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I used to call it ‘Muscott’, but it’s much closer to ‘Brockhall’ than the deserted village of Muscott. One of the residents, or I assume it was one of the residents, accosted me whilst walking through the hamlet of Brockhall 2 nights ago. Brockhall busy body The road across from Brockhall to Long Buckby is what’s known as a ‘gated road’. It’s a rural kind of road with free roaming cattle and two gates or cattle grids at either end.... Read...
I used to call it ‘Muscott’, but it’s much closer to ‘Brockhall’ than the deserted village of Muscott.
One of the residents, or I assume it was one of the residents, accosted me whilst walking through the hamlet of Brockhall 2 nights ago.
The road across from Brockhall to Long Buckby is what’s known as a ‘gated road’. It’s a rural kind of road with free roaming cattle and two gates or cattle grids at either end.
This road takes in the lost village of Muscott, skirts across a couple of hill tops, then goes through the hamlet of Brockhall.
Brockhall itself used to be home to a large manor house, Brockhall Hall, which due to lack of an heir, was sold off in 1969 and re-developed over the course of time into a set of self contained flats.
This large manor is set opposite Brockhall Manor, a large and still functioning farm operation, with a few thatched crofters cottages set in between.
Just prior to these cottages is the gate leading toward Buckby and the canal.
As I was coming through this gate, there was a guy getting out of his Porsche. He was exchanging salutations with one of the residents of these cottages.
It was the first time I’d seen this guy, usually, there’s a van parked where his car was.
He went in a gate to the Brockhall Hall which is now flats, I walked past him and on down past the cottages.
When I got to the end of the cottages, I heard this “Hello….. Hello…… Hello……” from behind me. I turned around to see this guy and his dog and large beer belly coming toward obviously trying to attract my attention.
“Where are you coming from?” – he said. “I just walked down the road” I said. “But where did you come from?” He said – “that way“, I said pointing along the roadway, and started walking again. “Where are you going now?” I turned around to gauge and address this guy more fully… “Who do you think you are asking me all these questions?”.
“We’ve heard ‘noises’ in one of the houses” he says. I says “People live the houses. Maybe it’s one of the residents“. “No, it’s one empty house being renovated. We heard noises like someone looking around. We were thinking about calling the police“.
I said “If there’s noises coming from one of the houses, I suggest you call the Police. Get them to deal with it“. Being a hot summer night, it’s not unusual for things to shift in the heat. It may be animals, anything. Whatever.
“I’m not telling you anything.”
“I’m walking down the road, reading my phone“.
This has happened before in the past. In Welton, someone tried to stop me riding my push-bike down a bridleway, told me it was a private road.
I asked one of the other boaters in Yelvertoft and he said they were a right dodgy family. Checked the internet and discovered it was a criminal offense preventing travel down a public highway.
I suspect this guy was just making this ‘noises’ story up. When I approached, he wasn’t talking to his neighbor about it. They were talking about the weather.
Seems like the sort of authoritarian busybody diatribe power-play opener to tell you some old bullshit about how you shouldn’t be down this road, local criminal activity, I’d be happier if you etc, etc. Whatever he wanted basically.
Suspend your disbelieve eh.
It’s remarkable how objectionable it is to be questioned by a random stranger.
With that, I walked on. Not seen him or his car since.
I suspect he’s someone very important. At least in his own mind…
Here’s some pictures from where I’m located at the moment, I believe it’s called Brockhall Lane, although it’s not named on Google maps.
On the walk down toward Whilton, this bridge is about 200 yards away from the motorway. It’s mega noisy. But it looks good.
Soon, I will be heading through these sets of locks to moor up in Braunston and continue my journeys up there.
I have recruited some crew members for the day, who I will feed and provide with beverages as they assist me with locking which will take the best part of a day.
It means I will have to move next weekend, but remain on this side of the locks. Mooring up the woods. Close to the bridge pictured above.
Till then bye z bye.
Easing of movement restricting on UK waterways has meant a resumption of the 14 day movement rule. This is the first time I've moved my boat in 2 months. The post Covid on the socially distanced cut – Dodford Meadows appeared first on Michael Tyler. Related posts: Dodford -> Weedon Covid on the Cut – Grade 3 Covid on the Cut – May the 4th be with you...
Continuous cruising rules are back in operation, meaning I have to move. The boat, not my personage.
I’ve moved 2 stops down, skipping my usual stop in Weedon Bec.
I decided that the excess of pedestrian traffic around that area was probably best avoided at this time.
I’ve moved a little further to this spot which is closest to a village called Dodford. I call it Dodford Meadows.
I’m moored opposite Canna Mead Wharf‘s boat crane. Sometimes they lift the odd boat out here to do a bit of work on.
They have a day boat for hire nowadays, but no website.
There used to be more boats moored up here. Some of them appear to have moved off.
I took this picture at the end of 2017. Actually, I’ve been here a few times.
As some of you may remember, I was talking about moving onto the Ashby Canal slightly further up into the Midlands.
Had good old Covid not come along, I would have been there by now.
Not that I don’t like it here, but it is becoming a little familiar.
I need pastures new…..
Due to the fact the weather has turned warmish, I’ve been able to survive without having to light the stove, an old Hamlet Harvey 4.
I had to do a fair bit of searching around on the ‘net. I talked to the guy at https://www.homefarmstoves.co.uk/ in Long Buckby and he said it was pretty important to get the right sized rope.
In the end, I found you needed 9mm rope for this particular model. Having plenty of time to surf the internet, there was a supplier in Derbyshire called Robeys.
It cost £10.95 for 2m of rope and some adhesive.
Fairly easy – simply lift off the hinges.
Some people say screwdriver. I found a chisel a much sharper and more robust tool for the job.
Again, people say do this with a wire brush. If you want to spend 2-5 hours doing the job, that’s fine.
I put the wire brush on my Bosch hand-drill, put it onto half revs and put some eye PPE on.
Took about 4 minutes.
This was supplied with my kit.
I wasn’t sure what was the right amount to put on, so I put it all on in the knowledge that I could remove any excess at a later stage.
They recommend 4 hours to initially set. Then 24 hours.
And close. Leave for a while.
To ‘cure’ the adhesive, as it were. Slowly at first, then build up the heat a little.
I’ve not done this yet.
It seems fine anyhow.
Onto the next job…..
Yes… It’s been a long break, but better weathers and an easing on lockdown restrictions has meant I’ve been able to undertake a little fishing!
Got some cheap bread rolls from co-op. Threw in some ground bait and pulled out these two skimmers in about 20 minutes.
These was about 4pm.
Things died off a little and I went and cooked dinner.
When I got back, it was kind of twilight, and I could no longer see the orange float which was so easy to make out in the brighter sunshine.
I would have had to change the rig over to a yellow float to be able to see what was actually going on.
That’s something I can do next time.
Till next week…
The post Covid on the socially distanced cut – Dodford Meadows appeared first on Michael Tyler.
Living the lie. Watling Street is a route in England that began as an ancient trackway first used by the Britons, mainly between the areas of modern Canterbury and St Albans using a natural ford near Westminster. The Romans later paved the route, which then connected the Kentish ports of Dubris (Dover), Rutupiae (Richborough), Lemanis (Lympne), and Regulbium (Reculver) to their bridge over the Thames at Londinium (London). The route continued northwest through Verulamium (St Albans) on its...
Living the lie.
Watling Street is a route in England that began as an ancient trackway first used by the Britons, mainly between the areas of modern Canterbury and St Albans using a natural ford near Westminster. The Romans later paved the route, which then connected the Kentish ports of Dubris (Dover), Rutupiae (Richborough), Lemanis (Lympne), and Regulbium (Reculver) to their bridge over the Thames at Londinium (London). The route continued northwest through Verulamium (St Albans) on its way to Viroconium (Wroxeter). The Romans considered the continuation on to Blatobulgium (Birrens) beyond Hadrian’s Wall to be part of the same route, leading some scholars to call this Watling Street as well, although others restrict it to the southern leg.
This is a picture of Watling Street today. As you can see, it’s one of the UK’s busiest trunk roads, and it’s almost completely empty.
The embankment you can see on the left is the Grand Union canal is it snakes it’s way around the Nene Valley.
As a key worker….
This time I’m working in conjunction with a testing program for willing participants who wish to know if they are, or have been infected with Covid.
“This is one of the largest and most important studies underway into the COVID-19 virus and will transform our understanding of the infection. The University of Oxford is delighted to be the Study Sponsor.”Professor Sarah Walker, University of Oxford
“Understanding more about the rate of COVID-19 infection in the general population, and the longer-term prevalence of antibodies, is a vital part of our ongoing response to this virus.Health Secretary Matt Hancock
“This survey will help to track the current extent of transmission and infection in the UK, while also answering crucial questions about immunity as we continue to build up our understanding of this new virus.
“Together, these results will help us better understand the spread of the virus to date, predict the future trajectory and inform future action we take, including crucially the development of ground-breaking new tests and treatments.”
It’s an invitation only program, run by one of the Government agencies, the ONS.
If you want to read more about this testing program you can read about it on the Office of National Statistics website.
My job is to submit completed test kits to the lab in Oxford.
I drive in my car and talk to participants, do a swab with them. I have to record some details on my phone about them and their symptoms, if any, in the last 2 weeks.
I then have to return completed swab samples to a courier who drives them to a lab in Oxford.
The work is fairly patchy. From a question and answer session this morning with my employer, it seems some areas have higher level of respondent take-up than others.
At present, it seems to be a few sessions a week, (on my patch), but they’re hoping to increase that.
But, I am a key worker, (health visitor), and I do have something to do besides drink tea, gaming and painting…
Mama duck .1 had a bit of a problem looking after her offspring, and as you may remember from my previous post, they all went missing after 8 days.
All 12 of them.
This is Mama duck 0.2. She has been here for maybe 10 days now with her brood. Today 26th, they’re all intact.
Here, I think is the cuprit.
It’s a red kite. When I was painting the boat, it swooped down on the ducklings and tried to grab one out of the water.
Mama duck started flying at it, trying to protect her chicks from the aerial attacker.
There was a bit of a fight until I ran over with my paint brush and the kite flew off.
These are pictures I took later on that day.
Here’s some pictures from around Flore.
By my next installment, Canal and River Trust continuous cruising rules will have resumed, and I will have had to move my boat away from this pretty spot.
Some of the wildlife resurgence during lockdown 2020 as witnessed on the cut. Grand Union Canal. The post Covid on the Cut – May the 4th be with you appeared first on Michael Tyler. Related posts: Covid on the cut – Part 2 – Moored in Flore Covid on the Cut – The 5th degree Covid on the socially distanced cut – Dodford Meadows...
Now into my forth edition. 8 Weeks of solid lock down.
I’ve grown tired of the whisky….
The thoughts of it’s aftertaste are no longer a comfort.
Other areas of the UK urban and city are increasing in terms of returning wildlife, the following area’s of the cut are seeing a re-surgence.
Due to the fact there are no longer any boats, of a commercial or leisure variety, the Canal and River Trust has ceased mowing the canal towpath. A glut of wild flowers now occupy what would in the past have been mowed canal towpaths.
I pulled a small rabbit out of the canal just close to here. It had fallen in. Once the rabbits fall in, they find it very hard to climb out as the bank is 90deg. to the canal. I thought it was a rat swimming around, but as I drew closer, I saw it was a little rabbit. I put my hand in and pulled it out and threw it where the cow parsley is here. It made a kind of squeaking noise as it landed on the grass, looked for a second, then ran off into the hedge.
With multiple boats passing every hour, the poor old fishies need to remain in deeper water so as not to get struck by a propeller or some such.
Even if they were there, it would be difficult to see them due to the condition of the water. The canal bed is basically mud and sediment in a constant state of flux due to passing boats.
That mud and sediment took about 3 weeks to settle properly.
The water now is less browny, and more green and transparent. Clear enough to see the odd fish… As I was cycling along the towpath, I saw a whole shoal of bream sunning themselves close to the surface. This is something that’s not happened before.
Or prone to death, is closer to the truth.
During my cycling trips to other areas of the canal, the ducklings seem to be still in evidence. Some broods have slightly diminished, but the remaining ducklings have grown, and are growing.
In contrast to the ones that set-up here on the field opposite. In my last post, 12 ducklings lasted no longer than a week…
In my view. This is due to the exposed nature of the field.
Aerial predators swoop down and pick up the little chicks and there’s nothing the mother can do. Where there is more tree cover along the canal, there is plenty of evidence that these chicks are surviving and growing.
I don’t think it’s anything to do with predators in the water being able to feed on what they can see now and couldn’t see before lockdown.
Pike prefer tree cover, so I’m not with the evidence on from below…
Death is coming from above on this one….
Until my next installation. Enjoy your lockdown…
Now into the third fortnight, sixth week of official lockdown figures. Whisky I have taken up drinking whisky. Under the circumstances, it seems like the only sensible thing to do… Over the last 3 weeks I’ve bought the following single malt whiskies. Cardhu Gold Reserve – £25 (Tesco) After checking online reviews, I bought this one whilst in Tesco. It’s a single malt, Speyside, 12 years matured.The reviews seemed mostly positive at a quick scan whilst in the...
Now into the third fortnight, sixth week of official lockdown figures.
I have taken up drinking whisky. Under the circumstances, it seems like the only sensible thing to do…
Over the last 3 weeks I’ve bought the following single malt whiskies.
After checking online reviews, I bought this one whilst in Tesco.
It’s a single malt, Speyside, 12 years matured.
The reviews seemed mostly positive at a quick scan whilst in the aisles…
Getting it home, I felt the packaging a bit bulky maybe even a bit tacky. Overstated may be a better word…
After a few sips, I found it a bit sweet, less smokey, complex flavors, a bit more up-front. Made it a bit more-ish, but I don’t think I’d buy it again.
Bit of a novelty perhaps. Not sure why it got all the good reviews. Glad I got it on offer. Not something I’d pay full price for.
Got this one from the Independent’s top 10 Single Malt Whiskys Guide.
Initially, I was quite impressed with the strong flavor. It’s quite strong and heady and it does have that lingering smokiness and smoothness which seems to be the hallmark of most of the Speyside whiskies out there.
I’ve not finished this one yet. It is quite strong, flavor and alcohol wise, it’s not something you’d drink in a rush. So it’s still around.
This one is one of three single malts sourced exclusively by Aldi.
Like many Aldi items, the quality is surprisingly good, better even than higher priced similar products.
In fact, having tasted all three single malts that Aldi currently sell in store, I would say that they are a better, more satisfying whisky.
Everyone has their own palate and preference, like any other tipple. But, the flavors seems to sit happier with each other in the Glen Marnoch Highland; it’s more of a sum of it’s parts than the other 2.
The top one could have got it’s flavor from a wet rat in the barrel, it’s that kind of a thing. The M&S one isn’t so bad, it’s light initially, but the finish is very strong. It is a definitely got a quality, but it’s not entirely drinkable, as I personally find the finish a bit strong.
If you were shopping for a bit of whisky to sip on your lonely Covid nights, or days for that matter, I’d go Aldi every time. The quality is there, the taste is there, and the finish and overall offering seems to be a better product than the others for less money.
Have been happening on the cut since your last visit… Since the enforced lockdown has closed many of the outlets that I would have used to pick up products and services in the course of a week or month, I’m having to make other arrangements.
Perhaps the most important of these being the.
Due to the fact I live on a boat, I have to outsource my laundry requirements on a fortnightly or three weekly basis to the nearest and most reputable establishment in a local town.
Necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to take it upon myself to set up my own laundry operation in my bathroom.
I have no experience of what might be the best way to wash and rinse clothes with no washing machine and a limited water supply, or what kind of results to expect using just your hands, soap powder and some warm water. Not a first world problem.
I had to do about 3-4 lots.
Not being and avid viewer or authority on washing or washing machines, I was kind of shocked by the amount of FILTH in these, what I regarded as, only slightly soiled clothes of mine.
Still, I know you Covid people don’t want to spend your days looking at pictures of FILTH like this, on your long days off…
Here’s the result of me washing my hands around in this FILTH….
I had this handy Brolly Mate for handling umbrellas at the tiller of the boat, for those that care about such things. It has a duel purpose as a rotary airer holder or bracket.
I got the 50mm version. After some testing, it became clear it was going to need additional stablisation to prevent the bracket rotating on the tiller and dumping all my clothes into the cut along with the rotary airer.
The Brolley Mate has two holes, one on the top side and one on the opposite underside of the bracket.
After much searching around in hardware stores of the corporate variety, I found fittings that weren’t really that suitable. Had to go to a proper old school hardware store. Coxs of Rugby who had many many different bolts, age-wise, no doubt many spanning generations. I picked out one and another for spare. I went about fixing the Brolley Mate.
Using a tap and die, and 5mm bolts top and bottom, it now looks like this.
With the cross flathead bolts, it’s easy to do them with your fingers or a pocket knife or coin for that matter, things that are easily to hand.
The bracket does not rotate, and holds the rotary airer upright on the tiller, even in heavy winds.
Now my laundry is done, for now, and my clothes are nice and dry, folded and in my wardrobe.
I’m going to end my tale on a happy note.
Just kidding, it’s not happy at all.
It’s a little story from the cut told in pictures. Click below…
Where can these chicks have gone? Bearing in mind the last one disappeared in broad daylight. Answers in the comments pls…
The day after I arrived at the last village, Nether Heyford, I received an email from Canal and River Trust informing me; ‘due to Covid, you won’t be required to move your boat until 14th April at the earliest‘. All leisure boaters have been instructed not to visit marinas, or take their boats out. All in all, that makes for a pretty quite canal…. Moored in Flore I moved the boat down to somewhere called Flore. With it’s views across... Read More Read More The...
The day after I arrived at the last village, Nether Heyford, I received an email from Canal and River Trust informing me; ‘due to Covid, you won’t be required to move your boat until 14th April at the earliest‘.
All leisure boaters have been instructed not to visit marinas, or take their boats out.
All in all, that makes for a pretty quite canal….
I moved the boat down to somewhere called Flore. With it’s views across the valley, magnanimous phone and TV signals, and ample parking, it’s truly a boaters delight.
When I get down there, I’m shocked to find just one other boat moored! The rest are at Weedon waterpoint 1/2 mile down the road, between the sewage farm, A5 and railway. Ideal really. Silly me…
Their loss is my gain…
As most people will have noticed by now, most of the shops have shut down.
Like painting the house…. What else would you do when you’ve got a bit of spare time?
I’ve been painting the roof in Rylards Montego Blue.
I tried to do a second coat on the roof yesterday and got caught short with the paint. Drove down to the marina to get some more. Damn place was closed. Well how’s about that?
Had to resort to getting some off the internet today from these Marine Store people. May take three to four days to get here.
It’s my only option at the moment.
Otherwise, life it proceeding as normal.
Have dropped off considerably.
Maybe one or two an hour. Like 15 an hour first weekend of lockdown.
That seems to have died off, even in the sunshine. I know it’s not like that on the towpath in all parts of the country, I’ve seen the pictures on facebook.
In Newbury it was like Mardi Gras this weekend.
Now they’re saying the might change the rules altogether.
I don’t think the ‘great British public’ will go for that.
That’s all for now.
Until my next installment.
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