Monday 13th to Sunday 19th December 2010.
No one wants to be the first to break ice so three of us boaters took it in turns to goad each other into smashing our way out of Foxton.
We did our bit on Wednesday by backing into the basin and shoving the pointy end at the water tap in the far corner. Didnt need to tie the boat, it jammed nicely in the icebergs at 90 degrees to the bank.
Weve been licking the bottom of the water tank for days now so it was a case of get it while the sun shone. Reversing was slow but kinder to the paintwork, a burst of ford lifted the ice behind us and either broke it or forced it over or under the main slab. The ducks are so tame, too tame in fact and refused to leave their dinner plate size blocks of ice so I was half expecting the water to turn red when the ice tipped up.
Smashing the ice in the boat basin did the trick because the following day a boater took off for Debdale and left a trail of destruction which froze into ice castles the next night. Our turn came on Friday and having unstuck ourselves from the canal side we battled our way to Debbers for diesel.
It was slow going, sometimes making several runs at the same block of ice, trying different things like rocking the boat to stop the bow jamming tight.
With great relief we made it to Debdale Wharf only to find water and pump-out frozen, but with a bit of perseverance we coaxed them into life and we returned to Foxton prepared for the next big freeze. Diesel is steadily rising in price, 73.5p (self declare) and the doom mongers say were in for another hefty increase with the New Years low sulphur fuel (thank you EU).
Theres one good thing about being stuck in ice, our social life has come on in leaps and bounds. Weve walked to LilyPad for lunch, been visited by friends with cars and eaten out with family.
Graham (G8LUV), bless his heart, happened to mention on the phone that he was pollarding a large willow in his back garden. I must have let out a gasp followed by a drooling sound to which he made the mistake of asking if I wanted any off-cuts.
It wasnt long before he arrived at Foxton with his car loaded with logs, two wheel-barrow loads in fact. And, if that wasnt enough, Tezzer brought a bag of seasoned hardwood on Vs birthday so we did everso well in the temperature department on Saturday night.
With temperatures outside diving to minus eight we sweltered in front of the fire watching Inception on DVD which is a splendid film to watch if you are a prolific dreamer like me. I have often dreamt that I was dreaming but Ive never been down three levels.
Plans to make it into Harborough basin look decidedly dodgy. If the weather doesnt drastically improve then Foxton will have the pleasure of our company and our kids will have to negotiate the steep hill to the lower car park if they want to stop-over.
With festivities just around the corner and the promise of more snow and ice we would like to wish you all a warm and tummy busting Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year.