This morning Mick stopped in his tracks looking out of the galley window and said ‘Is that a badger?’. I looked, it was a suitable size, but the markings didn’t look quite right, it was a touch too brown. Whatever it was was having a good rootle around, hopefully Tilly was alright. Then the creatures head popped up from behind the grass. Not a badger at all, just a German Shorthaired Pointer (I think).
Today we have spent much of the day avoiding the wind and rain. The forecast had suggested that it would be worse than it seemed, but we still hunkered down. Tilly has spent much of the day coming and going, bringing more and more mud indoors and demanding Dreamies on each visit. Well I was told 6 hours and that she wanted to see me at least six times. So I made sure I came home six times in the first hour to get ‘Thank you for coming home’ Dreamies, then I could go off for a long time. Although I’m a little bit concerned as I could see the bottom of the Dreamie pot! Does this mean that my trips into the great outside will end when the pot is empty?! Maybe I’ll stay in for a while and save the last few.
Arrangements with the London Leckenbys for a family Christmas get together were sorted and some Christmas shopping done via the internet.
I then added some decorations for sale to my Etsy shop, yes I know it’s not yet December.
Some Parsnip and Apple soup was put on the stove to cook away this morning. It was very tasty for lunch and will be for a couple more days too. Then this afternoon I got round to trying out my friends recipe for Beetroot Brownies. I altered the recipe to use gluten free flour and as we don’t have a microwave I cooked the beetroot on the stove for about 40 minutes until they were tender. This however meant I had to let them cool down before I could peel them, so they didn’t melt the chocolate as suggested in the recipe. But my zuzzer certainly chopped everything up and the end result was very tasty indeed. So we now have pudding to last us a few days.
Thoughts turned to next year and where we plan to cruise. We are undecided at the moment. The River Nene followed by the Middle Levels. Or The Kennet and Avon and the Thames up to Lechlade. Both options would mean a lot of new water for all of us and a gold licence.
When we bought Lillian (NB Lillyanne) we picked her up from Woodford Riverside Marina on the Nene. Her Environment Agency Licence had just expired so we felt under pressure to reach C&RT waters, we also only had a week to move her before having to be back at work. On a Saturday in April 2014 we sailed her away from what had been her home and cruised all the day light hours we could to reach Crick Marina. This experience of the Nene wasn’t the best, even though it was very exciting to be moving our first very own narrowboat. Finding moorings was hard with the limited info we had on hand, especially as we were pushing day light hours, the occasional lock landing did get tied to!
So to help us make our minds up which way to head we sat down to watch a DVD that we’d got from Paul, the Waterway Routes DVD of The River Nene. The popular footage DVD picks out highlights of the route from the bottom of the Northampton flight all the way through Peterborough and to the Dog in Doublet Lock. With commentary by Paul it is much like a TV programme, reminiscent of railway journeys. We also had a copy of the Bowcam version. This is a speeded up view of the whole journey. If you enjoyed the All Aboard! Canal Trip of the Kennet and Avon shown on BBC 4 a few years ago, this is very similar, just a lot quicker! Our DVD player can also do double speed with sound, this was very very amusing, the crew working exceptionally hard to get through all the locks.
We enjoyed watching the route we’d done on Lillian and paused the footage when the boat passed Woodford Riverside, only a glimpse on a bend. Certainly we think the river would be worth another visit, the churches look very picturesque standing high above the river. We’d be able to take our time, have much better maps, know about the Friends of the River Nene and their moorings and Sue from No Problem has also done a guide. But which way we go next summer is still undecided.
0 locks, 0 miles, 0 bridges, 1 storm, 0 badgers, 2 dogs, 1 C&RT boat, 1 boat seeking shelter, 6 portions of soup, 8 puddings worth of brownies (4 each that is), 1 wrist warmer nearing completion, 1 boat roof cleared, 1 stormy night ahead.