Sunday, 29 September 2013



Monday 9th September
It rained on and off nearly all day with some really heavy showers. We got out though and had a stroll along the canal, through some fields and back through Crick. There are a few pubs, Co-op and a post office.

Mooring at Crick

Entrance to Crick tunnel

Tuesday 10th September
I had my hospital appointment with the Audiology Department at the Royal Berks today, it has only been 10 days since the referral from my GP and that includes two weekends so I'm very impressed as I was expecting at least six weeks before my appointment. All went well and I have an appointment on 23rd September for hearing aids to be fitted, so it will then be 22 days since my initial GP appointment, that is so different from when I went to my GP when living in Poole over four years ago, I had been going back and forth to Poole Hospital for nearly two years and nothing being resolved, but I suppose some of the ground work had been covered as I was told I had Otosclerosis though the ENT Department as they don't really have an Audiology Department to speak of. We then went to Mum's in Mortimer and went out for dinner in the evening to Spice Oven in Caversham, what a great place and right near the Thames. It was getting quite late by the time we left Mum's and didn't get back to Crick until after midnight.

Wednesday 11th September
We had to get the hire car back to Daventry and stopped off at Tesco to stock up before Enterprise dropped us back at Crick.

Thursday 12th and Friday 13th September
We went for a walk to the nearby village of Yelvertoft doing a circular walk through the fields and back by the canal.

Picking blackberries

The Reading Rooms in Yelvertoft

The village shop and post office

Saturday 14th September
Crick - Bridge 29 Elkington
5.5 miles
We were stayed on in Crick for a few days longer as it was the Crick Feast this weekend and we wanted to have a quick look around before moving off, it is an historic event in the village and I think started off as a large scale Harvest Festival. At various locations around the village were different kinds of stalls and exhibitions ranging from classic cars, vegetable shows, history of Crick exhibitions, vegetable show, wood turning and blacksmiths. After our stroll round in the morning we got back to LJ and after getting diesel and pumpout at Crick Marina (unfortunately we just missed Mark on the fuel boat Callisto) we continued our journey towards Debdale.

A selection of tractors on display

And also various lawnmowers

I just loved this car

Sunday 15th September
Bridge 29 Elkington  - Bridge 59 near Foxton
12 miles and 1 tunnel
We had a very early start to miss the bad weather that was forecast.

The early morning mist

Overnight mooring

Husbands Bosworth tunnel

The farmer's been busy

17.5 miles
1 tunnel


Monday 16th September
Had a wander down to the Foxton locks and also to look a the site of the inclined plane.

Inclined Plane

Mooring near Bridge 59 before Foxton

Tuesday 17th September
Bridge 59 near Foxton - Debdale Wharf
2 miles and 10 locks (2 x 5 staircase)
We arrived at the top of the locks and stopped at the water point, whilst filling I went off to find the lock keeper. The locks were quite busy with lots going down, the lockie told me there were a couple of boats that had been waiting at the bottom for some time so we would have to wait. We had a wait of about two and a half hours as the boats going down had to finish and the two at the bottom, which was now three, had to all come up.

Bottom lock of the Foxton flight

Outside the entrance to Debdale Wharf

Wednesday 18th September
Today was the day when LJ would be lifted and blacked, this was the first time we had seen her out of the water as when we bought her we didn't make it in time when she was out for the survey.

Ready to go up

and she's out

Dean getting to work with the pressure washer

Thursday 19th September
Dean at Debdale was busy getting LJ blacked whilst I was making the most of the shore power and made a huge roast.

Friday 20th September
Debdale Wharf - Bridge 5 Foxton Village
2.25 miles and 2 swing bridges 
Time for LJ to go back in. We then headed off back towards Foxton as we had another hire car booked for the weekend.

All done and ready to go back in 

Through the first swing bridge on Market Harborough arm

Moored up just after bridge 5

Nice sunny spot

Saturday 21st September
Enterprise in Corby came and collected us from the swing bridge at Foxton village and took us back to their office where we picked up our car, this time they had very kindly given us a free upgrade from Class A to C. We then headed off to Mums in Mortimer where Jess was meeting us for the weekend as well.

Sunday 22nd September
The weather was kind to us and we had a lovely day, I mowed mum's lawn and we managed to replant a tree which was growing in a pot and needed a helping hand out! We also went out for a walk with the dogs that mum looks after.

4.25 miles
10 locks
2 swing bridges


Monday 23rd September
It was an early start as we needed to be at the Royal Berkshire Hospital for my appointment at 8:45am which meant making our way across Reading in the rush hour, as we left early we missed most of the traffic and arrived at the hospital just after 8am so we went to the cafe for tea and toast. All went well at the appointment with the hearing aids being fitted and adjusted. It was only afterwards, when reading a leaflet I had be given, that I realised that Reading has one of the largest Audiology Departments in the UK and trials all the latest equipment. We made our way back up to Foxton and LJ stopped off briefly to pick up some shopping, after this was all put away we made the most of still having the hire car and went to visit Les and Mea at Hinckley before they return to their island living in Thailand. 

Tuesday 24th September
Bridge 5 Foxton Village - Market Harborough
4.75 miles
This is a lovely rural part of the canal with only a couple of road bridges and nothing else until you nearly get to the basin itself where we turned and moored on the stretch just outside. In the evening we cycled down to the town where we got a Chinese take away and then headed back to the basin to eat it al fresco.

Enjoying our chinese takeaway

with a view of Market Harborough basin

Wednesday 25th September
Market Harborough - Foxton visitor moorings
5.5 miles and 2 swing bridges
We walked back to Market Harborough for a look around, it's only about a 10 minute walk from the basin, it quite a sizable old market town with some lovely historic buildings. On our walk back James manged to get pooed from a great height, by a pigeon I think! Back at LJ we decided to move off and made our way back to Foxton.

Market Harborough

Pigeon got James

Oops forgot the mooring picture - it was that space on the right

Going through the road swing bridge

and the smaller pedestrian one

Thursday 26th September
We had a lazy morning with a stroll up to the locks and the little shop at the bottom of the locks. In the evening Adam and Adrian from Briar Rose joined us for a curry followed by cake which Adam had made. We really enjoyed the evening with great company.

Visitor mooring at Foxton

Friday 27th September
Foxton - Aqueduct near Bridge 77
6 miles, 5 locks and 1 tunnel

Approaching Saddington tunnel

Mooring just before the Aqueduct after bridge 76

Saturday 28th September
Aqueduct near Bridge 77 - Kilby Bridge moorings
3.5 miles and 7 locks
Again it was a lovely day with the sun out and quite warm. We had a bit of a wait at our first lock, Newton top lock, as the pound below was drained, apparently the last boat through the night before had left one of the paddles open, it wasn't too long before we were on our way again. James spent the afternoon starting the touch up work on the side and gunwhales where we've managed to get a few scratches.

Lois Jane at Kilby Bridge moorings

Sunday 29th September
We staying put a Kilby whilst James is taking the opportunity to continue the painting, it's another sunny day although the wind has picked up a bit today.

19.75 miles
12 locks
1 tunnel
2 swing bridges

330.25 miles
216 locks
8 tunnels
10 swing bridges

Thursday, 26 September 2013

So much seems to have happened...

...over the last week, we've even managed some boating!


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

Still shiney

Not bad for a thirteen year old

Dean was brilliant!

Ohhhh I do like a nice roast dinner


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.


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.


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.


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