Tuesday, 25 June 2019

One completed and one new project

The lawn edger burst into life after I fitted the new carburettor and made some minor engine modifications.  A test cut confirmed everything worked so that’s one more completed project. 

In the late morning the new carpet was laid in the master bedroom.  What a difference that has made.  The worn and very tired looking beige carpet has gone to be replaced with a blue carpet containing gold flecks.  It’s also much softer under foot.

Apparently blue is currently not in fashion which meant it took time to get the carpet Jan has selected into stock.

After it was laid we had to move that heavy Jarrah bed back.  I also managed to do some modifications to the bed extending its length.  The mattress used to overhang the end of the bed and I was concerned it would eventually get damaged.  The last part of this project is to make and fit the timber headboard with the canal scene.  I have been thinking about how that will be achieved and believe I might have a solution.

The bladders in the waterbed will need to be ‘burped’ a couple of times but we will be sleeping on it tonight.  No more struggling for room in a queen sized bed.

Jan has also moved the camphorwood chest into the bedroom.  She bought two chests when we were living in Singapore back in 1980.  Our daughter was given one as a ‘glory box’ and Jan kept the second for long term clothing storage. 

So what is the new project?

I’ve purchased some home automation devices from Aliexpress (China).

Clockwise from the top left.

  • Human body motion sensor
  • Wireless gateway
  • Wireless multi-function switch
  • Door/window sensor

The products are all made by Xiaomi and cost approximately $60.  It’s a wireless modular system which can be expanded.  I’ve only purchase a few devices to see how it will work. 

The Gateway is the main device linking all the other devices to it creating a private local wireless network.  The Gateway also connects to the home router and from there to the world.  It also has a configurable LED light and speaker. 

The switch is a wireless remote device controller and can be configured to turn other devices on or off. 

The door/window sensor detects and monitors the status of the door or window.

The motion detector will only detect moving objects the size of a human.  No false recording caused by pets.

to date I’ve linked the motion detector and the Gateway configuring it so the light in the gateway will come on for 3 minutes between 10pm and 6am.  No stumbling around in the dark whilst attending to a call of nature.

I’ve also ordered the Xiaomi doorbell and camera which will link to the Gateway.  This provides a number of opportunities.  For example when the doorbell is pressed the Gateway will chime and the door camera will take a photo which will be sent to my phone.  The doorbell has a speaker so we will be able to talk to whom ever is at the door remotely via the phone.   

Ordering the parts from China was the cheapest option however it made reading the manuals rather interesting……. They were all in Chinese!  Eventually I worked out if I set the Gateway to be located in China it worked and all the devices were recognised.

I can see this kit is going to keep me busy identifying various configurations.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Projects are progressing

Paul Balmer (of those excellent canal maps) left a comment asking how I knew the orange PVC pipe would have sufficient strength to hold the weight of the bed.  A good questions…. .and I didn’t “wing it” when opting to purchase the pipe.  I’d previously purchased a length of the same pipe which was installed under the shed concrete pad, so I knew how strong the pipe was.

The first step with this project was to drain the two bladders that make up 75% of the mattress.  It’s not the first time we’ve moved a water bed and we used the same method.  Syphon the water out to the lawn using the garden hose.  Just remember to get the timing right when sucking the end of the hose otherwise you get a mouth full of chemically treated water.

Syphoning doesn’t remove all the water.  However when I’ve removed as much as possible using this method I recapped the bladder and took it outside laying it upside down on the BBQ table to drain.  Once both bladders had been removed I could then relocate the mattress base and separate the two halves of the bed.  Jan had already emptied the drawers thereby reducing the weight.  We then rolled each half 90° onto the PVC rollers with the Jarrah side facing up.  It was then a matter of rolling each half out of the bedroom into the formal lounge room.  As rollers came free at the back they were reposition at the front.

We’re sleeping on the 2nd spare bed in the lounge room along with all the furniture.  It’s rather crowded and the spare bed is only 5’6” wide which doesn’t give us much room after getting used to the water bed.

With the bed removed I could complete the last of the painting.  This involved cutting a 2 inch strip off the boundary of the existing carpet in order to paint all the way down to floor level.  Eventually all of the painting was complete allowing Dean to install the new 2kW air conditioner above the bed.

At 2kW the air conditioner has more capacity than is required to keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.  We could have installed a 1kW unit, however the logic behind the 2kW unit is it can form a backup should the 5kW unit in the family room fail.  We’re waiting on the new carpet to be laid before moving back into the bedroom.

We also had a visit from local blog reader Ken and his lovely wife, Elaine.  Ken had mentioned some  family members have gone down with the flu (it’s winter here in Perth).  Now that we are old we need to consider the potential dire consequences of catching the flu.  Ken needed to be checked out for symptoms and (of course) I needed to protect myself.  It’s important to keep the potential problem at arms length!

Smile

No signs of the flu and we settled down to discuss future plans. 

Ken has invited me to join him in August on an I-Venture Day north of Perth.  The I-Venture Day is a one day training event conducted by Isuzu Australia.  The trainer teaches participants how to get the maximum off road performance from their stock Isuzu.  This should be very useful as we are planning to travel the Holland Track together in September (more on that later)

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The silent screams

Tonight it will be a week since our return to Perth and almost everything is back to normal.  Molly appears to have forgiven us for deserting her and the majority of the small maintenance tasks have been completed ready for the ongoing house renovations.

This morning there were silent screams from the back yard as I went around ripping weeds from the lawn.  Almost half a large bucket of them.  The front lawns looks worse, so I’ll do that over several days.

The new master bedroom split air conditioning unit is been fitted next Monday and we will need to remove the water bed before then.  As you will appreciate, this bed is king size and rather heavy.  Thirty years ago I’d have picked it up with one hand and thrown it over my right shoulder.  This time I’ll need to be more scientific.  That means I’ll need Jan’s assistance (she provides the brute strength).  The bed will have to be emptied before turning it onto its side in order for us to get it through the bedroom doorway.  This will be achieved by syphoning the water out onto the front lawn using our garden hose.  As for the actual move;  I could pull whilst Jan pushes but that’s likely to damage the new hallway flooring as we dragged the bed over it.  The answer is to go back to simple engineering principles and use rollers between the bed and the floor.  So off I went to the hardware to purchase a suitable length of timber dowel.  Shock!   They wanted $70 for a 3.4 metre length and I’d need more than one length.  Greater use of the elderly grey matter was required.  Ah…. what about using 32mm PVC electrical conduit?  In the electrical section I found a 4 metre length of orange 32mm PVC conduit for $7.  Much better price!  All I needed to do was cut it into 800mm lengths.

Well that’s the move of the bed planned.

Yesterday we fitted the 58” TV on the bedroom wall.  The NVidia Shield will be connected to it so we can stream videos wirelessly from the media server using the LAN.  As usual I’ve made things complicated because when I rebuilt the media server I configured the hard drives differently.  This means the NVidia Shield doesn’t recognise the media server.  Nor does the NVidia Shield have a keyboard.  So I had to go looking for the small wireless keyboard I used on Waiouru when the laptop keyboard failed.   You know…….. the failed keyboard I forgot about when we took the laptop to the UK on our latest trip.  After digging through all the storage boxes I found the keyboard at the bottom of the last box  (why is this always my luck?).  Then I discovered the small USB receiver for the keyboard was missing.  A search online revealed you can buy a replacement from the USA.  No doubt they cost a fortune as only idiots like me lose them!  But then I had an idea.  Perhaps one of the USB receives from an old wireless mouse made by the same manufacturer would work with the keyboard.  Back through all the boxes and jars… and success (this is why I’m a hoarder).  Would the receiver work with the wireless keyboard….. Yes…. a result!  Now all I have to do is reconfigure the settings in the NVidia Shield….. provided it will recognise the wireless keyboard?

Why is my boring life so complicated.

Jennifer to answer your question regarding the size of the foam rubber seat cover…… The size is going to depend upon the airline seat.  We flew Qatar Airlines and I found the economy seat width online.  However we were on an Airbus A350 for the first leg and an A380 for the second.  The seats on each aircraft were a different width.  The smallest width was 18” and I cut the foam at 17”.  We could have managed with 18”.  For length I measure a standard kitchen table chair and added an inch so the foam would overhang the base of the airline seat.  The theory being the back of our legs wouldn’t be resting on the front edge of the seat.  We purchased the foam from Dunelm Mill doing a test run sit on the various thicknesses they had in stock. The foam was then cut to size using a razor knife purchased from Poundland. 

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Delayed Post

It’s been a week since the blog was updated.  What happened?  The initial few days can be explained by the weather.  It was so bad we basically did nothing!  Then we needed to prepare for our return to Australia.  You may recall we arrived in the UK with one bag weighing 18kg.  There were two other bags inside that bag and we managed to fill all three bags once the serious shopping had been completed.  Whilst I suspect the clothing in the UK comes out of the same Asian factory that supplies Australia Jan is convinced the quality is better.

On our second to last day I did a trial pack realising we were likely to run out of room in the bags.  That necessitated the purchase of a 4th bag during our final shopping day.  Particular care needed to be taken with the packing of the pottery as the luggage bags were all made from vinyl (my old army kitbags).

Our youngest son kindly drove us to Manchester airport on Wednesday morning.  He just dropped us off rather than parking and staying to see us leave.  That was at our request.  We were rather surprised to subsequently hear the drop off cost him £3.  Manchester Airport would be the first we’ve departed from where there was a charge for a drop off!

An interesting situation then developed with the weight of the luggage.  We had an allocation of 30kg each, however the check in assistant failed to realise there were four bags allocating the first two to me.  They had a combined weight of 25kg.  When I reminded him there were two other bags he weighed those at 36kg allocating the weight to Jan.  Then he told us we were 6kg over our allowance.  I pointed out we had a combined allowance of 60kg but as he had entered two sets of bags as different transactions he couldn’t combine the weights.  A discussion ensued before he called over his supervisor.  The supervisor had the required computer access level to combine both Jan and my luggage weights.  that meant we were at 61kg…… 1kg over our allowance.  I was prepared to remove 1kg from the hold luggage and add it to our cabin bags as they were both almost empty but the supervisor accepted we were under our baggage limit.

Jan was concerned we would have our two blue foam rubber squares taken off us whilst I was prepared to argue to retain them.  In the end no questions were asked although we had numerous curious glances from fellow travellers.

The foam rubber squares proved to be a lifesaver.  Halfway through the flight we could have sold them to other travellers for 10 times what they cost us.  I had checked the width of the Qatar airways economy seats and then cut the foam one inch narrower.  That probably wasn’t necessary as there was room to spare.  Whilst we started the journey sitting higher than surrounding passengers the foam slowly compressed over time.  It was interesting watching others wandering around the aircraft cabin attempting to excise the pain from their posteriors Smile  We’ll remember this trick for any future long haul flights.  Yes… I took the foam with us at the end of the flights.

We arrived home in the dark (it’s winter here) at 7:45pm to find a dusty house with lawns full of weeds (observed in the moonlight).  Of course we were jet lagged and whilst I only had 45 minutes of sleep during the previous 36 hours we both still woke at 3am after only four hours of sleep. 

Jan now has plenty of housework to keep her busy whilst I recommence home renovations. 

So what did we make of our return to the UK?  In England you are almost always close to a canal.  We actually tried to avoid them.  Not because we didn’t want to see canals, but rather because we had already visited that area.  We were reminded just how fortunate we were to have those years on board Waiouru.   However your memory does tend to focus on the good times and it takes more thought to remember less interesting period.  For my part I remember those miserable days where we stayed inside Waiouru basically either reading a book or researching ‘life after canals’ on my laptop.  I don’t think I could permanently live aboard for the remainder of my life!  Summer in Australia followed by summer afloat in the UK does appear, however the flights; and more importantly; the remote maintenance of a vacant house in Australia is a major obstacle.  I think we have both accepted it was a wonderful period in our life together, but it isn’t going to be repeated.  Besides, there are many other experiences to be had!  

Friday, 7 June 2019

Pottering Around

The feathers got ruffled today when we returned to the rental car only to discover the key wouldn’t unlock the vehicle.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a problem as I’d just manually unlock the car.   However this vehicle has an electronic key and can’t be manually unlocked.

The key

Were the batteries in the key flat and how was I going to resolve this problem?  Pushing the unlock button had no effect!  All I could think of was phoning Enterprise and asking for assistance.  Then I remembered the ‘Golden Rule’…… “Look for the simple things first!”   That’s when the solution appeared.  Wrong black car!   Our car was moored three four bays away.  <phew>

Today was spent pottering around Stoke on Trent.   This is very familiar territory having visited once before by car and numerous times by canal.  By pottering around I mean visiting potteries.  Burleigh at Middleport, Royal Doulton at Festival Park, Portmeirion and Wedgewood

The latter has changed considerably since our first visit in 2003.  We didn’t want to purchase anything large or fragile as it will be going into the aircraft hold in a soft vinyl bag.

Lunch was in a very familiar location.The Toby Carvery at Festival Park.   It seemed strange to arrive by car when all our previous visits have been by boat!

Damned keyboard is getting worse.  Draft posts are taking ages to write!

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Derbyshire and Harecastle

The B roads were rather interesting today.  We spent last night in Nuneaton where the Travelodge receptionist informed Jan we were luck to get a room.  The previous night they had been fully booked with rooms going for £100+.   Apparently the situation had been created because four middle-aged female singers were holding a concert in Coventry.

We again set the gps for the shortest route.  I wanted to go to Bakewell.  Not because I particularly like Bakewell Tarts, but rather because I’d arranged to collect an online purchase from Rutlands UK. After a considerable amount of internet searching I had identified them as the cheapest supplier of Gluebot’s.  Their price was less than half the price in Australia for the same items.  The gps route was very interesting as most of it was down narrow single lane roads with high hedges on either side.  The odd oncoming vehicle just added to the interest.   The last third of the route saw us slowly climbing until we were in the high ground of the Peak District National Park.

Looking at the map one can see the canal network surrounds the national park.  Bugsworth Basin,  Sheffield, Chesterfield,  Froghall, Leek, Macclesfield.

We had lunch at The Winking Man on the road to Leek.

The day has ended with us being slightly to the west of Harecastle Tunnel summit

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Unremarkable Day, Old Ground and a Solution

When we returned to Perth in 2017 I discovered termites had got into our stored effects and; amongst many other items; had eaten my two expensive tailor made suits.  Obviously that was disappointing but as I am now retired a suit is something I’m not going to regularly use.  I’m not planning on being buried which just leaves me with a few wedding and the odd funeral (attending someone else’s of course).

I needed a suit when I went to Saudi Arabia in 2014. Now where did I buy it?  Oh yes, the Sainsburys Superstore in  Rugby.  Today we drove to Rugby where we managed to buy a cheap plain dark suit.   This area is all very familiar and either of us particularly wanted to visit the town.  But it was the only location where I was almost certain I’d be able to buy a cheap suit. 

Well you know what happened after that.

Despite taking an oath that we wouldn’t do it we went for a walk along the towpath at Brownsover.  So many memories!

Readers you may recall me mentioning how uncomfortable the seats were on the two flights from Perth to Manchester.  Neither of us have been looking forward to the agony of the return flights.  I did research the cost of purchasing Business Class for the return.  But I’d probably feel guilty sitting up the front in comfort knowing Jan was somewhere down the back in cattle class.   To be more precise….. guilty for the first 15 minutes!   Then I realised there was a ‘no extra cost’ solution.  We’d go “air force business class”.  All that was required was a brief trip to Dunelm Mill.

I just need to cut them down to fit the base of the airline seat.

Bury St Edmunds

I’ve wanted to visit Bury St Edmunds after hearing the rather unusual name. I’d assumed it meant the place where St Edmund was buried.  However that doesn’t appear to be the case as St Edmund is buried in a number of places.   It’s suggested the ‘Bury’ part of the name is derived from the old Germanic word burgs or ‘fortress’.   The St Edmund half comes from King Edmund who was the king of Anglia around the 7th Century.  His cause of death is disputed with some historians suggesting he died in battle fighting the invading Vikings whilst others suggest he was captured and then killed by the Vikings.  If you follow the TV series Vikings you may recall Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba.  Who had Edmund shot full of arrows after he suggested to them his Christian faith would protect him.   Well he died and the Christians made a martyr of him!  

By 986AD a popular cult was formed around him and a shrine was erected.  In 1010AD Edmund was dug up and his remains moved to London for ‘safe keeping’.  They were returned three years later.  The shrine continued to be visited by nobles and kings with Edmund now being recognised as the patron saint of England.  In 1095AD an abbey was established at the location of the shrine.  By trading upon the memory of St Edmund the abbey became rich and powerful. 

In 1217AD Edmunds remains were stolen and taken to Toulouse, France by King Louis VIII.   Edmund is credited with saving the city from the 1628AD plague.  He was now making the French money.

It wasn’t until 1901 that the English (with the help of the Pope) managed to get Edmund repatriated.  He was supposed to be re-interned in Westminster Abbey but there was a dispute regarding the authenticity of the remains and they were kept at Arundel Castle until the issue was resolved.  Today Edmund waits at Arundel Castle; except for three of his teeth which the French gave to Douai Abbey.

Meanwhile the Abbey was sacked by the local population when they became fiercely disenchanted with the greed and corruption of the Abbott.   The population then realised they may have condemned their souls (and killed the goose laying the golden eggs) so they rebuilt the gatehouse.

The final demise of the Abbey occurred in the 16th Century during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.   That guy Henry again!

Bury St Edmunds has three major sources of income.  The nearby large sugar refinery which produces ‘silver spoon’ sugar from locally grown sugar beet.  Greene King brewery is located in the town.  Then there is the tourism.

The ruins of the Abbey

The Gatehouse which was rebuilt after the local population destroyed the original during the sacking of the abbey.

View from the Abbey grounds

Town side

The Pillar of Salt.  Erected in 1935, this is reputedly the first internally illuminated road sign in England.

The Corn Exchange is rather impressive.  I remember writing a query about the Corn Exchange in Newbury back in 2011.  I thought corn was sold, however Bruce of nb Insanity Again left a comment advising me ‘corn’ was a generic word for grain.

 

It’s now the local Weatherspoons!

The other building I wanted to see was the Guildhall

Parts of the structure date back to the 12th Century.  When the Abbey was sacked the Prior and some of the monks were imprisoned in the Guildhall.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Great Yarmouth

Using the laptop keypad is proving to be quite a trial.  The C V B N and spacebar keys all work intermittently.  I may have a solution but that will have to wait until we return to Perth.   Meanwhile blog reader Dave left what I now realise is a blindingly obvious comment.  I mentioned in watching out for Phil driving around Sandringham.  Dave stated the obvious when he comment that Phil wasn’t at Sandringham.  He’d been sent to Gatwick to collect Donald.  I bet Donald’s hair is now raised even more!

We had a good look around Great Yarmouth today.  Why?  Well one reason is many years ago I’d read a book about the Battle of Copenhagen which took place in 1801.   The British fleet assembled at Great Yarmouth before sailing to Copenhagen.

For centuries the town was a major fishing port; mostly herring.  The industry went into gradual decline from the middle of the 20th Century before finally being killed by the EU fishing policy.  Great Yarmouth became a seaside resort around the middle of the 18th Century.  It has a long and wide sandy beach with a promenade and two main piers.   On visiting Great Yarmouth it wouldn’t be hard to imagine you were actually in Blackpool as the waterfronts look very similar.

Britannia Pier is the oldest of the two piers (opened1858)

The promenade has the usual stalls and ice cream outlets

There’s a plethora of amusement arcades opposite the beach

As usual,I was more interested in the old or unusual buildings.

The Empire Theatre, built in 1908. In latter years it was used as a nightclub but since 2007 it has been empty.

Yarmouth Hippodrome. Built by showman, George Gilbert in 1903 the Hippodrome has remained a consistent presence on Great Yarmouth’s seafront.  TheHippodrome is tucked behind a row of amusement arcades, It used to look out over the sea and is a Grade I-listed terracotta gem, one of just three surviving purpose-built indoor circuses in the world

St John’s Church.  Founded as a chapel for beachmen and fishermen and was built by J.H. Hakewill, in 1857. The church is in simple Early English style throughout despite being extended and altered throughout the 19th century and early 20th century.

The Royal Aquarium.  Subsequently converted to a theatre.

The Windmill Theatre (building in the middle of the photo with twin green capped towers).   Ooriginally built as the Gem Theatre and is one of Britain's earliest surviving Cine Variety buildings.

The Theatre was designed by Arthur S. Hewitt, who also designed the Empire Theatre in the town the same year. The Windmill was built for C.B. Cochran and opened on the 4th of July 1908 with the odd proviso that men and women had to sit on opposite sides of the auditorium.

It was built as a Cine Variety Theatre and in the early decades of the 20th Century was providing the number two variety bills in Great Yarmouth, and later, in 1948, when it was renamed the Windmill Theatre, it was regularly used for summer shows, a policy which continued into the 1960s.  It subsequently became a children’s amusement arcade.

We’re heading somewhere else tomorrowSmile

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Towards Great Yarmouth

Still on the B roads and this morning we headed for King’s Lynn.  Two reasons for this.  1.  It’s the other end of The Wash crossing. 2. The town is reputedly quite interesting from a historic perspective.

The first part of the visit took us down to the riverbank.

 

The tide was going out so obviously not much chance of seeing an arriving narrowboat.  This view is looking east towards The Wash.   No narrowboats in the other direction either.

Fishing boat Baden Powell

Baden Powell is the only remaining double ended fishing smack of its type.  More information <here>.

During the 14th century King’s Lynn was England’s most important port with sea trade to Europe.  Ports on the opposite side of the country didn’t come to prominence until after the discovery of the New World and Trans-Atlantic trade.

The riverbank would have been lined with warehouses.  I could only see one warehousead after peeking through a crack in the door I realised it had an internal steel girder frame and steel trusses for the roof.  Obviously not a old as I had hoped.

However on the walk back into the town centre we came upon some Hanseatic warehouses built around 1425AD.

The upper floor protrudes over the lane and is timber framed with brick infill.  The frontage is actually leaning toward the lane.  I did mention to Jan that weshouldn’t walk underneath the upper storey just in case a resident decided to empty the contents of their ‘Jays’ pot out the window. “Bucket and Chuck it!”  Smile

This next photo shows the rear wall of King’s Lynn Minster.  You may notice the wall is both bulging and leaning outward ie,the wall isn’t vertical. I suspect the bulge has been caused by the weight of the top stonework and the lean is a result of slowly collapsing foundations.

The Guildhall was rather impressive.

Reputedly it’s the oldest working theatre in the UK and the only existing theatre where William Shakespeare performed.

And here is another photo showing what can happen when the structure of a building starts to fail.

I wouldn’t want the job of replacing the window frame above the door arch.

From King’s Lynn we drove to Sandringham for morning tea with Her Majesty.  Unfortunately she had cancelled the appointment because of another engagement which had occurred at short notice.  Who is this guy Donald?

Oh,Yes we drove very slowly just in case Phil had decided to take the Range Rover for a local spin.

We stayed on the B roads heading roughly towards Great Yarmouth.  Of course it’s Sunday and Jan was looking forward to a roast lunch.  This is where we have noticed the difference between England and Scotland.  Finding a rural pub in Scotland that served a cooked lunch was far more difficult than in England.  We must have passed at least six pubs today all serving a roast lunch.  Unfortunately we chose poorly. The beef was sliced too thick and overcooked whilst the Yorkshire Pudding had sugar in it.  Jan wasn’t impressed!  ’

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Boston

Boston England; not Boston Massachusetts USA.  It’s interesting to realise how migrants from the UK kept nostalgic links to their mother country by naming locations after places where they had originated.  Today we went through a small village named Burnham.  Many year ago we lived in Burnham, NZ.  NZ also has an Oxford and Cambridge.  There are many other examples.

In 2016 we cruised up the Trent taking a detour to visit Lincoln.  At the time we discussed continuing on to Boston eventually deciding to forgo it with the idea we might return one day to cross the Wash.  That never happened and instead we visited Boston by road.

It’s a small medieval market town and we probably got it wrong visiting on a Saturday as it was market day making finding parking very difficult.  The land around here is very flat and featureless with the land to the east of Boston almost at sea level.  Because of this the area was prone to flooding.  Efforts to combat this problem commenced in the 11th century with so drains being dug.  In the late 18th century the engineer John Rennie (of canal fame) was commissioned to investigate the problem and write a report.  Acts of Parliament followed in 1801 and 1803.  Eventually this resulted in the current Witham Navigable Drains.  250 years ago the area would have been very marshy with Fenmen residing there living by fishing, fowling and cutting reeds.  Today it appears to be mostly market gardening.

The tide was obviously out during our visit

I had intended to attempt to climb to the top of the ‘Boston Stump’ and take panoramic photos of the surrounding countryside. That didn’t workout as the Stump is undergoing renovation.

The Boston Stump is actually the name of the tower of St Botolph’s Church,Boston.  The church has one of the tallest towers in England and because the land is so flat it can be seen for miles.



Who was St Botolph?   I’d never heard of him but Wikipedia suggest he was Botwulf of Thorney, an English Abbot and Saint who died around 680AD.  Apparently up to 71 churches were named after him and the name of the town (Boston) is a derivative of his name. I couldn’t find anydirect link between him and Boston.  But then if you believe what allegedly happened to his remains after his death then anything is possible.

Botwulf is supposed to have been buried originally at his foundation of Icanho, but in 970 Edgar I of England gave permission for Botwulf's remains to be transferred to Burgh, near Woodbridge, where they remained for some fifty years before being transferred to their own tomb at Bury St Edmunds Abbey on the instructions of Cnut. The saint's relics were later transferred again, along with those of his brother Adulf, to Thorney Abbey, although his head was transferred to Ely Abbey and various body parts to other houses, including Westminster Abbey. [Wikipedia]