...over the last week, we've even managed some boating!
BACK IN BLACK
No not my all-time favorite AC/DC album from the early eighties but LJ back in a lovely thick coat of protective blacking. Whilst Dean was doing an excellent job with roller and brush Deb was making the most of the free electric hook-up (first time since June last year!) to cook a massive roast, crispy pork, loads of veg and the last of our scrumped apples in a tangy apple sauce. Even though we ate at lunch time it finished us of for the day. Dean did a great job of the blacking, two good coats and another hour or so going over the base plate welds and the bow thruster tube with a brush nailed to a piece of wood as the protective grids aren't removable.
Steve did his best not to laugh at me after finding our oil leak. I had told him I suspected a possible issue with a loose dip stick. And joked that the only other thing I had done was change the oil filter. 'But I doubt its split and I always check the oil seal came off with the old filter' - ah not last time I didn't! I had hurried the messy filter into a carrier bag and binned it. I've changed a few on LJ and probably hundreds on my motorbikes and always checked for debris and any old oil seals. Oh well at least nothing serious. I'll be honest, I didn't think I would be too impressed with the service at Debdale as the price was so reasonable, you get what you pay for. Well not this time, I feel we got a lot more. Plenty of yards would have charged £390 just for hauling out and putting back so I think Debdales £396 all in for a 60ft boat is well cheap and the whole yard works well together with Nicky organising everything in a particularly calm way. Back in on a sunny Friday we decided to back track and moor up the Market Harborough arm.
|Back in Black|
|Not bad for a thirteen year old|
|Dean was brilliant!|
|Ohhhh I do like a nice roast dinner|
OLD MAN SHOES
I really had no alternative, my open weave trainers are hopeless in the chilly wind of autumn and completely pointless in the wet. My walking boots are great but wearing them all day is, well, wearing. Crocks are ok for quickly popping on to the bank. So after years, no decades, of my dad saying something like 'you don't want to buy those, you want something more like these' I have finally given in and bought some brown Clarks for delivery to Pips. Half price on Clarks website and delivery included. Oh well just need the pipe and the bus pass now.
TALKING OF BUS PASS
Deb nearly qualifies for one now! No she is still twenty odd years off the usual date but her hearing has been tested again by the NHS and classified as 'Moderately Severe'. Once she is up to severe, she gets a free bus pass. In the mean time she is entitled to 30% off rail fares, including Oyster card top-ups in London - Bonus. As her hearing is so bad I qualify for travelling at the reduced 'child' rate as her carer! I hope carer doesn't involve too many extra duties though. We've been regular travelers to Reading hospital recently and whilst we think their audiology department is far better than Poole's the guys looking after Deb have said her consultant in Poole was one of the best in the country and three of the four people we met had been trained by him. I guess its just another post code lottery as Poole don't provide hearing aids to people in Deb's position the only alternative being a quite invasive operation with medium success rate in the short term and an expected long term success of about five years. Our last appointment (last Monday) was for hearing aid fitting and testing and we are both happy to say that Deb is now 'back in the room' The senior consultant audiologist was great and soon had the devices tested, programmed and explained and we were off back up to Foxton. Mouse buttons still click, my old trainers still squeak, people talk (in Catherine Tate's phraseology) 'a load of old shit', I crunch my cereal loudly oh and I still burp a lot - its been a quiet few years.
MEETING WITH MATES
After getting back and checking LJ was all ok after abandoning her for another long weekend, we headed off to see Mea and Les (blog link) aboard Blue Moon. We arrived later than intended (by a few hours) and headed off for a bite to eat. Blue Moon has a fantastic mooring overlooking a marina entrance but with loads of space and no adjacent neighbours, ideal. It was great to catch up again before they head to Torquay, Poole and on to their paradise island home off the coast of Thailand for the winter. See you in 2014 guys.
OFF TO TOWN
We had a great mooring a just outside Foxton but fancied a change of scene so headed for the basin in Market Harborough last Tuesday. It was a lovely little rural trip and by the time we were on the basin service moorings the sun was out and summer was back, it was a windless evening with the temperature in the twenties. We sat on a bench at the end of the basin eating our Chinese takeaway, bliss. My fortune cookie said I would receive great fortune the next sunny day, yeah right. The next day was sunny. Heading back from a quick look around the very impressive town I was shat on from a great height by a grinning pidgeon. Right that's it, time to buy my first lotto ticket for the last two years. Well luck is subjective I guess but the cookie and the poop weren't pointing me in the direction of the lottery. We did have as couple of very near misses on the way back to Foxton though with hirers in a bit of a hurry to get back to base at the end of this particularly twisty stretch and I consider myself lucky every day. I managed to give both sides of LJ a quick wash off before mooring on the new two day moorings in Foxton. The volunteer ranger/traffic wardens have clocked our number even though neither of them were totally clear how long two days is. They did say that their patch was just over 5km round trip though. I don't know how enthusiastic they will be in mid winter, but presuming the 5km covers there and back for 2.5km of moorings that would equate to about 150 moored boats on new restrictibe mooring times. Are Foxton locks THAT popular with boaters, I think not.
|Mill pond like|
|Lots of nice gardens on the way|
|High on the list of favorite towns so far|
|Even the only empty shop had welcome to Market Harborough picture from local school children|