Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Worth the wait? Well I would say yes wouldn't I?

We were delighted with our neighbours Stephanie and Pete from NB Maggie May who are also wintering here. First with Pete for providing me with these fantastic photographs of one of our resident kingfishers. 

Just stunning and have given me  11 extra Twitter followers.

Thanks also due for the,delicious chocolate brownies they provided yesterday afternoon. They were so good I felt inspired to finally cook the Hummingbird Cake. No connection with the kingfisher.  This was my first cake on QISMA - shameful I know. But, as,the headline says, worth the wait. Honestly.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Thanks Fiona aka @nbepiphanytoo

We were lucky last year, as we sat here wondering just how bad things were in Reading, Tom from WAIOURU posted a photo on his blog. This year we know things are worse and had been thinking of driving down to Reading to take a look. No need now thanks to Fiona from Epiphany. I am sure she is well known to most, if not all you.  We were able to move early March last year. That is SOooooooo not going to happen. The stretch from Fobney Lock to County Lock is white knuckle when the stream is running and then there is the joy of the Oracle and the bridge beyond.  We were the first boat off last year. Happy for someone else to have that honour this year! 

County Lock is under here somewhere!

The Oracle 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Thanking you

Like so many other bloggers, we started the QISMA website so family and friends could keep up with our travels. We moved to this site last year and have just reached 20,000 visitors. It's amazing.

An outing to Yorkshire ... Best with nowt taken out

A couple of days in Yorkshire visiting sister Sue, hubby Sid and my Dad who will be 92 this year - enshala.  Supposed to be a last visit before our 2014 cruise but I might  have time for one more. Our chances of escaping the clutches of the K&A anytime soon seem to get more remote by the hour. I'm not complaining as we are fine here and there are so many who can't say that. We could see some,of the devastation as we drove up. In places, the A34 had huge new lakes on both sides of the road. Chilling really just to see them.

Today's phots are from our Yorkshire walks. My sister lives close to where we grew up and it really is grand to walk LJ in what was our summer playground. These days we wouldn't be allowed to roam so freely or so far from home.  I recall on day when a group of us were flashed at. Truly. Home we ran and the local 'bobby' sent for. Can't remember how long we were banned from 'the wints' for - or if we paid any attention!  The local artwork isn't meant to be significant 😀

And the winner is ..... drumroll

Peter from Auckland with WAKA PIRAU .... I'll leave you to do the translation!

The prize

 And, with the benefit of time travel -'it's being enjoyed in Auckland!

Checkmout the sunshine!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Caption Competition

A bottle of wine to the blog reader who comes up with the most appropriate name for the owner of this boat. @Nbthegreenman may have a slight advantage here as she has been thinking of appropriate form of words since yesterday!

I call it the Spanish Galleon 

After sitting, to my knowledge for the best part of two years on a half mile stretch of the K&A, on Thursday, on a river section that has been closed since 23 December, he decides to move. I found him soaked to the skin trying to get out of Greenham Lock. As I walked LJ late afternoon. The gates are chained and padlocked. For a reason.  His female companion had obviously been despatched to the car for a toolbox. Still couldn't unlock the chains.  So, like the most irresponsible, stupid, boater on the system, or certainly a contender, he let the water out of the lock and left. Boat abandoned in the lock. Please don't let my rant influence you! It seems ludicrous that there is no penalty for this behaviour. Did I mention the licence on display expired last July?

This morning, Derek and Emma from Newbury Boat Company notified CRT and went to investigate. They found the padlock damaged. With CRT blessing they cut the chains and pulled the boat onto the lock mooring. Then sorted out replacement chains/lock. It seems ludicrous that there is no penalty for this behaviour. Did I mention the licence on display expired last July?

Thursday, 6 February 2014

First sign of Spring but hopes not being raised!

Whilst the coast is still being pounded by waves of record height Newbury is just getting rain, rain and more rain. I suppose I should be grateful as we haven't had strong winds and although the river is going past at a tremendous speed we are still OK.

In fact, there are signs of Spring in the marina,and thankfully, all the leaves are down.

Outings are confined to the absolutely necessary. Walking LJ and resupplies.  We're tucked up with the fire on. Alistair is heavily involved with his new passion, war games on line. He is, I think, in the 10th century AD. I have my head in,a book - if you can say that when you're reading it on the Kindle ap? Also enjoying splurges of chat with Tweet buddies (you know who you are and thank you) and have the headphones on listening to music, more specifically to Jason Isbell, who has just settled into my head and cannot be shifted. I know, in this, as Mr Stigers might say, I am not Alone.  In fact I have blog buddies in New Zealand also #spreadingtheword and they are going to see him play in Auckland in April. If I lied on the blog Zi would say not the least bit jealous but ........

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Don't mess with us

Back on QISMA and although there is very little likelihood of escaping from the clutches of the K&A for the foreseeable future our thoughts have turned to the start of our 2014 cruise.  Alistair has been having his annual technical update. This year it includes a rather swish alarm system. This partly brought on by reports, from what we believe to be reliable sources, of a considerable number of boats      being broken into on and around the Fens.

So, meet the deterrent

Any technical questions should be addressed to Alistair. I can tell you it is loud. Extremely loud. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Hay hay ........... Extending the holiday

We said our goodbyes to Green  Cottage and Newport and 'enjoyed' a wet drive across Wales.

We didn't really get chance to make use of this

But had a last run down the hill to the beach.

Now at Tyruched  with Janie and John so extending the holiday by a weekend.  Of course, start of the z6 nations.  1 x Welsh and 3 x English supporters. We don't come for that match! Too much shouting altogether for LJ. Poor boyyo.