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  • clivenmel

Feb 21st

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;} Wed 18th � well we had a bit of excitement last night!!!  We had moored up along the towpath in Market Harborough, just a short way down from the basin.  We had absolutely no TV signal so decided to watch a dvd.  The engine hadn�t really been on for long during the day, only a couple of hours really, so we put it back on again to ensure that our batteries were topped up.   Clive got up and turned the engine off again about 45 minutes before the film finished and by that time it was about 9.30pm.  When the film was done we did our usual thing, tidied up, banked the stove up for the night etc etc Clive popped his head out of the window just to see what the weather was doing and was rather puzzled by the view he got of the boat moored behind us � it was at a funny angle!  However when he looked out the window at the other side of the boat he realised it was us that was at a funny angle � we were adrift!!!  He quickly got his boots on and rushed out the back � fortunately the stern of the boat was very close to the bank and he managed to grab the centre rope, jump off and pull the boat back into the side again, however when he went to tie her up again he realised that the ropes, both bow and stern, had been cut through!!!  He managed to cobble together enough rope out of the remnants that were still attached to the boat to tie her up again, but the rest of the rope had gone � obviously who ever cut us loose actually took it with them!  There was no sign of footprints or anything, but there was some candle wax near the bollard which the stern rope had been tied to!   We were both absolutely livid of course, it is such a rotten thing to do to anyone and in fact it is a criminal offence to cast a boat adrift on navigable waters, so we phoned the police and informed them of what had happened.  The following morning Clive went up to the BW office in the basin and reported it to them as well and asked if they had any rope they could sell him.  The guy he spoke to asked if we had had the engine on during the evening because evidently this is not the first time this has happened and the suspect is actually a householder who takes umbridge at the sound of boat engines evidently!  The answer to this is, the canal was here long before the houses were built, the people who buy houses alongside a canal should be aware that there will be boats on it and that they will have to have their engines on from time to time!  Clive said, it is like somebody buying a house next to the M1 and then complaining about the noise!  However, as we both said, if the guy had come and knocked on the boat and simply asked us to turn the engine off, if it was really causing a disturbance, we would have complied, but to just cut us loose like that is downright mean!   The local police officer phoned Clive again for some more details and told him that they took this sort of thing very seriously and would be making some enquiries in the area.  I can�t imagine them being able to charge anybody as, without proof, or witnesses, nobody is going to be caught really.  Oh well, another thing to put down to experience!   We had a bit of a Springclean and made use of my lovely new dustbuster!  It worked a treat sucking up all the sneaky bits of dust that were hiding in corners and it also has a little attachment with a motorised beater that fits on to convert it to a mini upright vac, so we could give the rug a proper clean too.  Lovely!  The reason for all this activity was the imminent arrival of Clive�s sister Carol and her husband Ivan, who were coming to spend a couple of days with us.  They duly arrived around lunchtime and we set off and cruised back to ��. you guessed it � Foxton!  You would think we had seen enough of it over the last couple of weeks, but as Market Harborough is a dead end on the canal it was the only place to go.  Unfortunately the weather was rather inclement and there was a steady drizzle � Carol didn�t fancy being out in that at all so the two of us stayed inside and rustled up some sandwiches and a cuppa whilst Ivan braved the elements up on the back with Clive.  He did a grand job of operating the two swing bridges on the approach to Foxton � I got the day off! Once we were moored up yet again in our old mooring in the basin we all went over to Bridge 61 for a drink.  Ivan tried out the Old Rosie, which is an extremely potent cider, so potent that Tony the landlord limits his punters to two pints each, maximum!!  He did offer us a wheelbarrow just in case Ivan succumbed to it, but it wasn�t required, he managed to make it back to the boat on his own two feet surprisingly soberly!   I cooked dinner (pork chops) and then we settled down to watch a movie � Carol was very tired and said she would like to have a lie down, so we made the bed up for her and she climbed in � however, she was so comfy and cosy she went straight to sleep and woke up when the movie finished!  Everybody who has slept in our �spare� bed so far has commented on how comfortable it is.   Thursday morning dawned bright and fair so after breakfast we set off again and cruised back up to Market Harborough, it was a lovely day so it was a very enjoyable cruise and we were all out on the stern this time, even Carol, however she was very well wrapped up with three pairs of socks (one pair of mine!) and also my new hoody on under her coat to keep her warm!   During the cruise Clive suddenly saw something down in a field, at the edge of some trees, what's that he said, is it a deer, its sort of orangey?  I got the camera out and took a quick shot,  unfortunately I didn't have my long lens on though.  It turned out to be a fox!  You can just about see him in this picture, which I have cropped to get as close to him as possible.  Not sure why he was just lying here - maybe he was just sunbathing, it really was lovely and sunny and warm. A little further along the canal and we went under a bridge, much to Carol and Ivan's delight, their surname is Johnson - so it was great to see that instead of a number, like most canal bridges, this one had a name: Johnson's Bridge!  When we got back to Mkt Harboro we moored up in the basin itself as we had booked a berth for a couple of nights with a hook-up to ensure we had plenty of power and the batteries would get a good top up.  Once we were moored up we decided to have a walk down  into the town to have a look around.  We needed a few more bits and pieces like bread and stuff as well.  We looked in all the jewellery shops (Carol is very fond of sparkly things, like me!) and we had lunch in Wetherspoons again � cheap and cheerful!  Then we went over to Sainsbury�s and Clive got some passport photographs taken as he needs to renew his passport, which expires in April.  We did laugh at the pictures � he thinks he looks like Saddam Hussein did when they found him hidden in the bunker!  There is certainly quite a difference to the one in his current passport, but there again it was ten years ago!   Whilst we were in town we called in at a music shop as Clive wanted some new guitar strings and I wanted some reeds for the saxophone (yes, I have a saxophone!!!).  In the music shop was a notice board with all sorts of flyers on it informing people of various musical events in and around the town, one of which was an acoustic night at a local eatery.  We walked passed said eatery on the way back to the car and realised that it was this Thursday evening!  Carol and Ivan were easily persuaded to stay another night with us, so after a quick tea of previously prepared stew we put on our glad rags (well the gladdest we have with us!) stuffed the instruments and ourselves into Ivan�s car and off we went to Joules� Eatery.  The venue itself was a sort of lean-to conservatory type of structure out the back, fortunately with heaters!  All in all we had a good evening, it wasn�t quite our sort of music, a bit more middle of the road than folk, but we both seemed to go down quite well and it was a change to sing and play through a mic again, its been a while!  Then it was back to the boat and bed.   Carol and Ivan left after breakfast on Friday morning and we spent a pretty lazy day doing not a lot.  Clive put his new strings on his guitar and I tried out a new reed on the sax � I can now actually play a scale on it!  Not bad, considering I have never tried to play one before.  However the fingering is very similar to that of the flute so I did have a bit of a head start.  It is now just a case of mastering the embouchure (the way you blow it!) which of course is totally different to that of the flute!  Watch this space!   Well it is now Saturday morning and we are just waiting for Vicki, Gareth and our gorgeous little granddaughter, Indeia to arrive.  We haven�t seen any of them since we left Cambridge after New Year, so we are really excited about seeing them again, especially Indy!   It is Gareth�s birthday on Sunday and Clive�s on Monday, which is why they have decided to come to see us this weekend.  We are going to cruise back down to Foxton, yet again, when they arrive this afternoon.  It is a really beautiful sunny day so again it will be a lovely cruise up to Foxton.  We will stay there overnight and then cruise back here tomorrow so they can pick up the car and drive back to Cambridge.  Luckily Market Harborough is on a very direct route from Cambridge, straight along the A14, so it should only take about an hour, or possibly even less, to get here, traffic permitting of course!

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