Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Another addition to the local sculpture trail.  This one is more in keeping with the history of the woods than some of the others - that bank in the background is one side of the "Radfall", a wide track that was maintained for access to the woods.  Contemporary records show that at the time the area of a specific wood was measured by the number of pigs it could support. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Misty mornings and sunny afternoons

Another short trip to Braunston in unusual weather.  Cold misty starts eventually developed into bright sunshine on both Saturday and Sunday.  It was quite eerie overnight near Butchers Bridge, with water condensing and falling almost like a very fine rain showing up in torchlight.  Lots of people were moving their boats well after dark too, presumably with schedules to meet to avoid being stranded by stoppages.  Breakfast is easier at Braunston too, now that the Gongoozler's Rest offers take away bacon sandwiches that can be picked up on the way back from walking the dog.  

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Chatham Dockyard

We've visited the museum at Chatham before, and looked around the submarine and warships that they have there.  (Canals link: the battery bank in the submarine is particularly impressive.)  This time we wanted to look at the Victorian rope works, which is equally impressive, all the more so for the demonstration of rope making.  The works are over 1000 feet long, so that ropes of that length can be made, as specified by the Admiralty based on the depth of water in the locations that they wanted to moor.  It was also surprising how many vernacular expressions come from things to do with rope.  A couple come from the use of a cat of nine tails for punishment in the Navy.  "Letting the cat out of the bag" related to getting ready to beat someone, while "not enough room to swing a cat" referred to the lower decks being too cramped to carry out a punishment.  Lots of other stuff there too, like a large collection of historic lifeboats showing how they have developed over the years.