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  • clivenmel

July 2nd

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;} Tuesday June 30th � we had decided to stay put at Littleport today.  It is an easy spot for Vicki to come to as she is only about 15 minutes away by car.  We decided to take a walk up into Littleport itself and do a bit of shopping.  We needed some fresh bread and salad etc.  It was extremely hot when we set off and we ended up crossing the road so that we could walk in the shade!  We found a Co-op and did our shopping then headed back to the boat.  We unloaded all the shopping then went back to the pub for a cool drink � well it was very hot!   When we got back to the boat we decided it would be nice to sit out in the sunshine and play some music.  However it was too hot not to have any shade so I dug out our new parasol, kindly donated by Shirley and Barry.  The only problem is that you may recall Barry put all the parasols on display in their garden so that Shirley could take a photograph to email to us so that we could choose which one we wanted.  Unfortunately when the put them all away again the poles and parasols must have got mixed up and the parasol that we have got doesn�t fit into the pole that came with it!  Well you will be pleased to know that Heath Robinson is alive and kicking and on board Lady Arwen � two pieces of Velcro strapping and a piece of string and Bob�s your uncle � shade!   We sat out for an hour or so practicing some tunes and songs and then realised it was nearly time for Vicki to arrive so we packed everything away and got ready for her arrival.  She duly turned up soon after 7pm.  Unfortunately she couldn�t stop long as her cat thinks she has been neglecting her lately and has been threatening to leave home if they didn�t spend some quality time together.  So she did what she had come for � to download the first episode of series seven of 24 because the one we had on our laptop was corrupted and wouldn�t play!  Once that was done she was off.  Oh well we are now so close to her that I am sure we will see quite a bit of her over the next few weeks.   Wednesday July 1st � Oh my goodness � it�s July!  How did that happen already!!!  That means it is ten months since we set off � they�re not kidding when they say �Time flies when you�re having fun� - it does and we are!    We set off around 10.00am and headed for Ely.  Once again it was just bliss cruising down the river in the sunshine � I keep having to pinch myself to prove this is real, we are having such a wonderful time its like a fairy tale come true!  It�s like being on holiday all the time and knowing that you don�t have to go back to work on Monday!   A couple of hours later and I spotted something familiar on the horizon � Ely Cathedral!  Mind you we have never seen it from the river before � it looks even more spectacular from this aspect than it does when you approach it by road.  It really is a magnificent building.  We were soon cruising through Ely itself and this is where we had decided to stop for the night.  However there was a problem with that � no moorings!  Every single scrap of mooring was taken and I have to say there are a lot of moorings in Ely!  Oh dear � what to do?   Just as we were passing the last bit of mooring we noticed some orange netting along one stretch of moorings (just about the same length as Lady Arwen!) and a man painting the bollards.  I shouted across and asked him when the moorings would be reopening � about 3 o�clock this afternoon he said � it was now 11.30am.  So we decided to carry on through Ely and go on to Little Thetford, where we knew there were more moorings, have lunch and then perhaps come back and see if we had any luck then.   We soon arrived at the Little Thetford moorings and they were lovely.  We have noticed that the Environment Agency moorings on the Gt Ouse are extremely well looked after.  The bollards are painted and the grass is kept short and tidy.  Not like some BW moorings we have been on!  We moored up and I went to suss out the road at the other side of the bank to see if would be suitable to park a car for a few hours.  The reason being that we were expecting visitors the following day and had intended to meet up with them in Ely, but if that wasn�t possible we needed another rendezvous.  We had a lovely salad lunch in the peace and tranquillity of Little Thetford.  It is really lovely here, very, very quiet apart from the birds singing, absolutely lovely.  However, when we had finished lunch we decided to head back to Ely and see if there was any room at the inn.  There was!  We found a spot that had been vacated since we had passed by earlier and Clive did a very nifty bit of parking between to other moored boats.  The lady on the cruiser in front was most impressed!  She informed us that they had only been afloat for three days so were very much novices.  It turns out that their kids had inherited the boat from an uncle, so they (mum and dad) had taken the boat out for a few days so that dad could tinker with the engine and mum could clean the boat!  However there were plastic shades over all the windows and one of them was broken and she had scratched her leg on the sharp edge, so was a bit miffed.   Clive ended up chatting to another boater called Ken Churchill from aboard narrowboat Halcyon.  He was a very knowledgeable gentleman, having been in the Navy for many years and there wasn't much he didn't know about boat.  He gave us a lovely laminated map of the waterways, called a Cruise Planner, which is now pinned up on the wall so that we can stand and study it whenever we like.  He told Clive lots of interesting stories about his escapades on his boat and also a friend�s Dutch barge, which they took across the Irish Sea!  He also gave Clive lots of useful hints and tips about other places we might visit in the future.   We decided to go on a shopping expedition as there was a Tesco store very nearby and we also wanted to see where it would be best for our visitors to park their car tomorrow.  We discovered that we were moored very close to Ely Railway Station and that Tesco�s was just next door to it.  We did a good shop, stocked up on all sorts of things including some new tee shirts, swimming trunks and a swim suit to take on our holiday, which is in a couple of weeks time.  Then it was back to the boat to unpack the shopping and have dinner.   Thursday July 2nd � I woke up at 6 o�clock this morning!  It was very warm and the sun was streaming through the gaps in the curtains.  I was determined not to get up at that ridiculous hour and Clive was still snoozing beside me.  I lay there twiddling my thumbs, bored!  Then the next thing I knew Clive was telling me there was a cup of tea ready for me � I had gone back to sleep and it was 8.30!  I couldn�t believe it � I actually wish I had got up at 6!   I decided to get the lunch prepared in advance as we planned to take our guests for a cruise then moor up at Little Thetford, eat lunch, have a wee drinky-poo, then cruise back to Ely.  I thought Clive was on the bank chatting to Ken when I got the phonecall to say that our friends were on their way and would be with us in twenty minutes.  I called out to tell Clive but he was nowhere to be seen!  Finally he turned up only to inform me that the cruiser in front had just untied and was actually leaving the mooring when the lady managed to catch her leg on the broken window cover again, but this time she had really injured herself.  She had a really long, deep gash on her leg, which was bleeding profusely.  Clive had gone to help her and when he saw the cut he knew immediately that she would need stitches as it was very deep so her husband called for an ambulance straight away.  I had to leave as I was meeting our guests at Tesco�s.  They could leave their car there for up to three hours without any problem.   I arrived at Tesco�s and nipped in to get a French stick and some fresh salad and immediately saw a familiar face as I walked in through the doors.  It was Steve, Helen had also nipped in to do a bit of shopping but she soon turned up, I had to leave them to get my bits and pieces and then we set off back to the boat.   The last time Helen and Steve came to visit us was back in January when we were just South of Milton Keynes and at that time Lady Arwen was stuck in the ice!  Well what a difference today, it was yet another baking hot day with wall to wall blue sky � what a lovely day for a cruise!    By the time we got back to the boat our injured neighbour had been carted off to hospital in an ambulance.  Poor lady � I hope she�s OK!  Just before we got on board I noticed another cruiser had come in and moored up and the lady on board shouted hello!  When I looked I realised it was the same couple that had been moored next to us when we were in Wadenhoe!  This is one of the nice things about being on the waterways, its quite a community really and its amazing how many times you come across people and boats that you have seen before.   We set off on our planned cruise � Steve on the stern with Clive (Steve loves boats, he has one of his own but his has a sail!)  Helen and I inside chatting � of course!  Well we had a lot of catching up to do!  We arrived at the Little Thetford moorings again and there was plenty of room for us to moor up and have lunch.  It was really lovely to have visitors and we really enjoyed their company.  Then we headed off back to Ely again.  When we arrived, needless to say, our mooring had gone, so we couldn�t actually get into the bank.  However we pulled up alongside another boat and after saying goodbye Steve and Helen nipped over their stern and onto the bank.  We carried on a bit further up the river as there is a pump-out facility here in Ely which we decided to make use of.  The great thing about these facilities on the Gt Ouse is that they are free!  We normally have to pay anything between �10 and �18 pounds for a pump-out, which is required approximately every two weeks � this gives a whole new meaning to Spending a Penny!   On the way to the sanitary facility we passed Ely Marina and Clive spotted a diesel pump and decided we might as well fill the tank up whilst we had the chance.  So we did the necessaries then turned the boat around and headed back downriver, pulled in at the marina for diesel and we were very lucky indeed that we got any diesel � the marina shop closes at 5.00pm and we hadn�t realised it was 5.40!  However as they were still in the office they very kindly unlocked the pump and let us fill up.  Once that was done we were on our way.  We were just cruising past one of the many eating and drinking establishments on the waterfront when we spotted a familiar face � Ken!  He gave us a wave as we went past � he has already had a look at our blog and become a member of our website so I am sure he will keep track of where we are and you never know, we might bump into him again somewhere.   We left Ely behind again and as it was now so late Clive decided we wouldn�t go any further than Little Thetford � so here we are again, for the third time in two days!    Tomorrow � Cambridge here we come.  But, will there be any moorings available?  Cambridge is renowned for its lack of visitor moorings � keep your fingers crossed for us!  I must say it is going to seem surreal cruising into the centre of Cambridge, our hometown for the last 17 years!

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