Sunday, January 21, 2024

Weathering the weather

 I see some nerk was spotted walking on the ice on the canal in Northampton this week.  I'm surprised it was thick enough, especially in an urban area.  I'm reminded of January 2009 when we were moored down the dear old Slough Arm.  We had some proper ice then, and I was very tempted to walk across it.  Here's how thick it was. A good couple of inches.  Herbie was well and truly locked in.

In those days when it was really really cold, we used to go and stay on the boat to keep it warm enough to protect the plumbing.  We'd get the stove going and enjoy being toasty inside when it was arctic outside.  I think that was the year when a lot of live aboards were iced in and couldn't get to water points or sanitary stations.  As I recall, CRT, (or was it still BW then?) brought the necessaries along the towpath.  I worried about the kingfishers that year. There were quite a few down the Slough arm because the canal was shallow and the water was very clear but obviously they couldn't get to the fish through the ice.  I dare say a lot of them perished, but they seemed to come back the next year.

My dream in years gone by was to own a house by the river somewhere.  I'm somewhat glad now that this was one dream I never fulfilled.  I'll stick to our house half way up a hill thank you very much.  I don't know how people cope with being flooded so often. All I have to worry about is the whopping great lime tree that could fall on our house if we get a hurricane.  If that tree comes down in the wrong direction our upper floor will be a gonner.  Luckily, the wind never seems to blow towards that side of the house.  Only on the morning after the great Michael Fish storm of 1987 did we realise we should have got the kids to sleep downstairs that night, although the tree survived intact.

So with all this weather I send my appreciation and moral support to all those live aboard boaters out there, while I sit snug at home.  I'm sure it'll pass soon enough, and we'll get back out to join you in calmer waters.

In other news, I'm getting near the end of my Zoe nutrition subscription now.  I've learned a great deal and have enjoyed it. If you're interested in how it has all gone and what it has done for us I've summarised it on my other blog

1 comment:

Vallypee said...

Neil, we too haven't stayed on board this winter. Up until Christmas, I was spending a few nights a week on the barge (we're not allowed to live on it fulltime where it is now), but it's just been too cold and our mooring isn't safe when it's icy. I miss it though. There's something very snug about being tucked up on the boat. Like you, we have a big lime tree in our garden, and the wind direction would down it on the house if it were to fall, but it's survived a long time and the tree surgeon assures us it's healthy, so fingers crossed!