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Mon, 11 Apr 2016 7:20 am BST- Light Rain
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48.0°F/8.89°C Humidity 93% Pressure 29.65 (S)

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fidear45
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Boris fetching the ball in Salhouse

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


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fidear45
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Wet dog alert!

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


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Monday 7th April
Womack to Neatishead – Roys sausage pie for tea.

Monday morning dawned fairly early for everyone as we awoke to the sound of rain steadily falling onto the roof a few inches above our heads. We considered albeit briefly, whether we should in fact get out of bed. However this idea was quickly dispatched into the box of silly ideas we all have from time to time. The sound was fairly constant and so it was that we were all soon fast asleep once more. Unfortunately for Charlie, this little extra sleepy session did not include woofters wanting a W.A.L.K. see I can’t even type it. So the morning was indeed early for Boris and therefore fairly early for Charlie, this is because the turncoat beast had adopted Charlie’s room as his bed location on day one and thus Charlie was the surrogate mum for him the whole week. I am sure Charlie tried and I’m equally sure that they were very valiant efforts however once more we were roused from the pitter patter rain induced slumber by the sound of the crazy zig-zag dance and Charlie’s feeble attempts to move the wriggling 50kg beast from lying on her holding various items of clothing in his mouth and trying to kiss her and lick her at the same time. We didn’t actually get to witness said contortions but the pink nosed one gave us a blow by blow account (literally) in real time. The rain was still coming down but Charlie, the brave soul, made up her mind to go outside and walk the dog regardless. As I am of course a gentleman, and from toasty warm confines of my lovely bed I of volunteered my Musto coat to provide the essential waterproofing that the mornings deluge required if Charlie was not to become a slightly soggy dog walker. (there I said it)
Fiona and I roused ourselves the moment Charlie was gone, the guilt already way too much for us to handle. Tea on and fully dressed we awaited the return of Boris and Charlie.
When both dog and Charlie returned there was something of a kerfuffle at the rear of the boat. Boris had stepped onto the low deck region and his front paws had slipped and his back end overtook the front end and into the river his back legs went. Charlie quickly dashed forward and grabbed Boris by the harness he was wearing for just that reason, and she hauled him out. Charlie may look like a little slip of nothing but behind that petite frame there is some real strength and she whipped him back on-board as quick as a flash. Luckily for Boris only his back half fell into the river and so once again we witnessed the leg by leg drying routine that was both comical and by now quite normal. The dip in the river didn’t seem to have made Boris any more soaking wet than he already was, but the harness had done its job. The Musto coat had also woven its magic and Charlie was bone dry even though there was still a steady rain falling. This morning was to be a lazy one as we wanted to wander into the village to buy some supplies for the epic meal we were to be having later. We cogitated for quite a while as my foot had been playing up since walking back and forth to the village twice in two hours yesterday. To be honest it has never been the same since the 7 month stretch on crutches a couple of years back. The ladies both suggested we move the boat to the staithe and have a shorter walk to the shops. I thought about this and decided “good plan” let’s cast off then.
Charlie started the engine and got ready with warps and all that kind of stuff whilst I lowered the canopy and got the kettle on. With massive use of bow and stern thrusters we slid gently into the middle of the river and proceeded to plod very slowly indeed towards Womack. After we had arrived Charlie shouted that this would be a great opportunity to use the reversing camera as it wasn’t too sunny and I could actually see the image on it on the dash. Too much bright sunlight and you can’t see the image so it’s a bit superfluous in the sun.  So while Charlie did the stern rope thing I did the reversing thing and tried to use as many gadgets as I could to moor up. The temptation to just do it the proper way and not use any of the fancy techno toys is immense, however I resisted and made as much noise as I could, thrusting here and there, both back and front varieties.
After we had moored up we let Boris out to run about for a few minutes whilst he met some nice retrievers and a couple of spaniels off the other boats and they all wagged and wagged it was quite a tail fest. We watched the doggie play time whilst sipping hot tea and making a list of potential shopping items to purchase later. We already had pie (sausage variety from Roys) and we had decided to do full on, proper style gravy, which would necessitate large numbers of onions, carrots and some apples (secret ingrediment for sausage gravy). We had stock cubes already stored somewhere in one of the numerous cupboards on MD.
List made, Fiona and I walked up to the village to purchase the provisions. Whilst we were wandering round the shop I noticed something in the refrigerated food (meat) section that particularly caught my eye. Earlier in the week we had eaten some pork and cracked black pepper sausages for breakfast and they had been delicious. What had caught my eye were fresh made local pork balls with cracked black pepper. They looked super and if the sausages were a guide then one or two of these balls, slowly and gently fried, then crumbled into the gravy, they would add something special to the depth of flavour of the gravy. With our purchases secure in their little plastic bag and a spring in our step we headed back down the soon to be leafy lane to Womack Water, the remaining crew members and Boris the magnificent were waiting and looked excitedly on as each of the items we had purchased was removed from the bag like little Christmas presents. Boris was very interested in the pork balls and he was quickly disillusioned and told that they we not for him. Over the course of the next half an hour whilst we let the slow water pipe fill us back up to full we enjoyed the post rain clear skies and the beautiful morning sunshine. We had the top down and we enjoyed some tea whilst we decided where we would go before we actually got to where we were going.  Diane was going to pay us a friendly visit this morning and so we waited for her to arrive and once again got the tea on.
After Diane’s visit we decided to head straight for Neatishead although we were by now pushing 1pm we intended to take our time and enjoy the trip. The rivers were quiet as quite a few long weekenders had now gone home and we didn’t anticipate any difficulties mooring in Neatishead. The trip was slow and really enjoyable as we meandered up the Ant and no-one was going more slowly than us, we were protected from the wind and so it truly was a lazy day, going not far in really slow motion. Bliss. When we arrived at Barton we headed to the left and on we pootled, Boris was standing on the sun pad and sniffing the wind which was blowing his ears up in a very comical fashion. We slipped and slid slowly up the very narrow river to Neatishead and Charlie and Fiona made fast the dinghy to the port side of the boat as we intended to moor starboard side to. We went slightly past the entrance then turned to starboard, used some thruster, and started to reverse down the dyke. When we reached our selected spot just in front of a lovely boat from Silverline (all of their boats must have been out as we kept seeing them almost every day) I used full bow and stern thrusters and slid slowly alongside. Fiona was on rope duty and she stepped ashore tied up and then waited for Charlie to do the same with the bow line. Charlie was on her way back towards Fiona, I was making my way back to the door, and Boris was at the same time making his way back inside and therefore blocking the door. This of course would have been the worst possible moment for Fiona to fall in and so it was. In she went, her foot slipped on the light reflective disk on the quay heading and over she went, turning as she fell and managing to grab hold of the mooring post at the same time. I tried but couldn’t get Boris to understand what I wanted him to do, Charlie was running back and made a grab for Fiona, who let go of the post and slipped further into the water, she was now half in and half out of the river. Charlie grabbed one arm, I grabbed the other and with a mighty heave we hauled her soaking wet from the waist down onto the quay heading. Boris didn’t know what was going on but knew it was something bad as he was dancing in front of Fiona and trying to kiss her face and lick her head in a flurry of indecision accompanied by tiny panicky woof noises.
Fiona quickly dried herself off and put her clothes to dry after rinsing them in the shower as she was warming herself back up.  Charlie and I were quite concerned but a lovely hot shower later and Fiona was soon restored. Her only comment on the whole affair was that “the water wasn’t a cold as I thought it would be”. And we simply got on with the rest of our day.
After the excitement of both Boris and Fiona falling into the river, our dinner later that evening was slightly anticlimactic, but the aroma emanating all evening from MD as we roasted the onions, carrots, pork balls and then made all that lot into gravy was such as to drive angels to despair. Not to put too fine a point on it, the gravy and pie with veg and home-made spicy wedges was superb.
We talked to all our neighbours that afternoon and early evening then just as it was time to let Boris out for one last little walk, the heavens looked like they may open some-time soon and guess whose turn it was to go do the deed? You guessed it, mine.  It was almost dark when Boris and I left the boat and we walked down the road for a few minutes, then suddenly the wind got up and huge ugly black and purple clouds rolled over to completely darken the skies then the noise of the rain falling was quite unbelievable. I was standing half way across a field on the marked footpath and everything including the kitchen sink was falling on my head. I thought it best to just stand still and let the worst of it be over before I walked back. Boris just simply laid down in a farrow in the field and waited with me for the furious weather to abate even just a little bit, so we could go back safely.  
We waited for about fifteen minutes, it was by now completely pitch dark, and so I imagined the ladies would be getting rather worried and the haranguing I would be getting after being out in all that would be far worse than any weather damage that might befall me. So I set off back with Boris glued to the back of my knees as I tried to walk without moving my coat too much to try and keep my legs as dry as I could. I hadn’t gone fifty yards when both my legs were soaked, cold and my knees were hardly bending at all. I knew I was in for a few choice words so I just walked, and walked, getting colder and colder with every passing moment. My top half was toasty warm but my feet, legs and particularly my knees were cold, wet and not appreciating the situation we were in.
Five minutes more and then I could see the lights of MD. The welcoming warmth as I opened the back door was so nice I immediately forgot how wet it was and the howling gale was left outside where it belonged.
We played silly board games until bedtime and listened to the weather that was safely outside when we did finally go to bed. Boris the soggy wet and very tired dog was by this time, more than a little fragrant and fortunately for Fiona and myself, he was still deciding to sleep with Charlie. We said our good-nights and in two shakes of a very wet Boris’s tail we were all fast asleep.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011

Charlie
May-04-2014 @ 7:28 PM                           Permalink
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The Roy's pie tea.  
It might have been a few hours in the making but it was well worth it.


Charlie

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Perfectlady9
May-04-2014 @ 10:02 PM                           Permalink
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I cannot believe you ate all that Charlie !!

Doug.

A Broom is not just for sweeping..

Charlie
May-04-2014 @ 10:51 PM                           Permalink
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I most certainly did, and polished the plate!
I can't help myself when it comes to Martin's cooking... he is a bit good.  

Now you might all think that its a little cruel of M&F to lay in bed relaxing all week while I did early morning doggy walking duties but seeing Martin walk in doing a fair impression of a drowned rat made it all worth it!

And the fact that 50 kilos of Airedale make a very effective hot water bottle had nothing to do with my altruistic acts I promise.   Wink  

Being a somewhat pampered puppy, Boris likes to have a cushion or even better a blanket when sleeping.  As this photo proves I did have to fight him regularly for enough space, pillows and covers to sleep with.  

Charlie

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fidear45
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Tuesday 8th April

Neatishead to Coltishall

Tuesday dawned clear, bright and very sunny and the
play on the walls of the beams of golden sunlight
streaming through the cabin curtains was a simply
joyous sight to wake up to and one that promised much
for the day. Today we had decided to make our way back
down the Ant and up the Bure to Coltishall. We love the
trip though the bridge and we intended to take MD
through (with the Pilot of course) and enjoy the slow
journey to the Common where we intended to stop for the
night.
By the time we were all fully awake our neighbours in
the Silvercraft with whom I had spent a lovely half an
hour talking about dogs and boats the previous
afternoon had already left. They had done so without
excess revving of the engine and without any fuss or
bother at all. As was revealed during our conversation
they were “live aboard” people in the Channel Islands
and had been coming to the Broads for thirty years or
more.  Certainly the skill they showed in not even
waking us was significant. The sky was blue and so for
breakfast we decided to prepare the food and also eat
with the top down. Breakfast this morning was to be
cereal followed by some toast and some lovely full
fruit conserve that Charlie had ordered for home
delivery. Whatever the provenance it was delicious. We
had the usual discussion about salt and sugar content
of the very large box of sugar puffs which is my
personal favourite vs another very “special” breakfast
cereal that is nothing of the sort, and closely
resembles the look, taste, and feel of cardboard
chippings.
Fiona was in charge of the grill for bread toasting and
also for tea making. Personally speaking, being the
nominal skipper for the duration of the trip I was in
charge of tea consumption, getting in the way and
asking silly questions.
We had a lazy start to the day and Charlie took out
Boris the magnificent and they both enjoyed themselves
and no-one fell in when they came back. A good result
all round. Fiona’s jeans were drying by the air from
the heater vent but her boots were taking a little
longer to dry than her jeans were doing. The heaters
(two of them) were very efficient and we used them most
mornings to take the chill off the air to make putting
on clothes a pleasant experience rather than a hurried
hop from foot to foot whilst cringing as the cold denim
reaches parts other clothes don’t reach. After a wash
and brush up we all commented on how the water in the
hot water tank was still piping hot the next morning
and easily warm enough for a couple of showers. No need
to start the engine at 06:30 on this boat. We also
noticed that the early morning sun had completely
recharged the battery bank whilst we had been lazing in
bed and preparing breakfast. This is something that
happened most days and although the technology isn’t
“green” from the “environmental impact” perspective it
certainly was effective. Whether one outweighs the
other is a personal choice.

Fully refreshed after the breakfast things had been
washed up and put away it was time to leave the
sheltered and idyllic scene that is Neatishead on a
sunny morning and depart across Barton and on down the
Ant.  
Moon Discovery is a very large boat and at very slow
speed she doesn’t handle too well, especially in the
steerage department, but with judicious use of both bow
and stern thrusters she carved a perfect curve out of
the cut and into the river. We planned a very lazy day
today just cruising to Wroxham and a little shopping
for last minute food items for tonight’s feast
(Southern Fried Chicken) and then on up to Coltishall.
The river was very quiet and as we drew closer to
Ludham we did notice the dark clouds gathering and the
suddenly freshening breeze meant that immediately after
the bridge and before we entered the Bure we raised the
top. This turned out to be just in time and as we
entered the Bure the heavens opened and it started to
pour down. This was to be the only prolonged rain that
we encountered all week and the screen demister worked
perfectly and the heaters kept us all toasty warm. We
didn’t feel the need to use the windscreen wiper as the
slope of the screen made it unnecessary. As we were
passing the entrance to Ranworth and following the
river round to the right a flock of ducks flew over us
(something which happened later in the week with wildly
different results) and Charlie who was at the helm
remarked that they were quite low and she turned to
indicate to the rest of us just how low they were. Wham
a duck slammed into the windscreen just like something
out of a road runner cartoon, legs and wings apart,
head to one side and then the picture was frozen for
just a second before gravity reclaimed the unfortunate
water fowl and the Duck slid ignominiously down the
screen to the bottom, whereupon she adjusted herself,
with barely a feather out of place and then sat down as
if nothing at all had happened.
After a moment or two of shock at the crash landing we
had all just witnessed and of course checking to see
the bird was alright, which it did seem to be, we all
burst out into fits of hysterical laughter all talking
and pointing at the same time. None of us could believe
what we had just seen.
The duck, unconcerned by the scenes of human mayhem her
unexpected landing performance had created inside the
boat,  calmly waddled off to the side of the boat where
she sat for the next few minutes as we traversed though
Horning. We have frequently had passengers of the duck
variety on this stretch of river but none that landed
in quite such an inelegant fashion. After that rather
surprising interlude the day just got better and
better, as the rain stopped, the wind died down, and we
were able to once more continue our journey with the
top down and with mugs of steaming tea in hand.
We were following another cruiser on the approaches to
Wroxham and we had already called ahead with roughly
ten minutes remaining to reaching the bridge pilot
quay. The boat we were following started to make all
the necessary preparations for mooring up at the bridge
quay, but without any of the screens or canopies being
lowered. We could see the pilot waiting for us at the
quayside and we waved and he then helped the guys on
the other boat tie up their boat. He later explained
that they were Russian visitors to our lovely Norfolk
Broads and he had a little difficulty in explaining
that as we were already prepared with screens lowered,
and had also called ahead, he was therefore expecting
us and so he fully intended to take us through the
bridge before them. Much arm waving and disgruntled
looks in our direction were the result as we gently
kissed the other boats fenders and picked up the pilot.
I will not say what height the boat can actually reach
but suffice it to say she is very low indeed for a
modern cruiser. Much lower than the 6’, 9”claimed on
the height plate and a credit to the designers. After
dropping the pilot we moored for a few minutes to
decide if we needed anything from the shops and
inevitably we of course did. It turned out the other
crew members wanted to go into Roys and therefore Boris
and I went for a little walk and then sat outside in
the absolutely glorious sunshine waiting for their
return before we all boarded MD and headed off to
Coltishall.
With the top down and the sun getting lower and lower
in the sky it was one of those perfect Norfolk
afternoons as we gently meandered up the river at no
more than 2mph, in fact it may have dropped as low as
1.8mph round the corners. We gazed at the beautifully
restored woodies at Belaugh and marvelled at the lovely
gardens sweeping down to the river. As we approached
Coltishall Common Boris perked up from his, “I am
asleep, leave me alone” Ava Gardner look and his nose
started to twitch this way and that and he made some
strange high pitched wiffle noises. The cause of the
uprated stage of alertness was soon revealed with the
next turn of the river as the last garden before the
Common was the domain of two magnificent golden
Labradors who were patrolling their fiefdom with vigour
this glorious afternoon. The two males one old and
obviously not seeing very well, and one very
enthusiastic younger one who was taking the lead in
welcoming every newcomer up the river with vigorous
tail wagging, jumping when barking movements and
twirling on the spot dancing. Boris the magnificent was
completely enthralled by the sight that greeted him, he
could see them and wooffed back a few times to let them
know he had of course seen them and then he decided
that they were being silly and he just plopped back
down on the sun pad and studiously ignored them. Didn’t
they know who he was, he is Boris the magnificent.
Arriving at the common there were two other boats
present along the entire water frontage and so we
selected the first available spot, moored up and then
sat down, relaxed with a glass of wine and some mellow
sounds from the built in stereo system and then
proceeded to watch the most magnificent sunset any of
us had seen in a long time. We had the top half up as
it was by now drawing in a little but the view was
simply stunning and dog walking (see I said it again)
would have to wait this was too good to miss a moment.
After the sun had finally dropped below the horizon,
there was not the sound of sizzling but somewhere it
felt that surely there must be.  Charlie took Boris for
a “chuck the ball” walk which involves lots of standing
and throwing but not much walking. For the king of
Terriers to retrieve anything is, in and of itself,
quite remarkable, but the best part is that Boris
decides when its home time by the use of the simple
expedient of laying down on the ground and dropping the
ball. You may get another desultory chase, but once he
has done the drop and lie down routine, it must be time
for T.  

We had a lovely evening meal prepared tonight by the
ladies. For myself I was in charge of fermented grape
juice supplies, a task which I carried out to the very
utmost of my abilities.
As darkness finally fell on the almost deserted Common
it was time to reflect upon a day boating that had
contained all that is fantastic about Norfolk, drama,
beauty, and some measure of fun culminating in the most
amazing views.    Another great day.


Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by Charlie on May-5-14 @ 4:06 PM

Charlie
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My early morning doggy walk on this particular day took me to a lovely peaceful Gay's staithe.

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
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Charlie
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and an interesting sign about the village shop.

Charlie

8 x forum girly swot & Official Aston
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fidear45
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Duck hitching a ride. The lady duck was on the front at the time, this
male was fancying his chances.

Life is too short

M&F

Forum Girly Swot 11.02.2011


This message was edited by fidear45 on May-5-14 @ 9:55 PM


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