locks.

Thursday 11th December.

Bugbrooke to the bottom of Buckby Locks, 6.7 miles.

The overnight temperature did not get below zero, so we woke up to a frost free, overcast morning. The back stove was not looking too promising when we got up, but I soon had it up and running once more, with a some twig kindling, a firelighter and some house coal. Paddy as always eagerly waiting by the door for his early morning walk, which began as always with him cocking his leg no sooner had he jumped off of the boat. We walked up the towpath past moored boats so he was kept on his lead. Once he had done what he needed to do, he did an about turn to make his way back to the boat. In front of us was another boater with his dog off the lead. Paddy was still on his lead as we approached this dog, which for whatever reason took a dislike to Paddy as he walked alongside me. The dogs owner was someway along the towpath when his animal attacked Paddy, growling and then lurching for Paddy’s neck, my first reaction was to shout at the dog, hoping his owner would come and control his dog. The owner made no effort to collect his dog, and the dog wanted another go at Paddy, so I kicked it and shoved it off. Finally the owner turned around to look at his dog. But by this time Paddy and I were briskly walking towards Hadar. As I passed the dog owner I advised him that if his dog was going to attack other people’s dogs it should be kept on a lead. His reply was “He does not normally go for other boaters dogs”. I instinctively replied “That’s not the point is it”. With that we were back on the boat and thankfully Paddy was none the worst for his ordeal, neither was I. I come back again and again to the subject that dog owners should be more responsible, and I know that many dog owners are, but it only takes a small minority to make it bad for the rest. We left Bugbrooke at 9.35am to firstly head to High-house Wharf to drop off a Christmas card.There was still some ice on the surface of the canal in places where it was open to the elements. We passed Fred Tarry’s coal yard, but we could not see anyone around to say good morning to, so we shall see Richard again when we need to refill Hadar’s hold. We arrived at High-house Wharf at 10.30am and were moving alongside Elaine and David’s boat Patience when David came out and asked if we would like a coffee. We could not refuse an offer like that on a cold and overcast morning, so we moored alongside them and went in for a coffee and a chat. It was 11.45am before we left them, wishing them a wonderful Christmas and 2009. We passed by Weedon, on a stretch of water which is open and quiet, with landscaped woods of Brockhall Park to our left, but the quietude is short lived when the railway and the M1 join the canal, merging 3 different types of transport. We were just about to stop at bridge 18 Muscott Mill Bridge to walk up to the Heart of the Shires Shopping Village, when we spotted a Muntjac deer browsing in the wood, not bothered by us, the railway or the motorway noise. Having moored up we strolled up to the Heart of the Shires Shopping Village, which is a courtyard of shops, set in an old farm. We enjoyed wandering around the units which house a florists, furniture, food, pet foods, and Christmas goodies and much more before heading back to Hadar. We then moved her along the canal to below Buckby Locks, where we will stay now till Monday.

Friday 12th December.

The TV weather forecaster last night was predicting a temperature over night of -4 C, and looking at the canal this morning as I opened the back cabin doors, it looked like it had been pretty darn cold as the canal was frozen over, and sleet had settled on its surface, giving us a wintry setting.Despite the fact that we had the M1 on one side of us and the railway on the other, Keith and I both slept really well and woke up refreshed. I got up and made us a cup of tea, which we had in bed before getting up properly.
This was the view from our galley door as I prepared warming porridge for breakfast.As good a reason as any not to bother moving I reckon. But that did not mean that I did not have to brave the weather, because Paddy needed his usual walk. The difference this morning was he could run riot out in the field by the boat. The draw back to this was the noise of the motorway, which drowned out any command I gave Paddy, so he thought he had the run of the whole field. I think he thought all his Christmas’s had come at once. After some 15 minutes he finally ran out of steam and was ready to go back to the boat for his breakfast biscuits. On walking along the towpath a Black Labrador came charging along the towpath, and my thought was “Oh no not again”. So I gathered Paddy up on his lead, whilst he hid behind me, clearly expecting trouble. Thankfully the Black Lab was a friendly boy and only wanted to play with Paddy. There was no sign of his owner to begin with, and then a gentleman climbed out of his boat and stood on the towpath just watching. Paddy made a hasty retreat to the boat, as he was not too impressed with the labs persistent attention. I do not think there was any harm in the Black Lab, he just wanted to play, but once again it comes down to the owner having control over his dog. Paddy will play like any other dog, but there is a time and a place. So with us both back inside the boat, it was time to get boat jobs done. Both the stoves had to be tended to; the floors needed sweeping and washing. I made us a sausage casserole for dinner tonight, which is cooking in the back cabin stove and smells mmmmm. Keith settled down to cutting up more blue t-shirts for the Rag Rug he is making for our back cabin, it is really coming a long now that he has done the red and white. Lunch time was soon upon us so I did us cheese and onion on toast with a coffee to wash it down. Outside it is very grey and overcast and nothing is moving, not even the wildfowl it seems. The same cannot be said for the traffic on the M1, it roars on with vehicles traveling at break neck speeds. It is really incredible at the noise coming from the motorway. So on that note I will say cheerio for this week, see you next week as we draw ever closer to Christmas. Take care whatever you are doing.

4 comments:

John and Fiona on nb Epiphany said...

We've been wondering when we would catch up with you, and now we know.
We followed Hadar's build and the blog (of course), but haven't yet seen you in the flesh.
All being well, Epiphany should be at Buckby bottom on Saturday afternoon, so if you're around maybe we won't do the flight until Saturday, after all.
Hope to see you
WBW

John & Fiona

Maureen said...

Oh No! I am glad to hear Paddy is okay... that owner should have been kicked too!

Happy Christmas, Jo and Keith!

Keith and Jo said...

Hi John & Fiona.
We look forward to meeting you. We are staying at the bottom of the flight until Monday, so if you fancy a coffee and a natter then please come and find us onboard. The weather today is awful (Saturday), so I would not be surprised if you did not bother moving. Jo

Keith and Jo said...

Hi Maureen. I am not a violent person, but I was so angry. In fact I should have kicked the owner and not the dog, after it was not really the dogs fault that he has a dreadful owner who has no control.

Have a fabulous Christmas Maureen, here's to 2009.

Jo x