Monday, 27 July 2015

Fear not, I am back!!

Finally, finally, finally I have my laptop back in working mode: David got a power supply at the Apple store in the Bullring at Birmingham, but as he was on his way to Scotland at the time (back on Friday 17th July), I have only just got my hands on it …

So the last twice I blogged was on my phone, and I lost the will to live when trying to upload photos. Considering they were on my phone at the time, I could not understand why the option of loading them from it was not open to me.

Anyway, that aside, I was easily diverted from posting. We had grandsons, then one grandson and then the addition of Lesley to the crew. So there was plenty of activity to keep me occupied and, speaking frankly as a 64 year old, ready to sleep early in the evenings well before blogging could be contemplated...

One such event was the requirement to rescue the platform that forms one part of our aluminium ladder-cum-plank that David let slip into the cut - fortunately right beside the boat ...
We know it's down there

Perhaps if he leans further over he'll be able to reach ...

He's got longer arms - perhaps he can reach.
We can feel it

But we cannot, any of us, lift it with the boat hooks
So togs (swimming costume) and jandals (flip flops) on and in I go. It's not as cold as the Tongaporutu River when I'd readily but with much yelping get in for skiing. OK, I can feel it with my feet, in fact I am standing on it

Here it is - lifted with my foot rather than putting my head in ... You can see that Olek was in his togs and also prepared to get in and help
Into safe hands - not David's as you can tell from the tattoos!
And up - didn't think I could climb up slimy sandbags on my own ...

And out - then into the shower!
On the day Lesley took David to Leamington Spa to catch his series of trains to Scotland, Lesley, Olek and I went on to Warwick Castle - that was once I had organised a mortgage-sized overdraft. To be fair, given what is included in the entry fee, said fee wasn’t too bad. But I did draw the line at having to leave a £100 deposit for three £4 sets of headphones for the audio tour… I think the highlights were the birds of prey displays (we stayed for both), the tour of the dungeon (although the demo of instruments of torture just served to remind me that these things are probably still being used, and the trial of the witch in the last room was ghastly from a feminist viewpoint – but especially spooky when something moved under our bums on the benches we were sitting on) and Olek’s very successful archery.
Note the position of the arrows in the left hand target - not Olek's, and most of them are outside the rings

Then look at where Olek's are going. He's a natural!
More into the bull's eye

Impressive, eh? So says proud Grammy.

After Lesley left, Olek and I stayed a couple more nights in the flight and then, on the Sunday, we went up the flight to get water at Marston Doles and then on to Fenny Compton to get more water and turn around. (Lots of washing to be done as we moved along therefore lots of water stops required!)  

While Olek and I boated between Marston Doles and Fenny Compton and half way back, David and Tim watched England get thrashed by Australia

After our mammoth boating day, with Olek doing all the locks pretty much single handed but with some help from boaters crossing over, we moored up behind Pauline (a single hander we'd met earlier that day at Napton) near bridge 124 – a lovely peaceful mooring. Ordinarily I would have plied Pauline with food and wine, but it was one of my fast days (David and I are doing the Five-Two diet), so no chardonnay and nibbles allowed. Bugger! And strangely enough, one of the effects of the diet is a change in my eating habits: I cannot drink much chardonnay at the moment – that may be enough to stop this eating regime in its tracks!

On Monday morning, after yet another stop for water at Marston Doles, Olek and I made our way back halfway down the Napton flight to our previous mooring to await the return of the lovely but mad Lesley who came back to stay while David was away. 

Olek decided he wanted to make my brekkie and deliver it to me in bed. He is a gem!

My brekkie - two pieces of toast and a jelly cube, plus a cup of tea. Isn't he wonderful?

The three of us had a lovely time although Lesley has a wicked wiggly tickling finger and is an extremely bad influence on Olek. Fortunately she can be quelled with a wet finger tip on the back of her neck, but the ensuing squeaks are a trifle disturbing to the peace of the waterways.

Lesley with her stunning haircut - performed by me on the towpath. Eating icecream outside the Folly Inn - don't know why she looks so sour!

Olek and I were due to head to Scotland last Thursday, so after coming down the rest of the Napton flight with Lesley on Tuesday, we moored near Bridge 103 – a very lovely mooring with lovely views. The following morning I phoned Jaq Biggs to confirm the location of the nearest winding hole – Nicholson’s says between bridges 99 and 98, and the Memory Map app says at the Braunston Junction. Given it was pelting down with rain, I was pleased to hear that Nicholson’s was right! Just before Wigram’s Turn where we were leaving the boat for the trip north, we dropped Lesley off to walk back along the towpath to the Folly Inn to collect her car – she valiantly braved the rain. When she arrived back at Wigram’s Turn I promptly gave her a magnum icecream to undo all the good work. Ha!!

But in the meantime, Olek and I moored up with aplomb and no scraping of sides, to get a pump out, and then I moved the boat over to moor up on the adjacent jetty. I was thrilled not to mess that up either given it involved reversing followed by a winding-type manoeuvre to come gently alongside. And I was being WATCHED!

In the morning we packed our bags and cleared and cleaned the boat and stripped beds, with Lesley being the fridge clearing star. And while we were doing all that, who should come over for a pump out but Jill and Graham from nb Armadillo. Given I have commented on their blog in the past, and advised Jill to drop Graham overboard when he was poorly with a chest infection, I thought I had best go and introduce myself and ensure he knew that I was only joking. Hopefully we will see them again out on the cut. I sense that some wine may need to be consumed, so best the meeting does not occur on a fasting day!


Lesley Bateman said...

I would just like to point out that I am in no way a bad I fluence on your eldest grandson, it is o fact, he who is a bad influence on me. And age has nothing to do with it!

Lesley Bateman said...

Dyslectic fingers!. But sure you can translate!x

Marilyn McDonald said...

You are correct, ODS, age has nothing to do with it. It is evil intent that decides the case. For an unbiased view of Olek, I suggest you read the latest post on NB Valerie's blog, and then try again to convince me of your innocence! Pah, I say, pah!

Lesley Bateman said...

I don't deny that be can be very sweet and polite, hiding his bad influence from others. It is his cunning plan so that others don't believe me when I say that he leads me a stray.

Lesley Bateman said...
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Lesley Bateman said...

I don't deny that be can be very sweet and polite, hiding his bad influence from others. It is his cunning plan so that others don't believe me when I say that he leads me a stray.

Marilyn McDonald said...

You do know that stating something three times sort of seals your guilt - the lady doth protest too much, methinks ... And what kind of stray are you?

Lesley Bateman said...

I have no idea why t does this. I'm not a stray, I am pedigree. Almost had rant at Wicks, wanted to buy new handles for doors. Go in with my order for 5. Now have process similar to Argos whefd you look in a catalogue and fill in a number on a piece of paper. We only have two in stock she says. I say why only two. Oh we don't reorder until we have nil stock. Why I say, because we don't she says. I point out that as far as I am aware, most dwellings have more than two doors and if people change handles, they are likely to change all at the same time. What sane organisation wauts until it has zero stick before reordering. I don't understand she says. I give up. Do buy the two she has and not her fault. But honestly!

Lesley Bateman said...
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Lesley Bateman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.