Monday, 25 November 2013

New Arrival

Welcome to the world, Florence Rosie Born 24th November. A beautiful new great niece. Congratulations to Adam ,Gemma and Delilah. Can't wait to meet you!
Five of these Robins flew off  on their merry way to Skipton, via the post office, after the first flock disappeared mysteriously on a national express coach, from milton keynes.
Jane finished crocheted christmas cards with the help of sister Liz, this was like a scene from Blue Peter, glue ended up all over Liz and the bows of Emily????, obviously she has not had a professional education in the spreading of glue unlike Jane who has an N.V.Q in it.
Any one out there wanting to send christmas cards our way , please can we ask that you sponsor Lewis instead, as he is doing the london Marathon in aid of a charity who is trying to protect Elephants from extinction, please go to   Thanks very much xx
Sculpture of Running man with Figures, at Wolverton.
we passed by this morning on our way to Cosgrove, this photo does't do it justice, as you can't see the small figures he's holding out in his hand, any way we like it!
View from the back cabin as we chug up the canal , on the look out for fire wood.
At Fenny Stratford last week, we filled up with Diesel in the lock, Supplied by Working boat Aston.
Brian continues with new doors, now complete with lining, just about to varnish.
Knobs and door knocker to be made in the forge.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Not to be !

Well Jane's job didn't work out to well, infact only lasted a week.
Mainly due to back problems and finding it difficult to conform to buttoned up uniforms, eating off trays and generally feeling like she was back at school .
Brian kept up his good work ethic anyway, by making lots of beautiful things to sell at a new gallery at Wilton .
Jane carried on with what she enjoys best and has been making Christmas cards and decorations which will be winging there way towards friends and family soon.
Liz came to stay which was q great distraction from Jane's wows .This proved timely as Christmas shopping is much more fun with a sister in tow! And retail therapy can sometimes improve humour ,not always mind !
It was a good thing Liz brought a huge rucksack , as this went back full of Christmas goodies for the family up north, shame about her clothes though!
Milton Keynes is becoming easier to navigate around, mainly due to Brian trying different routes every time he leaves the boat. It is a place full of great ideas , that need a few more years to come together. It is affectionately known as Telly Tubby land by the crew.
Emily is having new front doors as we speak , so everything is pretty much up side down. The old ones leaked and were drafty, so off they came this morning, watch this space for up dates. Hopefully to be completed by the time Lewis returns from Uni in 4 weeks.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Wintering In Milton Keynes.

A lovely Sunny warm day, enjoyed by all, even this Heron doing a spot of fishing from the roof .
we are on our way to Cosgrove for the night.
We moored here for  night, in Cosgrove.
This heron seemed interested in Brian's Heron sculpture , perhaps he thought he'd found a mate.
No not a giant key hole! this is a tunnel under the canal specially shaped for the working horses to go through, or rotund people with bandy legs?
Wolverton Aqueduct, the iron trough carrying boats over the Great Ouse, built in 1811 and still carrying boats.
The view from Emily Bronte as we pass over the river.
 Favourite meal of the crew, Brians home made Sundried tomato and Parmesan loaf ,cheese on toast .
Simple pleasures!
Moored at Grafton Regis.
The home of the white Queen  (Elizabeth Woodville, Queen consort to King Edward iv was born in Woodville manor house, west of the current village )


Friday, 11 October 2013

October Sunshine

Jane left the boat under the captain and cabin boys command, to visit family and friends on the land.
Packing lots of warm and water proof clothing, shoes and crocheting of course! as she was on her way to Skipton and "its cold in tha north"
As you can see from these photo's the weather was in fact warm and sunny, which was great.
Kate had come up to Skipton to experience the sights and sounds of the Dales and also to attend Yarn dale for a fix of the wool kind.
Jane thought it would be a great idea to walk up Malham cove. It all started very well up the winding path , past the clear flowing river Aire with its clapper bridges, then came the ascent to the very top, a couple of the troops had to stop quite a few time to take in the view!! after lots of huffing and puffing we reached the top, it was worth the climb as the view was breath taking.

Ken was smiling he had Buster to pull him to the top, plus a huge bag of Midget gems, which Jane was forced to eat due to lack of proper climbing food like Kendal mint cake or chocolate. We all had to sit back from the very edge realising that none of us enjoyed height! so we  just watched other fools staring over the edge.

This was how Kate and I knew we were on the right path to Yarn dale, yes that is a swing bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool canal that has been cleverly crochet bombed with small yellow ducks!! This was just the start of things 60,000 pieces of crocheted bunting lined our way , we felt a bit like Alice in wonderland on her way down the rabbit hole into another world. Kate and Jane achieved all the things they wanted to from meeting Lucy from attic 24, finding her lovely workshop ( green with envy now) to stroking angora bunnies and the grand day out was not complete yet . We took the red double Decker bus into town for lunch at the wild oat cafe famous for its knit and natter sessions.

A day out in Skipton was not complete without eating a very yummy pork pie, which we didn't let Kate have all to herself.
what a great time we had it was so much fun seeing my lovely friend Kate,all too soon it was time to see her off from the station.

Next stop was Sheffield to visit Frances, Liz drove Mum, Vera and Jane there in her new car, very flashy! but low slung as we found out on her very steep drive Eek!!
A very good time was had by all ,especially the strawberry cocktails( as Mum and Frances can vouch for) and the pontefract cakes.
 Liz and Jane must apologise to the people above our room at the premier inn as the load bang was a stray cork that flew out of the bubbly bottle at high speed ,nearly hitting Liz in the eye on its way up!!

Jane's feet quickly got back on the canal , as a job she had applied for before her adventures in Skipton meant she had an interview as soon as she got back. This proved successful,much to her shock and amazement,! having not had an interview for 18 years. So starting next week , full time (must be mad) coming to a John Lewis Cafe in Milton Keynes. Don't worry only for the Christmas period is Jane.
This is a flower granny square , making a scarf to sell with the very nice wool Kate sent . Thanks kate !

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Milton Keynes

Brian and Jane set off to Gloucestershire in a hired baked bean tin, actually a Peugeot 107, it's a 207 with half an engine and not much in the way of padding!
Lewis stayed onboard to catch up with some Russian literature and his friend Catherine came by to check he was ok.
Hilary welcomed the travellers with her usual delicious home made bread, cheese and beer.
Jane picked about 40lb of Victoria plums, having to share a few with the wasps. Brian pruned the rest of the fruit trees and anything else that looked like it needed a trim.
Next day, the baked bean tin rattled along the M5 through wind and rain to Winsham in Dorset.
Simon, Judy and Maya were super hosts.
Simon took them for a tour of the Jurassic coast in his landrover. They shot their next album cover on the beach at Seatown!

Back in Marsworth, Emily Bronte sailed on through the very rural Buckinghamshire countryside through Leighton Buzzard, then on to Milton Keynes with its wonderful open green spaces and excellent cycle ways.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Through a hedge backwards.

With a hint of autumn in the air, chilly evenings and some heavy showers, we have a perfect excuse to light the right rosy Rayburn . Brian went out on a search for fuel, his favourite secret hobby. returned with a good stash of the finest ash, which burns hot.

Jane made a few pounds of Damson Jam  which was a beautiful colour , slightly tart, and great spread thickly on toast. Best find yet was an apple tree bearing huge unblemished cookers. with some brave acrobatics from Brian, and boat maneuvers by Jane we soon had a good few pounds.
This spot proved to be the best spot for selling crocheting so far.
 Sunset through gearing.

went for a walk along the ridge way to the Ivinghoe Beacon, had a great view of the harvested fields and shadows of clouds it really was a peaceful scene.
Here's where the peace is shattered , Jane is caught short and breaks one of her own rules , never to answer a call of nature out doors, but needs must and having carefully selected a most secluded gap in said hedge proceeded! only to fall backwards into huge visciously thorned  blackberry bush.  Scrambled out looking like she had had a fight with  a wild cat and lost, not only scratched to pieces but with a sprained little finger!limped home discovering thorns every where!! for tea and germalene.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Marvelous Marsworth

what about this location for a creative crochet heaven? This is one of the reservoirs that feed the flight of locks here on the Marsworth flight. 
Look at the view, its so beautiful. 

 The sunsets here are amazing, who needs to go any where else.

Lewis had to catch a train from Tring which was 3 miles away , carrying a huge rucksack ( as usual). Dad came to the rescue,as he ran along side Lewis, as he cycled with the trailer carrying heavy rucksack. Brian then cycled trailer back to the boat.(were there's a will there's a way)

Here's what happened to those juicy blackberries we picked. Oops some are trying to escape the pie!
 All we need now is some custard.

This flight of locks really are a joy to work, as they seem to be really well balanced, plus we are going down hill which always seems easier,  I'm sure is all in the mind!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Wendover Arm, Grand Union Canal (a journey full of fauna)

The good citizens of Berkhamsted were enamoured with Brian and Jane's workmanship and both sold out, nearly. We managed to escape after two weeks in the one pound, which is the longest we've spent anywhere since leaving Bradford on Avon. Here is an animal named Oedipus(sy).

Here is a narrowboat camouflaged for the African canals.

We very much enjoyed cruising up through the eight locks to Cowroast, where once upon a time the cows were rested, not roasted. On a splendid walk along the Chilterns Way we stopped for a quick gander at the stocks and duck pond of the little village of Aldbury. 

Along the footpath we discovered a tree. It were laden with juicy purple orbs. They were victoria plums. They joined the blackberries in the collecting receptacles. I can feel a crumble coming on.

Here is an animal that has had a close shave. Although retaining a perm on the top of its head.

The good ship Emily Bronte set off for waters new, negotiating a tricky turn onto the Wendover Arm at the Bulbourne junction.

We were pleasantly surprised (although are not all surprises a form of aggression) to find an undiscovered and unmapped (at least in our guidebook) half mile of canal. We moored with our bows touching the very terminus of the waterway, passing the last winding hole, much to the amusement of the local fisherfolk.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

A Speedy Trip To Yorkshire.

Hired a car and began a week of dashing from one lovely family get-together to another.
Started by picking Lewis up from Heathrow airport, back from his summer school in the Czech Republic, which he greatly enjoyed mainly due to the fact there were 60 women to 20 men on the course. He brought us a curious cucumber-shaped present back from Germany and a weird local liquor from the Czech Republic.

The next day we picked Frances up from Maidenhead, bringing her home for the night. It was a real family night in. 
Here she is in her Mermaid dress ready for Bestival.

We all had to be up really early the next day to get Frances to work in Sheffield for 10 am. We were left to investigate her new home.She has managed to make her attic room very cozy. Meeting up after work we drove up and up into the beautiful peak district for a jolly old fashioned picnic. Lewis opened the champagne he got for his 21st birthday to celebrate.

Next we went to visit Jill and Gary where we all squashed into their pretty cozy terrace cottage complete with chickens in the yard (who escaped and had to be tempted back by Frances with speciality bread). Gary made one of his impressive pavlovas, which was yummy and we were joined by the Bithell family who had a very enjoyable time in Germany. The boys put the (ex)-smelly-armpit spell on us with their Harry Potter wands.

Liz and Ken put up with us, or put us up, which ever! in their beautiful house, we had an evening stroll around Skipton, seeing the infamous Lucy from attic24 ( Kate will be jealous!).

Took Mum out for a day in the Dales, visiting an old weaving mill on the way to Kendall. It was a bit of a busman's holiday for her at the mill but they did very nice tea and Victoria sponge cake.
We stopped at the Garsdale head Viaduct to see the glorious sight of a steam train going like the clappers.

Had a pint with Dad and Enid, they are very busy keeping the local general hospital patients in provisions.
Finally it was home via Luton . Here we had a very tasty curry at Balti Nights of Wellington Street. Frances had a very hot green bean, which made her ears go bright red.