Golden Vanity Voyage

Golden Vanity Voyage August 2016

Waking up on the first day of the voyage at 0800 and being greeted by a less than favourable shipping forecast was not the most of positive of things to be greeted by. With strong Southwest winds veering West to force six to gale eight, rough and very rough seas, thundery showers and moderate to good visibility, it was not the best of weathers to venture out of the harbour. The sea inside the breakwater of Brixham harbour was a little rough and windblown but the sea the other side of the breakwater was fairly choppy and only one sea going vessel opted to venture out. Even the fishing boats which normally venture out daily decided to remain in the comfort of the harbour.

Golden Vanity Voyage 20th-22nd August 2016 ~ (2)

A few of the bunks on-board Golden Vanity.

 

On Deck of the Golden Vanity.

On Deck of the Golden Vanity.

After getting a bunk sorted out and my things unpacked and sorted we were all informed that due to the weather we would not be sailing out of the harbour, which was a very sensible and understandable course of action from Stan our skipper. Instead we all walked to a local hotel and have cream teas after which some of us stayed behind for a drink and myself and a few others ventured up to Berry Head to admire the views that the old Napoleonic fortifications offered. Sometime later we all strolled back down to the marina and had a really good wholesome cooked meal, of which was cooked by Neil. Neil cooked for us all for during our time on board and the meals were simply fantastic, healthy and very tasty.

Neil getting things sorted down below deck.

Neil getting things sorted down below deck.

 

Nighttime at Brixham Marina.

Nighttime at Brixham Marina.

 

Settling down for the night.

Settling down for the night.

Day two of the voyage got underway and with a slightly better weather forecast we ventured out into the deep blue ocean. The weather was grey, a little damp and still rather windy but we had two reefs in the mainsail and a good sided staysail so the ride wasn’t all that bumpy. Later on we put a second staysail up which was a smaller sail in the form of a storm jib. Golden Vanity cut through the sea ever so well and was not really inhibited by the current sea state. Once we go to Berry Head the weather picked up and the wind got a little stronger and the boat was tossed around just a little more. Also someone’s hat was blown over-board, which of course meant we had to find it. Even through the hat was black and the sea state was rough, I managed to spot it and after about eight minutes we managed to hook the hat back! Eight minutes in a man (hat) overboard drill isn’t a bad time all things considering, especially taking into account we were trying to spot a black baseball cap and not a person wearing sailing waterproofs and a big inflated yellow lifejacket! The highlight by far was seeing the dolphins off Berry Head. The dolphins around that area are common dolphins and harbour dolphins. They were swimming around the boat as we passed Berry Head on the way to Dartmouth. Dartmouth was our destination and it was our plan to stay over at the visitors pontoon for the night. It was a good plan as there was much going on during our time in Dartmouth.

A healthy breakfast.

A healthy breakfast.

 

Motoring out of Brixham.

Motoring out of Brixham.

 

Hoisted the mainsail with two reefs in.

Hoisted the mainsail with two reefs in.

 

Sailing towards Berry Head.

Sailing towards Berry Head.

 

Dolphins! Truly wonderful animals.

Dolphins! Truly wonderful animals.

 

Getting a second staysail ready to hoist.

Getting a second staysail ready to hoist.

Rough seas and a strong wind.

Rough seas and a strong wind.

The weather started to get somewhat wet so it was rainwear time and for a good hour we had rain. We reached Dartmouth and enjoyed the views of Dartmouth Castle on our way up to the River Dart, once we sailed a little way up, we stopped to have lunch. While we ate lunch we enjoyed the sights of other classic boats slowly making their way up to Dartmouth. Once lunch was over we kept our rainwear on and then motored up the River Dart a little way as we couldn’t take up our mooring alongside the visitors pontoon until a little later on. We motored on past a few historic sites such as an old boat yard and Greenway which was the home of Agatha Christie. Soon we turned around and headed to the visitors pontoon and we passed a steam train which was making its way along the shoreline. Upon reaching the visitors pontoon we moored up and settled down for the night and enjoyed yet another splendid meal by Neil. Some then ventured out and enjoyed a drink and some people stayed behind for a cup of tea and relaxation in the cosy galley of Golden Vanity. Once everyone returned back to the boat we all had an early night after a good day of sailing.

Time to get waterproofs on, things got a little windy and wet.

Time to get waterproofs on, things got a little windy and wet.

 

Sailing towards Dartmouth.

Sailing towards Dartmouth.

 

Dartmouth Castle.

Dartmouth Castle.

 

Greenway Boathouse.

Greenway Boathouse.

 

A steam train running along side the waters edge!

A steam train running along side the waters edge!

 

Moored up alongside the visitors pontoon for the night.

Moored up alongside the visitors pontoon for the night.

 

Sitting down to a really good meal in the galley.

Sitting down to a really good meal in the galley.

 

Nighttime at Dartmouth Marina.

Nighttime at Dartmouth Marina.

 

Golden Vanity Voyage 20th-22nd August 2016 ~ (124)

The best bunk on-board Golden Vanity.

Early the next day we got up and headed towards the fuel barge to top up Golden Vanity’s fuel tank and after that task was completed we ventured out of Dartmouth for some more sailing. The weather had greatly improved and the wind had died down a little which meant we could have the mainsail up with not reefs as well has two large staysails, all of which meant we were really sailing. The destination was Brixham and it didn’t take long for us to reach it either, once again we sailed past Berry Head and saw one or two dolphins swimming about in their normal playful fashion. Once we arrived close to Brixham marina we sailed straight on in under sail without using the motor which is a very traditional and skilful selling technique. Sailing into harbour used to be common place! Once we moored up in the harbour we had lunch and then packed our bags, as that marked the end of what was a really brilliant few days of truly fantastic classic sailing.

Maneuvering around some moored up classic ships.

Maneuvering around some moored up classic ships.

 

Britannia Royal Naval College.

Britannia Royal Naval College.

 

Filling up with fuel at the fuel barge.

Filling up with fuel at the fuel barge.

 

Sailing out of Dartmouth.

Sailing out of Dartmouth.

 

Two staysails up and an unreefed mainsail.

Two staysails up and an unreefed mainsail.

 

Enjoying a cup of tea on the bowsprit.

Enjoying a cup of tea on the bowsprit.

 

Really good productive sailing.

Really good productive sailing.

 

Sailing into Brixham Marina.

Sailing into Brixham Marina.

 

Having a relaxing sit down by the tiller.

Having a relaxing sit down by the tiller.

 

Moored up alone side another classic ship.

Moored up alone side another classic ship.

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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Happy Wet New Year, Belated

It has been a really long time since I have been blogging / writing. I am just been really busy and involved with work and writing articles and so on which is why I had put the blogging on the back burner for a while, so to speak. I really hope that you are all keeping well and having a really enjoyable and productive year so far and that things are going smoothly and as planned for you all.

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Well, it has been a really wet start to the year for me, which isn’t unusual, it always seems like Januarys and February for me is flood season, so to speak, no matter where I am in the world. The flood water around here at the moment has been really high and fast flowing, which made work rather interesting during the period in which it was hammering it down with rain and flooding.

But for now, at least the flooding has stopped and that is fine by me, although flooding and rain can produce some stunning and dramatic scenes for photography, truly.

 

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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Morgan Thrill On The Hill, Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb – 11th June 2015

Simply hundreds of much loved and well polished Morgans and their owned turned up at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb track for this years ‘Thrill on the Hill’. The track’s paddocks where filling up from early morning onwards with a bountiful collection of Morgrans which produced a many-hued carnival of splendid colours across the paddocks. What makes this fabled track so legendary and tantalising? Well simply put, it is the oldest Motorsport venue, in the world. While other tracks have been and gone, like Brooklands, the Shelsley Walsh venue lives on as a timeless classic example of motor sporting history.

Destination: Shelsley Walsh!

Destination: Shelsley Walsh!

Unbridled horse power in the paddock!

Unbridled horse power in the paddock!

From three-wheelers new and old, Plus Fours, Super Sports, Plus Eights; there really was something for everyone throughout the day and soon the starting line became black with tyre marks as each Morganeer sped their steed up the hill to victory. With adrenalin pumping, tyres screeching and that satisfying Morgan engine babble as it pulls up the hill really underlines why this superb Morgan event is called ‘Thrill On The Hill’!

Once that green lights up, there is no holding back on that throttle.

Once that green lights up, there is no holding back on that throttle.

Galloping Horse Power.

Galloping Horse Power.

  Chris in his Morgan +8 Limited Edition LeMans arrived today to tackled the fabled track and for his first run he had Paul as his Co-Driver, who was armed with a stop watch! They rolled up to the starting line and then once the all-clear was given they powered up the hill. Sad to say that the only photograph we got of this was of the pair driving back down the hill after their run! Chris’s first run time was 47 seconds. Chris achieved the time of 51 seconds for his second run up the hill with our chairwoman, Sue.

Chris and Co-Driver Paul achieved an impressive time up the hill.

Chris and Co-Driver Paul achieved an impressive time up the hill. A time of 47 seconds was achieved.

Here Chris was tackling the hill for a second time. For this run he had Sue as his co-driver.

Chris tackling the hill for a second time. For this run he had Sue as his co-driver. A time of 57 seconds was achieved.

During the day there was also an aerial acrobatics show, which, for a brief moment distracted us from the classic cars which filled the paddocks.

Aerial acrobatics.

Aerial acrobatics.

It wasn’t just petrol engines that hummed around the paddock; one Morgan stole the show by creating a ghostly silence! I am of course referring to the new concept car of Morgan’s which is an eclectic three-wheeler!

The Morgan EV3! Their electric zero emissions concept three-wheeler.

The Morgan EV3! Their electric zero emissions concept three-wheeler.

All in all it was a great day out with many wonderful slights to behold!

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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Solar Phenomenon Eclipsed By Health And Safety Lunacy

As a lot of you are no doubt aware that tomorrow (20th March 2015) the United Kingdom shall be subjected for the wonderful solar phenomenon known as a solar eclipse. Up North in Scotland the solar eclipse shall be far more spectacular than down in the South, like Cornwall but either way the solar eclipse shall still be something that shouldn’t be missed as the next one shall take place in 2026. But I am sad to say that the  lobby in their high viability jackets, white hard hats and clipboards are out in force to try and sabotage this wonderful natural spectacle and turn it into a ‘Nanny State’ stage show!

I read with interest in a well-known newspaper that a school will not be allowing their students to view the solar eclipse, due to Health and Safety, which is really sad to hear as I am sure that the children in the primary school would have loved to see the solar eclipse and learn all about how and why this solar eclipse is happening. But no, due to Health and Safety the children shall be penned up inside the school and miss out on all the action going on outside their windows. One of the arguments (as I understand it) is that the glasses you can wear to view the solar eclipse will not fit small children… but if that is the case, why not have the children make their own pin-hole cameras today so that they can use them tomorrow to view the solar eclipse?

Don’t think it is just school children who are being subjected to the Health and Safety lobby in their high viability jackets, oh no… they are also targeting drivers! It seems the RAC is saying that accidents will happen when the roads are plunged into darkness. If I am driving and it gets dark while driving I tend to turn on the correct lights so it improves my visibility. I am sure drivers will use their headlights as it starts to get dark during the solar eclipse. THE RAC’s argument is that due to the solar eclipse being early in the morning at commuting time, this shall distract drivers and that some drivers could be tempted to look at the solar eclipse as they drive along.

Lastly… people taking selfies… well common sense should prevail here!

The main thing about the solar eclipse is to enjoy it, but enjoy it safely. Don’t look at it head on with the naked eye or look through telescopes or lenses. Stay safe and enjoy the solar eclipse!

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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The Great Kennet & Avon Canal Birthday Holiday 16th to 23rd January 2015

The Kennt & Avon Canal is a magical and stunning place to be no matter what the weather, season or time of day. No matter if you are upon a boat or walking the canal paths, it is always a great place. I’ve been on a canal boat several times and motored around the Kennt & Avon Canal and so when my friend announced she would like me join her and our friends on a canal boat for a Kennt & Avon Canal holiday (it was her birthday holiday!) I was mightily placed and couldn’t wait to get planning and eventually board our boat. Weather forecasts are always handy when planning a holiday but as the holiday date fast approached the weather forecasts started to become challenging and ever so slightly depressing. With impending snow, ice, wind and rain it really did sound like the birthday canal holiday would be very wet and icy cold, some of which became true. However for most of the holiday it remained dry and we couldn’t have asked for more than that. The cold skies made the Kennt & Avon Canal look dramatic and simply divine, with frosts coating the fields and canal paths. The icy weather did prove a bit of a challenge as we battled frozen canal waters for a whole day and then woke up on the last day to find yet again that the canal was frozen, all of which didn’t stop us from enjoying the holiday, and in fact I think it added a little something to the holiday. However I am a little sad (and Rob as well) that we didn’t have any proper snow (only snowed a little) had we had proper snow we would have experienced almost every type of winter weather one could be subjected to upon the Kennt & Avon Canal!

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The Party Boat, HMS George!

 

The boat (called George, which was nicknamed “The Party Boat” and “Floating Caravan” by some and “HMS George” by me) was berthed at Bradford-On-Avon marina. George was a 69 foot long Narrowboat that was really in fact 70 foot long once you included the fenders at the Stern and Bow of the vessel in question. George wasn’t a traditionally decorated Narrowboat, yet it was cosy and homelike in many ways. I can’t say warm as the Stern bunks were very cold indeed each night, but that could be partly sorted by having a warm sleeping bag and a blanket, as well as funny and lively conversation each evening. Our Narrowboat for the week had a good galley in which a friend produced some fantastic lunchtime and evening meals in. The Bow cabin and seating area was large and was equipped with a television, radio, sockets (which had a mind of their own) and a charging point (which also had a mind of its own). After a while we had brought all our belongings aboard and sorted out who was bunking up with whom and where, once that was all sorted out we sat down and opened a can of well-earned cider and looked forward to the week-long holiday!

Corridor leading to the Stern of the narrowboat.

Corridor leading to the Stern of the narrowboat.

 

A view from the stern to the bow. It isn't called a narrowboat for nothing!

A view from the stern to the bow. It isn’t called a narrowboat for nothing!

 

A sparkling porthole in the stern cabin.

A sparkling porthole in the stern cabin.

 

My bunk for the week. It was a little on the small side but it was surprisingly comfortable.

My bunk for the week. It was a little on the small side but it was surprisingly comfortable.

 

The stern doors and hatchway which lead out to the tiller.

The stern doors and hatchway which lead out to the tiller.

 

A view facing the bow of the narrowboat from the galley.

A view facing the bow of the narrowboat from the galley.

 

The middle bunk of the narrowboat and the only permanent bunk on-board.

The middle bunk of the narrowboat and the only permanent bunk on-board.

 

The galley. Which was a good side for any river / sea going vessel.

The galley. Which was a good side for any river / sea going vessel.

 

When morning came we woke up and had a wonderful breakfast of porridge and fruit to help battle the cold air and weather outside and once we had washed up the breakfast things we were ready to start the adventure. For the first half of the adventure we wanted to head towards Devizes and to the Caen Hill Locks. We had no intention of doing the Caen Hill Locks but we did really want to see them and with luck maybe stop a few narrowboats using them. But as we found out later on in our adventure, we in fact we passed less than 5 moving narrowboats for the whole weeks holiday! The pootling engine on the narrowboat took us slowly though the countryside and what fantastic countryside it was.  We stopped for lunch between Hilperton Marsh Bridge and Whaddon Lane Bridge and what also allowed the dogs on board (of which there was three) to have a bit of a stretch and wonder around. Only problem with moving off from where we had moored up was the fact we got stuck, but after a good fifteen minutes of maneuvering and two friends armed with poles pushing our narrowboat off we managed to move off! Once lunch was over we made good time but alas we only made it to Seend Bottom Lock, which as luck would have it was very close to an inn called ‘Barge Inn’. Once we moored up between Seend Bottom Lock and Seend Wharf Bridge, we walked over to the ‘Barge Inn’ for evening drinks before heading back to the narrowboat and to bed.

 

Motoring Through The Kennt and Avon Canal.

Motoring Through The Kennt and Avon Canal.

 

The soon-to-be birthday girl on the tiller of our narrowboat and piloting us through the canal.

The soon-to-be birthday girl on the tiller of our narrowboat and piloting us through the canal.

 

Stopped for lunch.

Stopped for lunch.

 

Heading towards yet another bridge on the Kennt and Avon Canal.

Heading towards yet another bridge on the Kennt and Avon Canal.

 

While stopped for lunch, I took a few photographs.

While stopped for lunch, I took a few photographs.

 

Motoring slowly into a lock on the way to Devizes.

Motoring slowly into a lock on the way to Devizes.

 

Keeping the narrowboat steady as we were inside the lock.

Keeping the narrowboat steady as we were inside the lock.

 

Here is the 'Barge Inn' which is close to Seend Cleeve.

Here is the ‘Barge Inn’ which is close to Seend Cleeve.

 

About to tuck up in my bunk for the evening. Note the duct tape holding bedding to the inner-hull to keep the warm in... Duct tape, it was turning into a Top Gear Challenge!

About to tuck up and bed down for the night in my bunk. Note the duct tape holding bedding to the inner-hull to keep the warm in… Duct tape, it was turning into a Top Gear Challenge! It turned out to be a very cold night indeed!

 

After a very good breakfast which was much needed (as the previous night was very cold) we set about setting off again and we continued on our current destination which was Devizes. It was not long before we had slipped our moorings and tacking the locks with force and we even managed to avoid a collision close to a winding hole just after the Seend Top Lock. Once past the last lock we had a relaxing motor towards Devizes, it soon things started to indicate that things were not all well with our narrowboat. The problem was that we had loss of power in reverse and in fact we found it hard to reverse fully to port and lost most of reverse to starboard. This didn’t stop us though and we carried on our way, but we felt that we shouldn’t get to close to the Caen Hill Locks, but there was nowhere to turn around and soon we had reached the Caen Hill Marina. Once at the Caen Hill Marina I surveyed the situation and after a while I carefully and with little constant nudges of the tiller and throttle I managed to get us turned around in the marina without innocent! Which was tricky in a tight marina with a boat that is seventy foot long, but neither the less I managed it. Once I turned the boat around we headed back to Bradford-On Avon Marina as on Monday we had more guessed arriving for the week! The holiday was really picking up speed now.

 

Early morning check to make sure everything was ok, before we left for Bradford-On-Avon Marina.

Early morning check to make sure everything was ok, before we left for Bradford-On-Avon Marina.

 

Early morning sky over the old Kennet and Avon Canal.

Early morning sky over the old Kennet and Avon Canal.

 

Arrived at a swing bridge.

Arrived at a swing bridge.

 

Woolly and furry animals were grazing in a field close to the canal as we pootled on by.

Woolly and furry animals were grazing in a field close to the canal as we pootled on by.

 

Vicky having a bit of a nap, using the dogs as a warm fluffy blanket!

Victoria having a bit of a nap, using the dogs as a warm fluffy blanket!

 

I think that Victoria has narrowboating all sorted out now.

I think that Victoria has narrowboating all sorted out now.

 

Once back at the Bradford-On-Avon Marina, the soon-to-be birthday girl made a dinosaur out of egg boxes, because she could. It later got duct taped to the corner of a cabinet so we would stop hitting our heads on it darn thing... it worked. No one knocked their heads on the cabinet since dino was taped there.

Once back at the Bradford-On-Avon Marina, the soon-to-be birthday girl made a dinosaur out of egg boxes, because she could. It later got duct taped to the corner of a cabinet so we would stop hitting our heads on it darn thing… it worked. No one knocked their heads on the cabinet since dino was taped there.

 

After a short while (a few hours delay) Rob and Kathryn arrived at the Marina and after a not short span of time (an hour) everything was packed, sorted and the narrowboat was ready to depart the marina on yet another adventure. This time we piloted the boat towards Bath, which was to be the target destination of this section of the trip. So far the trip had gone according to plan and only a few things had slightly changed, so all in all everything was running on time and as smooth as clockwork. The stop off point for the night was over the Avoncliff Aqueduct and the Dundas Aqueduct but due to the slightly slow start I / we knew this was going to be pushing it and so instread we aimed for a mooring just past the Avoncliff Aqueduct. But before that we passed through the Bradford-On-Avon lock and through a lovely stretch of canal. We then stopped off just before the Avoncliff Aqueduct and went to a lovely old inn called ‘Cross Guns’ which was rich in history and mystery. Once we enjoyed a few drinks we walked back to the narrowboat, slipped our moorings and headed over the Avoncliff Aqueduct and then we moored up for the night. That night got very cold indeed and things began to freeze over in next to no time at all.

 

The birthday girl opening her birthday gifts.

The birthday girl opening her birthday gifts.

 

Motoring towards Bradford-On-Avon lock and beyond!

Motoring towards Bradford-On-Avon lock and beyond!

 

Rob surveys views from the bow of the narrowboat.

Rob surveys views from the bow of the narrowboat.

 

14 Bradford-On-Avon lock.

14 Bradford-On-Avon lock.

 

With the disappearing light, we looked for a good place to moor up for the night.

Heading towards the Avoncliff Aqueduct.

 

Inside the 'Cross Guns' inn. Which is directly opposite the Avoncliff Aqueduct.

Inside the ‘Cross Guns’ inn. Which is directly opposite the Avoncliff Aqueduct.

 

Newspaper crosswords and a glass of wine.

Newspaper crosswords and a glass of wine.

 

Victoria and dino dry up after dinner.

Victoria and dino dry up after dinner.

 

Waking up was a surprising yet slightly pleasing occasion as the whole canal (and inside of our cabin) had frozen, it was made even more fantastic as I saw a single narrowboat pootling slowly passed as and I crapped my phone and filmed it slowly passing us, smashing the ice as it did so. After a good breakfast we struggled with frozen mooring lines and once they were defrosted we managed to start the diesel engine, which took some time and soon we were motoring through the ice. Motoring through the ice was simply magical as well as tricky. Everything was frozen and coated with frost and ice which was really beautiful to look at as we slowly made our way through the icy canal. Piloting the narrowboat proved tricky at times due to the frozen canal due as the ice we cut though with the stern started to be pushed over the unbroken ice which started to make our bow ride up over the ice and then we lost all steering and at times, which didn’t prove much of a problem until we reached the Dundas Aqueduct. Once at the Dundas Aqueduct we had to navigate a sharp corner and then line up to motor over the aqueduct, which proved a tricky task but it didn’t prove too much of a hard task in the end and soon we were over the Dundas Aqueduct we encountered less and less ice as the trip went on, which was pleasing in some ways and a little sad in many other ways, as having the navigate the ice was a fun challenge. Our mooring for the night (as we had planned) was the town of Bathampton and the Bathampton Mill. It wasn’t long before we moored up outside the ‘George Inn’ and getting ready to go out for the birthday girl’s birthday dinner out!

 

The Icy and frozen canal.

The Icy and frozen canal.

 

A passing narrowboat motored passed, cutting through the ice as they glided past.

A passing narrowboat motored passed, cutting through the ice as they glided past.

 

Looking out over the stern of the narrowboat and gazing at the icy cold water.

Looking out over the stern of the narrowboat and gazing at the icy cold water.

 

Getting ready to slip our moorings and start our journey to Bathampton.

Getting ready to slip our moorings and start our journey to Bathampton.

 

Rob was at the bow and letting me know how things ere doing while we carved our way through the frozen canal.

Rob was at the bow and letting me know how things ere doing while we carved our way through the frozen canal.

 

We saw this on the way to Bathampton. A sorry sight indeed!

We saw this on the way to Bathampton. A sorry sight indeed!

 

Enjoying a fantastic home cooked lunch on the narrowboat.

Enjoying a fantastic home cooked lunch on the narrowboat.

 

Moored up outside the 'George Inn' in Bathampton.

Moored up outside the ‘George Inn’ in Bathampton.

 

The birthday girl's birthday cake.

The birthday girl’s birthday cake.

 

The guardian of the wine cooler.

The guardian of the wine cooler.

 

Birthday dinner at Bathampton Mill.

Birthday dinner at Bathampton Mill.

 

The large meal we all consumed at the Bathampton Mill in the past evening was greatly needed as Wednesday was going to be a full-on day of adventuring and motoring non-stop! We had to be in Bath for the birthday girl’s mother so she could disembark the narrowboat and catch a train from bath home. This meant we had to make good time on our trip to Bath, which was easier than we had thought as there was no traffic on the canal to hold us up. Only two things slowed our trip to bath down and that was the swing bridges and passing moored up narrowboats at slow speed. Once in bath, Rob and I couldn’t stop where I had planned due to many moored narrowboats (we also missed the drop-off point, but we shall gloss over that…), which meant we stopped past a winding hole, so we had no option but to carry on down two locks once the birthday girl’s mother had disembarked. Motoring through the tunnels of Bath was simply stunning and such a wonderful experience. Soon, we tackled the locks and reached a large winding hole, once we had turned around we then tackled the locks once moor and soon we were on our way back to Avoncliff, but Rob and I knew that the daylight was drawing in so we Rob piloted the narrowboat like a stock car and we made good time. We were both cold, wet and drinking wine out of tea mugs but we were also having great fun as well (ignoring the fact that we had bumped the narrowboat around a bit). We soon tackled the Dundas Aqueduct and then the Avoncliff Aqueduct, once over the Avoncliff Aqueduct we moored up and once everyone was settled in we strolled to the ‘Cross Guns’ inn.

Rob at the helm as we motored towards Bath.

Rob at the helm as we motored towards Bath.

 

Passing a colourful narrowboat on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Passing a colourful narrowboat on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

 

A view of buildings made from bath Stone.

A view of buildings made from bath Stone.

 

Motoring through an old tunnel in Bath on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Motoring through an old tunnel in Bath on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

 

Light at the end of a chilly tunnel.

Light at the end of a chilly tunnel.

 

About to pootle into another Bath tunnel.

About to pootle into another Bath tunnel.

 

A stone carving on one of the tunnel archways in Bath.

A stone carving on one of the tunnel archways in Bath.

 

A very yummy birthday cake!

A very yummy birthday cake!

 

Rob keeping the narrowboat in check while in a lock in Bath.

Rob keeping the narrowboat in check while in a lock in Bath.

 

The cold and wet weather got even colder on the way back to Avoncliff Aqueduct.

The cold and wet weather got even colder on the way back to Avoncliff Aqueduct.

 

Passing over the Dundas Aqueduct.

Passing over the Dundas Aqueduct.

 

Just Passed over the Dundas Aqueduct! Cold yet happy!

Just Passed over the Dundas Aqueduct! Cold yet happy!

 

Look what the birthday girl made! It was super yummy. We ate this splendid trifle once we moored up for the night.

Look what the birthday girl made! It was super yummy. We ate this splendid trifle once we moored up for the night.

 

Thursday… this was a leisurely day and a day to be taken slowly and softly as there was no rush to read on back to Bradford-On-Avon marina. We had a really nice breakfast at the ‘Cross Guns’ inn and once we had let breakfast go down we started up the motor and made our way to Bradford-On-Avon where we stopped to have a wonder around and to visit the Tithe Barn there, which was constructed in the 14th century and which is very impressive to see and has a fantastic roof structure. It really is a must see if you are ever in Bradford-On-Avon. Once we had finished looking around the town of Bradford-On-Avon we once again started the narrowboat’s motor and we were on our way to the marina. Once there we sorted out things that could be backed up and once we had a good dinner and finished packing all we could pack, we headed for the inn across the way from the Marina. It got very cold and the canal started to freeze up again by the time we had got back from the inn!

 

The Tithe Barn in Bradford-On-Avon.

The Tithe Barn in Bradford-On-Avon.

 

The 14th century Tithe Barn.

The 14th century Tithe Barn.

 

 

Bradford-On-Avon Marina at night.

Bradford-On-Avon Marina at night.

 

The water had started to freeze over.

The water had started to freeze over.

 

The pontoons had become frozen and coated with frost.

The pontoons had become frozen and coated with frost.

 

The mooring line was so frozen that I could make a sculpture out of it.

The mooring line was so frozen that I could make a sculpture out of it.

 

We woke up to a very frosty, icy and cold scene in the morning. The whole marina had frozen over and the whole place looked magical and really very beautiful. It got so cold inside the stern bunks that once again we had thick ice growing on the inside of the cabin’s windows! I am really glad that we opted to arrive at the marina the night before as if we had gone with our first place of motoring into the marina early Friday morning we would have had really big problems getting in! Once we packed our luggage into the cars we then gave the narrowboat a clean and tidy and then once we had disembarked the narrowboat the holiday came to an end. It was a brilliant holiday with lots of things going on, all in all it was one big adventure and I am glad I was able to be part of it.

 

Early morning frost... inside the stern cabin.

Early morning frost… inside the stern cabin.

 

The marina had fully frozen over.

The marina had fully frozen over.

 

Everything had been turned white by the frost and ice.

Everything had been turned white by the frost and ice.

 

I was trying to be arty.

I was trying to be arty.

 

I really loved how the frost had coated the tiller.

I really loved how the frost had coated the tiller.

 

The icy cold waters of the canal.

The icy cold waters of the canal.

 

Winter on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

Winter on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

 

This was a very wintry morning at the marina.

This was a very wintry morning at the marina.

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

UK Pornography industry's last squirt?

UK Pornography industry’s last squirt?

It seems that things been going on behind-the-scenes in connection with the production of Pornography within the UK that will (I think) slowly kill of several aspects of the UK Pornography industry. Such as fetishes for Femdom, face sitting and female ejaculation, I also believe that it will affect a wider range of fetishes, which if I spoke about here the blog would be a very long one.

The “Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014” thinks that Video-On-Demand (known as VoD) online Pornography should now be in-line with guidelines which are laid out for sex shop style / type of Pornography by the BBFC (British Board of Film Censors). Below is an list of sexual activates which are now blocked.

  • Spanking
  • Caning
  • Aggressive whipping
  • Penetration by any object “associated with violence”
  • Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of  if consensual)
  • Urolagnia (known as “water sports”)
  • Female ejaculation
  • Strangulation
  • Facesitting
  • Fisting

According to the Independent Online, the last three items on the bullet point list have been banned by the BBFC due to safety reasons, as they can be “life-endangering”. This whole story makes me very sad and to me is seems to be striking out at trying to fully and completely try and put an end to the UK pornography industry. Also seems to me that it is also targeting female’s sexual enjoyment as well.

What I find funny (for lack of a better word) is that the National Health Service (NHS) has a small campaign about Female ejaculation. The reason for this campaign was to try and promote female ejaculation, saying that it isn’t wrong or something to be ashamed of and that it was something to embrace. Information about this campaign and a video on this can be found by clicking here.

I find it beyond believe that the NHS says that Female ejaculation is ok and then soon after it is then banned from the UK Pornography industry. Talk about sending mixed signals out!

Well that is my little rant over!

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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1880

1880

12th September 2014

By Arctic Tundra Fox

 The carriage wheels clunked and clattered

Upon the cobbled road

The carriage lamps clanged and shuddered

As the carriage rode the cobbled road

 –

The horses hooves clipped and clopped

Upon the cobbled road

The horses tack creaked and slapped

As the carriage rode the cobbled road

 –

The whip cracked and caressed

Upon the cobbled road

The occupance bounced and jolted

As the carriage rode the cobbled road

 –

The ladies of leisure confronted and comforted

Upon the cobbled road

The beggars trudged and lumbered

As the carriage rode the cobbled road

 –

The detective composed and calculated

Upon the cobbled road

The revolved cocked and poised

As the carriage rode closer upon the cobbled road

 –

The assailant cold-blooded and cold-hearted

Upon the cobbled road

The club clobbered and slogged

As the carriage rode closer upon the cobbled road

 –

The detective crumpled and crushed

Upon the cobbled road

The revolver fried and discharged

As the carriage rode closer upon the cobbled road

 –

The assailant crumpled and collapsed

Upon the cobbled road

The detective blemished and dazed

As the carriage arrived upon the cobbled road

 –

The spectators cried and crowed

Upon the cobbled road

The detective prised and honoured

As the carriage stood parked, upon the cobbled road

©Arctic Tundra Fox

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

Under The Canopy

Under The Canopy

Under The Canopy

30th June 2014

By Arctic Tundra Fox

Under the canopy of the wild flower meadow

Dwelleth beautiful butterflies, painted in a carnival of colour

Daisies sway in the morning breeze, upon which feeds the Small Copper

Its yellow hindwings are ablaze with dusty yellow fire and muddy browns

Hiding away in the hedgerows of the golden meadow

There between the tangles of brambles lives the White Admiral

The watery morning sunshine illuminates the admiral’s white uniform

Setting the standards of the butterflies early morning parade

Fleabane with its sunray florets grow in clusters upon the meadow

Its majestic yellow inflorescence plays host to the Peacock

As it takes its fill of the sweet nectar of the Fleabane

It stretches out its wings, a pre-flight check before the take off

Ragwort rocks gently as the herd of horses forage around the meadow

The slowly grazing equines awaken the Painted Lady who calls the Ragwort home

After a long migration she clings to the stem of the plant

Her ink dipped wings are spread wide to catch the solar rays so she can fly once more

As the sun reaches mid-day the residence of the meadow take flight

They fill the sky in a harlequin spectacle unmatched, unparalleled

 

©Arctic Tundra Fox

I wrote this poem for my grandfather’s funeral. Sometimes when you have grown up with people and see them beat all the odds and still come-out smiling and positive but then suddenly despair from your life for ever is a hard thing to understand. My grandfather, who was not only a World War II veteran but also one of the leading pioneers of natural butterfly photography sadly passed away last month due to a long illness. Over the years he has overcome several bad spells of illness and over time I became to think that maybe he was immortal! I take comfort in the knowledge that he doesn’t have to fight anymore, be it illness or war. He shall be greatly missed.

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

Attending to Mother Nature

Attending to Mother Nature

The sunshine is fantastic here at the moment and no rain to be seen; it really is fantastic weather here in my little pocket of the world. Since I have been tied-up with D I Y of late the garden has been neglected somewhat of late which is a shame now that the weather is brilliant. Which is why I thought it was time that I spent time in the garden attending to Mother Nature, it was a great afternoon outside in the warm glowing sunshine.

I’ve been cutting the grass and attending the flowerbeds and my herb gardens all of which look a lot better for my handy work I am pleased to say. There was lots of wildlife in the garden which really nice to see and the fruit bushes and the herbs growing so well and looking healthy.

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.

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Chisels and Oak

It has been a month since my last blog! Doesn’t time fly when you are hammering away at walls, painting and bolting things together. Within the last month, a lot of D I Y has been going on and now there is more than a chink of light at the end of tunnel. Now things are starting to come together well, it is starting to get a lot easier to work out what will go where and how things will fit together.

All the floorboards are now down and they will not be coming up any time soon (I hope) now that the electrics has been finished off and certificated as safe. Due to this, the laminated oak flooring can now go down, which is a task and a half due to the floor being so uneven and lumpy. But the flooring is going down well and it makes the first floor look so much bigger and lighter which is just what I was after.

Oak is a running theme within the cottage and within the month just gone I have been putting up very tall and very heavy oak beams around the first floor. They are looking so majestic and the smell of oak is fantastic. I’m leaving the oak unpainted and untreated so it retains its natural glory and beauty, this also means they will crack over time as well and age naturally. Painting, treating or staining real natural oak would be such a shame and it wouldn’t look nearly as nice or as light.

But right now I am putting D I Y on hold. I need to chill out and relax before I plunge head first into the renovations. Which is why I am taking a week out to just unwind and let my body recover from too much abuse due to working hard over the last few months!

Take it easy,

Arctic Tundra Fox

The photographs in this blog are owned by ©Arctic Tundra Fox unless otherwise stated, and not for public domain use, thank you.