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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Being Adventurous

Last Saturday morning was sunny, warm but a little breezy as the 50+ Adventure Club met at Canoe2 at Rushden Lakes to canoe the River Nene.  We were fitted with  our buoyancy aid, given a paddle and each boat had a barrel for personal belongings and some had small ones.  I had brought my lunch, a drink, my phone and car keys which went in the big barrel but I kept my camera in a small one.
No, the dog did not go with us!

We had the usual safety briefing and then decided which way to go.  Originally it was planned that we would go upstream to Wellingborough, but we were advised against this as the first lock was 375 metres for the portage which is a long way to carry a heavy Canadian canoe, even with the wheels provided.  So downstream we would go.

After leaving the Rushden Lake (a short portage of 10metres, watched by visitors, so we tried to look professional!) we entered the river.  It was so tranquil
 
with the sun shining and hardly any breeze.  We went past the first lock with everyone helping to manhandle the canoes out and then into the water, when we saw this canoe coming back - why?
Their set of wheels were floating away and needed rescuing!!!

We approached the A6 viaduct over the valley
 
Note the black sky!!
and then behind that Irthlingborough's Old Bridge 


The sky was getting blacker to our left and there was thunder and lightning in the distance, but we kept on - well we had nowhere else to go!!

Then Irthlingborough Lock came into view and the decision was made to stop here for lunch because it was just starting to rain and how!  A deluge!  The boats were taken out of the water
This photo was taken after lunch but the sky is still grey!

and we all sheltered where we could
Under scrubby bushes
 
In the lee of the lock gate - note the rain on the lens!
Where is she going - sorry I shouldn't ask!
It poured for half an hour and then just as we finished our sandwiches the sun came out, so back in to the canoes.
 

Most of us decided to take a detour up Stanwick Backwater but once I saw this
I knew where we were and we decided to turn round and head for home.  I know that there is a lock a few hundred yards on and we didn't need to carry our canoe again.

It was a wonderful afternoon and on the return trip we saw a kingfisher, herons, an egret and a huge flock of Canada Geese taking off with a great deal of noise  However the highlight for me was when we were on a very still bit of water and I noticed a twig floating along, but it was moving and then I realised it was a snake swimming across  the river.  Only a gentle grass snake but really exciting to see it.

The sky was getting black again as we paddled very fast across Rushden Lake back to base and as I got into the car the heavens opened, but it hadn't stopped us having a great afternoon!!

I have also been smocking, embroidering, crocheting and sewing machining, but this will have to wait until another time!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The end of the holidays!

In the UK the school summer holidays have just come to an end and all my grandchildren started back today.  I have received photos of them in their school uniforms and two of them are starting new schools.  The eldest is my grandson who goes to his secondary school and is cycling there on his own; how he has grown up lately and the youngest is joining her sister at a new school.  She too, looked so grown up.  Good luck to them all.

However on Monday I had the two 'Cambridge' grandchildren for the day and when my son and daughter in law dropped them off we had the grand removal of the plaster on 'Es' arm that she fractured whilst in my care at the beginning of the holidays (see my last blog)!!  I had decided to take them down to Rushden Lakes and hire a pedalo from Canoe2, however in the meantime I had a call from my niece and as she was free we met up including her two boys.  This meant war and needless to say a race ensued, after a bit of practice.
 


I think we won.  In these two photos we were practising and taking pictures of each other!!  We had already had a walk round the lake so after this it was back to my house for lunch and a great day was had by all, even if I did have wobbly legs after all the pedalling!!

I am back there on Saturday as the 50+ Adventure club are having a canoeing afternoon on the River Nene.  Hopefully no-one, especially me, will fall in.  I have canoed with the club before - down the River Wye, on the River Nene from Oundle to Fotheringhay and on the River Severn from Bridgnorth.  I regret to say that on the trip down the Severn my partner and I did capsize, but luckily we were on a sandbank and the water only came up to our knees!  We were still a little damp for the return journey on the Severn Valley Railway!!

At the end of August the Mini Mania group showed of their 'makes', but yours truly had cheated like mad.  The topic was " the Seaside" and we could do anything that we wanted to. 

Back in 2010 I went on a Pat Archibald workshop called 'Banks and Braes' and using a photo from the year before I made this
 
'Sandcastle at Holkham'

The photo had been taken on a holiday the year before when we went to Holkham Beach and the tide was out and so my son and grandson built a sandcastle.  I used foils and glue balls with gold sprinkled over and finished with machine embroidery.  I love this piece and thought it was very apt for the subject matter for Mini Mania.  By the way, this is the same grandson going off to his secondary school and his back view on the pedalo!!

September's Mini Mania is 'Circles' and we can do anything we like and I have a few ideas, but putting them into practice maybe a little more difficult.