Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A big sucker and a long day

Despite the predicted forecast it has been a very pleasant day.  The first boating task was to move forward to the CRT services at Bishop’s Stortford where we wrestled with the big green snake.  Eventually we managed to uncoil it and shove its nose down Waiouru’s hole.  Jan fed one of the two CRT cards we bought at Aldermaston in 2011 into the slot and the snake started to suck.  Boy did it suck!  We last emptied the toilet tank a month ago and today it had just reached half full.  The pump was so powerful it only took a few minutes to empty the tank.  It was probably the quickest pump out we’ve had to date!

A load of laundry was finished whilst we were moored at the services and then the water tank was topped up.  With the pump out connect is at the stern the idea is to leave the filling of the water tank to last thereby ensuring Waiouru is bow high.  .

Twyford House is situated a short distance from Twyford Lock.  It’s large Queen Anne style building from the mid to late 1700s.

At one stage the house was rented to Ralph Rhodes, brother of Cecil Rhodes (Rhodesia and Rhodes Scholarships).  At the beginning of WW2 is was requisitioned by the War Office and use as a maternity hospital for expectant mothers – mostly single mother evacuees from London’s East End.  Almost 700 babies were born there during the war.  After the war the estate was sold to a local builder who converted it into a hotel.  When that failed he converted it into apartments before going bankrupt.  Another building contractor purchased the property and converted it into maisonettes and offices.  He went into liquidation.  It is currently used as offices and accommodation.

Despite almost all the locks being against us we made steady progress south.  Having a set routine for doing locks makes the passage both quick and easy.  there was a slight holdup at Sawbridgeworth lock where we came upon an elderly couple (anyone older than us these days is classed as elderly) attempting to get their boat into the lock around that same inconsiderate boater who has left their boat moored on the lock landing.  Jan and I helped the couple through that lock, and the next two, until they stopped for water.  They did offer to let us pass but we told them we weren’t in a hurry.

Jan has been suffering from bronchitis and hasn’t been feeling the best.  Despite this she put in a sterling effort to see us arriving at Harlow around 3pm.  No vacant moorings so we pushed on finding a nice spot above Hunsdon Lock at 4.30pm. 

No dot in the sky but there is internet and a strong DTV signal. If it rains tomorrow then we will likely stay moored.  The stove flue has been re-erected in anticipation of the mercury falling.

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