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  • clivenmel

Feb 15th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Well, we are STILL here!  Yes in the very same spot � it�s been two weeks now since we arrived at the bottom of the Foxton lock flight � two whole weeks!!!!  This is the longest time we have spent in any one place, except Huddersfield, since our journey began.  However it has not really been by choice, rather the weather has dictated it.  Still, we couldn�t have been marooned in a better place.  Since we arrived here there hasn�t been a lot to do during the day, we have read, watched TV, gone to the pub, been creative on the laptop and basically just killed time waiting for the big thaw.    Yesterday we decided we needed a bit of practice on the instruments as we were going to a folk evening in the pub last night and neither of us had played a note for quite some time.  So Clive got the guitar out and promptly winced with the pain in his wrist!  His tendonitis hasn�t improved, even with rest and anti-inflammatories and playing the guitar twists his wrist into just the wrong position, however once he has been playing for a few minutes it sort of clicks into place and he can continue, but initially it is excruciating!  Oh dear!  Anyway, he decided he could cope so after a bit of a practice he went back to what he had been doing on the laptop and I started practicing on the flute.    A lot of you out there will be aware that I attend a music summer school every July at a place called Burwell, which is just outside Cambridge. (www.burwellbash.info).   I have been attending this incredible event since 2000 but my sister Thelma was going long before that.  Well yesterday I decided to practice all the tunes we had learned at Burwell last year and whilst going through the music I came across the contact sheet for all the Burwell attendees and just out of interest I read through the addresses wondering if we would be near any of these places on our travels.  I suddenly saw the name Fleckney.  Now Fleckney is not a place I had ever heard of and it would have been of no consequence under normal circumstances, however you will recall that we caught the bus to Market Harborough last Saturday when Clive went to the dentist, well the bus timetable showed that Bus No 44 went from Foxton to Market Harborough to FLECKNEY!  Needless to say I was on the phone straight away to ring Jayne one of my fellow Burwellites (she plays fiddle) to let her know of our proximity to her home.  She wasn�t in when I rang but I left a message with her husband Dave.  About an hour later she phoned me back and I explained where we were and what we were doing, I also told her that we were going to a folk evening at Bridge 61 so she said save a couple of seats for us, we�ll come!   We wanted to ensure that we had good seats so we made our way into the bar about 7.30pm.  There were a few people there already and one of them soon made himself known to us, that was Bruce from Welford, the guy who had organised the evening.  He is a boater himself and has been living on his boat for the last 30 years.  He organises folk evenings like this about once a month and uses them to raise funds for the local Air Ambulance, which is a very good excuse for a folk night don�t you think.    Things soon got going when another guy, John, started playing a tune on his melodeon which we could all join in with.  Instruments started appearing from under tables and out of bags and even coat pockets; there were lots of shaky eggs, a bodhran, whistles and Bruce�s mate on tea chest base � beautifully decorated I might add, not just your common or garden tea chest!  When we arrived this evening we weren�t quite sure what the format was, whether it was a gig or a free for all, it turned out to be the latter, which was great.  Jayne and her husband Dave duly arrived and Jayne had her fiddle out and was joining in the tunes in no time.  Jayne is also a good singer, as well as a mean fiddler, so she and I did a couple of impromptu duets.  The only time we have sung together before has been at Burwell, usually around 3 in the morning!!!   All in all it was a brilliant evening, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Its always fun playing and singing to a new crowd because all your material is fresh and new again.  All too soon it was over and everybody started packing up their instruments to go home.  We met some great people and Bruce was brilliant, a lovely guy.  We also got some useful info about other folk nights that take place in the area so hopefully we may get to one of those before we leave Leicestershire behind and head for pastures new. What I forgot to mention earlier is that we had moved the boat over to the other side of the basin yesterday morning as we needed water and coal and I had also decided to make use of the laundry facilities again.  However, with all that done we thought we might as well leave Lady Arwen right where she was, at least for one night.    You will see from the photograph just how convenient the mooring was � the large wood framed windows are the same ones that you can see from the inside in the pictures taken at the folk night!  Talk about close proximity!!  It was so handy that a couple of times during the evening I popped back to the boat, once to fetch the camera and my song books and the next one to fetch my glasses, in order to read the song books!!!   This morning Clive moved the boat back over to our mooring at the other side of the basin and we have just managed to get BBC on the TV again � yippee!  The weather forecast has just informed us that the temperature is rising considerably so hopefully by tomorrow, or Tuesday at the latest, the canal should be navigable again and we should be off on our travels again very soon.  We are still a bit undecided which way to go � up the Leicester arm or the Market Harborough arm first � hmmmm decisions!    Watch this space � all will be revealed!

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