Sunday, 17 May 2015

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2015

Our friends Phil and Claire (who also live on a boat at our old moorings at the Lazy Otter) came to spend the weekend with us.  We had a lovely time exploring the River Stort – unchartered territory for all of us.  Again the weather was on our side, it could have been a little warmer and a little less breezy, but we are certainly not complaining!
We started at Roydon and headed towards Bishops Stortford.  We could have made it all the way but we were aware that we had to do the same time again on Sunday to get back so we stopped just two locks short of the town centre at Spellbrook Lock where we had dinner at The Three Horseshoes in Little Hallingbury.

Another pretty stretch of river with a few heavy locks but with double the crew locking was made easy.  We travelled through Roydon, Hunsdon Mill, Parndon Mill, Burnt Mill, Latton, Harlow, Feakes, Sheering Mill, Sawbridgeworth, Tednambury and Spellbrook Locks each way – we overshot the turning point just before Spellbrook Lock so went through then had to reverse back – our first ever lock backwards!!
We (Steve!) managed to leave one of our CRT keys in the padlock at the water point at Harlow Lock but we didn’t realise until we needed it for the electric lock at Parndon Mill by which time it was too late to go back for it.  Thankfully Roydon lock has a small chandlery so we were able to buy a new one, as well as an ice cream for Phil and I!

We saw Tim and Ann again on Willow – we must stop meeting like this!

All in all a lovely weekend spent with great friends.

Leaving Roydon.

Beautiful countryside with only one house in sight.

Hunsdon Mill Lock


Parndon Mill.


At Parndon Mill Lock

The climbing wall near Burnt Mill Lock.

The other side of the climbing wall and the canoe centre.

Bud O'clock!


Lunch on the towpath at Feakes Lock.

Glad you both got the memo about blue T'shirts!

Sawbridgeworth Lock - the bottom of these houses are underground!

My Nanny Mills!

The cottages at Spellbrook Lock.

Reversing back through Spellbrook Lock.

The Three Horseshoes, Little Hallingbury - Steve only sent one course back!

Near Sheering Mill Lock.

The Cottage at Sheering Mill Lock (Don't seem to be able to enlarge this photo!).

Back through Feakes Lock - where we stopped for lunch yesterday.

We know you are living there - you can't hide from the CRT!

Parndon Mill again.

More beautiful countryside.

Arriving back at Roydon.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Friday 15 May 2015

As you are all aware yesterday it just rained and rained and rained so we stayed put in our nice spot and did some jobs - finally fixed the loo handle - we had to take the whole thing off the wall but we now have a perfectly working handle, put our new picture on the bedroom wall and did some boatwork!

I forgot to mention that the first moving boat we saw on Wednesday was Willow - the very same boat that we saw back on the Grand Union and came through Camden Lock with!  We also bumped into them today just before we got back to Roydon.

The River Lee was just as nice coming back in the opposite direction.  We went for a walk in Hertford and met Steve's parents for lunch then went down to the turning point and did a ten point turn, back past where we had moored and a pit stop to fill up water and empty the loos!



Thanks for our cross-stitch picture Auntie Jan - we love it!

A Moorhen - she has built her nest in a crate filled with concrete on a wier!

A slightly better picture of a Mandarin Duck than the last one.

We found some great buildings walking around Hertford

The Green Dragon Hotel

The refurbished houses at the end of the navigation at the turning point - Steve says this part of the river was full of rubbish when he was a teenager - it looks pretty good now.

Back under the last bridge - it's just as well we remembered to remove the chimney as the water level seems to have risen after all that rain - we had to duck too!

The Old Barge Pub

One of the best jobs I leave for Steve!

It's hard to believe that so many people have told us that the River Lee isn't very nice - not our experience of it.

Bye Alfie

The home made catamaran from the front - must be cold in there in the winter.


I'm pleased to say the gates were a lot easier going back this way at Hardmead Lock.

I wish you could smell this stretch of river - the perfume of hawthorn blossom takes me right back to playing in the woods near Boxes Lake when I was a kid.

Who says you can't have a garden if you live on a boat!

Lots of babies.

The smell of the wild flowers is so strong today - must have been all that rain yesterday.

Willow going into Roydon Marina!

Brick Lock

Go on Steve - your turn to climb the ladder!

How about this for a greenhouse mum?

Moored outside Roydon Marina - that's our space over there - going back in next week.

Trying to feed the ducklings but dad has decided he needs feeding more! 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wednesday 13 May 2015

So we have been to Portugal, played golf and been to mum and dad's 50th anniversary do but today we have been for a chug - heading for Hertford on the River Lee - it feels so nice to be moving again although in our short time at the Marina we have made some new boater friends!  Roydon Mill seems to be a haven for single men (and a few couples). Apparently there are no residential moorings here.........!

It's so strange when you travel along the river in an area that you are very familiar with because everything looks different from the water.  This is a very pretty river and we were so lucky with the weather again today.

We have travelled through the Marina, Lower, Stanstead, Hardmead, Ware and Hertford Locks.  The gates were really heavy - Steve had to get off the boat at Hardmead Lock to push it for me as I just couldn't budge it!  We were in Ware Lock for nearly an hour then a nice young chap came to our rescue and explained that he runs the Lee Valley Tours at the weekends and one of the lock gates has been knocked out of balance but between the two of them they managed to push it open - hope the two of us can manage it when we come back on Friday!

We saw lots of goslings today, the odd heron, some cows and sheep but nothing unusual. We passed through Rye House where Lucy lives, through Ware near to where Krispy lives (my sisters) and Stanstead Abbots where my friend Judith lives!  We had been warned that moorings are really hard to find in Hertford but we were lucky and found a great spot just by the allotments.  An old fellow on the towpath stood there waving us into the space and rushed to help with the ropes - he told me he was 79 but his mum had lived to 103 so he had high hopes for longevity!

Our nephew, James, also rode to us on his bike for dinner so it was a quick look through my recipe books and a dash into town to buy some mushrooms because he has turned veggie! Great to see him.

Thank you all for reading the blog and your feedback.  Several people have said that they have tried to add a comment but were unable to post it - I believe this is because you have to have a googlemail account to be able to post a comment so if you would like to pop me an email instead it would be great to hear from you -

Heading out of the Marina

Waiting for the lock to fill to get out!

Rye House Go-Karting Track

Lucy and Rich live just over there!

Stansted Marina at Stanstead Abbots

London feels a long time ago now.

In Stanstead Lock - slowly does it Steve - that water looks like it's in a hurry to get in here!

OK we'll leave the guy that wants to drive over the lock to put the swing bridge back!

Hardmead Lock - that left hand gate is the one I couldn't budge!

Home made catamaran!

Nice paint job Alfie.

A hidden part of Ware that you can only see from the river.

Blue sky and sunshine - it's hard to believe we have just passed under.......

the A10!


Another piece of lock damage - glad I wasn't driving!!

Welcome to Hertford - view to the left.

Allotments to the right.

Bye James - safe ride home.