January 3rd to 10th 2010 Market Harborough

Here we are stuck fast. Ice several inches thick, snow showers on and off (and very pretty they are too) and a frozen water tap but we’re cosy and well supplied with everything we need. This is sissy boating if you compare with those caught out in the countryside miles from water, coal, diesel and shops. Cancel that, two kettles of hot water later the tap is working again, yippee the washing machine can do its stuff and we can bathe in condensation for the next few days.

We’ve had our moments here what with footprints appearing on the ice in the Basin and reports that someone has been seen walking his dog across the ice.
boat basin

It all sounded dodgy especially after hearing the news that two guys walked the ice in Watermead Park north of Leicester and didn’t make it. But after a few days of sub zero temperatures it seemed that the ice was safe enough and more footprints appeared overnight so we resigned to leave it up to whoever was doing it to know what he was doing.

Someone gave me germs last week and I’ve enjoyed spreading them (sorry Jo) and lapping up the attention from V.
Mike and Jo took us to their place for the day just as my nose started running though Mike’s special Scottish medicines seemed to quieten things down. But the next day things went down hill and I was ordered to stay in bed, something I hate doing. Don’t get me wrong, I long to go back there at 2 o’clock every afternoon but I can’t bring myself to lie in bed all day when there are things to be done.

The poor little ducks and swans have made themselves a pool of water to swim in. They go round and round all day to keep the ice at bay. It’s handy for the local bread throwers because they can feed all the birds without having to walk up and down the canal.

It’s nice to have visitors from time to time, Ter pops in if he’s in the area and Paul called in while he was visiting Harbro’. Tap-tap on the boat at 9 o’clock caught me in the bathroom rubbing down with a wet towel. All Ter could do was laugh as I scampered off down the pointy end to dress while V put the kettle on.

I’m afraid we’re not getting much exercise, V walks to the shops for the milk and bread and she managed to get me to walk 5 minutes along the towpath one day but apart from carrying a boater’s briefcase 200 yards every couple of days I’m doing little to work off the ounce I put on over Christmas. Actually I’m in danger of putting on a couple of pounds because V’s made me some brilliant sausage rolls, like the ones she made at Christmas but bigger and better.

We see Keith and Jo quite a bit because they’re just round the corner from us. They gave us an evening’s entertainment by lending us their video of Hadar’s launch. An excellent idea, boat videos, everyone should have them, maybe we should keep a library somewhere.

Another night we cruised the Birmingham Canals thanks to Waterways Routes, an excellent set of videos from Paul Balmer. I must admit I found the high speed cruise fascinating and once done we watched the normal speed video and took in the detail and the history so that I now feel like I know it reasonably well.

Another benefit of watching Paul’s videos is that it counteracts a lot of the bad press that some canals get over the years. I was surprised to see practically no litter in the water, very little weed apart from on unused canal arms and very little boat traffic. I would recommend getting a copy of the BCN video before making a visit to Birmingham, it might well ease any doubts.

What else have we been doing? Looking at ancestors again.

V has spread her papers all over the bed and is scratching her head trying to figure out how many Williams and Thomases you can squeeze in between 1700 and 1900.
I’m not sure if I want to start doing my ancestors again, it’s so compulsive and after a week searching the internet and checking out the local library you can easily finish up back where you started.