Monday 15th to Sunday 22nd February 2010.

Our smoke detector went off at 5am (again) and Roy set off in Gerald at 7am. I do hope there’s no connection between the two.

I must fix this Fire-Angel smoke detector, it’s becoming a pain. V will get another one when she next goes to town, meanwhile I’ll be taking this one apart to see what’s causing the problem.

Later – might have found the problem, the detector comprises an LED emitter and detector in a black plastic housing. The cavity was very dusty so I brushed it clean and after re-assembly it has behaved itself. Don’t worry I tested it with smoke to make sure it still works.


In the black circle, with the cap off, you can just make out the emitter at six o’clock and the detector at ten o’clock.

We asked BW HQ for the OK to overstay until V’s appointment at the docs and we were cleared ’til Thursday, phew that’s a relief. We don’t like staying longer than the regulation 14 days, V gets jittery and no one wants a black mark on the computer records.

On Tuesday V had the idea of going to The Navigation for a curry rather than slave over a hot stove. But when we got there we were presented with a pancake menu. Everything on the menu was inside a pancake. Curry came in a couple of pancakes (chips and salad in bowls, no rice) and the puds were all in pancakes too. It was interesting. The curry was quite tasty but an Indian wouldn’t have recognised it.
We left before they brought the coffee, I prefer mine in a cup.

Wednesday was good, Ter took us to the quacks and then to his place for a meal cooked by Lorraine. Roast lamb with roast veg, scrummy, thanks, brilliant.

V’s tests will take 4 weeks to analyse. Any guesses how long she’ll wait for any treatment?

Saw two goldfinches on the towpath today, what pretty birds they are at this time of year.

A cheer went up on Thursday as we moved away from the moorings at Kilby Bridge. There was a loud sucking noise as the boat came away from the side and the canal level suddenly dropped as water rushed into the place we’d occupied for three weeks.

A hire boat went through towards Leicester yesterday so all the locks will be our favour, don’t you just love it when a plan comes together.

But summat was wrong, locks were full when they should have been empty.

Mile after mile, seeing no one, we wondered if all the gates were leaky and filling the locks overnight, and then we found the reason, someone was there in front of us, had been all the way. We caught up with nb.Dacha fresh out of Sawley under new ownership going towards Foxton, like us.

nb dacha

She was stuck at Kibworth with a bottom gate that wouldn’t shut because of muck on the cill. They’d tried to shut the gate, I had a couple of goes without success and they’d already called BW for help by the time we’d arrived at their back door.

As if that wasn’t enough it started to snow.

pywell lock

If we hadn’t got going in half an hour I was going to try the plank trick to seal the bottom gates. As it happened BW sent their best guys to sort it, Jeff was there in minutes and the gates were fixed and we were all on our way. Our thanks go to British Waterways for a fast response and for getting us moving again. We must have the best team in the country, always helpful, always smiling, we’ve never had a reason to complain.

All that remained was to race for the piling at Fleckney and settle for the night.
By 5pm the snow was thick. What with the strange light at that time of night and the perfect silence the place was quite spooky.


Friday was cool with brilliant snow scenes and it was a joy to cruise. There was no one around besides the dredgers and the veg cutters until we got down to Tony’s Turn, just short of Foxton.

saddington tunnel

While I did all the sitting down things V did the walking bit, down to the locks shop where she bumped into Al on her way back from town to her hubby on Derwent 6.
That explains why she was gone a long time.

The weekend was mainly snow, thaw, ice, snow, thaw and a promise of rain. During one of the thaws my Christmas present from no.1 son, a radio controlled speedboat, went in the water for trials.
Within minutes it was firmly attached to the weeds on the offside. Too fast and severe understeer makes it quite unsuitable for these parts. V was away at Mary’s shop at Foxton Locks so I was on my own loosing the ropes and reversing up the cut to retrieve the boat. But as often happens when you don’t want one another boat came along. He must have wondered what manoeuvre I was performing as I shot out from the side, braked hard under the trees, waggled a fishing net and returned to the towpath.
He smiled as he passed, too polite to ask.

I could see V was getting itchy feet so I offered to walk to the locks. Amazed at how the legs performed after being idle for so long I almost overdid it and offered to walk to the top of the flight. Glad we did because we met Peter and Pat on Molly May 2. We bump into this couple all over the place, a couple of times each year, and it was good to catch up on news.

They told us about the new shop in Foxton village, next to the Black Horse pub.
Foxton Farm Shop is open every day mostly 8.30am to 11.30am and some afternoons, selling meat, dairy, fresh veg and fruit, bread, cakes, groceries, newspapers and the like.
V popped down later and came back with good reports. See “Note” at end.

Sunday morning was total white-out. Everything was white, even the canal.

sunday morning

That’s not the towpath, that’s the canal. Had this been Market Harbro’ we might have seen human footprints on it.

I’ve had a few enquiries into my latest project for running diesel engines on water and have to report that we’re waiting for parts. Stainless steel pipe and containers aren’t that easy to find on the cut, so be patient.
I wonder if there’s a way to use snow instead of water?

NOTE – Foxton Farmshop
Tfn: 0794 1342 794
Facebook: Rural Trading
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