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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.
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1. A convenient perch.
2. A break in the 'weather'.
3. Our little piece of wilderness.
The past few days have been quite windy with gusts to 40mph, so 'wilvir' has been wandering about her mooring lines riding the rise and fall of the wind-driven swell. Coupled with grey overcast skies and bouts of heavy rain the sky seemed to be falling in on itself. Then last night the wind abated and this mornings bright sunshine brought the hedgerows to life as the birds came out to search for food.
I'd hung bird-feeders in the hedgerow prior to the wind arriving but the robins, long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits and coal tits that have returned this morning were unable to feed at them due to the strength of the South Westerly that had the feeders flying like flags as the wind blew them near horizontal.
It's great to see calm restored to our little 'wilderness' and to enjoy the spectacle of swan formations passing by the boat as they over-fly, come in to land or take-off level with the windows.
There's so much to be said for the way we live, and walkers often stop to ask about the boat or comment on the aroma of wood-smoke curling from the chimney that evokes so many memories amongst those of us of a certain age. I just love this way of life and look forward to the signs of spring approaching with just a little anticipation as it means we'll be nearing the time to resume our never-ending journey exploring the heritage that earns my respect for those who've gone before without whom England wouldn't be what it is.
1st Feb 2013, 16:24
1. This is us this morning after the snow finally arrived overnight.
2. The view across the canal.
18th Jan 2013, 20:06
1. At Quedgeley Wharf this buoy is all that has been visible since early December to mark where a narrowboat went down.
2. River Canal Rescue gather resources to bring her up.
3. She rises stern first.
4. Nearly done.
Leading on from the rumours of a narrowboat having been left to sink, it seems that narrowboat 'MoJo' was actually trapped by the wharf structure as heavy rain raised the water level and eventually flooded the boat, causing it to sink.
Over two days this week River Canal Rescue (www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk
) managed to bring her back up, much to the delight of her owner I should imagine, who had apparently only recently purchased her. I didn't envy the divers as temperatures hovered close to zero.
18th Jan 2013, 16:12
1. 'wilvir' making smoke.
2. Frozen farmland.
3. You can just see 'wilvir' moored on the far bend.
17th Jan 2013, 00:26
A beautiful start to the day as the sun breaks through lifting the mist away to expose a cloudless blue sky.
9th Jan 2013, 16:00
1. New Years Eve.
2. New Years Day.
3. This afternoon.
4. Sailboat masts silhouetted against the twilight.
5. Another evening.
5th Jan 2013, 18:37
This was the day fading before me late this afternoon as I walked back to the canal across the fields surrounding the lakes and village of Frampton-on-Severn, accompanied by the bells of St Mary's; magical!
5th Jan 2013, 18:12
1. Jim and Helen come calling.
2. The Grandchildren.
3. All aboard for the Santa cruise.
4. Our Christmas Dinner (with the clock).
5. The magic of our little Christmas together.
6. Seeing in the New Year in quiet solitude.
At the end of November, Dave, an old friend from my RAF days together with his other half Alison came to visit. We hadn't seen each other for over fourteen years. It was great to catch up and share experiences of our foray into 'civilian' life, especially their sailing adventures on the high seas.
The first weekend of December saw my niece Debbie and her other half Graham came for Sunday lunch and brought with them a clock that I had left in their safe-keeping not long after we'd moved onto the boat. It had stood on a mantelpiece under a glass dome in my childhood home up until Mum died some twenty years ago and had never worked since. However, and to our surprise, the clock began to chime as soon as Deb's brought it onboard even while it was still in the box she had brought it in. It has kept perfect time and chimed on the hour and half-hour ever since. Not bad for an 1871 pendulum movement on a boat!. That clock has brought back very fond memories of my childhood and is a comforting reminder of the past. Welcome home.
The following week our great friends Helen and Jim then came for our pre-christmas lunch get-together, which has become an annual tradition and a pilgrimage on their part as they travel from their home near Nantwich every year, regardless of where we are, to meet up with us. It also gives us the opportunity to decide where we'll meet up to spend a few months of the coming year cruising together. We've decided to rendezvous at Copredy on the Oxford canal and
Make our way onto the upper reaches of the Thames before heading down to London. A trip we're looking forward too for a number of reasons, not least because it's where we started out from when we left Lechlade.
Then To Ginny's surprise our daughter Emma and son Craig brought their families to Gloucester Quays for the weekend prior to Christmas, staying in a hotel not far from where I had moored the boat in the docks. The twelve of us (four adults and six kids) then spent the weekend enjoying a 'Santa Cruise' (courtesy of the Waterways Museum), shopping, eating out and sight-seeing. It was sad to see them leave on the Sunday, but what a great reunion and one that brought a great deal of happiness to us all as proud parents and grandparents. Magic!
And to end a month of family and friends coming to visit, the last weekend saw our good friends Martin and Brenda appear over the horizon to meet up with us at Frampton-on-Severn where they stayed at The Bell overnight. As usual they came bearing cakes and all things high in calories offset by a box of clementines (the healthy option). We also had a fantastic evening meal at The Bell which came to just shy of ?100 and on asking for the bill we were told the manager had generously waived it as we were the 100th cover over Christmas. The food was truly excellent. I had the best Hock of Ham I've tasted since living in Germany some twenty-five years ago.
So that brought us to a quiet year's end.
5th Jan 2013, 15:47