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  • clivenmel

Feb 3rd

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;} The alarm was set to go off at 8.15am this morning � let me explain - I set the alarm on my mobile phone to go off in the mornings about 45 minutes after the central heating is set to come on � the reason for this is that our central heating system (Webasto) isn�t like a normal domestic central heating system, it cannot just be left on for hours on end as it would coke up and eventually break down altogether, it should only really be left on for a maximum of an hour to an hour and a half, but we usually turn it off after 45 minutes or so to be on the safe side.  We can put it back on again about an hour later and we do have the stove as well, so don�t worry, we aren�t cold!   Now why was I telling you all that������?  Oh yes, it was due to go off at 8.15am this morning, but I woke up at about 7.20 because there was a noise!  I hadn�t a clue what it was � I wondered at first if there was a boat coming through because the boat rocked slightly, but no boat!  Then I could hear the ducks, going nuts!  I had to investigate so I climbed over Clive, who was snoring gently, and went through to the galley to look out of the window (can�t see much out of the portholes in the bedroom, especially when they are iced up!) and all I could see was the ducks making a commotion, the canal was frozen over and the ice was rocking and knocking against the sides of the boat, which is what was making the noise!  The ducks, which were at the rear of the boat, had made a big hole in the ice there and were all quacking and squabbling and there were feathers all over the ice!  I still didn�t really know what had caused all this, however I found out later on today that the lock-keeper would have been equalizing the water in the locks at around that time by letting some out of the bottom lock, this is obviously what had caused the ice to move and the set the ducks off!  Anyway, I scuttled back into bed as it was the only warm place on the boat, because the heating hadn�t come on yet!  By this time Clive was awake as well and the good news is � he wasn�t in pain any more, the antibiotics must therefore be working and his toothache had subsided � thank goodness for that!   We didn�t even consider getting up till the central heating had warmed the boat up then we ventured forth!  We really needed to move the boat, the place where we had been moored overnight isn�t actually a public mooring, but as there had been absolutely nothing moving on the cut during the last 24 hours it didn�t really matter, however we didn�t want to push our luck!  So we set to and moved her back over to the other side of the basin, where we had moored when we first came down through the locks on Sunday.  The only problem with this is that the TV signal is absolutely useless, considering it was excellent at the other side!  Oh well, never mind.   Once we had got moored up Clive said �fancy a drink?� Well as the sun was over the yard arm (somewhere!) I said OK so we popped into Bridge 61, which is a real boater�s pub, steeped in history and atmosphere � small, but perfectly formed!  Actually it�s amazing here, as you can see from the photograph, there are two drinking holes within 30 yards of each other!  That was the other advantage of the other mooring, it was about 5 yards from the front door of Bridge 61!   After our drink (I had mulled wine � mmmmmmm!) we came back to the boat and I prepared a casserole which I then put on our stove to slow-cook for the rest of the day.  Then we decided to go for a walk.  We headed off up the towpath on the Market Harborough arm, which is the way we will go when we set off again.  We walked up to the next bridge which leads to the village of Foxton.  We could see one pub down to the left called The Shoulder of Mutton, which claims to be a traditional English pub serving Chinese food � best of both worlds so to speak!  We turned right over the bridge and up past the other Foxton pub, The Black Horse.  Evidently this pub changed ownership four times during 2008!  We managed to resist this one though!  We were planning on walking back using the bridle path only to find it was closed for maintenance work, so we had to walk back along the road.  It was a very pleasant afternoon, we were well wrapped up against the cold and it all looked so pretty in the snow, we really enjoyed it.    Looking up at the lock flight I have to say we were both very glad we had come down on Sunday and not left it until yesterday, or today, it would have been quite treacherous in the ice and snow.   So we are back on board now, the casserole is gently simmering on top of our little stove and smells lovely.  Looking forward to that later!   Just as I had finished making the casserole and before we set off on our walk I noticed a movement out of the kitchen window and there was a bunny just the other side of the path.  I managed to get a picky of him � cute! It�s been fun watching the ducks today on the ice.  A lot of the ice had broken up but not all of it and the ducks trying to negotiate these ice floes are hilarious!  Some of them appear to be walking on water because they are standing on the ice but it is just under the surface.  Some of them were ice dancing and I swear one managed a triple salco whilst I was watching!    We are expecting a big freeze again tonight.  It has been a lovely day here today and we have had no further snow, unlike other parts of the country, but the temperature is due to plummet again tonight so we are unlikely to be able to move tomorrow.  As long as we can get to Market Harborough by Friday afternoon, so that Clive can get to the dentist on Saturday morning, we will be fine.  Of course if we can�t make it he will just have to get a taxi again, it�s not far really, only a couple of miles or so.   So hope you lot out there are managing to keep warm and hope none of you have been stuck in the snow � especially up in Yorkshire, it looks pretty bad up there!

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