Monday Sept 14th - Fen Ditton
Tuesday September 8th - Clayhithe
We had a very lazy day today. Apart from doing a bit of family tree research we just spent the day relaxing really. Other than that there was nothing else to report, well except that later on in the evening I glanced out of the window just as the sun was setting - well I can't resist a sunset!
Wednesday September 9th - Clayhithe
There are no shops near Clayhithe, well at least not without quite a good walk and we had only enough bread left for breakfast so I decided to get out the bread maker again. This time I thought it prudent to use a packet of bread mix rather than doing it from scratch, though I am determined to persevere till I get the mix right! So we put the engine on and I fired up the bread maker and there was just enough time for the bread programme to finish before Vicki arrived to pick us up and take us to Wilburton to see her new house.
Whilst I was up on deck brushing my hair this morning I noticed that there were lots of brambles growing at the side of the path and they were full of berries. Now I don't actually like blackberries, or raspberries for that matter, it's the seeds not the flavour! Can't bear the seeds - its like finding eggshell in your scrambled egg - yeuch! (shudder, shudder!) However, Clive absolutely adores them! So I sent him out with a box to gather some - in no time at all he had a boxfull!
Freshly picked brambles!
I decided the best way of using them was to make him a bramble crumble (I will just eat the custard!).
I had been checking the progress of the bread dough all morning to see if it was doing OK and I could tell within the first few minutes that it was going to be fine, the dough was obviously just the right consistency, unlike when I had made it from scratch - its all to do with getting the measurements just right and as I say its tricky without weighing scales! However at 12.30 the machine beeped to say it was finished and when I turned out the loaf it was absolutely perfect!
Vicki duly arrived to collect us but was running a wee bit late. We hurtled to Wilburton and the agent from Tucker Gardner was sitting patiently in her car waiting for us. She informed us that she didn't have very long as she was showing somebody round another property in about 15 minutes - oh dear! So we had a very quick look around, in fact I hardly had chance to take it all in as Vicki had asked me to photograph every room so that we could plan where to put everything before the actual move. So I basically viewed the house through my camera lens! However, its great - quite palatial compared to her current accommodation, a very tiny flat indeed! Her cat, Jessie, is going to be absolutely delighted with the garden - it's huge!
Vicki's back garden from the bedroom window
There certainly is going to be plenty of room for all our stuff, she will hardly notice its there!
We made a mad dash back to the boat, said goodbye to Vicki and she rushed off back to work. As she had dropped us off in The Bridge car park we thought we might as well pop in for a drink and have a bit of lunch too, which was very nice. Then back to the boat for another relaxing afternoon.
Thursday September 10th - Clayhithe to FenDitton
We had a change of plan today. We were intending heading off back towards Ely but Gareth was having Indy for the weekend and we really wanted her to come and stay with us again so we decided to head back towards Cambridge. He was picking Indy up around lunchtime and then coming straight to us. So we turned the boat around and cruised back up to The Plough at Fen Ditton. I decided to have a shower whilst we were cruising as Clive had assured me he didn't need me for anything. However, he forgot about Baits Bite Lock! Whilst I was just rinsing my hair I realised we were pulling in and I peeped out of the bathroom porthole. I knew immediately where we were and quickly got myself dry and my hair wrapped up in a towel, threw my clothes on and dashed up on deck. Clive was very surprised - he thought the lock was after The Plough, not before it! When we arrived at the lock it was against us so he had managed to get the guillotine lowered and the lock was emptying by the time I came up on deck.
I soon got the gates open and Clive brought Lady Arwen into the lock. Whilst I was waiting for the lock to fill I managed to brush my hair and it soon dried in the sunshine. I hardly ever use a hairdryer these days, though that might change again in the winter months.
Soon after the lock we arrived at The Plough and there was plenty of space at the mooring, apart from a trip boat, Rosie, we were the only boat on the moorings. As these moorings are for patrons only it was absolutely compulsory for us to pop in and have a wee drinky poo! Whilst we were sitting out in the sunshine enjoying our drinks Gareth and Indy arrived.
Once back on board Gareth entertained Indy by playing Boxes with her - that's the game where you draw a grid with dots and take turns to draw a line between the dots to make boxes Indy won!
Playing "Boxes" - Indy won!
Vicki had lent Gareth her car so that he could collect Indy and the plan was for him to go and pick her up after work and she would then take him and Indy home. I suggested she came and had tea with us all as well, which she did, so it was lovely having our little flock around us again. All too soon we will be leaving East Anglia behind and obviously we won't be seeing as much of them then - we will miss them!
Friday September 11th - Fen Ditton to Cambridge
When we woke up this morning it was really misty! Clive went up on deck and took this photograph. I love misty mornings on the river. However it was yet another little sign that Autumn is upon us already.
After breakfast we headed off and a short while later arrived back in Cambridge. The first thing we did was to top up with water and do a pump-out as well, then we crossed over to the other bank and moored up just in front of the riverboat Georgina again. We really shouldn?t be here by rights. It's a 48 hour mooring and you aren't supposed to return within seven days - so we are hoping nobody notices us!
We had decided that as we were back in Cambridge we might as well go to the folk club at the Red Lion in Whittlesford again. We probably won't get another chance beforewe leave. Our intention was to go on the train but our lovely friend Kate said she would give us a lift, which was very kind of her.
We had a great time at the Red Lion but were very disappointed at the shortage of musicians. This folk club has always been very well attended and there was many a Friday night when it was extremely hard to fit everybody in. There is usually a session to start the evening off but on Friday, apart from Colin on Bodhran and Clive on guitar there was only little old me to play the tunes on my flute! Kate came to my rescue however, I just happened to have my whistle with me as well and although she has never played a whistle in her life she used to play the recorder. I pointed out the slight differences in the fingering and she was off, playing tunes like a veteran! What a clever lady she is. Not only does she play the guitar and sing beautifully, she has recently taken up the fiddle and is doing extremely well indeed. Now we find she can play whistle too! Is there no end to her talents!
We were asked what we were doing next and whether we would be back at the Red Lion soon. We explained that we were heading off to do a bit of exploring before we actually leave East Anglia and that it was unlikely that we would be able to come again, however a couple of the folkies, Michael and Kathryn kindly offered to give us a lift as they live very close to the River Lark. So we are going to see where we are next Friday and if its feasible we will give them a ring. I hope there are more people there next week!
Saturday September 12th - Cambridge
Gareth finally got his shock absorbers fitted this morning then he took Indy swimming. Afterwards they came over to the boat for lunch. He left Indy with us for a few hours this afternoon and we went up to town to do some shopping. Gareth came back to meet us in town later and we all went for a pizza - yummy!
We made Indy's bed up and soon got her settled. She asked me to tell her a story so I related the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. When I had finished she decided that she would tell me a story, which was amazingly similar to mine except it was about three zebra's! I was really struggling to keep my face straight during this tale, in fact there were tears streaming down my face, she was sooooooooooooooo funny! She kept putting different voices on for the daddy, mummy and baby zebra as I had done with the bears, really comical! She finally drifted off to sleep and we never heard a murmur until she came and climbed into bed with us just before 7.30 am, even then she went back to sleep for another hour. It was quite a squeeze with three of us in a 4' bed!
Sunday September 13th - Cambridge
Today is a Grand Prix day so you know what that means! Fortunately we have an excellent TV signal at Jesus Lock so Clive was happy! We had breakfast and I played with Indy for a while. We have some games on one of the laptops and one of them is specifically designed for children, it's called Purble Place! She picks things up so quickly and had remembered how to play all the games from the last time she stayed with us, in Earith. Its incredible just how adept she is with the computer, be it a laptop or a pc, she is quite at home with either a mouse or in the case of the laptop the mouse-pad. The thing is of course, as with most children, she is quite fearless about technology. In the case of adults who are not computer literate they are often terrified of doing something terrible, like breaking it! Ha ha!
Just before the Grand Prix was due to start Indy and I set off into town again - Clive gets grumpy if he is interrupted during a Grand Prix, even by his granddaughter, whom he adores! Indy and I walked around town for ages and she was really very good. She doesn't mind walking at all, unlike a lot of children her age (just 4) who either want to be in a buggy or carried. You will have to excuse me, I am a doting granny!
We returned to the boat just as the Grand Prix was finishing - perfect timing. Gareth arrived a short while later and we had an early tea before Gareth took Indy back to her mummy who has just had a new baby this weekend! Indy was getting very excited about meeting her new baby sister. No doubt we will hear all about her in two weeks time when we see Indy again.
Monday September 14th - Cambridge to Fen Ditton
After breakfast this morning I left Clive doing a bit more family tree research and headed back into town to pick up a few last minute supplies at Sainsbury's before we left Cambridge. Vicki has arranged to come and pick Clive up at lunchtime and drive to the van hire place to book the removal van for the big move. We decided The Plough at Fen Ditton would be the most convenient spot, so once I got back with the shopping we headed off. It only took half an hour to reach The Plough and fortunately once again there was plenty of space on the moorings. Vicki arrived a little while later and we had a quick cuppa and a sandwich before she and Clive left. I am just waiting for them to get back. We are going to stay here tonight and then head off tomorrow to do a bit of exploring.
After much discussion and umming and ahhhhing over the last twelve months, we have finally decided to invest in a solar panel array and this was ordered a few days ago. It is due to be delivered to Vicki at work tomorrow. The plan is that she will bring them over to us as some point later this week, perhaps when we get to Ely. Then they have to be fitted!
Watch this space...................!