Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Two visits to Audley End

Audley End is an English Heritage property about a mile from Saffron Walden, an interesting place to take our visitors.  Jean and Harry visited on a lovely sunny 16th September and in the afternoon we had a guided tour of the house (sorry no photos allowed) and then a look at the Kitchens, Laundry, Gift Shop, newly opened Stables and the walled garden.  The lake in front of the House is formed by a dam on the River Cam which flows on into Cambridge and finally joins the River Great Ouse near Ely.

 We had previously reconnoitred on one of our childcare days with our youngest grandson Henry, on 4th August, a nice visit despite rain showers.

 The frontage of the Stable block is most obviously Jacobean.

 Jean & Harry obviously admire "Smiler" although he is a bit of a poser.

 This is "Captain" with his groom.

 Harry cannot resist playing the "Gent".

 "Smiler" has an outing to practice his dressage.

 "Captain" has had a trot around the grounds of the House.

 The Walled Garden once kept the "Big" House supplied with fruit (including exotic pineapples) and veg throughout the year.  The Head Gardener has a very confortable house with the Stable yard behind.

 There is also a much smaller flower Garden with a fish pond.

 The river is running alongside on the right with the Kitchen garden on the left.

 Flowers or vegtables?

The bridge over the River Cam ends a good visit to an interesting place.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Rosemary's Birthday

We have planned six days away on the boat to celebrate Rosemary's Birthday.  After lunch on the bank with our friends Wyn & Carole we set off downstream from Crosshall Marina at 15.03 and enter our 1st Lock - St. Neots at 15.30.  It is a pleasant afternoon, warm with sun and cloud and the river seems quiet.
Having passed through Offord Lock Rosemary raises the slackers on our 3rd Lock (Brampton) to lower the water level in the  pen.  We have  only another 8 minutes to cruise before we moor for the night at 18.00.  Imagine our surprise when we found 7 boats already moored and  only one space available for us!  Cruised 7.1 miles this afternoon.  A quiet night followed our supper on board. 

Rosemary's actual Birthday 21st September.  We set off at 8.15 in very misty conditions where it was difficult to distinguish between the trees and their reflections.  This is the best time of the day when the water is smooth and the wildlife undisturbed.  Just 3 Locks this morning - Godmanchester,  Houghton and Hemingford. We moor on our favorite mooring at the Dolphin Hotel in St. Ives at 10.36 having cruised 7.6 miles this morning
Rosemary quickly gets down to the Birthday relaxation with one of her book presents.
View across the River Great Ouse to St. Ives town.
View of "Summer Love" moored on the meadow with the old St. Ives Bridge and Dolphin Hotel behind.
A walk around the water meadow this afternoon careful to avoid the sheep droppings and spotting this hot-air balloon floating in the warm breeze.

An Indian meal at the "Montaz" restaurant rounded off  a perfect birthday. Cards and presents were opened and phone calls received. Another quiet night.
Sunrise over St. Ives Bridge and Town.

The Town Quay with its swans waiting to be fed.

Rosemary on "Summer Love" viewed from the Town.
No longer Rosemary's birthday and she has decks to swab. We started back upstream at 11.04 and moored after one Lock at Hemingford Grey.
Moored here for another night but back upstream to our Marina mooring at St. Neots tomorrow as rain is forecast for the morning.

Thursday - arrived back at Crosshall at 14.00 and only got wet in one lock!  Fish and Chip supper to celebrate our return.  Boat maintenance tomorrow and started to Winterise really for lift out of water next week.  Rosemary really enjoyed her Birthday Trip.