Saturday, January 31, 2009

The lost village of Watford

Today we walked to the 16th Century village of Watford....Of all the times we have driven past Watford gap services on the M1, we never knew that there was a place nearby called Watford. It was a nice walk up a lane, through a big estate owned by Watford house.
We went because in the Nicholson Guide it showed a Post office and a store but this it what we got.
You can see the old post box on the wall and the sign bracket, but it had been turned into a house and was up "For Let"
The church was fantastic and in good condition and was the main attraction in this sleepy village.Even the old school had been turned into a house.
We took the Jurrasic way back to the canal which brought us back to Watford Flight locks, and then we made our way back to Derwent6.

Friday, January 30, 2009

All trying to keep warm

We needed to stock up for the cold weather approaching, so decided to go out and find some fuel. We came back with a few bits and pieces and threw them on the boat to dry out a little. After sussing out the chainsaw, we put it into action, and it made the job so easy. (You can see that Al had somewhere to park the bike ha ha.)Al gathered a few sticks, which we will dry out for kindling.

We now have the lambs in the field opposite us and if you look closely at this picture you will see a small white dot on the right hand side of the bridge.

He was so sweet and you wanted to pick him up as he was shaking with the cold..

Here are some other pictures we took, as we have been watching them play all day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our first lambs and 3G

Wow....we've got 3G....but more about that later!

Woke up to a windy morning, but we really wanted to move today. So laid in bed contemplating whether we should reverse back to the marina for diesel top up or just plough on. Took the easy option.......reversing back haha. For those of you that are not familiar with narrowboats, they have no steering in reverse, which makes it all good fun at the best of times, let alone when its windy.
With Del on the Stern and Al on the Bow, we managed to negotiate the marina entrance, and felt quite proud of ourselves, and moored up for a re-fuel. The guys at Crick Marina are really friendly, and let you self-declare, which is great.
Back on the cut, we filled up with water and did our washing, and who should we see opposite but, n.b Pickles No2 (

After watering up, we headed off towards the wet Crick tunnel. We wasn't sure how far we would venture today; We are heading down to Braunston, as the locks are due to re open tomorrow, but saw a nice mooring after the tunnel and couldn't resist it!

Alongside us in the field we spotted our first lambs

Although we're not too far from the M1 motorway, once inside the boat, you wouldn't know, and it's not like we will be sunning ourselves outside just yet! The real plus point is we get full phone signal throughout the boat, and yes....wait for it.......3G. Wow feels like broadband. Might just have to hang around lol

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


With rain this morning we did a few more jobs and then went for a walk around lunchtime. Though it was a bit flooded, we had our wellies on. Good job when you see these pics.
This path took us to the place where the horses used to be taken over the hill while the boats were legged through Crick tunnel, and they have now called the road Boat Horse Lane. It was full of lovely thatched cottages with some of them dating back to the 1600 century.

This brought us back to Crick village, (were we now know the woman in the Co-Op) and then we walked back to bridge 12..... does anyone know what the tap is for hanging from the centre of the bridge, only we're not running on steam.We then went on to Crick marina for some coal and check out their price of diesel (and diesel split). We brought two bags of their best smokeless for £8.75 using the sackbarrow.
It was then back to Derwent6 for something to eat and the ducks got the stale bread.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Mooving today

We did plan to move today, but John from Leesan was coming out to look at our manual pump out system we have on Derwent6. He turned up at 11.00am and started pulling the pump about, and noticed that it wasn't sucking as well as it should. We then dismantled the pump and low and behold there was a piece of waste tank swalf stuck in the one way valve. Brilliant! problem solved, but not until a lot of cleaning with disinfectant had to be done. Some of the waste had gone down into the bilge and we didn't want that chucking up every night. Well now it was working and as we had a sanitary station just over the bridge it was rude not to empty the waste tank. It took eight goes and it still wasn't completely empty, but it will at least save us a pumpout for another week or so. We are so pleased we have that facility and long term will save us a fortune.
While all this was going on Al was making some lovely coconut cakes and on the stern we had both smells good and bad, but the cakes really tasted good.
This took up the best part of the day and we had decided to settle down tonight with a glass of wine, but had run out of wine. So it was a small trip into Crick village to pick up a few bottles from the Co-Op and on the way back to Derwent6 we noticed a Cow walking up and down the towpath. (as you do)
We couldn't find how it had got out, but we managed to take down part of the fence and after giving me a real look, decided to be reunited with it's crying calf.
We then had to repair the fence for the farmer and they all lived happily ever after. The joys of boating...

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a Beautiful day

What a lovely day it was today. We decided to stay put and do some of those cleaning jobs you tend not to get round too. It was so nice Derwent6 got a polish today, and yes some of the brasses. We wanted to try our manual pumpout today, but we still have problems on getting it to work. We got onto Fernwood who got in touch with Leesan and he asked us to try a few things first, but still no luck. They are coming out tomorrow to see if they can help us out. We're not desperate yet but only have a couple of days grace.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Lunch with friends

We got an out of the blue text last night saying "were we near a pub that did Sunday lunch tomorrow, would love to see you both"....We were in the middle of nowhere, so we thumbed through the good pub guide and came up with the The Red Lion in Crick. The only trouble was, we had to get there.

With the over night wind and rain we thought the weather would be bad, but when we set of it was dry and we could see blue sky on the horizon.
We stopped at Yelvertoft for water, and then carried on to Crick, arriving just in time for a quick shower and change before taking the 10 minute walk up to The Red Lion in the village.
There to meet us was Mandy and Tony who had driven up from Kent to see us. It was good company, good food (great prices), and good fun. They came back to Derwent6 for coffee before heading back. Thanks again for making the effort guys!!!!
When they left, it made us realise how lucky we are not having to go back to work on Monday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Birds in the sky

The canal was frozen when we got up and we thought we weren't going anywhere. We looked out the porthole and saw a mole digging a hole and a robin just picking up a juicy worm from the hole just dug. Just to really take the p*** he came right up to the glass and posed. Believe me these were all taken with our camera, there is so much going on.
While we got Derwent6 ready for moving off as luck should have it a canaltime hire boat came through breaking the ice. You can see the frost on the roof of Derwent6.
and another bird flew overhead.
So with the ice broken we set off, still being watched by the birds
We moved out of Leicestershire and into Northamptonshire. The bridges still had the rope marks on them from where the horses used to pull the boats along the canal.

This crane followed us along the canal for about a mile by flying ahead and then caught a fish. We just managed to get it flying off with it in its mouth.

We tried to get some wood today with not much success, so we will be on the lookout for some next week. Our hungry stomachs finally got the better of us so we found a nice mooring to watch the sun go down and the Man U and Spurs game.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Walk to Welford

Woke up this morning at the end of the Welford Arm, to the snow they forecasted, so stoked up the fire, and waited for it to clear like they said. The plan was that we were going to try out our manual pumpout system on Derwent6. The waste tank is about half full at the moment and we were going to take Derwent6 up the Welford arm and try the manual pump out system. The sleet and snow did stop, but the wind was still very strong, so we made the decision not to take Derwent6 up the arm. We put on our winter weather gear and went for a walk into Welford.

We've got to admit Derwent6 looked fantastic as we left her to set out on our one and three quarter mile walk into Welford, and as we looked back we could still see her on the horizon. We did notice one poor boater getting into difficulty due to the wind. They were pushed into these trees and we didn't want to take another photo to embarrass them anymore. As it was lunch time, we popped into The Whalf Inn at the end of the arm and were surprised at the reasonable prices. We can recommend the fish and chips (£5.95) and the bread and butter pudding, Oh well, we are walking it off.
We then went on to the village which takes you through a small park and up to the village high street.
In the village they have a store which also has the post office, so we picked up a few provisions and posted a couple of cards.

There were a few moorings in Welford, but as you can see they were few and far between, we were glad we walked and felt better for it.

When we got back to the boat it was all warm and toasty so we just snuggled down to a nice quiet night.