Birthday Girl

We had our earliest start this week, with a 9am cast off, it was a little rushed as a hire boat was just about to leave the lock, so we seized our chance!  There was a group of swans on the towpath, so I went armed with a few slices of bread as a distraction.

Toby expertly steering us through all the moored boats

Once through the locks, we motored through Blisworth tunnel with only one boat coming the other way.  We wanted to get a photo of the air shafts , although it was a but tricky as you can’t see them ahead, and then all the water is dripping down them!

Air shaft in Blisworth Tunnel

It was somewhat cooler today, so we had our jackets, hats and gloves on.  Toby was the pied piper collecting ducks with the leftover bread supplies

Feeding the ducks
Chilly on the canal

We arrived back at Heyford Fields marina about 12.15.  I was talked in to taking us in to the marina, and then reversing on to the pump out pontoon.  I did OK [Ed: more thank ok!] , although I did have Toby’s expert tuition and light winds!  We finally got Oliver back on his mooring at 12.45.  A cuppa and a cookie with Brian and Lorraine, and then we packed up the car.

What a fab birthday, and a lovely end to our honeymoon.  I felt a little sad that it’s come to the end, Toby said it’s just the beginning.

Autumn Bliss

Today is our last full day of the honeymoon period…we had another somewhat lazy start but got going a little earlier than yesterday to try to beat the rain and get a mooring at Stoke Bruerne.

We had to pass Kingfisher marina nice and slowly in case of any ducks crossing

Sarah commented that we don’t normally get to see haystacks when we’re on the canals in the summer time, but they make a lovely sight all stacked up neatly.

Autumnal scenes

About an hour away from the locks at Stoke Bruerne and we had another boat on our tail. Sarah was determined to not let them pass, in case moorings were in short supply, so I pushed the revs up a bit and we stayed in front.

As we reached the bottom lock, we caught up with another boat that was just going in, so we slipped in next to them and went up the locks as a pair. I’m sure the boat behind was somewhat disappointed to now have to wait for us to go up, and then have to go through themselves on their own. I was just glad I’d followed Sarah’s orders and not let them past, or I’d have had an earful!

Moored up just below Stoke Bruerne, where there was plenty of space. Up top was a lot busier.
On the way to dinner we spotted a butterfly resting on the lock gate beam, so here’s the obligatory wildlife photo for the day.

We went out for a very pleasant curry at the Spice of Bruerne before returning to Oliver for our last night out on the cut.

Wet Wallies

In the rush of getting all our stuff together, Toby managed to forget his PJs (or was it planned?!), so I’ve ended up with morning tea and coffee duties.  This morning I left the pan of milk on the hob, I thought I was smelling toast from another boat, and then the penny dropped!  Thank goodness for non stick pans, although the same can’t be said for our smoke alarm, which was silent throughout.

Burnt on milk dregs – oops

After a breakfast of croissants, we set off about 10ish to a cloudy day, only two locks to do today – and only 16 for the week, we’re used to doing more than that in one day!

Just after Cosgrove and the moored boats are beginning to build
View from the Iron Aquaduct, it’s a sheer drop on this side, with a fenced off footpath the other side

Today is our half way day, so we needed to turn in a winding hole.  As we try and do one way trips (with Peter and Romy’s help), or a circular route, three point turns in a narrowboat isn’t one of Toby’s strengths!  I decided to stand on the bow, I soon had to move inside, and lift any branches to minimise any scratches.

View from the bow in the winding hole

We were very lucky with Herons today, athough the zoom on our camera isn’t great.

Heron at the winding hole
A Heron with some lunch, sadly the quality isn’t great, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a Heron with a fish
A mermaid of rope

In all the rush of packing, we forgot the wet gear.  I blame Romy and Peter, as we cleared out the boat earlier in the year for the return leg from Bristol.  We had a few showers, and managed with the brollie.

My new mug

On our way back to Cosgrove, the canal seemed to turn green, we wern’t sure if it was the rain, reflection, or grass in the canal.  We soon passed the culprit, and some green dye seeping in to the canal

The green waters of the canal

Along with all the apples on the trees, we’ve had the smells of a few log burners going, and the trees beginning to turn.  Autumn is on the way.  We moored up about 3pm, just by the bridge and The Navigation Pub – guess where we’re going for dinner!

A wonderful wedding gift from Richard and Jane on Casual Water. The colours match perfectly, thank you both

In the evening we had dinner at the Navigation, Sarah had the most enormous looking Calzone, though the waiter promised it used the same amount of dough as the standard pizza.

Very impressive looking Calzone!

New Tings

It was a wet and windy night, and we were glad to be on a secure mooring at Stoke Bruerne.  A lazy start and we cast off to blue skies about 10am.

We had a complaint on yesterday’s blog and no selfies, so here you go!

The first lock was set for us, as there was a volunteer lock keeper, apparently Wednesday is a busy day at Stoke Bruerne due to the hireboats.  It wasn’t long before we were exiting the lock, and then a shout from the vlockey – please wait in the next lock as another single boat is on it’s way down.  Great we thought, and then we saw the single hander!!  He was called PJ, and I’ve never seen anyone open paddle gates so quickly.

Looking back in Stoke Bruene top lock
What a cutie of a little narrowboat
The heavy rain meant that the water was flowing over the top of the locks

It didn’t take us long to work through the seven locks, the wind did make steering interesting, especially when slowing down past moored boats.  I managed to lose my mobile phone cosy, it caught the wind and Toby tried to save it (saying it wil be fun!!), but the wind wasn’t playing ball, and we ended up across the canal.

Showers planned for the afternoon, so we decided to moor in Cosgrove.  Soon after, it poured down, and we felt quite smug watching all the boats going past in the rain, while we were dry and warm.

Crab apple trees are aplenty on the canals

As for the blog title, we’re both still getting used to the ting noise of our new rings, it was noticable today with the windlass in hand, and holding on to gates, or in Toby’s case with beer in hand.

Ting Ting!!



Mr and Mrs

We came aboard Oliver for our honeymoon, to the wonderful sight of the whole boat bedecked in balloons! (thanks to Lorraine and Sarah’s mum)

It took a while to unload the car, and once done we opened the remaining wedding cards and investigated a couple of wonderful hampers we’d been given – one Yorkshire themed and the other Welsh. Let’s just say we won’t be going hungry this trip!


We stayed put in the marina on Monday night – both of us were too tired to go anywhere, and we also wanted to take Lorraine, Brian and Matt out for dinner to say thank you for all they’d done. The table flowers and canal boat silhouettes were amazing!

Tuesday morning we woke up to lovely sunshine, so we started the engine and set off

We moored up after a few hours in Stoke Bruerne; there’s some strong winds forecast overnight so we wanted to be somewhere secure and it was also perfect for visiting the canal museum there, which we’ve always meant to visit but never quite got around to.

We also enjoyed a wee snack in the cafe there, and a short walk up to the blacksmith’s and along a woodland trail with some sculptures.

A quiet afternoon on board and then we’ll batten down the hatches for overnight – by tomorrow morning all should be calm again, we hope!

Aussie aboard

After a breakfast at the marina cafe, Toby, Mum, Dad, Keith and I set off in full sunshine.  We decided to head towards Buckby locks,  with Keith sat in the bow enjoying the English countryside.

We stopped for cream tea aboard,  and turned around in Whilton marina just before Buckby locks.  We arrived back at the marina at about 5pm, and enjoyed a feast of local cheeses, homemade chutneys.  We had such a lovely supper, we’ve decided on a monthly cheese night.