Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Soulbury to Leighton Buzzard

On Monday we left Soulbury visitor moorings and moved just a few yards to the water point to refill the tank. Then off up the locks and on to Wyvern Shipping to get a pump out. There was marital discord at the Leighton Lock because David was sure that Wyvern was after Grove Lock and rather than Leighton Lock, and I was sure it wasn’t. He was relying on his memory of our 1990 trip and I relied on the Memory Map software. The latter was correct …
This is Leighton Lock and I am coming into it ...

... without touching the sides
At first the boat stays on the LHS ...

... but mysteriously moves to the RHS, even though David opened the LHS ground paddle gently first

We moved on to Leighton Buzzard and moored up on the visitor moorings (14 day) just after the shoppers’ moorings (2 hours). We have the last spot before the bridge which isn’t especially quiet but it’s fine. Quite a lot of foot traffic but as it’s been wet and windy that has probably been more limited than usual.

It’s very convenient, probably too convenient, being close to Tescos, Homebase and Aldi. But I have managed to buy some lettuce plants at Homebase – they look rather scrappy though so hopefully they will revive on being cared for. 
NZers will understand why I had to get these two photos - perhaps Dotcom could ask for replicas to be made for his place

The police should have gone in this way!

Walking into the town yesterday brought back lots of memories as I used to come here with Daphne. However, as is always the case, when you’re there with someone who lives close by, you don’t see the touristy interesting things. This time, we did see the wonderful memorial sculpture to Leighton Buzzard including the Vimy Vickers plane – one thing that interested me was the names that the town has had since the 11th century. I have always wondered why it was called Leighton Buzzard, after all Buzzard is a strange part name for a town. But did I write them down in the fine tradition of Les from nb Valerie, Tom from nb Waiouru, and Tony from nb Holderness? You bet your life I didn’t!
A replica Vimy Vickers (or is it Vickers Vimy?) prop in the centre of this memorial

And here are a couple of the town names - courtesy of David's diligence though
The descriptive plaque at the bottom of the High St. Most of the shops visible in this photo are closed.

We were going to go to the Wetherspoons pub (The Swan) for lunch but when we went in it was filled with pre-schoolers … Not a happening thing for me – I don’t do kids who don’t know and adhere to the restaurant rules. Kirsty and Tim can still recite them (not that we ask them to now, mind) – you have to eat what you chose, you can only go to the toilet once, and you mustn’t disturb other diners. Simple, because the latter two mean no roaming around and no loud voices. But a number of parents think family friendly in a description of a restaurant means their kids can tear around and make as much noise as they want.

So we went over to Pizza Express and had a lovely peaceful lunch there. Then a bit of shopping at one of those fabulous hardware shops for the things that we hadn’t been able to get in Fenny Stratford plus a broom handle to put up the NZ ensign on the swan’s neck. I am not even concerned if NZ loses the cricket match which is underway. I’ll just tell people it’s the Australian flag …

In the late arvo the wind came up and the rain came down hard. I kept hearing what sounded like something rolling across the roof of the boat. Clearly my ears were not hearing clearly – as I was about to go out and investigate, David told me it was ducks and geese pecking weed off the hull at the waterline. Doh! I’d rather like them to do a thorough job of it and do some duck diving to accomplish that, please.

This morning David told me he wanted me to go to the Dr today as he thought my cough wasn’t getting better. I know I am feeling better and I am not coughing as much – Day and Night Nurse are excellent. They may just mask the symptoms, but they are giving my throat and diaphragm a rest from the coughing.

I wrote last year about the NHS’s wonderful health-line service, accessed by dialling 111. It was exemplary again today, apart from the clinician giving me stick about the cricket … As there isn’t a walk-in centre in Leighton Buzzard, he gave me the phone numbers of the medical practices here. One of them is very close to the moorings, so I walked over there. In a trice, I was registered as a temporary patient and an appointment was made for me in 40 minutes' time to see a nurse and be checked out. That is pretty good, I reckon.

I am a project manager, so that 40 minutes had to be made use of. Therefore  I scooted back to Homebase (tomato plant in a hanging basket, a set of metal files and some better looking lettuce plants) and into Tescos (Knorr stock cubes) and back to the boat to offload them all before heading back to the surgery. I was seen by a very lovely nurse – chest is clear, the phlegm is at my throat, no need for David to worry but every need for him to keep looking after me – well, that’s what I told him!

Then into town for a haircut as it’s too long to wait until we see Michelle and Taffy. I thought £9.50 was a very reasonable price to pay and I paid £12 – I did try to pay her the £2 with an NZ $2 coin, but rectified that.

Since then, we have cut chain into lengths of 10 links each and David is now affixing them to the solar panels and brackets. There is a lot of rattling going on above my head. He had made a sort of solar panel daisy chain the other day but it looked cumbersome and crass. 
David tells me a boat bitch's life is tough, on his knees on the roof ...

The sun has come out and the solar panels are doing their job. It’s windy tho and we will stay here until tomorrow morning now. For dinner tonight I have promised David a nectarine and cheese salad (goat’s cheese for me, cheddar for him) with new potatoes. He waited expectantly before asking about protein … Bad luck, buddy!

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