Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Boat Blog: Tidying up

Posted by indigodream on 5 October, 2010

Sunday 3rd October

I was little uncomfortable with where I’d dropped the boat on Saturday night – I fretted about whether I’d tied the front rope too tight for the river conditions (heavy heavy rain falling with more predicted) and there was the whole issue of the towpath closure, though it’s not obvious from the water.

The forecast for Sunday was dire, but we actually woke to blue skies and sunshine so we decided to pop up to the boat with a view to moving her upstream a little way. Lynx came along for a little adventure – Ty didn’t want to leave the safety of the house/garden and Lou’s still resting, though she’s quite cheerful in herself.

We had a good trip up to Harlow, and started off by exploring the visitor moorings at Sawbridgeworth. Ah, what moorings? They’re marked on a map but the long row of bollards above the lock are on the offside and are now part of a private development and definitely not to be used by scruffy boating types – what a waste. The towpath side is overgrown and uneven – good for the abundant fishermen but not for Indigo Dream. We wove our way back to the vicinity of the boat. There’s an industrial estate and retail park to the north of Harlow – you can cut through the industrial estate to the footbridge above Latton Lock and thence onto the towpath. We read the towpath closure notice – the whole length from the footbridge below Latton Lock right up to Harlow Lock is closed for 6 months for upgrading work – it’s a long length with no reasonable diversions – no wonder local cyclists and walkers are circumventing the fences and using the path anyway. The ‘works’ are currently only occupying a small area in the centre and I think they’ve closed off an unreasonably large length of path – ho hum.

Indigo Dream was perfectly fine where we’d left her. Her ropes were reassuringly slack, despite the water levels having come up overnight – the stern, which had been aground around a foot away from the bank was now afloat. We decided to move her to the mooring above the lock – she’d be out of the way of the works and nearer to the footbridge out to the industrial estate. With river levels high, the headroom under  the lock bridge was low and Richard just caught the top of his head on the underside of the bridge as we passed beneath – ouch!

That, and the now heavy rain, persuaded us not to cruise to Harlow Mill on the offchance of finding a visitor mooring. We moored up to the decent length of sheet piling above Latton Lock and headed for home. There were no mooring restrictions marked along the towpath closure, but we are close to the works so thought that we should ve inform the moorings officer anyway and they’ve confirmed that it’s ok to leave her where she is for now.

Lynx has a good time by himself – he got several towpath walks and seemed, perversely, to enjoy the rain, though he was wearing his natty red raincoat.

The retail park in Harlow has a useful mega-Tesco so we got lunch there and stocked up with food for a few days. That’ll be a useful stop on  the way back, though we must make sure we only buy what we can carry easily – the footpath back towards the boat is a bit slippery.

We managed a great feat today – when we were in the car and in the shop, the rain stopped and the sky turned blue; when we were on the boat it persisted down with a vengeance.

By the time we got home, mid-afternoon, the sun was out again and we managed to harvest a fine crop from our crab-apple tree. I’m getting to the last of the year’s fruit now but I will have made over 300 pots of jam this year, most of which has been donated to Greyhoundhomer; though I have kept some by for friends, family and anyone else who might be persuaded to make a donation in exchange for a jar! The jam seems to be very popular and is a great excuse for people to give Greyhoundhomer some money……

So, what next for Indigo Dream? Well, that all depends on what happens with Lou. We’re on a 14-day mooring so we may stay put next weekend though it seems likely that we’ll cut short our exploration of the Lee and Stort and head back to Limehouse. We should know what Lou’s prospects are by the end of the week – we’ll keep you posted…..

Lou Update:

We are currently in a state of blissful ignorance – we don’t get Lou’s biopsy results until Friday, so until then we don’t have to make any hard decisions and can just enjoy her company – she’s on an interesting selection of drugs which make her quite cheerful, not in any great pain, able to enjoy short rummages and eating; she’s also enjoying bossing the boys around so that counts as a good quality of life for now 🙂

Useful Information on River Levels:

We have only just found that the Environment Agency actually publish useful graphs of river levels – click here. So for Harlow Mill the graphs are here, scary that the highest river level last year was 1.8m higher then today or to put it another way that low bridge which Richard almost damaged with his head would have been at shin height.  I think it would be nice to have a graph over a longer time period but that is being picky – this is  such a good resource, thank you Environment Agency.

2 Responses to “Boat Blog: Tidying up”

  1. Carrie said

    Hi you two.
    I’m sorry to read that you are anxiously awaiting news about Lou. Poor darling dog. Thinking of you all
    Carrie x

  2. indigodream said

    Hi Carrie,

    We’ve been a bit slow with blogging – we’re a behind with the news. We actually had good news for Lou – there were NO signs of cancer in her biopsy so she’s out of the last chance saloon.

    Of course, she still has something going on with her back – the specialist’s latest theory is that she’s had a trauma; this is a bit at odds with what he told us before so we’re going back to our vet for a second opinion.

    In the meantime she’s blissed out on some very nice painkillers, or rather, she was, until she pulled something in her elbow so now she’s back yelping when she moves, oh, and I broke my toe. Ah well, best to have all your bad luck in one go in order to clear the decks for a load of good luck later!

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