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  1. 25 points
    It's hard to believe that those halcyon days of endless summer spent on the Norfolk Broads are the best part of a lifetime ago. I sit in my armchair and gaze into the garden, rain making patterns on the French windows, grey clouds scurrying across the distant horizon. I have reached an age where I need a list to remind me to buy milk and bread when I go shopping. A small device in my pocket the likes of which once seemed beyond science fiction reminds me of the correct day to visit the Doctor and renew my various prescriptions and once in a while allows a family no longer nearby to check up on me. A call to see if it's worth spending a stamp on a Christmas Card or whether it's more prudent to invest in dry cleaning their funeral outfits. For all my great age and frailty I can still close my eyes and recall the names and faces of those days in Norfolk, recall them as if they were only yesterday. The man on the radio plays a tune, it's “Tracks Of My Years” time, I like that. It reminds me it's time to think about lunch. The intro sounds familiar and as the band begin playing I recognise the song we danced to so many times on those sultry evenings on Pakefield Beach, dancing, swimming and sitting around the driftwood fire, it's flames glowing blue green as the salt coloured them. They were carefree days, days of wonder and enlightenment. Everything was possible, everything an adventure, but I let that adventure die before I realised how magical it really was. Summer holidays were the one luxury our family enjoyed. Every year the money was scraped together somehow for our two weeks in Norfolk and Suffolk. Times were hard back then. We didn't think of ourselves as poor, in fact both my parents worked and we were better off than many in our local community but still there was “not much to spare” as my mother often said. She worked in the hosiery factory at the top of the street, my father was a carpenter. They paid the mortgage, sometimes with the aid of ten bob from a helpful grandparent, put food on the table and provided us with clothes, which sometimes fitted. We had no car, in fact in our whole street their was only one car, the scary man at the top of the road who worked at the bank. The street was for playing football and cricket, undisturbed by traffic. We did however have a television, and that too was one of very few in the street. Father's brother was a television engineer, remember them? Try explaining to the youth of today that when your TV broke down a man came and fixed it, or occasionally took it away in the back of his van if the repair was too involved, for it's return to be eagerly awaited like the delivery of a new baby in the family. Our TV was one which it's previous owner had given up having repaired but which Uncle Bill had pulled back from the brink of oblivion. It was black and white, of course, and it had buttons to switch between 405 and 625 lines depending on which channel you wanted to watch. There were three, can you imagine finding something worth watching with just three channels? To change the channel you had to twist the dial, little pieces of stamp paper marking the approximate location of each station. I was the remote control.... “lad, put BBC2 on” my father would say. During school holidays kids were left at home. That was the way. There would be somebody “on duty”, somewhere in the street. A non working mother maybe, or an older sibling. “If you need anything knock at Mrs Morris's” mum would say on her way out to work. I don't think it was ever said, but it was understood that you only disturbed mum at work if it was really serious. In truth we were not really “home alone” as we would be out playing all day. It seems almost unimaginable today, but kids played together outdoors back in those days. Half the things we got up to would probably have snowflakes from Social Services banging at the door nowadays. We climbed trees, built dens, made fires to bake potatoes on and if someone had got a ball we spent the afternoon in the park. Children of different ages played together, can you believe that, but there was a pecking order. The older kids decided what to do and the younger ones were allowed to tag along. Of course the school holiday we all awaited most eagerly was Summer. Nine weeks of freedom. Almost long enough to forget your teacher's name. Being factory workers my parents both had set holidays, when the works would stop and most of the county boarded a bus (our railway line having fallen victim to Dr. Beeching's axe) for Skegness. But for us, it was a car, hired, borrowed but never quite stolen and the A47 eastward East to Oulton Broad ……. to be continued …..
  2. 24 points
    Travelling any distance took planning. It wasn't like it is now. I can get in my car today and be anywhere on the Broads in around three hours and a single tank of fuel completes the 360 mile round trip twice. If I don't have enough fuel I'll pass at least six filling stations in the first ten miles or so from home. In the early 70's we didn't pass that many garages on the whole journey, and they opened “office” hours. Saturday morning if you were lucky, never on a Sunday. A full tank would just get us to Oulton Broad with enough leeway. Three hours was a pipe dream, the journey took six on a good day, on a bad one it could take eight. There were no “improvements” on the A47 in those days. No dual carriageways, no crawler lanes, no straightened sections. The climb up Rutland's Wardley Hill could be murderous. Lorries laden with coal and gravel from the mines and quarries of Leicestershire could make no more than walking pace up the narrow, serpentine three mile ascent. The road passed through every town and village on the route, bypass was a word still alien to our language. Every village had it's crossroads, towns had traffic lights. Travelling was stop start, stop start. There were motorways, the M1 had opened some years earlier but mother would never use it and no motorway went anywhere near Norfolk. At least some things never change. For us, the adventure began on Friday afternoon. It was straight home from school and into the back of the car. The first car I remember was a brand new Ford Escort 1100L 2 door saloon, hired from our local Ford dealership and nicknamed “Silver Fox” after it's paint colour. Two adults in the front, three kids in the back and a rather portly and often flatulent dog in the back window. A boot full of everything but the kitchen sink and a roof rack on top with father's vast array of fishing tackle. All that and the grand total of 40 horsepower. Even when you found a bit of “open road” progress was never rapid. I often wondered if mother, who was the driver in our family, father never learned, was grateful to those lorries on Wardley Hill as I doubt we could have gone much quicker if they were not there! The first point of note on the journey, for me at least was Peterborough. Dad's parents came from Rutland and he had family across the county and through Northamptonshire and so we visited those places quite regularly. Mum would borrow her sister's Mk I Cortina to take dad fishing with a visit to his parents afterwards. Many a Saturday afternoon was spent at the tea table in Nana's dining room watching the Wrestling on World Of Sport on their second, yes second TV. The one in the lounge was even colour! Peterborough was different though. We never came this far other than this one time each year when we were going on holiday. This was the start of foreign territory. Exotic began here. The next place of interest was the small village of Thorney and fish and chips for supper. Well a bag of chips between the three of us kids anyway, I told you times were hard. A bottle of Corona Limeade washed them down, that being dad's favourite. We would wait until the pop was gone so dad could return the bottle and get the thruppence back on the empty before resuming our travels eastward. The reason for our Friday departure was the content of the roof rack, the fishing tackle. Dad would never pass a river, lake, pond or even muddy ditch without wondering what he could catch from it. He was a keen angler, more than keen even. He was an international match angler, fishing alongside the likes of Ivan Marks and Roy Marlow in an era when the top anglers didn't need make up, lights or sound engineers. One of the many clubs or associations he belonged to held fishing rights on the Rivers Welland and Great Ouse and the drains of the Middle Level so once we reached Wisbech we turned off the A47 and followed the A1101 through the pretty village of Outwell and to our destination for the night, Salter's Lode. Dad's aim was always to be set up and ready to fish before darkness fell and would fish through the night with the aid of his faithful “tilley” lamp. I was a great disappointment to my father. After two daughters he was delighted to finally have a son to share his passion for fishing and shooting but that wasn't the way I was wired. He would drag me along the bank and show me how he was setting up, how he was going to fish and what, hopefully, he was going to catch. I watched with feigned interest but mercifully was considered too young to spend all night on the river bank and so for me it was back to the car to bed down for what sleep we might manage. Mother would have the thermos out and tea made, all the good things in life seemed to be accompanied by a thermos flask. Meanwhile my sisters would walk the dog along the riverbank allowing for his night time ablutions. And so to “bed” dear reader. My eldest sister would claim the passenger seat due to the hierarchy of age leaving me and “middle sister” to fight over the rear bench seat. We always had pillows and blankets in the car so we could get reasonably comfortable. We watched the deepening black of the sky as sleep came slowly to us. And then the dog farted.
  3. 23 points
    Hi All As a new year's gift I just thought I'd share my Webcam online initally as a trial but if it goes OK I'll leave it there. The Webcam is in Brundall over looking the Yare towards Brooms and I though there is a lack of them on this river. It's not that clear at night but OK in daylight. I may in the future set a movement schedule up as it is PTZ. I hope you enjoy and feel free to share. BTW my website is and always will be free and advertising free even though there is a personal cost to me. Let me know your thoughts. http://catchpro.co.uk/Webcam Cheers Simon
  4. 23 points
    Sorry for the late response personally, been out this evening :) So yes, I have passed - with one minor (lane position) where on one of the NDR Roundabouts I did not hug the left lane enough as I went around. However, it could have been worse...I arrived with ten minutes in hand to find a waiting room with just one other person waiting. Within ten minutes there were 7 of us and each person was called forward and taken out to their car - apart from me. I was checking my phone and confirmation email - had I booked the wrong day..? No, it was the 15th at 3:29pm so where was my Examiner? "Hello again buddy" Announced the arrival of my Examiner - none other than the same chap as I had before - what are the chances! He asked to see my provisional license and for me to sign the test sheet, only I signed in the wrong place and this meant he had to go get a fresh sheet and fill the same out - great start Rob, frustrating him already. Once he was back, the form correctly signed it was time to go to the car - the only one in the car park and after the simple eye test and 'tell me' question was out of the way, it was in the car and underway - but no Sat Nav was put on the dash instead I was asked to follow signs for Cromer. I duly got on with this task, and all felt okay - even if I had not practiced this much before as the Sat Nav element tends to feature in almost all tests now a lot of emphasis is placed on practicing following the directions it gives without being distracted. My Examiner then began the chatting just as he had the previous time, many questions asked but it seemed to make things go by faster so I was happy and a lot more confident talking and driving this time around. He told me it was the end of this section (following signs) and I was pleased - so far his pen had not been used so I was confident I had mad no errors. He then threw me asking me to follow signs again - this time to Great Yarmouth. This was harder as one of the signs was missing - you had a large one 1/4 a mile from a junction but when you arrived at the junction only a pole gave a hint of where the sign should be and where one must turn to go towards Great Yarmouth. This section did not last long and we were in an area I had never been to before. Alien roads, so I was ultra aware - speed limits, forward planning, what was around me and so on. We circled residential streets - clearly he was on the look out for a parallel parking manouver but there were no cars to try this with so he instead asked me to 'pull up on the right hand side of the road where safe'. Ahh the new one, good straight road no cars and no people. Doddle. I indicate, pull over and stop. He then asks me to reverse two car lengths. I begin to, and a man comes out of his house with his dog and steps right out behind the car. I of course stop, but now my heart is pounding - did I see him soon enough? Did I stop quickly enough? He got to the other side of the road, re-check my blind spots, proceed again then secure the car before re-checking blind spots and indicating left to pull away and continue. I noticed he had his pen in hand and I thought the worse. You can't get an minor for this it is a serious (and fail). We then drove back along some fast and narrow country roads with some nasty sharp bends and other cards heading almost in the middle of the road only to get over on their side as we approached. Lovely. We got back to the Test Centre, no hint from as to if I had done well or not - silence. He then said would I like my Instructor to hear the results, I agreed and she came out to the car. He made some marks and tutted and and hmmed shuffled his papers and then said: "Well Robin I can say you have passed with one minor" Well I almost screamed lol - talk about drag out the suspense. I got the certificate, handed over my Provisional so he can send the same off so I get my full license in about 3 weeks. I was then driven back to the station by my Instructor - chat chat chat blimey we forgot until the last moment to take my pass photo and then I forgot to pay her for the pre-lesson and car hire. Since rectified with good old Internet banking. Well, I should have got it the first time - despite the break in not driving and only having a couple of catch up lessons I had really no more to 'learn' as to pass the test, a great deal perhaps to now experience and learn but then being older going into this I am already at the stage of 'slow and steady' than 'hot hatch teen racer'. Tomorrow - or Saturday it is off to Cambs to collect the Barge and drive it back to Norfolk - Shiela will be my co-pilot to keep me company so we shall see how that goes.. Sure been a ride, but got their in the end :)
  5. 21 points
    So here we are again. Back aboard Swan Reflection 1. I’m posting from my phone courtesy of Richardson’s on board wi-fi so these posts may be brief! Good journey up from Essex. Nice lunch in Bridgestone’s Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham. Very good handover from a nice polite young man and out of the yard by 2. Very quiet cruise down to How Hill. Turned around and went back to moor at Irstead. Hurray! Finally I have managed to get on the staithe here! Took a walk to look round the church then on to the Boardwalk for a lovely peaceful look at Barton Broad. Beautiful even on a grey day. Now back on board with the heating on having a very quiet evening.
  6. 21 points
    Unknown, but not forgotten. Remembrance Sunday On a cold November Sunday morn, an old man sits a while Looking though old photographs, he can’t help but smile They’re all there, all the boys, with hair cut short and neat Uniforms of khaki, strong black boots upon their feet. They met as strangers but soon became like brothers to the end Smiling at the camera, there could be no truer friends. They all took the Queen’s shilling, went off to fight the hun, Soon learnt the pain of loss once the fighting had begun. So many never made it home, lost on foreign shores Many more were injured and would be the same no more. The old man’s eyes mist with tears as he remembers every face Each of his fallen brothers and the killing which took place He proudly dons his beret, his blazer and his tie For today he will remember the ones who fell and died. On his chest there is a poppy, a blaze of scarlet on the blue He steps out into the cold, he has a duty he must do Once at the cenotaph he stands amongst the ranks Of those who marched to war and those who manned the tanks, He bows his head in reverence, as the last post begins to play And he wonders what will happen at the ending of his days Will anyone remember? Will anybody care? About the lads so far from home whose life was ended there? I wish that I could tell him, that he should fear not For this soldier and his brothers will NEVER be forgot We owe a debt of gratitude that we can never pay And this country WILL remember them, on each Remembrance day. Maria Cassee
  7. 21 points
    Thanks for all the comments, he was a incredible person I was lucky enough to spend so much time with , he was an inspiration and will continue to be.
  8. 21 points
    Forty seven years ago I married this young lady. Thank you, Lynn, it's been good! To those who thought it would never last, wrong!
  9. 20 points
    Is there anybody there? Is there anybody there? Keep your fingers on the glass!" said Madame Zaza. "You don't think for one minute my digit is leaving my beer glass sweet lady?" asked Maurice Mynah. "I've telled thee...spit it art yer thieving tyke!" yelled Griff wringing the last drop of beer from the gnat that had inadvertently landed in his pint. "It's no good!" wailed Doug. "It's like being in the mafia!" "I say! Steady on!" said Maxwellian in between sips of his Shirley Temple. "Well, it is!" Doug continued. "Like a National Park!" Jenny Morgan put in. "I beg to differ!" said BatraBill "hang on, what is?" "No, it's really like the mafia. Once you know secrets they'll never let you leave! Doug moaned. "What you mean...like the Masons all secret handshakes and rubber chickens?" asked Maurice Mynah. "I don't know what you mean!" said WildFuzz rolling his trouser leg down before resuming his seat quickly which produced a squeak. "No...being a boat builder. Once they find out you can fix things they never let you go!" "I don't want to rock the boat or anything chaps but who is this Madam Za-za?" asked Maxwellian. "She was supposed to bringing the cake trolley out when she tried to purloin my beer!" said Maurice Mynah trying to wrench his pint glass from the hands of the waitress without spilling a drop. "What? There's cake?" asked Doug forgetting his worries. "Any ice cream?" asked Dave. Well, that's bout number three of pneumonia this year over and done with. I feel like a three-day-old kitten...all claws and fuzz and liable to swing off various bits of curtaining and anatomy...but I'm back up again. They pulled out the fancy drugs this time but it seems to have worked. Give me over the weekend to get rested up and I'll be ready to rumble! I suppose not so much a rumble as a whining droney sound with a Lincolnshire/Yorkshire accent. Anyone miss me?
  10. 19 points
    hi, finally managed to buy the boat my wife fell in love with, at last we are back on the water, lovely mooring at Acle all sorted, thanks to everyone who's advice i duly ignored, thanks anyway. its 32 feet long 12'3" wide single volvo penta diesel (2.0 litre austin montego engine) or perkins prima. we love it!!
  11. 18 points
    Not a wedding anniversary or anything like that, but 46 years ago today, Doreen and I hired our first boat on the Broads, Sanderling No4 from Sandersons in Reedham. I remember it cost £29 plus the extras. We had never been to Norfolk before, let alone hired a boat so this was something completely new to us. Infact this was 18 months after we met and Doreen still lived in London at the time. To be honest, I just regarded it as a love-nest which was far from the madding crowd, well parents and nosey brothers anyway. We both loved it, probably for the uninterrupted time we had together, not to mention the new adventure we were on. It was so memorable I can still remember the "itinerary", which I have detailed below. Later that year Doreen asked if I would like her to buy me a new swish radio/record player for Christmas, but I declined and asked instead for a second week on the Broads, in November aboard Santa Lucia from Harvey Eastwood in Brundall. much better present! That was the start of the "addiction". It's funny how things get into your blood. The Broads has played a big part in my life, not just holidaying but working as well. Yet some people go once then never go again, or perhaps leave it for another 10 to 20 years. Saturday 3rd March. Reedham to Yarmouth Yacht Station We arrived at Reedham Station around 2pm thinking there would be a queue of taxis to take us to Sandersons. No such thing. It really did feel as though we have got off a train in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully someone gave us a lift down to the riverside. The 20ft Sanderling looked huge as we pulled up. I had read about the tides at Yarmouth and to be careful and as luck would have it, low water was at 4.15pm (about) so we arrived without mishap. I always think it's because we did Breydon etc on that first trip, that the fear you hear other people have of crossing over, never bothers me now. I can remember we went into the White Swan on the quayside for our night and there was a darts match on so it was packed out. It was a good night and we partook of the sandwiches and pork pies which were offered free of charge! Sunday Yarmouth to Wroxham We moored outside the Kings Head so we must have gone under Wroxham Bridge, though I don't remember that. Monday Wroxham to Neatishead. I can remember cruising down Lime Kiln Dyke standing with my head out of the canvas hatch above the wheelhouse, holding an umbrella above me. There were passing boats, even in March and quite a few laughed at that sight. Tuesday Neatishead to Acle (ended up at Upton Dyke) I have told the story before of how we ran out of daylight, mis-turned up the Thurne when heading for Acle, before turning around at Thurne Dyke and coming to a halt at Upton in the driving wind and rain - no mooring posts so rhond anchors. What a miserable night that was! Wednesday Upton to Oulton Broad Yacht Station There were no dramas crossing Breydon. I do remember arriving at Oulton Broad Y.S and seeing that two houseboats had been moored against the quayside. I asked one of the attendants where we could moor and he said at the floating jetty. We did so and I can recall accidentally dropping my earlier mentioned umbrella into the water and it disappearing into the depths when we were returning from a night at The Lady of the Lake, I think it was. Despite fishing for it with the boat hook and the fact that it was still erect when it went in, I could not retrieve it. It could still be there if anyone is short of a brolly! Thursday Oulton Broad to Brundall We moored outside the Riverside Stores which used to be at the head of the dyke leading to Brooms basin. I remember plenty of other hire boats there at the time. We spent the evening in the Yare Inn, which looked nothing like it does now. It was still big with two bars. We occupied the tap room/public bar or whatever it's called as that was where the jukebox was. I remember we had chicken in a basket with chips - one of the few meals we could afford to eat out. Friday Brundall to Loddon to Reedham We just went down the Chet to see what Loddon was like, spending a few hours there before returning to Reedham where we moored at Sanderson's yard. Cannot remember much about this day. Saturday Reedham - Home. Just to say that traveling by train, as many other people did at that time, involved changing trains at Norwich and Peterborough to get home to Leeds.
  12. 18 points
    Sunday 3rdFebruary We were awake by about 06:00 on Sunday morning – I’m usually up at about 04:30 and the wife by about 05:00 during the week, so sleeping in is unusual for us both. I got up, put the kettle and immersion heater on and peered out of the windows. It was a cold, frosty morning and the sky was clear, so hopeful of a photo-worthy sunrise, I pulled some clothes on, readied my camera and waited to see what developed. Debbie had taken Harley for a walk, leaving me to my own devices and as the sun rose above the horizon, I ventured outside, being extremely careful not to slip on the icy decks. The river was still as I wandered about, snapping happily away, until the first of many rowers passed by. The rising sun was casting some interesting light over the trees on the far side of the river and additional digital images were committed to memory card. The wife and the dog returned and went inside to warm up and I followed shortly after. We had breakfast of buttered crumpets and tea, before taking it in turns to shower and dress, ready for the day. I suppose it must have been around 09:30 when we started Moonlight Shadow’s engine and cast off, heading for Norwich. There were plenty of others on the river as we headed up the Yare, but only kayakers and rowers. The journey was uneventful and we cruised slowly into the ‘Fine City’, or it was until we reached the bridge at the Yacht Station. Unbeknown to me, there was an angling competition in progress that morning. I moved as far too the left hand side of the river as I could, trying to avoid the branches of the weeping willows as I went and headed very slowly past them. I hope I didn’t cause too many issues, though. We moored at the far end, between Pulls Ferry and Bishops Bridge and readied ourselves for the walk into town. It was a cold, crisp winter morning and even with the sun shining down, the pavements were still slippery from the overnight frost. Taking our usual route along the Riverside Walk and turning towards the Cathedral behind Pulls Ferry, we made our way carefully there. I wasn’t intending to go into the cathedral on this visit, but had a quick wander around the cloisters, and entered the building near the copper font and was greeted by the sound of the magnificent organ, still being played after the morning service had ended. I had a quick mooch round before going back outside to re-join the wife, who was decidedly put out by the fact that the bench she usually waited on, by the Edith Cavell memorial had been taken away. There were a couple of photographers with heavy duty telephoto lenses mounted on tripods aimed at the spire, so I wandered across to have a quick chat. It turned out that the Peregrines were out, taking in the sun. I chided myself for not taking my long telephoto with me, but took a few shots with my zoom compact camera, which does have a long telephoto lens (without resorting to digital zoom) and had to satisfy myself with the results. We carried on into the town, stopping at Greggs for some cakes (and a couple of sausage rolls – well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it) before heading for Tesco. The city streets were busy with shoppers and several buskers, some of whom were very good, were playing in various locations. Shopping done, we sauntered back to Moonlight Shadow, retracing our steps past the Cathedral, along Riverside Walk and back over Bishops Bridge. I stopped to take a few pictures of the Cathedral, across the deserted school sports field, looking magnificent in the winter sun. Debbie made some rolls for lunch, with some ham bought from Tesco and we cast off, heading for our overnight moorings at The Ferry House, Surlingham, via the boatyard for water. It was a pleasant cruise back along the Wensum and Yare, with no anglers remaining at the Yacht Station to deal with. We chugged back to the kiosk at Brooms for water, only to find that the hose had been turned off. A sign indicated that water was available near the boat hoist, so we carefully passed the expensive craft that were moored nearby and manoeuvred close to the hose to top up with water, before heading the short distance back to the Ferry House to moor. I had booked the mooring earlier and had been told that it would be okay to moor side on, where there is usually only stern on mooring allowed and connected to the electric post. There was a substantial amount of credit on it, for which we were grateful. It was only then that I spotted a water hose at the pub, at the opposite side of the seating area and later, when we went in for our meal, I checked how much they charged to use it and was told it is free to patrons. A point well worth remembering. I set up the aerial and we watched TV for a while, before I went out to take a few photos of the setting sun. Dinner was booked for 19:00 and as ever, lived up to expectations – a warm welcome in a cosy pub and great value food. With the meal over, we left the warmth of the bar to take Harley along the lane to the village, before returning to the boat for the night. We watched Vera on TV, before making a hot drink and retiring to bed at about 22:30.
  13. 17 points
    I have used my drone to take images of 11 points on the Broads over the last 12 months and have posted some of them on here as part of my holiday tales. I have managed to get some more stills from the video produced and together with the originals, you can see 61 images on a carousel linked below on a web page on my site. The originals are now orientated better and in some cases enhanced where they were either too dark or too light. Each location is taken from separate pages on my website so not all are captioned on this one long rolling carousel, which is not for general public viewing. To stop on a particular image, just hold your mouse over it. Needless to say, they are best viewed on a laptop, tablet or PC. The link: https://www.norfolkbroadsboathire.biz/map_viewer.asp
  14. 17 points
    Monday 4thFebruary We woke on Monday morning to a pretty miserable day. It was raining and the wind was quite strong. The wife pulled on some clothes and took the dog for her walk and I turned on the immersion heater and kettle. I made a cuppa and looked out of the window. What a difference from the sunrise the previous day. Debbie soon returned, rather disgruntled. She had somehow turned the wrong way just as a particularly strong gust of wind had blown up, which had inverted her favourite umbrella. I was obviously concerned, or tried to sound it, however the thought of attempting to remove what was left of it from a sensitive part of my anatomy curtailed my chuckles!! We had toast and marmalade for breakfast and once again, took it in turn to get showered and dressed. Before casting off, we topped up with water, using the hose at the pub. My intended destination was Oulton Broad, so we headed back through Brundall and along the Yare. The wind was blowing quite hard and the wiper on MS proved absolutely useless in clearing sufficient of the screen to see clearly the river ahead. Still, it wasn’t exactly busy – I think we only saw one other boat between there and Reedham, which was deserted as we cruised through. I turned down the New Cut. Anyone who thinks the Bure between Stracey Arms and Yarmouth is monotonous, needs to go along the New Cut which really is monotonous! It was already lunchtime, so Debbie heated some soup, which went down well with a couple of slices of bread and butter. As we turned onto the Waveney from the New Cut, the weather began to improve a little. The wind had dropped slightly and the rain had eased. We easily passed under the bridge at Somerleyton and still hadn’t seen another boat on the river since much earlier in the day. Debbie put down her cross- stitch, which had kept her engrossed for much of the journey and stood near the helm, watching out of the window. She pointed to a shape swimming, ahead and to the port side, thinking it was an otter as we approached the turn into Oulton Dyke. By the time I looked where she was pointing, it had disappeared, but it resurfaced again and I saw it was a seal. I slowed down and we travelled side by side along the dyke until the river turned sharp left at the entrance to the Broad and managed to snatch a few photos as it surfaced and dove back down again. And that proved to be the only excitement of the day, really. We chugged across the Broad and found our mooring on the outside of the pontoon that we had reserved by phone earlier in the day. With the boat secured, I set up the aerial and we watched TV for a while. By then, the weather had calmed down considerably and it had turned into a pleasant evening. The sun began to set and I went for a walk with my camera whist the wife took Harley for her evening walk. It was soon dark, so the oven went on to prepare dinner and we enjoyed a glass or two of wine whilst we waited and another glass or two as we ate. Such decadence!! With the resulting washing up done, we settled down to watch TV until it was time for bed. Granted, the weather had been inclement, but in reality we had relaxed and enjoyed the surroundings, which is what it’s all about when you’re on the Broads.
  15. 17 points
    Just to let you all know that today I forwarded £1000.00 in cheques to the Neuro Care Charity in Sheffield from family and friends in memory of Tan. Regards Alan
  16. 17 points
    We the mods of NBN are, Reading all your posts from afar, Jokes and opinions, (BA posts, the sticky 'uns) Smoothing the things that jar.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one,  Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun.  Christmas comes but once a year, it's the season for good cheer, Post of boats and cheery notes Of quarrels we'll steer well clear.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one, Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun. The Forum's in a holiday mood, Lots of gifts and plenty of food. Friends we recall, God bless us all Mods wish you a great New Year.
  17. 17 points
    Saturday 27th October Having finally finished work at 8 o'clock Saturday morning, I went home in order to pick up the kids and load the car well over it's maximum limit, and then it was time to begin our journey back to Brundall. It was a dreary grey morning as I set off, and a temperature of around 2-3°C but as we proceeded along the heavens began to open and saturate the landscape. Nothing was going to ruin my anticipation of another couple of weeks on the rivers though, the first with the kids and then finally all by myself for the second week. I arrived at Brundall at around 1145 to find the water topping the moorings and quickly unloaded the car, dumping the essentials in the fridge and the rest of the bags wherever they fell as I launched them from the aft well into the cabin. My version of unpacking sorted (If only someone would sort all this packing and unpacking for me ) we had a walk round to the Yard pub to get the kids a bite to eat and for me to start my liquid diet. The kids had a chip butty followed by Apple pie and ice cream, whilst the boys had a sundae. Healthy diets don't exists when we visit the broads I would never put that rubbish in my body so I enjoyed a few pints whilst the kids ate their dinner. After a quick trip up to the shops in Brundall for a few bits id forgotten, and to take a look see if the flowers on display were good enough to buy it was finally time to head back to the boat, jump over the obstructing bags of clothes and stuff and set off heading down the Yare river towards Reedham. The heavens opened up along the way once more and we even had a spot of hale but with beer in hand and music in the background we trundle along regardless. Now I'm sure everyone is already aware of this and it's a centuries old tip would never the less, due to the weather the windows were condensing up and visibility was pretty poor, normally I'd have my head stuck through the roof but with the kids moaning about it being cold with the window open I was stuck inside unable to see, so the aforementioned top tip you'll all know. Shaving foam. Smear shaving foam all over the windows and then rub off, ta dah, perfectly clear windows that don't steam up. It's the detergents breaking up the water tension blah blah blah Anyway the cruise was lovely but uneventful, Reedham was fairly empty but it was still too early to stop so I headed down the cut eventually arriving at Somerleyton in the dark at around 1815 After mooring up we headed up the lane to the pub and had a few more beers over a few games of exploding kittens, before returning to the boat where the kids headed off to bed and I sat talking to the little lady until it was time to head off to bed.
  18. 17 points
    I accept everything everyone says but still my idea of heaven is just to sit on the back deck in, say, Black Horse Broad and soak it all up. On and off I have been around the Broads for well over 60 plus years and I doubt I will ever tire of them. The boat is getting harder to sort every year but probably have a year or so left? Until then I will continue as before - the changes have come and gone, of course it is different but the appeal will not fade until I do!! What is funny is all the things people moan about, particularly the busy bit - you should have seen it in the early 70's! We expect a lot for our buck and the landscape continues to change (the trees! ) but it still holds for me, a special and unmatched appeal.
  19. 17 points
    Normal for Norfolk! An evening lifted by a flock of starlings murmerising against the setting sun. Well worth a waddle to the waterside. Just to let you know what you are missing!
  20. 17 points
  21. 16 points
    A late start to work today so had the girls out for a walk around Salhouse broad. I thought it would be fairly busy as it’s half term but lovely and peaceful. The calm before the storm in a few weeks. John
  22. 16 points
    Someone who knows which way round a boat should be when going under a bridge. :-)
  23. 16 points
    Before the next instalment I should like to congratulate those who have made it this far. If you stick around a little longer then I promise that my Hinge and Bracketesque "random jottings" will begin to encompass the Norfolk Broads, especially Oulton Broad and the Waveney Valley as seen through the eyes of a schoolboy. I'm writing this as I go along, and although it's all in my head somewhere, finding certain bits of it takes a little longer than it once did. Please forgive me if the interlude between instalments is sometimes a little longer than would be polite. If you are expecting a new edition of Swallows and Amazons then accept my apologies now and return to your daily life before I cheat you of time irrecoverable. Our adventures were, in hindsight somewhat more mundane. There will be no mysterious castings off to investigate, no tales of derring-do as we attempt to evade the attentions of hullabaloos, though, as you will see, Arthur Ransome had a big influence upon us. I woke early this morning, as I always do, if you can call it waking. Sleep is a luxury mostly denied to me now. Days are punctuated by brief periods of restless recumberance, itself perforated by nocturnal wanderings between bedroom and bathroom. Titter not, you will find out what I mean one day. My early rising did however afford me a glorious sunrise this morning. Firstly, as I always do, I checked that I was still breathing, I consider that my main goal in life. Each day that I can "tick that box" is one more minor victory. Another night successfully negotiated. Was it Edgar Allan Poe who said "Sleep, those little slices of death. How I loathe them? There would be little for him to loathe in my nightly routine. Last night was clear and crisp, very crisp in fact. The garden was icy this morning, shining bright silver in the half light which all too briefly perforates night and day. Standing in the sack yard on top of the old "coal hole" puffing away on the "e-cig" gadget which some years ago replaced the Woodbines I stood and watched the first promise of the day to come as the sun rose between the two plane trees at the bottom of the orchard. It was quite a Stonehenge moment. It was about then that I decided to pen this minor interlude. Originally it was my plan simply to divest myself of each episode as and when they became available, inflicting them upon an unsuspecting world through the vessel of your wonderful site, without comment or explanation. This morning I changed my mind. I do that a lot just lately. So at this point I would issue a word of warning. Some of what I write, if not much of it really happened. "The stories are real, the people are real", oh golly, too much daytime TV me thinks. To that end the names have been changed, what do they say, to protect the innocent? On this occasion it's perhaps more a case of protecting the guilty, but either way changed they have been. I have watched this site for many years, awaiting the moment when it seemed germane to dump this diatribe upon you all and I am aware that there are those amongst us who will know the area and the time, and perhaps some of the people in my story. One or two here I may well have met during the period covered. I would ask that if anything thing, or anyone seems familiar then ignore that familiarity and just go with the story. It will all make sense in the end. Sense? Who am I kidding, but stick around, nonetheless. Finally I should like to issue two apologies. Firstly for the somewhat coarse manner in which I ended the previous episode. A vulgar and unpleasant word however you didn't know the dog. No more polite descriptor adequately portrays the vehemence of the flatulent pyrotechnics of which that animal was capable. And secondly? Please excuse any errors of logography, my grammar and spelling are not what they might be. Occasionally I may invent word which doesn't, but which in my head should exist, hopefully it's meaning will be clear by the context in which it sits. All my life I have been a little dysexlic, though I try not to let it show.
  24. 16 points
    Saturday 17thNovember When we bought into the Moonlight Shadow syndicate, our first allocated week, which had been drawn at the AGM in 2017, was due to be in February next year. The wife and I felt a bit like children who had been given Christmas presents and told we couldn’t open them until June. However, at the AGM in October, we managed secured an unwanted week, but due to holiday restrictions at work, was only effectively (for us) a long weekend commencing 17th November, which gave us the opportunity of experiencing the boat for ourselves. I had been anxiously watching the weather forecast on the BBC to see what was in store for us weather-wise and much to my amazement, it was looking promising for Saturday and Sunday at least, so with the car packed, we left our house at about 08:40 on Saturday morning. The weather was grey and gloomy, not the bright sunshine that had been forecast, but we were heading for The Broads and our first trip on the boat we had a share in, which made up for it. I was in two minds about the route – with roadworks expected to last until 2022, on the M1 from Junction 15 to 13 and works in progress on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, I had pondered which would cause the least problems. I chose to go A45 to Thrapston, then the A14 and was making good progress until just before the junction with the A1, when the overhead gantry signs warned of the closure of the A14 between Junctions 26 and 29. I was not best pleased, so turned right onto the A1 to Eaton Socon, before turning onto the A428. All was going well until we hit traffic that had been diverted off the A14 by the closure. The sat-nav came up with an alternative route, which it said would save me a lot of time, so I followed it through some unfamiliar lanes and eventually came back out on the A428 and familiar territory. The diversion had cost us about half an hour, but the predicted eta on the TomTom was still 11:30, so not too bad. My mood was improving with the weather, which was becoming ever better the nearer we got to Norwich. The rest of the journey passed without further delay or incident and we arrived at the boatyard pretty much on time and in bright sunshine, just as forecast. Having viewed Moonlight Shadow in August, we knew where she was moored, so drove to her berth and tried our keys for the first time. We let ourselves in and had a look round – all was clean and tidy, ready for our arrival. We were met a few minutes later by the representative from BCBM, who officially showed us round, pointed out a few bits and pieces, but realising that we had hired many times previously didn’t go into unnecessary details. We were quickly signed off and we were left to get on with unloading the car and preparing to start our first cruise. The wife sent me to the Co-Op to get a couple of breakfast essentials for the following morning and I called into the chippy in Brundall for some lunch, whilst she made up the bed unpacked our clothes. I drove back to the berth, parked the car and we had our fish and chips (which were very tasty indeed), before starting the engine and casting off. I have always been careful with every hire boat we’ve been on in the past, but was doubly cautious as I went astern, knowing that it was I was at the helm of a craft that was jointly owned by our fellow syndicate members and us. Realising that it would be dark by about 16:00, in bright sunshine we turned towards Coldham Hall and set off for a comparatively short trip to our overnight stop at The Ferry House, Surlingham, where I had booked a mooring and a table for dinner. We turned off the Yare and across Bargate, before re-joining the main river towards Bramerton. Despite the lateness of our visit, there were still some leaves clinging to the trees, creating some wonderful colours on either side of the river. The river levels seemed quite low, a fact born out by something we witnessed on Sunday afternoon. There were a few private boats about, but not many as we headed up to Bramerton Common, before turning round and finding our mooring at The Ferry House, right by an electric post. I checked, but there was no credit on it and was advised by someone on a nearby craft that the cards were available from the pub and that the BA cards didn’t work in them. I went in and bought one, before hooking up the cables, setting up the aerial and settling down to watch some TV. It was getting quite cold, so we were grateful that the heating fired up and soon warmed the inside of the boat through. I broke out the camera and took a few photos as the sun began to set. We have visited The Broads for years, but usually during late April, May, June, September or early October. The mainly bare branches of the trees and shrubs in the light of the setting sun revealed views that we had not previously experienced. The traffic problems that had blighted the early part of our journey seemed a million miles away as the sun disappeared and I went back inside Moonlight Shadow to resume watching the TV until it was time for dinner. We went to the pub shortly before 19:00 and once seated at our table, made our choices from the menu – prawn cocktail for the wife and whitebait to start for me, followed by lasagne, chips and side salad for each of us for the main course. As usual, the portions were generous and tasty, so much so that neither of us could manage a dessert. We finished our drinks and returned to the boat to watch TV a little longer before having a hot drink and going to bed, tired , happy and looking forward to the adventure continuing on Sunday.
  25. 16 points
    Ok everyone, time for a little update... As you all may know my gorgeous little lady hasn't been around these parts lately, the reason being is that a number of weeks ago Grace's dad underwent an operation to amputate below his knee on his left leg. Grace and her mum are supporting him through his rehabilitation, and as such they have much more important matters to deal with right now. She has asked me to update you all, and knowing what is best for me I have done as I am told, but I am sure everyone can appreciate her needing a little time away just now and give her some space to concentrate on her parents. Cheers, Jay
  26. 15 points
    Home again ... we hadn't been on the road for long this morning when I wished that I was out of the traffic and back on the boat! And it always seems so funny that in ten minutes you drive along from Stalham, past Sutton and on through Potter Heigham whereas we all know how long that journey is by boat! Anyway ... time for some Reflections on Reflection ... The Boat - Swan Reflection is still a great boat to hire. Compact at 31 feet it is a little tight for space on board but ideal for a couple especially if you haven't got much experience. Plus it warms up quickly once you get the heating on. Great to steer - you can set the revs, set the steering and it will go in a straight line for as long as you need until you reach the next bend in the river. Comfortable bed, the seating has been re-upholstered at some point, decent size fridge and ice box plus a gas cooker as well as a microwave. Electric flushing toilet which does use a fair amount of water but is a nice little luxury! I would always highly recommend this boat. The Yard - We had only hired from Richardson's once before and that was at a busier time. It still feels like a holiday camp kind of check-in to me but the system works well. The staff were all very friendly and the young lad who did our handover and refuelled us this morning, was great. He asked how our week had been, asked if there were any problems with the boat and wished us a safe journey home. That counts for a lot with me and we would definitely go back. The Food - Always a highlight of my holiday because we don't eat out much at home and it's a treat not to be cooking. The Sutton Staithe Hotel was first class, Bridgestone's Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham was excellent, the New Inn was great value and good food as always. The Swan Inn was my least favourite, good service but overpriced and not as good food as everywhere else. That's just my personal opinion based on the meals we had on the days we dined in each of these establishments. Incidentally the Staithe & Willow in Horning was closed and looks to me as if it has just been sold from something I saw on a property website. The Wildlife - there was a lot of life in the wildlife ... if you know what I mean. Plenty of birds flying around in pairs. ;) But what a delight to see an otter and to see a good number of kingfishers around Irstead. Plus the sound of the owls in the trees after dark was amazing ... I don't get that living here in the city. The Firsts - I always like to try to tick some items off my "still to do" list. This week we moored at Irstead, we went right down Lime Kiln Dyke, and we moored on the public staithe in Horning. That was good enough for me. All About March - Finally my thoughts on hiring in March as this was only the second time that we have been out this early in the season. Don't forget that even if it is going to be mild for the time of year, you are not at home in your double glazed centrally heated house. So for me it is always going to be cold and my thermals were required every day! We had one sunny day, the rest was overcast and grey but it was dry although the breeze picked up on our last day. No bright sunny frosty mornings but I'll take that over wind and rain and ice. But best of all was the ability to choose where to moor at any time of day and be almost certain you wouldn't have any problems. We were completely on our own overnight at Irstead, Womack Water and Paddy's Lane. And it would have been a full set if someone else hadn't turned up when it was getting dark at Cockshoot Broad. The photos through the week were from my phone so below are just a few off my camera. There will be a video as soon as I get time to put things together.
  27. 15 points
    It would have been Iain's 70th today. I miss my dear old friend deeply.
  28. 15 points
    Ranworth Breeze was lifted today for its Winter Service, it is currently in the old BMS workshop now run by NYA. Currently the boat is being compounded & polished to highlight any gelcoat repairs that need doing and the bathing platform rubbers are being replaced. A powered winch is being fitted and the heating replaced because of cracks in the heating casting made it too costly to repair. Regards Alan
  29. 15 points
    This thread reminds me of going out for an Indian with people from work you don't usually socialise with. When it comes time to pay you hear: "But I didn't have a starter" "I didn't have Naan" "I only drank lemonade" All the time you are thinking "Just chuck £20 each in and let's get down the pub"
  30. 15 points
    Saturday 10th Most of the day was spent getting ready and travelling. As previously, my friends, Pauline and Mervyn, had invited me along for a week on the Broads, but unusually this was their first week on their own (shared-ownership) boat. I was acting as “spare” crew member because Pauline has been unwell recently so the mooring etc. might have been a bit tricky if she was still not fully fit. As it turned out, I’m sure they would have been able to handle the boat perfectly well without me. After the usual pre-embarkation shopping, we got on board and investigated the boat layout and various systems so as to familiarise ourselves with the locations of critical items and the appropriate practices and procedures. It was tempting to set off for a brief cruise and return to the home mooring, but with nightfall approaching and the boat being an “unknown quantity”, rather than risking any mishaps we just settled in to the accommodation and went to the Yare pub for the evening. We all enjoyed our meals which we thought were a good-average “pub-grub” standard. With the benefit of shore powered electric radiators upon returning to the boat we watched a film and had a relatively early night to bed. Sunday 11th A bright-crisp morning in Brundall. The forecast weather promised to be better than might have been expected for the week. It remained cool enough to need a coat every day, but the “inside” steering position was never used, because we prefer the improved view from “on top”. We all get up early for work normally, so an early start, use of the boatyard showers and quick breakfast allowed us to set off quite early. We cruised slowly and rarely pushed up to the speed limits. Instead, we admired the autumnal colours, and wildlife. I received a running commentary on the flora and fauna form my fellow travellers who both know far more about these things than I do. I also never needed to consider if I was thirsty because I was either just drinking a cup of tea (or coffee) or being handed a fresh one. After dark this continued, but the beverages turned alcoholic. Clouds started to build as we passed Cantley. Turning from the Yare onto the Chet we idled towards Loddon, where we moored and walked the length of the village and back, re-stocking from the local shops and visiting the Kings Head for a light lunch, which again did not disappoint. We did not need it but took advantage of the water point and then moved the short distance from Lodden to the quieter Pyes Mill mooring for Mervyn to fish for an hour before dark (you may just spot his head over the front cabin in this picture). We had bought sufficient food for any eventuality, but we decided that having had breakfast and lunch and hardly moved an evening meal was unnecessary, never-the-less we ate hertily from the “snack” that Pauline provided. and the gin, wine and whisky meant that we watched the film through heavy eyes. We did need the boat heating that evening (it was quite windy) but overnight it was not particularly cold. The main problem we encountered every night was condensation. The glass and alloy window frames dripped or transferred water to the curtains which also dripped. The interior wall panels also became damp, but it was the middle of November! Monday 12th Tea and toast started the day and we were soon under way again. This was 08:23 and still not very light! The proud new owners with the mooring behind and NBN burgee stern starboard. I removed the leaves from the decks soon after! Turning south on the Yare the Reedham ferry was busy. Pauline slowed to allow it across and then zig-zagged around it. There were otters in the river near Sommerleyton (which I missed with the camera, because I was steering!), and we used the journey to provide hot water for a relay of showers, even though the water did keep at a reasonable temperature overnight. The grey skies started to break as we reached Oulton broad. There was not a great deal to “see” at Oulton, we wandered around in the hope of finding a shop for food provisions but decided that we didn’t need anything when we saw the lack of choice. We had lunch in Fancy Cakes Patisserie (opposite the crescent-shaped entrance to the park), which turned out to be an excellent random choice. The food was very good and reasonably priced, so we had to take a selection of cakes back to the boat for later. Topping up the water again, we left to find a “fishing spot” for Mervyn. Retracing our path a short distance we took the left turn on the Waveney towards Beccles, and continuing past W.R.C. we stopped briefly at the Aldby Hall Fisheries (adjacent to the remains of a [railway?] bridge) for Mervyn to have a look and to see if he wanted to stop there, but moved on to a wild mooring a little further up stream. Following the cakes (eaten under way), yet more food and generous amounts of alcohol followed by some soporific T.V., I managed to find a film which kept us all awake. Tuesday 13th Actually, the picture above was taken at 09:35 after a relatively leisurely start, as we all began to get into “holiday” mode. The short cruise to Beccles provided hot water again. We explored the town for a while and bought provisions for lunch and “tomorrow”, having resolved to have a pub supper. The afternoon passed quickly, with Mervyn “deep cleaning” the gungy bits from all of the window frames (evidence follows – for the other syndicate members), and Pauline and I choosing lighter duties. The Yacht Station facilities provided a bit more “elbow room” than on board and the electric points here allowed us to put the oil radiators on again which meant that the boat was warm after we returned from the pub that evening. We went to the Bear & Bells in the town bus-stop square. I chose not to eat there after looking at the menu, and I think Pauline and Mervyn were both disappointed by their food. It has some good reviews on line and seemed popular so perhaps we were unlucky. We had more to drink on the boat, so we were all ready to sleep quite early, but the relatively high winds caused much creaking of fenders and clonking of mud weight chain and that led to some disturbance through the night. Wednesday 14th. Mervyn was up early and fishing. If you can’t spot him in the first picture then the second shows how a zoom lens can help. He had limited fishing gear with him and was surrounded by locals with all the “kit”. He was pleased to catch a number of reasonable fish whilst the others struggled. Pauline and I relayed tea and toast to him, and then went to explore more of the town. We spent some time in a shop which I think was “Marmalade Tree” that is full of interesting things and gives the impression that you are walking around a museum where everything is for sale. Returning to the boat, we had another generous lunch and set off Northwards again. Arriving at Sommerleyton reasonably early. In spite of the occasional noise from the trains, we decided to stop at Sommerleyton, sharing the mooring with Southern Crusader,. The evening sunset followed quickly. Our walk up to the Dukes Head in the dark was rewarded by a warm room, attentive staff and excellent meal, probably the best of the week (apart from the ones Pauline cooked of course!). Thursday 15th We did not hurry to leave in the morning in order to catch slack water at the new cut. We managed to time it just about right, so that the tide began to push us back up the Yare, having just passed Herringfleet windmill, which a rather bedraggled looking kestrel was using as a lookout post. The cut down to Rockland provided a good lunchtime stopping point, and before anyone comments, the bow was some 15 to 20 feet behind that ladder. After which we continued around the broad and out of the other entrance. We saw Marsh Harriers regularly, but they remained distant, and standing on a moving boat with a hand-held camera the best I could do to catch them on camera follows. Turning back onto the main river we continued past Brundall through the Bargate/Surlingham broad branch, where the lowering sun illuminated the autumn colours to their full effect. Then on up to Brammerton Common, where we arrived as dusk was approaching. Most of the downstream moorings were occupied by fishermen (who left soon after) so we moored at an electric post near the “liveaboard” community at the upstream end. Friday 16th Friday was the only poor day for weather. It started grey and damp, with a light drizzle in the air. We had thought of touring into the heart of Norwich, but with these conditions we delayed moving and Mervyn took the opportunity to fish again. I went out and asked if he would like tea and toast out there, but he was happy to return for a breakfast and warm up. Later in the morning we set off up river again, and returned to pass through Thorpe. Having not been along that short stretch previously I took a number of photographs, but will not bore you with all of them here. . The weather deteriorated again and when we arrived at Brundall there was light drizzle beginning, but the boatyard facilities and shore power made up for that. We started “tidying up”, and put some items into the car but it soon got dark. I was able to “catch up” on various NBN topics and books were read, then after eating another enjoyable meal we retired early, so that we could be up early again the next morning. We had used 41 litres of diesel, having never pushed the rpm beyond about 1600 even when against the tide. We thought that was quite reasonable, given that we had visited or passed most of the places in the “southern” broads and it included some heating too. Saturday 17th Sorry, no photographs today. Surprisingly the boat and wooden walk ways were covered in ice, so some care was needed as everything else was packed and transferred to the car. We then had a walk around the Brundall boatyards (just to be nosy really), and had a chat with various locals that we encountered along the way learning a few interesting titbits of information. We also discovered the real location of Independence, having been misinformed previously. We were on our way home by 09:00, having handed over a parcel that was delivered to the boatyard an hour or so earlier. Stopping a Goodies on the A140 for breakfast and to buy lots of delicious things. I was home and into the normal routine later that day, but (still following routine) was back in Norfolk on Sunday; however that did not involve boats or the broads.
  31. 15 points
    Yes he did indeed pass with just one minor. He got the same examiner too but in Robins words he 'Nailed it' At last! - Well chuffed for him. Now just needs to do the 'Proper' test with a manual G/box then he really will be flying. Then get him pillioned (Careful) on the Mighty Tiger and see how he fancies that I look forward to him driving me around the back roads of Norfolk for a change searching out yards, chandlers boats, Pubs and the like Griff
  32. 15 points
    Saturday 6th October After a pretty uneventful journey down from Leeds, I arrived in Horning around 12.15pm. I am a Leeds United fan and my team was on Sky at 12.30pm so instead of heading for the boat, I made straight for the New Inn to see if they were screening the game. The lady barmaid told me that none of the pubs in Horning screened Sky Sports so I climbed back in the driver’s seat and ten minutes later was in Roys car park – the one next to the DIY department. A remember seeing televised games in the Kings Head in the past so this was my target. Sure enough LUFC v Brentford was on the screen so I settled down with a drink to watch. At half time I ordered the steak sandwich, salad and chips from the menu which did not disappoint. I just wish they had used a baguette rather than bread slices as they tend to get soggy with the contents. By 2.20pm the match was over and as not everyone is a football fan, I will suffice to say – we were robbed! So after a little shopping in Roys supermarket, I returned to the car and drove on to meet Goosander, a syndicate boat, for a more intimate look than the 15 minute speed date I had with her back in June. She is moored at Boulters in Horning and as the weather was not good, squally winds and rain, I decided I would stay put for the night. So Goosander and I got to know each other over that first night. As is usual on a new boat, you cannot find anything. It did not help that I was stowing things away in cupboards and then not being able to find them again. I knew I had brought it – just could not remember where I put it! Goosander had a multitude of cupboards and drawers so as I was searching for things I had stowed, I was coming across all manner of treasures. One such cupboard houses a stack of DVD’s for my listening pleasure, some films, books to read, a sewing kit, fly swats, fly spray and a first aid kit. Other cupboards did not disappoint but more on those later. It really did seems as though someone had thought of all these things before and had left them on the boat for all to use. I knew that the New Inn had a band on this evening so I walked down and spent a couple of hours being entertained by a folk trio. By 10pm I was heading back, in pitch black darkness at times, so the trusty torch was a necessity. On it’s home mooring, Goosander is hooked up to an electricity supply and what better way to keep warm in the squally weather than to plug in the oil filled electric radiator which I found in another cupboard just in-front of the helm. I read for a while then retired. Tomorrow was going to see mine and Goosander’s maiden voyage together. Wroxham from the Bridge And again This view of Pulls Ferry was taken 3 weeks earlier on the occasion of Goosanders Annual Meeting but thought I would include it here as I like it!
  33. 15 points
    This is sort of connected to The Viaduct Moorings thread, but I decided to start a new thread rather than hijack that one. In 2000 Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" Gladwell defines a "Tipping Point" as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point. In the book he explores how sometimes seemingly unconnected small changes can build up into an often irreversible larger change. Each year of boat ownership I take into account the cost of ownership versus the use and enjoyment of ownership and whether it represents good use of my money. A part of that equation has to be the enjoyment of The Broads themselves and the facilities I enjoy. Each year the decision to continue boating is getting harder mainly through things that are beyond my control. I sense that my own personal tipping point is approaching, the day I put the boat in the hands of a broker and sell it and look to spend my leisure time and money elsewhere. In reaching this conclusion I take into account some of the things that I appreciated or enjoyed about The Broads, that are no longer there, or have changed in my opinion for the worse. The loss of half of The Viaduct moorings is one such example that I would add to the following list in no particular order. The landlord of The Berney Arms making it untenable for John and Tracy to remain as tenants, and now the seemingly permanent closure of the pub. The closure of the Burgh Castle moorings. The removal of the majority of the rubbish facilities. The closure of The Boundary Farm moorings. The introduction of the double mooring policy. The more or less permanent abuse of The Whitlingham Country Park and Commissioners Cut moorings by a sector of the boating community. The recent change of ownership of The Locks Inn. The jury is obviously out on that one as it may turn out to be an improvement, but personally the place faded for me the moment it stopped selling Green Jack beers. Nigel and Tracy leaving The Waveney Inn where many a good night was spent in their company and the circle of regulars that frequented it at the time. The Chet and The New Cut gradually becoming more and more hazardous to navigate. I actually won't solo cruise The Chet at busy times anymore for fear of meeting larger boats at the twisty section at the start of The Chet. A couple of times in the past with company on board I have given way to other large boats and then found myself pinned to the outside of the bend by the wind and tide and with help on board it is fairly easy to get going again. But now with the hazards I wouldn't risk it solo. The loss of The Wherrymans Way footpath along The Chet. One of the best Indian restaurants in the area, The Dilraj changing hands a few years back and it never coming anywhere close to its previous best. The closure of The Andamen Orchid thai in Coltishall. Several years of above inflation toll rises. The general overall increase in the size of hire boats meaning more, not less moorings are needed overall. Stalham staithe pretty much constantly occupied by the same few regular boats Sutton staithe moorings by the water hose and electric posts again pretty much occupied by the same few regular boats. The weekend Brundall army at Bramerton Common. And now added to that list the loss of half of The Viaduct moorings. This is my personal list and as you can see from above there is no one body, agency or person to blame, but as Malcolm Gladwell makes the point it is these seemingly unconnected little individual things that add up to make the big difference. In my case I find few positives being added to my other list to replace the losses. So my personal tipping point draws ever closer. I wonder how many other people are nearing or at their own personal tipping point? If a critical mass of people reach the same conclusions over say the next five years there could well be a dramatic irreversible decline in boat ownership on The Broads. Is the tipping point approaching for The Broads as a whole? Is there anything The BA can do about that, or is it already too late? Are they even aware there may be hundreds of other people feeling the same as me, or maybe it is just me? Edited to add a couple of the bigger ones! Lack of dredging having run aground last weekend. Decreasing opportunities to get my boat through Potter Bridge.
  34. 15 points
    Wednesday 8th October. The sun was shining as I awoke and temperatures were actually on the up for the rest of the week so I had been lucky with the weather. By the end of the week, it actually passed 21c, though the breeze did get up as well but as it was a southerly, it did not detract from the temperatures. I needed some milk and wanted a newspaper and had heard that the Co-op supermarket was due to close. The Yacht Station chaps told me it was it’s last day today so I walked up to it and was pleased to be able to buy a paper and some milk. Shame it won’t be there next time. There Is a small provisions shop in the opposite direction half way between the Wherry Inn and the level crossing which sells milk etc, but alas not papers. Back onboard I set off for Reedham. I had intended to stop off at Somerleyton to break the journey but having moored there on the way down to meet the “Lads” I decided to go directly to Reedham, which is another favourite mooring spot. I passed under Reedham Swing Bridge around 2pm and wondered if I would find a mooring space. I noticed that the far end, towards Sandersons was free and as I could see an electric post I could use, I headed on down to the far end. Approaching I could see why it was free. The river had overtopped the moorings and was lapping a few inches below the base of the electric post. Now I am no electrician but even I could reason that I would get more than my monies worth if I tried to plug in to that supply. Fortunately there were another couple of suitable spots where I would not get my feet wet so I chose one and came alongside. It was a warm sunny afternoon so I opened one half of the canopy allowing the other half to act as a wind break and just sat and watched the comings and goings for a while. Tomorrow, I would be heading for Yarmouth again and it struck me that I may have trouble with high water time again, which was moving towards the middle of the day by now so I called the Yacht Station asking for advice on the latest time I could leave Reedham in the morning and still get under the bridges. The advice was to leave no later than 7.30am or I would end up not getting under the bridges until late afternoon. That was going to mean an early start! Later I fancied a walk so I walked up the middle hill and called at the shop for a newspaper and a Magnum. Wow! Lesson learned. The Magnum was £2. I can get 4 of them for that price in ASDA or Morrisons at home. With my ice-cream lolly in my hand, I decided to walk up to the Ferry Inn, partly to see whether the riverside path had been re-opened (it has not). Then it was back to the boat for a rest before an evening meal at the Ship Inn. We always liked the food at the Ship Inn under the last managers, especially the Steak Pie so on entering I looked down the menu for it. It was not there but the specials board did promise a Steak and Ale Pie so I went for that. It was not the same but was still to be commended. After a read of my paper over a pint, I retired back to Goosander for the night. I set the alarm for 6.45am and retired. Oulton Broad drone images Reedham Just liked this - on the way to the Ferry inn
  35. 15 points
    Sunday 7th October It was Sunday so a cooked breakfast was warranted. Goosander does not have a microwave which made the procedure a little more challenging as it means everything has to be cooked on the small 4 ring hob. In practice, once you place the frying pan, you only really have one ring spare. So the egg was fried first then placed between two plates which had to be warmed first using hot water. Then the sausage, bacon and beans were cooked. Somehow it all came together and as we all know a fry-up on the water always tastes better than at home. The wind was still so I decided to get the drone out for some better images than I managed to get earlier in the summer. This was the first of four launches, the others being Acle, St Olaves and Oulton Broad. All went successfully. Now it was time to set sail for unknown lands and legends – alright Ludham Bridge. Not being used to electric hook-ups, I worried that I would slip the moorings, forgetting the cable was still attached and proceed down the dyke with the electric pillar floating behind me. So I made a laminated sign reminding me to stow the cable, and hung it around the throttle lever. The sight of bright orange cable right next to the mooring ropes was probably another reminder but I was not taking any chances. Anyway, the adventure began as I left the dyke and cruised on down the Bure. The wind and rain of yesterday had passed and the sun was shining. In what seemed like no time at all, I was proceeding up the River Ant wondering if I would get a mooring the other side of the bridge. October is noticeably quieter than June and I had a choice of mooring locations so chose the left bank in what was the first available space after the bridge. This first mooring was OK but could have been better. You really have to turn the wheel a great distance to register a change of direction and as such Goosander met the bank a little more forcefully than I would have liked. No harm done though. Ludham Bridge is a favourite mooring for me as I like all the comings and goings at the bridge. I noticed a hire cruiser hovering near to an adjacent space but not committing and then passing under the bridge. A few minutes later, he was back and heading at 90 degrees for the space. I stepped out and helped them alongside. Mrs helm told me they were desperate to moor at Ludham Bridge as they were meeting their sons but did not fancy the manoeuvre being fresh out of Richardsons the day before. I spent a couple of hours there before retracing me steps back under the bridge and onto the Bure once more. I wanted to be in Yarmouth tomorrow so I thought an overnight in Acle would be just the job. As I approached I could see that there was just one space left on the left bank before the bridge. Not wanting to pay £10 for the privilege of tying up outside either Pedros or the Bridge Inn, I made a sweeping turn and came alongside the last space perfectly. That did a lot for my confidence in piloting this “new to me“ boat. I planned to eat at the Bridge Inn and remembered the last time I was there, also on a Sunday in June, I was lucky to get a table so I called in to book for 7pm. I need not have bothered as the restaurant had just 3 tables occupied as I entered. I had the Steak and Ale pie, which was good. No room for dessert! Then it was back to the boat to watch the first episode of Killing Eve, which I had downloaded to my laptop before I came away, and then to bed. Ludham Bridge Goosander at Ludham Bridge Some would say - a rose between two thorns Next three are all drone shots of the Ferry Inn area of Horning
  36. 15 points
    filling in the gap you can also see the multiple tape lines of the proposed swage lines and windows..
  37. 15 points
  38. 14 points
    Well, it has taken long enough but finally here is a video of what Trixie, a 24ft Sheerline Aft Cockpit from 1992 is like. I rather like her, cosy, warm and 'cute' with everything you need albeit in a very small space. These boats come on the market every now and then, and vary a lot with internal fit-out, some have a fridge in the cockpit area, freeing up space down below for more cupboards, others have a more open plan layout but they make ideal boats for a couple and can get into moorings others cannot. Cheaper to moor, insure and toll I think they work well and have aged well too.
  39. 14 points
    Some of what you said there Robin really made me laugh, whilst other bits made me quite sad. Ok, firstly Top tip, Treat it like a stylus and a touch sensitive screen. The pencil and paper is an old system but with practice you can get quite good at it. Hmmm, yes,,, small talk... Some people find this concept difficult to grasp so permit me to offer a quick explanation. Talking (of any size) used to be the way people related to each other before the days of computers. In the olden days people used to survive having telephones that you had to speak into, most of these were attached to a network by wire and had to be left at home. This required people to have to go to places, meet other people and speak to them. This of course suffered the disadvantages of not having emoticons to explain themselves and frequently catching colds from each other. In the enlightened days we are now in, we can converse with people without actually having to meet them and one day, if we are very lucky, we might be able to go through our entire lives without meeting or speaking to anyone. The answer for that embarrassing question all children eventually ask "Daddy, where do I come from?" will in future be far more straight forwards. "Amazon" We're doomed, we're all doomed.
  40. 14 points
    Saturday usually began at or just after first light. The trusty “torpedo” camping stove came out and the first thing on was the kettle. Whilst the girls walked the dog, named Sandy who was a basenji, for those who have asked, I was despatched to tell father that the kettle was on. This was an implied instruction from mother that it was time he was packing up. Tell your mother I'll have one more cast was the invariable reply as I was press ganged into service as a donkey, carrying the little bits and pieces like his net bag whilst he catapulted the last of his ground bait into the river and packed his basket and rod bag. I noted that more often than not his nets were dry. He was good my dad, at fishing at least, but he never seemed to do much on the Old Bedford. Once the tea was made a ready prepared frying pan appeared from the boot of the car, full of part cooked sausage and bacon and it was put on the stove to finish off whilst mum sliced and buttered rolls. The reason for our early start was Downham Market, where the A1101 crossed the A10 King's Lynn to London road in the town centre. Nowadays both roads have bypasses, the former to the south of the town, the latter to the east. Mother would be keen to get through Downham before this otherwise sleepy little town awoke to the weekly chores of shopping and such like. East of Downham we turn onto the A134 towards Thetford. With Thetford behind us the greenery of the forest gave way to the rolling greenery of the Waveney Valley as we continue east on the A1066 towards Diss. The arrival in Diss was always met by the regurgitation of many, generations old jokes. “if this is Diss, where is Dat? And, is this Diss Mere? No it's Dat dare ….” They seemed funny at the time. Of course we loved them because, as much as the familiar landmarks which we passed by, they were waymarkers of our journey. An indication that we were getting close to our destination. At Scole the A1066 crosses the A140 which ran north – south through the centre of the village. This was not quite so bad to cross as other roads as it was a staggered crossroads, left then right. The right turn was easy to miss, and it took dad yelling at mum on one occasion, “turn right there, by the fellow with the blue shirt”. To this day that junction is referred to as “the man with the blue shirt”. From this point onwards the road we travelled is hardly recognisable. East of Scole the 1066 joined the A143, almost completely rebuilt in more recent years along the line of a disused railway. Much of the old road is still in use now numbered the B1062 which winds it way through the village of Brockdish, more age old puns, and then through the pretty village of Harleston where petrol was obtained from a garage straight from the 1930's. The pump was inside the garage window and the delivery pipe hung from a gantry out over the road. You didn't pull in, simply parked on the road outside and would be served with your five gallons of four star. It was there that I remember vividly my mother remarking that the price had reached fifty pence per gallon. I think that would have been during the oil crisis of 1973/4. “Ten bob a gallon, where will it end” she asked? Harleston is bypassed today, as are most of the towns and villages between here and the East Coast, which whilst a blessed relief to residents I have no doubt, is still somewhat of a shame. The road continues to Bungay but before we arrive there is another stop to be made. I grew up in an age where everything had it's season and as a result we looked forward to them. One such item, perhaps the queen of seasonal produce was the Strawberry, it arrived in the shops is June and was gone by September. It was the essence of English summer and it was best enjoyed straight from the field, and that is what we did. Pick your own was not the widespread industry that it is today, it hadn't achieved it's current day status of family day out but there was a large pick your own farm near Earsham and we stopped and filled basket upon basket with large juicy fruits ready to permeate our holidays with pies, flans, scones or at their best with the lightest sprinkling of sugar and lashings of fresh cream. If you have only sampled strawberries from a supermarket then you have never tasted a real strawberry. There is a world of difference between something grown in a field, ripened by the sun and, dare I say it fertilized with horse muck and the bland, watery, pale imitations proffered by Mssrs Sainsbury et al, heavily hybridised varieties bred for yield at the cost of flavour, grown in huge poly tunnels, usually in Spain or Turkey or Egypt and increasingly in India in troughs of water suspended at the perfect height for picking and ripened to order by artificial light. They never see the sun, they never sit in soil and they never develop any flavour. With baskets (and my tummy!) full we climbed back into the car to complete our journey. The final stretch to Oulton Broad. I remember Bungay from my childhood as a colourful, pretty little market town. We passed through the centre of the town and onwards to Beccles. It would soon be time to start searching the horizon for the giant, four legged cranes which in those days stood on the quayside at Lowestoft and could be seen from miles away. With Beccles andWorlingham behind us we joined the A 146 bound for Oulton. Despite many recent improvements, straightening and widening this road largely still travels it's original course, past North Cove and Barnby into Carlton Colville and finally Oulton Broad. Our caravan park was at the end of Marsh Road which turns back sharply from the main road. Today, this left turn is prohibited, a complete circuit of the new roundabout on Saltwater way and a right turn being the preferred manner of entry onto Marsh Road. But in the 1970's a left turn it was, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear and then swinging wide across both lanes and then down by the railway station along the somewhat bumpy lane, past the “new” holiday chalets, Knight's Creek and finally to Camping Boats.
  41. 14 points
    Im the owner of Rafiki that is a windboat tradewind. I saw a picture of her on a thread on this sight about broads boats away from home so Ive joined the network. I bought her in 2007 when she was in windsor. At the time I was looking for the a floating digs and pretty much bought the first boat I saw and liked. She had been on the thames for a few years before I bought her. When I bought her she was in a very reasonable condition. I had no idea about concrete hulls. I didn't really know about boats in general but she had an authentic period feel that I found very attractive. She had all the period features including the original cooker. Since I bought her Ive fallen in love with her. Ive spent a fortune keeping her in a reasonable condition. The woodwork obviously needs constant attention and Ive done full revarnishing every 5 years, Interestingly the hull is amazing. If anyone wants to know how the seacrete has lasted after over 50 I can vouch its incredible. I stripped the hull a few years ago. I started with extreme caution not wanting to damage the hull. But in the end I could chip away at the paint but the hull would never show any marks. After 50 the hull is a solid as the day she was set. Ive now have Rafiki in bristol harbour. Last summer we hired on a boat on the broads and went to Woxham and I wandered into the windboat sheds and spoke to a few of the guys, trying to find out more about Rafiki. I've learned lots but I'd like to know a lot more. If any one has more information about Rafiki, archives or any anicidotes Id love to hear them . Her original number was T395.
  42. 14 points
  43. 14 points
    I told this (true) story about 3 years ago but perhaps it's worth repeating it here. One winter morning in the late 50s, the Norwich Frostbite sailing club were out doing their regular Sunday morning racing. It was a bleak winter day, almost freezing, misty, and a complete flat calm. No wind at all. At this moment the coaster "Ellen M" came round Whitlingham bend and was faced with about 30 dinghies, all sitting in the middle of the river and all going nowhere. She slowed right down and somehow found her way gently through the fleet while everyone paddled like mad to get out of the way. As she came abeam of the Frostbites' club house, the skipper leaned over the wing of his bridge, looked down at the race officers standing below him and said "Why don't you buggers go to church on a Sunday morning?"
  44. 14 points
    Just having to suffer this awful weather 😂. This morning in Oulton Broad. all on our own. now on our own at Somerleyton. More to come on the way back to Beccles.
  45. 14 points
    Well I am feeling a little chilly this morning! Should I start to worry? (Actually I did enjoy the typo. :) ) In my history, I have owned 4 boats over a period of 40 years. I have had moorings on the Grand Union, the river Stort and the Broads. I had a period when I didn't own a boat back in the early 90s, but I was not a happy bunny and had to get back into boat ownership ASAP. All this I have had to do on a low budget. So! Why do I tell you all this? It's so I can put some my priorities to you. First and foremost, I love being on a boat where ever it is. If the Broads became unnavigable, I'd move Nyx to somewhere else, but until that time, I cannot imagine being elsewhere. So why the broads? because of the variations the broads offers. Some pubs have live music, some have juke boxes and some have piped music or no music at all. There are moorings with no pub at all, and there are wild moorings. There are times when the northern waters are like motorways with streams of boats going this way and that, people everywhere, all trying to have fun, all enjoying themselves, and other times when it's a surprise to see another boat underway. the periods between those times are also a great pleasure. There are times when the banks are festooned with anglers all sitting in a pool of optimism, and times when there are none to be seen. The broads can offer the hub-bub of high season, and the tranquillity of the "out of season" period. Some things change, others do not. I love it ! QED
  46. 14 points
    Another great evening was had on our Dining Out Night. The staff at The Bridge Inn looked after us very well (We had the back room) they were superb as was the food as per the norm. The pre-ordered Lap Dancers however let us down and did not turn up. No surprise there then as they have failed to turn up each year to be honest. Note to self - Write to my MP about this matter. The inter boat quiz was won by 'B.A' with J-of-L II coming a close second. The 'Vicars' theme. I did have a vicars outfit that I had took with me but the lads had secretly secured a Popes outfit that I was presented with once alongside and ordered to wear on the night Today Saturday 13th 'B.A' sailed at 0630 for Stalham via Robert at Sutton Staithe for pump out and diesel. Jewels 1, 2, and 3 sailed at 0740 for Potter Heigham. By 1000 all crews were away on their way home apart from me n Bro who had to do the usual clean through on 'B.A' We eventually got home for around 1615. It was agreed by all that this has been yet another memorable successful Lads Week, No one fell in although two crew members did get wet from foot to crotch through trying to walk on water when getting onboard, they failed of course as neither of them are Yorkies. No accidents. One certain southern crew member lost his false front tooth on the first Friday night. apparently having left it in the Norada Pub. He found it yesterday evening down the side of his mattress by his pillow - Laugh did we? Gnasher who we wore false top rack of teeth for appreciated our support and has sent that photo off to his family etc who all agreed we were a great bunch of mates supporting him and that it was hilarious. Herbert Woods staff looked after us very well, especially on the Friday afternoon / early evening as we started to arrive and then again during Saturday forenoon prior to sailing, nothing was too much trouble for them, not that we gave them any trouble you understand. The three Jewels are provisionally booked for next year Diesel consumption for the week was:- 1 = 95 x Ltrs, 2 = 102 x Ltrs, 3 = 97 x Ltrs and 'B.A' = 93 x Ltrs, 'B.A' having to sail from Stalham to PH to meet up with the Jewels on the first Friday evening then back to Stalham from Acle so she covered more river miles. So when is 'B.A' crewed up once more and underway on the H20? - No idea at present although I will be onboard for a maintenance weekend next month but staying in the wet shed Griff
  47. 13 points
    We're visiting the Broads, for the first time ever, in mid-June. We're both approaching 60 years of age but I've always wanted to have a boating holiday on the Broads and have finally got round to visiting. We're hiring from Richardsons in Stalham, and I've read this thread with interest, and have watched several YouTube videos including nearly all of the excellent and informative Captain's Blog ones. I fully intended to cross Breydon Water and will still do so. I'll be following the helpful tips on this thread and am really looking forward to it, but will also treat the waters with the respect they deserve. Steady as she goes seems to be the overriding message.
  48. 13 points
    Not sure why owning or hiring a boat makes you any more or less a lover of the Broads? I for one enjoy seeing members pictures on here, either their own boat or ones they are hiring. Does seem a bit of a shame to dampen the mood of this thread. Obviously the OP and his wife are very happy with their new boat and I for one wish them many happy hours on board and enjoying the Broads.
  49. 13 points
    We have placed an offer on a property in Ludham and its not yet been accepted but is under consideration, exciting times for us but still panicking if it does get accepted, may be looking for a permanent mooring as well as a new boat , no more paying to get our boat trailered across country , just arrived back after a six hour drive but fingers crossed wont have to do that too many more times...
  50. 13 points
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