Tuesday, 10 January 2017

I caught Roy sitting in front of a reindeer-he appears to have sprouted horns

Roy sets off on Panther for his Christmas at The Globe, Linslade

Happy Christmas Roy

sunrise at Cow Roast. Christmas Eve
Santa visits the neighbours
Ho ho ho
Christmas and it's very mild. Stormy oooop north apparently but Christmas Day finds me in shirtsleeves in the Lamb PH enjoying a traditional Christmas lemonade. The doors are open and the usual array of Christmas cardigans are hanging on hooks.

It is a tad different this year; the last ten or more Christmases have been spent in Berko except for last year which was in Kent but all have featured a houseful and involved an A level in sleeping logistics. Also traditionally the first row of Christmas has usually been caused by me repeating the mantra that the pub is only open 12 to 2 whilst others around me slummock about or open presents or prepare sprouts. This year I am despatched on my own to wassail and wassail I did. It was a good Christmas despite the dreaded headcold that others make so much of. Others might think it a miracle that I am able to write this now some two weeks after but they are not made of the Wall fibre that laughs at pain even when as dreadfully ill as I was. Ollie arrived for Boxing Day and together with Joseph we had a fine time. Caz, Philip and Florence arrived on 28th and the festivities continued.

A walk to Ashridge

Roy returned in company with nb Bream seen below heading south.

New Years Eve and we joined Mac and Carrie,Roy and Annie and Peter and Christine aboard the Griifin for a very fine dinner. 5 courses and appropriate liquid accompaniment with good company-what could be better!?

Trout. Yum yum

A cheeseboard of some quality and some eedjit appears to have dropped the crackers

So now we are in 2017 and rushing towards my 70th birthday. (Fri 13th Jan)
If I make it I'll tell you about it next time.

Happy New Year

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The works at Cow Roast Lock  finished earlier this month and it looks like Donald Trump  left his wig behind! The Trump wig is in fact the hemp type packing that they use for caulking the lock gates. Or is it vice versa?

Our resident heron checks the quality of the lock repairs
The lock having  reopened  there's been a bit of traffic through but it's not been busy. With the exception of the weekend 3/4 Dec the weather has not been the sort to make for busy  boating.
 Rather it's been the weather for doing what we did.
Which was?

Well as you ask we went to the theatre. To see Nice Fish at the Harold Pinter Theatre and starring Mark Rylance, one of our favourite actors, who showed he had a talent for comedy in Farinelli and the King which we saw last November.
Nice Fish was funnier and the whole cast were superb.I lost myself in the whole thing and had a good exercise of the gigglemuscles.

We'd walked through London from Euston beforehand and got to the pub opposite the theatre in time for a lemonade. We crossed the road in time for another drink in the theatre. We should have stayed in the pub! £18.20 for two glasses of wine! Bloody hell I was annoyed with myself for paying it and still feel as though I've been mugged. It didn't spoil the play at all but it certainly means I wont be troubling the Harold Pinter theatre bar again.
However if you get the chance go and see Nice Fish. Just don't go to the bar.


A walk across Ashridge-another wet day that turned golden as we walked. Brilliant Autumn


The record sized moon peering through the clouds whilst competing with the street lamp at Northchurch


Narrowboat June Rose has gone. The lovely June and son, David, have moved ashore to High Wycombe. Sadly the difficulties of life afloat have overtaken June and she has had to give up the boat. So the boat, June Rose has gone for brokerage and the mooring will be auctioned in the New Year and new moorers will join our happy band. In the meantime it's meant space for Les and Jaq to stay for Christmas.
Bye bye June

Bye bye June Rose

We will, of course, keep in touch with June and David

Christmas is coming!

Only 7 sleeps till Christmas!

The Boaters' Annual Christmas Gathering was held at the Red Lion and was organised (very well) by Mike Griffin. The weather was superb for the weekend and I boated down with Roy on Panther with Ady and Geoff crewing. A lovely run both ways.
Pam joined us in the evening and it's the first one for many years that I've not organised and meant I had a very relaxing evening actually sitting down with Pam to eat the excellent grub!
Out of interest Mike G produced a list of our 26 previous gatherings.  They have all consistently raised in excess of £400 for charity and this year was no exception with a mighty £600 profit meaning donations to the Hospice of St Francis, Ian Rennie and a token for June and David for Christmas.
One down point that the list shows is that it is now six years since we had our party at the White Lion Marsworth which means it has been empty and ugly since that time whilst the developer and Council fail to agree on development. When I'm elected Queen-and 2016 has shown anything is possible- they would have 2 years to sort it and I'd confiscate the land and build Council housing on it. They'd get their greedy arses in gear then.

My tree on the mooring from outside and inside the boat

Over the years Pam and I oft disappear to somewhere for a little walking, card writing and Christmas shopping and this year was no exception.
I also usually stop in Bakewell on way to visit my sister in Oldham using a splendid b and b of which I have written before. As I'm not visiting Lancs this year we rented a cottage for a few days.
My plan is to visit Lancs in January as part of my 70th Celebrations 

I shall be stopping at the b and b overnight then. 


What a grand break we had. Stopping in Tansley on the way up we lunched with Mac and Julia, Pam's brother and sister in law at the Tavern.
I had an excellent mushroom and Parmesan starter followed by Belly of Pork. All totally calorie free.

To Bakewell and Campion Cottage. After  a full lunch a quiet evening. The following day being perfect for walking we set off for Monsal Head stopping for a pint at the wonderful Packhorse in Little Longstone before catching the bus back to Bakewell and Sunday Roast at the Peacock. Great day.
War Memorial and  Christmas tree at Bakewell

The following day was far from perfect for walking and we had planned to visit Chatsworth House to see the Christmas decs and have a walk. We had been given tickets for the house (thank you Janice!) and the house did not disappoint. We didn't bother with a walk. Heh heh.

Lord Wall of Cow Roast

The Great Hall
The whole theme was round the Nutcracker Suite with staff, display characters and even ballerina in costume. Pam and I even managed a pas de deux at the top of the main staircase but sadly nobody took a picture.

The Nutcrackers

Dancers silhouetted on the walls

Three of  the many trees throughout.

and a dressing room where Pam sorted out this little number.

Mice sawing cheese
This one's got a pneumatic drill

and these are climbing a cheese mountain

Pam has found some nutcrackers to play with

The main stairs where we gave our balletic best

A tree of ballet shoes.........I think the chap who took the other one should have gone to Specsavers

After the most enjoyable tour of the house we went to Chatsworth Farm shop where we know the prices are high but believe you me young man you get what you pay for, The quality of the Lamb butterfly chops we had that evening was astounding. I was fortunate in that at the Boaters' Christmas Gathering I had won a raffle prize of a bottle of Chateau Puech-Haut, 2009. It was absolutely stunning with the lamb and a real treat for someone like myself who rarely drinks.
Now here's a funny thing. On returning to Cow Roast I received a postcard from my sister about her visit with Tom, Martin and Valerie to the Chatsworth Christmas on the Tuesday; the day after we were there. Neither of us knew the other was going-small world, Chatsworth.
My Horse awaits

After Chatsworth where else but the Wee Dram Whisky shop in Bakewell for Christmas treats for the poor and dispirited of Cow Roast. Mind you they weren't poor when they went in.

                Pam in her element-a log fire to play with.

Thursday 15th and lunch with the SagaUltras at the George and Dragon, Northchurch
Kevin, Ady, Mike P and Geoff

I've known these blokes for an estimated total of 160 years! Still don't like any of them.
Happy Christmas chaps.
Let the Feasting begin!
and to finish a backward look at 2016


Happy Christmas