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Category: Continuous Cruising

Living on a continuous cruiser on the UK canal system under CRT rules.

Muscott

Muscott

Wind turbines
Cancer

Death windmill cancer zombies

Close to the lost village. Apparently lost during the time of the black death. As so much of the population was destroyed at this time, many small villages ceased to exist. Their residents turned into zombies. Muscottities still haunt the hills and dales near the M1. I even heard it was them that put up the windmills…. Although that could be ‘fake news’… Windmills cause cancer… We all know that…

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Dodford -> Brockhall

Dodford -> Brockhall

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.

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.

Brockhall Northamptonshire
Brockhall Northamptonshire

Just prior to these cottages is the gate leading toward Buckby and the canal.

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Covid on the socially distanced cut – Dodford Meadows

Covid on the socially distanced cut – Dodford Meadows

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.

From 2017

I took this picture at the end of 2017. Actually, I’ve been here a few times.

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Covid on the Cut – May the 4th be with you

Covid on the Cut – May the 4th be with you

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.

Fresh brood of signets. Grand Union - Stowehill.
Fresh brood of signets. Grand Union – Stowehill.
View across Nene Valley toward Flore from the Grand Union Canal
Freshly ploughed field. Nene Valley toward Flore from the Grand Union Canal.

Increase in wildlife on the canal during lockdown

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.

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Covid on the Cut – Grade 3

Covid on the Cut – Grade 3

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)

Cardhu Single - Gold Reserve
Cardhu Single – Gold Reserve

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.

Marks and Spencer Speyside Single Malt – £30

Marks and Spencer Speyside Single Malt

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.

Aldi – Glen Marnoch Highland – £17.98

Aldi - Glen Marnoch Highland

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.

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Covid on the cut – Part 2 – Moored in Flore

Covid on the cut – Part 2 – Moored in Flore

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 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…

View across the valley

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Covid on the Cut – part 1.

Covid on the Cut – part 1.

Time for the next edition of my bi-weekly journal.

Effects of Covid virus

  1. No more work: Yep, work is cancelled. Walking around different parts of the East Midlands knocking on doors…. bit of a no-no.
  2. Panic buying: Lot’s of products have sold out in the stores. Both big and small stores. At different times, I’ve not been able to buy; milk, biscuits, nan-bread, toilet roll, hand wash, porridge oats. Porridge oats are like gold dust.
  3. My plans have all been cancelled. I was planning on moving the boat to a new area, which would require the help of a crew, (to make it less boring, easier and fun). As a direct result of the virus, many of my crew members I can’t expect to attend.

Apart from that. Life is continuing pretty normally.

On my last day of work. I met about 2 ppl who claimed to be self-isolating out of about 100 addresses. Around the 2% mark.

They’ve been very slow to roll-out the tests in the UK. I heard on the radio today, tests take 48 hours to come back from the lab.

Slow to act

In China, they had those hand-held scanners and the HAZMAT suit clad medics trying to analyse the spread of the virus. It the UK we have nothing, at least that doesn’t involve a laboratory.

Perhaps if Donald Trump had been less belligerent toward the Chinese, they would be more willing to share their expertise and knowledge in reducing their domestic cases to 0.

Those days are gone I guess.

Western governments seem to be doing their own thing. Mostly due to the relative sizes of the health sectors and the power of the governments in motivating policy decisions.

Breaking the rules

Apparently, the Parisians were still frolicking on the banks of the Seine, and the Italians deliberating over the wordings of terms like ‘exercise‘ and ‘essential‘ when the public place bans were brought in in those countries.

Today, on the first day of the spring equinox, marking the first day of spring, UK residents were packing out the UK parks and markets, and taking trips to the Scottish Highlands with campers full of supermarket horded goods to self isolate.

The Yellow Jackets of France are still holding their demonstrations on the streets of the capital.

All in all, it seems like a much more unruly mob to control than in China, where a) the government wields real power b) people are genuinely scared of those powers.

In the UK, they’re even talking about mounting a legal case against the government for late action against the virus.

I don’t think you’d see that happening in China.

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