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Highs and lows of lockdown year 2020

Highs and lows of lockdown year 2020

To comemorate it’s passing, I’m mounting a late vigil here on the blog.

Many people say they won’t miss it.

It started with some large wildfires and bad environmental stuff and worked it’s way up to a global pandemic!

No need to be frustrated though… The solution is here!

Look at it from above….

3 months on and into 2021. I’ve had a look through and gathered what I thought might be some of the best (and worst) parts of my 2020.

The lows

The highs

Photo gallery

Take a brief look at my photo gallery for the year.

As well as drinking whisky, I took a cycling holiday in Wales in September and moved the boat onto the Ashby canal.

Bitcoin – Narrowboaters buying guide!

Bitcoin – Narrowboaters buying guide!

Yeah!

Just because you live on a narrowboat doesn’t mean you can’t buy Bitcoin!

Hell no……

Not wanting to be boring or obvious, but things are changing in the asset classes of finance.

Gold and the Dollar

An asset is something someone who has capital (money), to put their capital (money) into in the hope that the value of that asset will increase over time.

Traditional hedges have been the yellow stuff and the greenback.

Since the start of the pandemic, gold especially has seen it’s once unchallenged status as ‘safe haven’ removed.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet dropped his holding in Barrick Gold Corp just last week, stating, ‘It’s not what it used to be’.

I’ve witnessed this myself. Gold’s disconnected entirely with risk events, like pandemics or wars, or anything else you care to mention.

The main risk event on the horizon at the moment is this one

Inflation

As the vaccine roll-out increases and punters return to everyday life as pre-pandemic. They will have large stores of cash, to spend on, whatever.

This increased spending on – whatever – will lead to a spike in inflation as shoppers hit the streets looking to spend, spend, spend.

Bitcoin is not a traditional fiat denomination.

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Shackerstone -> Market Bosworth

Shackerstone -> Market Bosworth

Bosworth, as they call it…..

There is a market but it’s closed… in these COVID times…..

New Job

So I’m working in the local test centre, testing individuals for COVID. It’s long shifts, then a few days off.

I’m writing this on one of my days off.

Tomorrow, I start work again. 7.30am start. 8.30pm finish.

It’s called a LTS, or local test centre. It takes about 15 minutes to get there in the car.

Downdraft

As you can see from the picture, I’m moored opposite a faux Dutch style housing estate.

The houses are three story, which has had the unexpected effect of creating a downdraft for my fire.

A downdraft can be caused, according to Geoffrey at Homefire stoves, wherever there is a taller structure than your chimney stack standing between you and the oncoming wind.

When the wind blows over these houses, the fire doesn’t do so good.

Bosworth

Bosworth MArina
Bosworth Marina

Apart from that, Bosworth is just Bonnie. Close to the waterpoint. 10 Minutes walk up to the village and village shop. Right behind the Bosworth Marina, where I dropped in yesterday to buy some calor.

£29.75 for 13kg compared to the £36 I paid at Weltonfield Narrowboats. What a joke….

There’s a slight chandlers and other everyday nik-naks on sale. Beer and whisky…. Lot’s of these marina boaters get drunk, slip off the pontoons and find themselves in 12ft of water. It’s a common cause of death the people at Barton Turns marina said. They’d had at least 2 ppl who’d died that way. But Barton Turns marina is a big marina.

Still. Deep water and alcohol don’t mix well.

At least if you fall in on the cut, you can stand up and walk to shore!

Here’s another picture of the boat.

Bonnie Lady in Bosworth
Close to the amenities
Bosworth -> Shackerstone

Bosworth -> Shackerstone

Sorry it’s been such a long time since my last installment.

Since then I’ve moved the boat 3 times from it’s previous location near the village of Dadlington, where it was quite nice with good wifi and solar.

The three things you need really are 1) parking 2) good phone signal 3) solar to make a mooring semi-decent.

It’s taken a while to find out the next place to stop on the Ashby.

The place I’m stopped in now is in a designated area of special scientific interest. Which means you can only moor in ‘selected spaces’.

Shenton to Congerstone.

Are places I passed through and either the parking wasn’t there, or they had bad mobile or non-existent mobile signal.

The current location is maybe 8 miles or so from Dadlington, the location of my last blog.

Rather than make this journey all in one stretch, I decided that because the weather was bad, it would be better to split it in half.

Shallow canal

The Ashby is shallow compared to other canals I’ve been on. Even the Kennet and Avon is deeper from what I can make out.

I’d say the depth is about 4-6ft. Never any more than that.

Bosworth Field along the Ashby canal
Bosworth Field along the Ashby canal

Progress is restricted by the depth of the canal; the dynamics of the water meaning that progress above a certain speed isn’t physically possible.

Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be tootling along on this one….

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Stoke Golding -> Dadlington in-the-fields

Stoke Golding -> Dadlington in-the-fields

Very much in the fields. This is rural Leicestershire, as it says on the County signs….

Towpaths

Mud, glorious mud.....
Glorious….

Are turning into a mud fest. October was the wettest on record in certain parts of the country https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54561601.

I’m not the greatest fan of muddy towpaths.

Luckily, nowadays, I don’t have to put on any work gear, as there is no longer any work…. otherwise I would be moaning more vehemently about these long skidmarks of mud along my journey toward where the car is parked.

A couple of days I’ve had to don wellies to get through, but generally I can just skirt around the edges.

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Duck corner – Stoke Golding – Ashby Canal

Duck corner – Stoke Golding – Ashby Canal

As they call it.

This is the place of many ducks, which should come as no shock to those familiar with the Ashby canal, which seems to be a ‘duck utopia’.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a gun, or I might be tempted to pop a couple off.

Duck corner picnic spot Dadlington
A world of ducks…

I’m sure they wouldn’t miss one or two of each other.

They were running around in the field today in the rain when I went down the shops. They had muddy flippers and were getting bogged down…

I believe they get a lot of bread and this may be a good space for fishing, (when I get round to it).

Bonnie Lady with Stoke Golding in the background.
Bonnie Lady with the village in the Background

This spot is about 1 mile from where I was previously.

I prefer it as there are no overhanging trees/hedges as before.

Overhanging trees (hedges):-

  • Block the solar panels
  • Drop leaves on the boat (ruins paintwork)
  • Stop the stove from functioning properly (downdraft/lack of wind)

Apart from that, they’re all fine and dandy. They do make the boat a bit cold and dank. If you like cold and dank, then the woods are for you.

Personally, I’m glad I moved on.

Here’s a view from Bridge 22, where I was moored previously.

Bridge 22 Ashby Canal
Bridge 22, Ashby Canal. I was down the bottom on the right.

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Hinckley to Stoke Golding

Hinckley to Stoke Golding

Or thereabouts. Out in the Leicestershire countryside…

Got my weekly shop done with the aid of the panniers I bought for my tour-de-wales whilst I moored the boat close to this bridge.

A47 Bridge in Hinckley

Didn’t really get much of a look around Hinckley. I knew it was going to be a case of moving quick and getting out of the rain.

Which I did.

Contrasts from the Grand Union

First big differences:

  • Less boat traffic: Far less. By 10am moored at my last location, maybe you’ve had 6-10 boats gone past. By 10 here, it’s more like 1-3.
    So, less boat traffic.
  • Lack of noise: Wherever you go in Northamptonshire, apart from Stoke Bruerne and Braunston, you’re going to get the sound of the railway or the sound of the motorway, or both.
    Here’s there’s nothing, just the sound of the birds cheeping.

You could say it’s like a country idyll.

There are a couple of farm shops.

Mooring

It’s got it all! Sunshine… Phone signal…. Parking….

The only thing it doesn’t have is a waterpoint within walking, or even cycling distance.

So not quite all.

Mooring in Stoke Golding

It’s getting there.

There are many ducks.

Yesterday I cycled and picked my car up from Northamptonshire.

Took me and hour and 50 minutes. 26 miles. Not bad.