Monday 14th to Sunday 20th November 2011

The face of Loughborough, or Looga-Borooga as Graham calls it, won’t be the same for the visiting boater.
It was bad enough being crowded by the student halls of residence but we shall soon be stared at from the windows of an hotel.
Luffy boat basin

As the Travel Lodge building grows fast, the sun will be a thing of the past.
There’ll be buildings on three sides of the mooring, don’t say we didn’t give you warning.

It’s time to go into writing, to report the basin’s uninviting.
It might be a good place to pop-in, if all you want is shopping.

The water tap, rubbish and loo are worth a mention it’s true,
but planning consent for the new has ruined the vista and view.

I recall those tales of woe, just 5 or 6 years ago,
when protesters warned of the blight of buildings that blocked out the light

It was bad enough moored by walls of the student residential halls,
with the incessant café fan noise, not helped by the skateboarding boys,
who appear from the road in a flash and land on the steps with a crash.

This awful erosion of space by the hotel that’s right in your face,
is blocking out signs of the day and turning us boaters away.

Such inconsiderate height is turning our day into night.
The basin will cease to be used by those who take pleasure in cruise

It was apparent that there had been a falling out between scaffolders working on the hotel, which continued into Tuesday. Little did they appreciate how their voices travelled and how comical they looked from the ground as their faces contorted and arms expressed their dissatisfaction with each other. All the while the crane lifted and dropped timber and steel in an effort to satisfy the skeleton’s insatiable hunger.

A surprise visit by Della (nb.Ardea) caught us totally unprepared. Ash pan on the steps next to a bucket of water (don’t ask) and clothes and wires all over the chairs greeted Della who was in town and checking out the new building behind us. Over a cuppa we recalled meeting Della and Graham back in 2004 when we were looking for a boat builder. Nimbus were on our list of possibles at that time so after checking out the offices we asked to see a finished boat. Ardea was the answer and what a boat she was (and still is). Electric galley and hydraulic prop drive stuck in my mind and not one but two engines, one above the other in the rear cabin space.
Price, quality, build slot and company stability were uppermost in our minds and Nimbus came close to taking our order.

It was good to catch up on boat and marina news and to see others like us that haven’t changed a bit over those seven years.

After one night in Luffy basin, that’s all you’re allowed, we continued upstream through the backside of town, past the tip and into the countryside.

Millers Bridge was full of old lads and lassies out for a walk, all in need of a coffee and loo judging by the requests. One or two smiled when I asked them to lift their feet so we could pass under the bridge, the rest thumped their boots jokingly in an effort to dislodge loose bricks.
millers bridge

A night or two in the sticks and we were ready for the houses again, this time at Barrow on Soar. At least we can’t hear (and feel) that railway at our new moorings.

They say you can live off the land if you know what’s there.

Barrow lock is a good place to start living with nature, there are wild Yorkshire puddings growing on the lock walls.
Don’t believe me? Here’s one of a pair I caught trying to get away downriver to spawn.
york pud

Don’t ask me why there were two Yorkshire puds floating in the lock, I’m never amazed at what I find these days. I just hook stuff out of the water and leave it to walkers to kick it back in.
This reminded me of a funny sight on the Coventry Canal south of Hawkesbury junction a while back. We came round the corner to catch an old fella using his umbrella to hook a floating cauliflower from the canal. We had to stop while he coaxed the veggy to the bank and after lifting it he went on his way. Anyone who knows the area must be developing tummy ache just at the thought of eating something out of that canal.

Yorkies and cauliflower, all we need is a couple of roast potatoes and a slice of beef in gravy.

Personally I think wild Yorkshire Puds in our rivers are a good idea, being a non-native species they might give floating pennywort a run for its money.

Thursday – Sunday
Couldn’t moor at Barrow without paying a visit to Dave and Dil on nb.Trundle. Over a brew onboard we caught up on the news and, nice try Dil, we must decline a puppy if your suspicions are right.
There are enough pets on here as it is without another one. Though I have to say we do have one or two spaces now that the earwig population has declined.

We should have moved on Friday but it’s so quiet and convenient for shops that we’ve lost the urge to cruise.
Not that we’ve been idle, V has been knitting and I’ve been fitting a temperature controlled fan to the fin-rad enclosure.
If anyone reading this is disappointed by fin-rad heat output then I can thoroughly recommend installing a small 12 volt fan to extract the heat. Ours works like magic, wish I’d done this years ago.