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Archive for May 5th, 2014

Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2014 – Day 7

Posted by indigodream on 5 May, 2014

Tuesday 22nd April

Slapton to Fenny Stratford

The hire fleet at home - we were alarmed but the staff assured us it was changeover day and that they were well booked. I still don't like how much canal they take up...

The hire fleet at home – we were alarmed but the staff assured us it was changeover day and that they were well booked. I still don’t like how much canal they take up…

The plan for today was to get to Fenny Stratford by lunchtime, but we seemed to enter some sort of time warp where every mile seemed to take an eternity and we didn’t arrive at Fenny Stratford until mid-afternoon – sigh!

We stopped off at Grove marina, partly for a pump-out and partly to enquire about moorings. They’re fully occupied at the moment but the man in charge was very pleasant so we decided to fill up on diesel too (90p per litre basic).

After that, we seemed to cruise onwards but without covering any distance! It was a strange day, overcast, cool and still – as if the whole countryside was sleeping off the banquet of sunshine it had feasted on yesterday.

There were very few boats on the move, but plenty moored up – this meant that we crawled through Leighton Buzzard. However, the moorings at the Globe were empty – though it was a bit early for drinking!

Of course, this stretch of the Grand Union is also great – I have decided that I love every varied inch of this waterway – it’s moved up to second in my personal list of favourites (the Thames will take some beating) though Richard’s list may be different!

I haven’t written any notes from the day – I was cruising in a slight state of anxiety – cruising the Tuesday meant that I would have to pack in a weeks worth of domestics into one day (I now have a proper job every Thursday and Friday!). Predictably, my anxiety was entirely centred around the hounds:

  • We’re sad to say that cruising is agonizing for Ty and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier; his new habit of running up on deck at locks is adding whole dimensions of worry. So, after retrieving the car I’d be driving Ty over to Sarah’s house in Suffolk for an extended holiday. This is so hard, Ty is our responsibility and we love him very much, but our boating life doesn’t suit him at all. We’re not rehoming Ty, it’s just that he’ll be having more holidays with Sarah over the Summer! I will have a chat with the vet – we may need to reinstate “campaign Ty”, which is what we had to do during his first year – the reality is that there are times when he has to come boating.
  • Over the weekend, Archie developed an eye ulcer – it wasn’t bothering him enough for me to try to find an emergency vet (over a bank holiday int he middle of nowhere) but he’d need to see the vet on Wednesday.
  • Herbie had become lame – he has a small lump on his elbow which needs investigation, but he also has a corn on his front pad (greyhound corns – don’t go there!) – either could be causing him pain.
This tickled us - people are so clever with their boat names and artwork

This tickled us – people are so clever with their boat names and artwork

There is one train an hour from Fenny Stratford, at .33 past the hour. We had thought we might make the 2.33pm but as that target looked increasingly impossible. We decided to stop for lunch to do justice to the omelette I’d made from the wonderful eggs that we’d bought at Stoke Hammond lock. We’ve bought great eggs from there before, but they’d had a disaster a few years ago when mink had got into their hen house and killed the lot. However there is goo dnews, they’d recently replenished their stock of hens when a friend had moved away and they took in the hens. The eggs were delicious, and the yolks so very golden – yum yum – well worth stopping the boat for.

We eventually got to Fenny Stratford at 3.20pm – just enough time for me to dash off to the station. I had a smooth trip back to Berkhamstead – it’s not that far by train! It was also an easy drive back!

We’d moored up below Fenny Lock  – it made for a very convenient loading from Milward Drive, the adjacent road. Still, it all took time – the hounds were in the boot, our stuff in the roof box. Then I had to drop Richard off at Bletchley train station so he could get home while I drove to Suffolk to drop Ty off – this meant getting sucked into Bletchley’s rush hour traffic – sigh! Nonethless, by 8.30pm, Ty was snuggled into his favourite bed at Sarah’s house and I was getting ready for the drive home with Ollie and the Beanz. They’re quite shameless – they showed absolutely no reluctance to leave home and come back to Surrey.

Phew, that was an exhausting day…

Photoblog:

Ooh, not many photos today…

Clearing thorns after a hedge cutting - a blessing to cyclists and dog-walkers alike :-)

Clearing thorns after a hedge cutting – a blessing to cyclists and dog-walkers alike 🙂

Cut 'n shut??

Cut ‘n shut??

The magnificent Beanz :-)

The magnificent Beanz 🙂

 

 

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