Monday, May 23, 2022

Summer watch

 Hello.  Long time no post so I thought I'd better put something up in case you thought I might have expired.  No, I'm still alive although my back is giving me gyp after I pulled a muscle in it.  I expect it'll go away. (the gyp, not the back).

Herbie has been out and about without us, as our daughter and her family seem to have got the boating bug - they even enjoyed Stockton locks! I think they're going out again at the jubilee bank holiday after which Kath and I may well ake over for our first longer trip of the year.

Meanwhile we've been enjoying nature waking up. Although not boating , you can't keep us away from water, whether it's the lovely pool at Cambridge Botanic Gardens

or the river at St Ives 

(that's our Peter looking slightly as if he's thinking about jumping) 

or the Norfok Broads where we spend a long weekend exploring at birdwatching  here's the tranquil Salhouse Broad where I fell off a wherry in 1973 (I'm over it now)

We visited the wildlife reserve at Hickling Broad and we were lucky enough to see three common cranes flying around in a display nearly as good as the red arrows.   Stupidly I was too mesmerised to remember to take a photo. However I did snap some of the wild Konik's horses that graze the reed beds there


up to their knees in water all day and no welly boots.  I hope they don't get hoof rot.

We also hear a bittern booming quite close by, but of course never saw it hidden as it was deep in the reeds.

Meanwhile, back in the Botanic Gardens they have a special garden area with plants that bees like

Nearby, the bees were going ballistic at the bee hotel as this little video might show if I've got it right. (You probably need to click and wait)

and over at St Ives again we marvelled at the vast riverside Hemingford meadow with about a million buttercups.  The phot shows just a corner of it. We really must take Herbie back there sometime.

Back on the canal, we're getting news from our marina (Ventnor).  Since they got taken over by the Aquavista group a few months back, it's all gone a bit quiet until this week when they announced their new 'Moor Benefts' package.  We can now have up to 34 free nights per annum at any of the 28 other marinas in the group.  That might alow us to undertake some longer journeys with breaks en route.  Also we get ten percent off diesel, coal, gas and chandlery.  So that's all good.  the downside is that two of our favourite staff at the marina are leaving, one is retiring as planned and Karen the truly excellent marina manager is leaving.  Whether that is to do with the changes I don't know.  We await to see who takes over.  They'll have to be good to be as friendly and efficient.  Following the analysis if the recent group wide customer survey, Ventnor won a company award for being the best in the group!

Not long now until we're back on the water so stay tuned.