Monthly Archives: Jan 2019

Please Keep Clear Of The Lock Gate Area. 29th January

Hazelford Lock to the Low Wall, Newark

Sadly Tilly was mistaken thinking she’d be allowed back out for further exploration today, I suspect she won’t get any shore leave until next Sunday afternoon and that depends on how we get on with the Tidal Trent.

Not far to go today to our chosen mooring, but we wanted to get going as soon as we could as rain or snow were forecast for the afternoon and we all know that the world stops for a dusting of snow.

Yesterday Mick had walked back up to the lock to check on levels. These Trent locks don’t have the red, amber and green boards but they do have heights marked. When we moored here on Lillian I remember having to sit on the bottom step to clamber down onto Lillian’s bow, yesterday Oleanna’s gunnel was just about level with the step. This morning the level had dropped 12cm. We’ve been keeping an eye on Gaugemap and the reach we are in suddenly went up the other day by about a foot, possible low lying flooding, but as the Lockie hadn’t said anything yesterday we decided that we should be fine.

Down stream we passed Fiskerton, we were moored here when we last saw NB Quaintrelle a little while before they headed off to France. Nobody to wave to today and plenty of mooring outside the pub. Next was Farndon Marina, the 72 hr mooring was empty but we carried on. There are very large cruisers in the marina, one looked like it had a driverless car on the roof  at the stern.

Staythorpe Power Station came into view, gas powered with pathetic cooling towers, that’s if they can be classed as such. We need to get further north near Torksey to see proper power stations. Staythorpe is soon followed by the large Averham Weir, today only one cormorant perched on the crest. Then the steeple of Newark Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene peeked up from behind some trees. As Braunston means Bangers , Newark means caramelised red onion sausages. It is these Newark sausages that mean that my nephew Josh has never eaten any other flavour since they visited us back in 2015. Here’s hoping the butchers does gluten free versions.

Please let me translate this for those who don’t speak Meowese. ‘Attention Cats. Free Dreamies here!’

At Town Lock the level was with us so I went to open the gates. Because the lock gates are part of a public footpath they have flashing red lights and a ladies voice at each gate telling you to ‘Please keep clear of the lock gate area’. I thought there was no point in opening them fully so took my finger off the button once the gap was wide enough. The lady carried on with her instructions. On pressing the close button the near side gate did as requested, but the far side stayed put. I released the button and tried again, no joy. The lady on my side had now got bored and shut up. Would both gates open? Yes, so I kept the button pressed to go all the way, then closed them successfully, the lady having woken up again to continue repeating her phrase.

I started to empty the lock, the ladies now at these gates having chance to stretch their vocal chords. Paddles up and Oleanna was on her way down, only Mick called over to me, there was water coming in from the top paddles. Admittedly I hadn’t checked that they were down before closing the panel at that end. So I closed the ones at the bottom, closed the panel and returned to the top gates. One yellow disc was down, these indicate the state of a paddle, but despite being yellow they can be hard to see. The near side disc was at the top, I pressed the required button as the ladies started again. The disc stayed put, was the paddle stuck in the open position? It was hard to tell for a while. I kept pressing the button, still the disc stayed put. Until it dropped! By now it was obvious that the paddle had closed below the water and I could start to empty it again, swapping the top gate ladies to the bottom gate ladies. I made sure I opened the gates fully as Mick brought Oleanna out and made sure I’d closed the paddles too.

The flow was too strong for Mick to be able to pull in and pick me up so I walked to the pontoon where we hoped to be able to moor. Unfortunately there was no space, the gap NB Seyella had found a week or so ago was filled by a wide beam. Mick managed to manoeuvre Oleanna to pick me up from a fishing peg just beyond the pontoon. We decided to see if there might be space in Kings Marina for a couple of nights, it would cost but we’d be able to do some washing. Pulling into the marina there were very few familiar boats from when we moored there for three months 2015/16. We pulled in at the service pontoon and walked up to the office to find it closed. A nice lady who is wintering there suggested we pull into a free gap, stay the night and check in tomorrow. But access is only with a fob for the gate, we could borrow hers. This was very nice of her, but we decided to head back out and moor on the low section of wall near The Castle Barge, a big step up onto the path but it would be fine for a night.

As we finished our lunch the heavens opened and stayed that way pretty much for the remainder of the afternoon. My parcel of wool could wait till tomorrow, I still have quite a bit to do on a balaclava for Mick. Early evening we headed the great distance to Pizza Express to make use of a 2 for 1 voucher. We both had a new flavour pizza each, I had a Ragu and Mick a Carbonara. They were both very tasty and mine may have been the best gluten free pizza I’ve had in one of their restaurants.

1 (temperamental) lock, 8.66 miles, 0 shore leave till Yorkshire, 364 repeats, 0 space, 1 closed marina, 1 wet afternoon, 0 snow, 1 low wall still a touch high, 5 gf dough balls, 1 cheesy garlic bread, 2 pizza, 2 lemonades! 2-4-1 minus a little bit, 0.5 balaclava knitted.

https://goo.gl/maps/ajLd6d9mXSm

Glorious Technicolor, 28th January

Stoke Visitor Moorings to Cat Island, Hazelford Lock Lower Side

With the winds now much receded since yesterday we wanted to be on our way. First though the water tank. I walked whilst Mick brought Oleanna, pulling up the lock cut almost to the lock gates. Here the top of Oleanna is lower than the land, so the hose had to be passed up and our latest offerings in the pooh bucket had already been put (still contained in said bucket) on the roof for ease. As I turned the tap on we could tell we’d be here for some time, the pressure just as bad as back at Meadow Lane Lock.

There was time to do a couple of other chores and to watch the local Robin fending off other birds at the mound of seed that a walker had left just for him! That was until the pigeons muscled in, by then the Robin had lost out as he’d been so busy defending the seed he hadn’t even had a peck at it! By the time the tank was 3/4 full we were seriously bored and getting a touch chilly, this would do us until we reach Newark or Cromwell, washing could wait.

Key of Power in hand I opened the gates and closed them behind Oleanna, waited for Mick to pass a rope around a (hated) blue riser and be settled in the lock, then the Sluice buttons are pressed. Going downhill you can lift them straight up, up hill you need to take care as the turbulence can have your boat going all over the shop. Gates open, sluices closed and we were back on our way.

The blue skies were still with us today, reflecting in the river giving everything that look of glorious Technicolor, vivid greens and blues. The banks of the river are low and it really was lovely to be out there on our own with flocks of geese, tufted ducks and gulls taking off as we arrived, swooping against the brilliant blue sky catching the sunlight. Just a shame there was a head wind which chilled our faces despite the bright sun.

The first wide right hand bend took us past Burton Joyce. This is where we adopted Tilly from almost three years ago, I waved at the nice lady high on the hill, she used to give me loads more Dreamies than Tom and She do!

A few more bends and Gunthorpe Road Bridge came into view, one boat on the visitor pontoon today, we wouldn’t be joining them.

The flow on the river seemed stronger today and pulling in at the lower ladders for me to get off was a little bit tricksy as Oleanna wanted to carry on sideways, so extra assistance was needed from the bow thruster to loiter just long enough for me to get up the ladder safely.

There is no other way for me to say this other than I HATE this lock, it makes me very uneasy. I’m sure if we came through more often I would become blazee about it, but not today. My heart beat rose and at the top gates I couldn’t find the control panel, that was because it was on the other side! (I already knew it was there) With the gates open Mick brought Oleanna in and pulled up against the off side of the chamber. I think this was better him being this side, but it did mean that I could see the offending blue riser that altered my right hand forever. (Link)

I took a deep breath, turned the key and pressed the buttons, having to step onto the walkway on the gates to check all was okay below. Gongoozlers watched from the towpath, I have to say I was very glad they couldn’t talk to me as I don’t think they would have got a response.

The lock landing/pontoon is on the weir side of the lock entrance, so the force of water makes it very hard to pull in. Mick had held back nearer the gates until he saw me, then popped out to pick me up. Gunthorpe Lock done and I still had  what remains of my digits.

The next five miles of zoomy river pootles took us past the newish pontoon moorings, now fully occupied. Past the route to the first weir at Hazelford and on to the lock with the other noisy weir alongside. Approaching we could see a red light, indicating someone was on duty. Mick radioed, but there was no answer.

We could see someone at the far gate, only one thing to do, beep the horn. This brought the lady rushing back to the control room to open the gates for us. Then as we descended she came for a chat. We were her one and only boat of the day as she pottered on with a few jobs at the lock. A very friendly lady.

We pulled up below on the low wall. There was just enough time for Tilly to have a good look around the island. She was a touch eager to get out despite the immediate outside looking a lot like Nottingham County Hall steps.

They looked very different, not quite so clean and had big white lines painted on them. There was no problem reaching the top. TREES!!! Friendly cover, all be it a touch spiky. What a great place, Naughty-Cal you were right, a great place to run around like a loon! She recited the river rules and I was given an hour and a half, but She wanted to see me 50 times! 50!! I managed four and came back bang on time. They’ll keep this outside tied up tomorrow so I can explore further.

A phone call to Keadby to check on bookings for the weekend was worth doing. We’d been warned that they were hoping to have some dredging done near the lock mouth on the river, last week we’d received a C&RT notice about it too, but chatting to the Lockie he mentioned that work hasn’t started yet. He suggested that we should do the journey on Sunday leaving Torksey at 7am (just light). We’ll have to punch the tide for a while and not hang about so that we’ll have enough water still to get over the sand bar below the lock. Glad we checked as a week ago leaving time had been suggested as 9am. Cromwell Lock was then called to book in to reach Torksey the day before, we could choose when we wanted to go as the tides at the moment don’t have much effect that high up.

3 locks, 9.53 miles, 1 Lockie, 3/4 full, 2 very bored boaters, 1 more stunning blue day, 1 Egret, 27 Tufted Ducks, 6 Egyptian Geese, 542 Gulls, 371 Canadian Geese, 85 Greylags, 9.75 fingers still, 0 mini me, 0 fat fish, 1 cat in heaven, 5783 friends here at least! 2 locks booked, –2C forecast for Sunday morning, 4mm knitting needles busy making balaclavas, 1 request for warming sausage rolls for Sunday breakfast, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.

https://goo.gl/maps/vD4DxNpwqgM2

This post was brought to you by using Tom’s third work around with OLW. Here’s hoping all the photos are present and correct.

Sheltered Mooring 27th January

Stoke Lock Pontoon to Stoke Lock Low Visitor Moorings


A lovely morning at Stoke Lock

We had rain overnight and then waited for the strong winds to come. The forecast had been for gusts of up to 50mph today, but the morning started off quite calm with a wonderful bright blue sky that just got brighter as the day went on.
For Aileen

Yesterday we’d stocked up for a cooked breakfast so it would have been rude not to enjoy it, but all the time we wondered if maybe we should push off and get ourselves to Hazelford Lock.
I really couldn’t understand it, a nice sunny morning, plenty of great trees to climb, them having breakfast, TAKING THIER TIME!!! And still no shore leave for me.


But But But!!!

Then they go out without me! Here looked like a really good contender for a Mrs Tilly stamp and I just wasn’t going to be allowed to check it out!


A blue day

Still wanting to top up with water we walked down to the lock to check out the position of the taps in the lock cut.  There are two taps we could use, both quite high up. Getting to the taps would mean either reversing into the cut or reversing back out as it didn’t look wide enough to wind Oleanna. With the proximity of the weir and the strong winds,we’d noticed as soon as our heads had got above the level of the cut, reversing was not going to be a good idea. A few years ago in flood conditions a narrowboat was swept over the weir here and a lady got thrown overboard, so we are not going to put ourselves at risk, the water can wait.
Stoke Weir

Our thoughts of moving on were also put to one side, not a day to be battling with the wind especially when the next lock is GUNTHORPE! The world needs to be a calm calm place when we go through there. Instead we decided to move to the low wall mooring all of 120ft away. Here we’d let Tilly out and stop her from being mardy with us. The low wall was even more sheltered the wind blustering through the trees above leaving, us alone below.
There’s plenty of trees up there

Tilly enjoyed her time outside. I just couldn’t make up my mind though. Was this a wall ? Was this a hill? Where were my friends? A pounce on a 50 degree angle takes some force from the back legs, calculations were done and spring factors worked out, but still no friends. Up above on the towpath the wind blew my bottom (I hate this!) then lots of people went by on bicycles and some with woofers. This outside was most certainly not a contender for a Mrs Tilly stamp, it’s far far too BLOWY!

Snowdrops about to take over
Our first Daffodil
During the afternoon and evening Mick has been trying to fathom out what is happening with blogger and our photos. Several people including Tom have come up with work arounds for using Open Live Writer and Blogger, but they still don’t want to work. At the moment photos only seem to show if I do the whole post in blogger. There is no logic to what is happening. Looking back at posts prior to the problems all my photos have gone, right back to when we handed Lillian over to her new owners. Really not happy!

We’ve done the latest update of Windows and that hasn’t helped. Now other people are having difficulty too.

Stoke Lock, pretty

We are strongly considering moving the blog over to WordPress, NB Lillyanne’s blog is there. It means we’d loose the rolling blog role on the side, but at least my photos would be seen! This of course will take a little while to set up and we’ll let you know if and when it will move.

0 locks, 120ft, 2 trips to the bins, 0 photos! 1 clean pooh box, 1 clean pooh bucket, 1 empty wee tank, 1 clean fuel filter, 1 engine checked over, 1 roast chicken, 0 wool to knit with, 3 more pills, 2 photos omitted from yesterdays post (operator error), 1st Daffodil, 1 weeks time and Stoke Lock will be filled with snowdrops, 2 new french feline friends.


Sainsburys 0 – 0 NB Oleanna. 26th January

Sainsburys to Stoke Lock, River Trent. Hooray!!!!
The title to this post isn’t quite true, but we’ll get to that in a short time.
I woke this morning feeling more connected to my legs and my brain seemed to be manging to keep up with my skull movements, not totally back to normal but a good sign. The students across the way had finally gone quiet by 4.20am, so not the best nights sleep.
The alarm had been set, Mick was up, had breakfast and was on a bus out to Sawley Marina before 9am to get us new life jackets. Last night we’d decided that we’d definitely buy new jackets, after all what is £65 if you happen to fall over board as the tide is heading out to sea! The chap Mick had talked to yesterday said that once your life jacket gets to 10 years old they should be replaced anyway, as a service centre wouldn’t be able to certify them again. I’m sure they last longer than this, but better to be safe.

So many to choose from

Meanwhile I popped to Pets at Home to pick up a new collar for Tilly. The spare one I’d bought a while ago had a good bell but a very stubborn clasp. I had difficulty pulling it open, so if Tilly got hung on a branch it might not give way with her slight weight. I checked through the collars for their safety. Tilly wears a collar with a tag should she get lost (or worse) then we can be reunited with her easily (she’s also micro-chipped), the bell is also in the feeble hope that her ‘friends’ will hear her coming. It also helps us know where she is. To have a collar that then could be the cause of her demise whilst at the top of a fantastic tree would be horrible. I selected a good collar with a good bell, not pink and sparkly but boring blue!!!

Handy for shopping this mooring


Next on the list was to see who would finally win Sainsbury’s or us. Quite a shopping list, enough fresh supplies to last us to Newark and a top up of those things we prefer (like cheese twists and their chopped tomatoes), but only one box of wine! The check out lady managed to snag a punnet of blueberries as she was about to scan them, there were no more on the shelf. So we got the punnet for free. No vouchers what-so-ever! Therefore the scores on the doors turned out to be

Sainsbury’s 0 – 400gms Blueberries NB Oleanna!
A touch too early for lunch we pushed off. Oleanna headed to the entrance of the marina. There was quite a breeze coming straight towards us, so instead of putting the bow into the entrance to wind he went stern in. This meant that with the flow on the canal and the wind pushing the bow turned itself, a proper wind. We were now facing the right direction for Yorkshire again.

A good photo opportunity

As we approached Castle Lock we suddenly realised that we’d forgotten something. No Saturday newspaper! Damn!! Once down the lock I left Mick to keep pootling towards Meadow Lane Lock whilst I popped up from the towpath towards the station, picking up a newspaper en route back to the canal whilst cutting the corner. Phew, that was a close thing.

All clean and new

There were crowds all heading for the Forest match so we decided that we’d push on rather than sit filling with water for ages at the slow tap. The new life jackets came out, were adjusted to fit. The design of them has improved and they are much more comfortable than our original ones. I lifted one paddle to empty the lock saving having to walk round it several times as the gates felt too high and narrow to cross today with a slightly wobbly head, then we were on our way.

White water rafters ahead
Familiar boat

Holme Lock soon came into view with the days white water rafters paddling their way towards us. We last came through here almost two years ago. Works were ongoing with the hydro electric scheme between the lock and weir, all the long term moorings had been on the towpath side for years, but today they have returned to the lock island. A few large boats were moored up on the visitor moorings, one familiar one from our time in Newark.

Oleanna in a big lock
Match sticks to show you if the paddles are open

Up at the lock there were several people in life jackets, the light on amber (self operation) and a chap stood by the panel. A small cruiser bobbed away as the lock was being filled and the crew stood above and watched as it slowly rose. The chap with the key of power at the panel said he’d wait and close the gates for us (your key is trapped until the panel is closed), except he had a senior moment and started to close the gates as Mick headed towards us. Fortunately for the little plastic cruiser the gates opened in time and Mick managed to keep Oleanna from being blown into them. Once the gates were finally closed and the chap took back his key I had power at the bottom end of the lock, we’re now on automated locks until we reach Bramwith in Yorkshire.

Radcliffe Viaduct Rail Bridge

Along the next reach of river we saw no other boats, the winds starting to pick up now. We motored on under Radcliffe Viaduct Rail Bridge stretching off to the right with it’s many arches, around one last big bend in the river and we could see the amber light at Stoke Lock.

Stock Lock is possibly the prettiest on the Trent, in the autumn it is wonderful. Above the lock the floating visitor moorings welcomed us, plenty of space. The wind was now quite strong and rain imminent, we were pushed into the pontoon, glad to be stopping for the day. A quick look round and it was decided that the pontoon was not cat friendly, too many reeds in the water just out of pouncing distance. So no shore leave for Tilly today, maybe tomorrow we’ll move up a bit onto the low mooring away from the pontoon, but with strong winds heading our way we’ll leave that decision until tomorrow.

Instead I amused Tilly by getting her escape pod out and zipping it together. She’s already taken up residence, we may not see her for days!





3 locks, 6.91 miles, 1 left, 1 box of wine, 400gms free, 1 newspaper just, 2 new life jackets (we’ll be keeping these), 1 proper wind, 1 tiny boat, 6 crew, 1 torturous mooring, 541 fantastic looking trees just waiting to be climbed, 0.5 water tank to last us until the wind drops.


https://goo.gl/maps/ZdMLNu6PsiM2

This post brought to you by Blogger and Visual Watermark after reducing photos in Paint.

Missing Jackets, Missing Photos And A Wobbly Head. 25th January

You’ve guessed it….Sainsburys

Today we planned on leaving Nottingham so that we could moor at some of our favourite spots on the way to Newark and have a couple of days there before heading to Cromwell and out onto the Tidal Trent. But things are conspiring against us.

After breakfast Mick took some recycling to the bins in Sainsburys, then went to the marina to see if our life jackets were back. No, was the short answer. The chap rang the company to see when they might get back to us, they currently have a three week backlog! Nobody had told us about that!! We’d have been better off waiting for the chap at Sawley to come back off holiday, or just doing it ourselves! Could they send them back un-serviced for us to pick up tomorrow? This didn’t seem to be an option.

On his way back to the boat Mick got a call from the servicing place. They would see if they could put our jackets to the top of the pile, but they wouldn’t be back with us tomorrow no matter what they did. Could they be sent to anywhere in Newark instead. This was a possibility and he’d see if he could get them there for Thursday!

This of course leaves us without life jackets to get to Newark. Neither of us have fallen in (yet!), but we’d rather not risk it on a big river. So could we buy some to get us to Newark then put them on ebay? Easier said than done. The jackets at the marina here were £80. Nowhere else in Nottingham sells them. The water centre at Holme Lock sell floatation jackets, bulky. The internet was going to take until next week to deliver. Just what to do? A trip to a chandlers was needed, Sawley or Beeston?

Over the last several days I’ve had a bit of a wobbly head. Light headed, not so that I feel I’m going to fall over, but quite unnerving. Each day it improved into the afternoon and yesterday I hardly noticed it at all. But today it had returned worse than before, my legs felt a little like they were someone else’s. So it was time to mention it and get checked over. Nottingham has an Urgent Care Centre (it used to be a Walk In Centre) at the 90 degree bend before you get to Meadow Lane Lock, I’ve been before the day after I lost my little finger. So we walked up the canal and waited with quite a few others. The wait was under two hours to see a practitioner nurse. I had my blood pressure and temperature taken, then we waited, my head first getting a lot worse, then of course getting better whilst we waited.

Urgent Care Centre Waiting Room

The very nice nurse checked my pulse, ears, throat, eyes and glands. These were slightly swollen, so it might be a virus. She can’t take blood or do further tests, only my GP can do that. So she gave me a prescription for anti-wobbly head drugs. I’ve had these before when I had vertigo a few years ago, they are also prescribed for schizophrenia!! These should alleviate my wobbly head whilst the virus mends itself. Fingers crossed it works.

Mick meanwhile had checked stock of life jackets at both Sawley and Beeston, the chap at Beeston didn’t fill Mick with confidence on their stock levels, he thought they might have some auto-inflate ones! On our way back to the boat we called in at Sainsburys for some tea and to get my wobbly head drugs. Advance warning, the Lloyds Pharmacy here is closing in three weeks, so they have sent all their stock back and had very few drugs. Mick my hero, walked over the canal and up to the nearest Boots, well if in Nottingham how could we go elsewhere!

Okay

As you’ll have noticed photos on the blog have been disappearing without any rhyme or reason that we’ve found as yet. I keep trying different things, the photos are there one minute then gone the next. Thank you all for your patience and comments. I like my posts to be full of photos, so if a solution can’t be found then I’m going to have to go back to just using blogger which is not user friendly with its layout.

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 life jackets, 3 WEEKS! 0 jackets in Nottingham, 2 legs not connected, 1 wobbly head, 1 long walk for urgent care, 1hr 30 minutes wait, 21 pills, 3 times a day, 2 personalities? 1 day behind schedule so far, 0 photos, 0 wine for me for a week!

In The Picture … Again … Again … I Give Up If This Doesn’t Work! 24th January

Sainsburys …. still!

Today we’ve had a visitor, Izzy, who’d been taking photos of Oleanna last Saturday when we returned from our walk.

Izzy with her big camera
Izzy is studying Photography and Video at De Montfort University in Leicester, she is in her final year and working on her Major Project based around ‘canal life’. After we’d met at the weekend she got in touch with us via the blog and we arranged to meet up for her to take more photos and hear about our life on the boat and canals.
She was with us for a good couple of hours, we chatted through all sorts to do with our life on board, how we came to be on Oleanna, where we’ve travelled, day to day stuff and so on. This of course put us all at ease before she started to take some photos. When I say some, it was quite a lot, but we all know to get that one good photo you need to take several so it was fine. Photos inside, photos of us doing things (well posed really), standing outside being proud owners of Oleanna. Even Tilly got to have her photo taken I wasn’t too sure about it, her camera made funny noises!
Photo of Photographer
hen Izzy recorded us talking about our life on the canal. Tilly managed to pay a visit to her pooh box whilst this was happening (a noisy affair) and then wanted to go out, I asked nicely, so she’s been recorded too.
There was plenty we forgot to talk about, even though we had questions in front of us, where our favourite places are (top of Bank Newton locks on the curly wurly, Tixall Wide,Bugsworth Basin, there’s plenty). We mostly talked about winter life, and forgot to mention long summer days sitting on the towpath having barbeques till late at night, listening to the owls and being close to nature, the history, the landscapes. Well we are in sitting by the stove and keeping cosy mode at the moment. Those sunny days will be back.
Izzy has visited several other boaters and her major project will consist of photographs and the recordings from us all, a documentary. We’ve promised to let her know if we’ll be somewhere picturesque where she can join us again to get action shots, hopefully in the sunshine. The tidal Trent isn’t one of those places and it’s likely to be a grey day when we travel downstream so we’ll have to think about other places.
We wish her all the very best and hope that her project comes together well.
Mick after giving my camera a very good clean
0 locks, 0 miles, 1 big posh camera, 4731 photos, 2 photos of the photographer, 2 boaters who managed to talk toilets (there’s a surprise!), 1 cat who demonstrated hers, 2 boaters kept occupied for the day, 1 camera fully dusted and working again, Hooray! 1 annoying wool order on the way, but is it coming from the US or England?
Here’s hoping there are photos this time. This post was brought to you by just using Blogger.

In The Picture … Again … Hopefully With Pictures! 24th January

Sainsburys …. still!

Today we’ve had a visitor, Izzy, who’d been taking photos of Oleanna last Saturday when we returned from our walk.

Izzy is studying Photography and Video at De Montfort University in Leicester, she is in her final year and working on her Major Project based around ‘canal life’. After we’d met at the weekend she got in touch with us via the blog and we arranged to meet up for her to take more photos and hear about our life on the boat and canals.

She was with us for a good couple of hours, we chatted through all sorts to do with our life on board, how we came to be on Oleanna, where we’ve travelled, day to day stuff and so on. This of course put us all at ease before she started to take some photos. When I say some, it was quite a lot, but we all know to get that one good photo you need to take several so it was fine. Photos inside, photos of us doing things (well posed really), standing outside being proud owners of Oleanna. Even Tilly got to have her photo taken I wasn’t too sure about it, her camera made funny noises!

Then Izzy recorded us talking about our life on the canal. Tilly managed to pay a visit to her pooh box whilst this was happening (a noisy affair) and then wanted to go out, I asked nicely, so she’s been recorded too.

There was plenty we forgot to talk about, even though we had questions in front of us, where our favourite places are (top of Bank Newton locks on the curly wurly, Tixall Wide,Bugsworth Basin, there’s plenty). We mostly talked about winter life, and forgot to mention long summer days sitting on the towpath having barbeques till late at night, listening to the owls and being close to nature, the history, the landscapes. Well we are in sitting by the stove and keeping cosy mode at the moment. Those sunny days will be back.

Izzy has visited several other boaters and her major project will consist of photographs and the recordings from us all, a documentary. We’ve promised to let her know if we’ll be somewhere picturesque where she can join us again to get action shots, hopefully in the sunshine. The tidal Trent isn’t one of those places and it’s likely to be a grey day when we travel downstream so we’ll have to think about other places.

We wish her all the very best and hope that her project comes together well.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 big posh camera, 4731 photos, 2 photos of the photographer, 2 boaters who managed to talk toilets (there’s a surprise!), 1 cat who demonstrated hers, 2 boaters kept occupied for the day, 1 camera fully dusted and working again, Hooray! 1 annoying wool order on the way, but is it coming from the US or England?

Todays photos are watermarked using Visual Watermark