Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Market Bosworth revisited

....last visited 6 years ago on Tickey and took this picture.  Nothing has altered and this is a better picture than the one I took this morning!!!   The tiny market has not grown any bigger.......

Lay over day today.  Walked the mile up to Market Bosworth.  Luckily a fair part of the walk was tree lined although it was a very busy road to walk along.  I had no recollection of being here before except when we reached the market square. (Geoff of course does remember it.......uncanny......)  This is a really tiny market town and the market itself has very few stalls.  However together with the few shops it had everything we needed including a very pleasant courtyard cafe where we could sit in the shade and even a bowl of water for Barney.
We had passed a sign by the bridge near where we were moored saying Fish & Chips, Sunday 6-9pm.....we wondered what they did the rest of the week!
When we reached the town we saw the pub which did not seem to indicate that frying was restricted to Sunday..
Very English (passed on our walk to the town)
the Parish Church
Yes the sun was still shining....................but later we had some welcome rain........

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Slightly cloudier this morning, in fact a welcome break from the hot days we have been having.......dare I say it has been too hot??  The offside moorings at Shenton where Geoff remembers we moored 6 years ago are no longer available....big notices saying no mooring.  This is supposed to be the best place to moor to visit the Bosworth Battlefield Centre.  However it looks as if we will be OK on the towpath side and just walk back to the bridge, this we plan to do on the return trip.  Continued on to Bosworth Wharf as we planned to visit the town tomorrow as it is market day.
6 miles, 0 locks, 2hrs 45min

Monday, 28 May 2012

Stoke Golding

Awoke to clear blue skies yet again..........and pootled a short way along this very peaceful and rural canal.  Once away from Hinkley where there is a fair amount of light industry it just becomes rolling meadows.......................
I walked with Barney early before it became too hot.  Neither of us is keen in walking in the mid-day sun.....he is not a mad dog and I am not an Englishman!!!
Moored near Stoke Golding Wharf
4 miles, 0 locks, 1hr 35min

Sunday, 27 May 2012


The walk to church in Hinkley was a fair old stride but worth it as we were made very welcome and it was an interesting service.    For the second week running we had hit their monthly `All Together` service.    This seems to be the term for what we know as family service but hedging their bets in case there are no children!!!   However in this case there were quite a few youngsters who departed during part of the service to 3 separate age group classes.  The service was a blend of quite high church and delightful informality.   At one stage various people stood up to tell of doings during the week and Geoff had to stand up and say we were visiting etc and where we had come from, he casually dropped the info about the long walk which had the desired result!!  We were offered a lift back.    This in turn gave rise to another problem.  Since I was getting into a car I failed to notice that I had left behind my hiking stick............very upsetting as I find it makes walking so much easier.  In this case John, the Vicar, was extremely kind and drove down with it.   We then had a very acceptable and reasonably priced Sunday lunch in the Lime Kilns pub close to our mooring..........and another lazy afternoon with lots of sun.   Luckily the wind was still blowing so it kept it cooler.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Ashby Canal

Petroc in the background in a pleasantly peaceful mooring
 Click picture to see bridge detail
 On closer inspection see what we were moored beneath!
We had a good cooked breakfast at the Greyhound and set off about 10.30. Clear blue skies again but with quite a breeze blowing.  This had the advantage of keeping the temperature reasonable but the disadvantage of making steering difficult at times.  Certainly no moments of inattention were advisable...

After turning onto the Ashby we met several boats coming the other way, at one stage there were 3 in a line closely followed by a canoe....did they know something we didn`t.
We also passed some houses with beautifully manicured gardens
The traffic died down after a while and we meandered through largely isolated countryside, however the wind remained (see the ripples on the water)
It didn't seem to bother proud mum 
We moored after a while close to the A5 (far enough away so that the noise is not too bothersome (unlike the generator on the boat behind!) and a suitable pub for Sunday lunch tomorrow.......although it is a good 2 mile walk to church.   Geoff tested it out today
One of the good things of the wind today was it drying capability as you can see from the following video.

7.88 miles, 0 locks, 2hrs 54 min

Friday, 25 May 2012

Farewell Coventry and back to Hawkesbury........

Coventry Basin

...............and all for breakfast in the Greyhound.  Since they only do them on Sat and Sun we had to go to Coventry to fill in time!!
We went to town early to visit the market, although we were still well stocked up.  However we managed to buy a few fresh fruit and veg bargains.   4 avocados for a £1 has to be good value.  Tasty too.
I also managed to find a new watch of the sort I required (need back light to see the time in the night on my many awakenings!).  The replacement was needed as somehow my previous one had managed to go through Giles and Susannah's washing machine.  How it got there is a is either senility creeping in or little playful fingers.  Sadly I suspect the former.........
The run back was somewhat shorter than yesterday as there were no stops to clear the weed hatch, despite going through several mucky areas.
Just by bridge 2 we passed these imposing buildings
Cash`s Hundreds
Known as Cash`s Hundreds as they were three-storey workers` terraced cottages built for Joseph Cash`s workforce.  They provided housing on the first and second floors and space for the individual weavers looms on the top.   A steam engine powered the looms via a network of overhead pulleys.  There were supposed to be 100 dwellings but only 48 were ever built.
Moored back at Hawkesbury just short of the junction. 
Another very warm day but there was a good breeze so it was very pleasant.  Whilst Geoff siestered during the afternoon, (he is very disappointed if he has to miss it!!) Barney and I took a stroll and spent some time sitting in the shade on the grass by the sharp turn at the junction.  We were unashamedly `gongoozling`.   It is wonderful to see other peoples efforts at negotiating the turn especially when several boats arrive at once.
5.35 miles, 0 locks, 2hrs 19min

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Coventry Basin

Today was the day for Geoff to have his Urban Fix.  First things first however so we stopped at Bridge 10 so that he could go into Longford to the barbers he had seen yesterday.  Half an hour later he returned nicely tidied up and all smiles as haircut and beard trim had only cost him a fiver!!
It is only just over 5 miles up to the Coventry basin but about half way the canal gets decidedly grungy and we had to have two stops for Geoff`s most unfavourite pastime.
After bridge 3 the water becomes miraculously cleaner again thankfully.  Not far before the end is a new pedestrian bridge
and then the narrow entrance to the basin and terminus
and finally the basin itself
the run up was almost as grotty as I remembered it from 2006 when we came up here in Tickey, our shared narrowboat.
After a misty start the sun appeared about 11 and we had another very hot day, so we delayed our trip to town until a little later.   We decided we would go to the Evening prayer service at Coventry Cathedral.  They were in the midst of their preparations for a big service tomorrow to commemorate 50 years since the rebuilding.  The service was to be held therefore in a small side chapel, the Chapel of Christ in Gethsemane
Before the service we had time to browse and even saw a music and dance group rehearsing for the following day`s service.

Chapel of Christ in Gethsemane
At the appointed hour a priest duly appeared and started the service, there were only 4 of us present.  After a good 5 minutes when we had reached the psalm, another 4 people noisily joined us, made a great to-do of finding the required books, deciding everyone had to share and one of them even went up to one of the original congregation and shook hands and asked her if she had had a good day!!  What I found so amazing about this rude behaviour was that two of the late entrants were bishops........and one of them was the one to greet this other lady...unbelieveable!
Afterwards we wandered round the outside ..................
What is left of the older Cathedral
The new built onto the old
.............and finished off by finding a nice pub for a cooling drink......
5 miles, 1 lock, 3hrs 30 min (including barber stop and weed hatch stops)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hawkesbury Junction

....and still the sun shineth........
Just a gentle trip today, Barney and I walked the first mile+(must have my exercise).

The plan was to moor at Hawkesbury so that we could avail ourselves of the Greyhound Pub's good breakfast tomorrow.  Sadly we discovered when Geoff visited for a swift pint before lunch, they only do them at the weekend.   So a rapid change of plan and tomorrow we shall go up the Coventry Arm and return here on Friday all set for breakfast on we are ruled by our stomachs.  But that's what this life is all set plans, just go where the whim takes us.

Lovely mooring here, lots of grass for Barney, plenty of boats going both ways giving us interest.

4.04 miles, 0 locks, 1hr 43 min

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

from Thermals to shorts!!

Monday was to be the scheduled departure but after doing last minute shopping, we found several reasons to delay...........still cold and grey, both of us still full of a nasty cold, Geoff had a splitting headache.........(The shopping got to him) so we rescheduled for Tuesday.
Today we awoke to sunshine and everything seemed much better so we said our goodbyes and set sail.
We had no particular destination in mind, en route we passed several of the lovely wrought iron bridges on this stretch
and some of the well worn brick ones

Not long after Clifton we passed through the Newbold Tunnel, which is clean, dry and very prettily lit up.  Pity not all tunnels are the same!
We half thought we might moor at Stretton but several forays into the bank proved fruitless due to the sloping sides. Eventually our patience was rewarded and we found a good spot half way between Stretton and Anstey, nicely out in the open with good views.
We passed two boats with friends on we had not seen for a while, but sadly not anywhere where we could stop and have a catch up.  The first was Klim and Tina on Brindley, followed a while later by Gillian & Ian on Per Angusta.  
Whilst walking the towpath to Tesco's on Monday I had seen Iron Butterfly moored opposite but see no sign of life.  I half thought we might see them later going past us at Clifton, but having read their blog I see that we were not there as they passed.........ships that pass in the night.......
So it has been a good first trip of the season (I don't count the shake down cruise as we were going in the other direction) followed by a really lazy afternoon....and the sun is still shining........
.......and later we were forced to sit out in the sun for our pre prandial drink!

9.2 miles, 0 locks, 3hrs 30min

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Home to Clifton & goodbye to Barrogill

Saturday was just a short hop back to Clifton for the weekend  ready for a night out with Paul, Helen and Victoria before our scheduled intention to cut the umbilical cord on Monday.  It seems to have been a protracted start this year, mainly due to our taking a week's holiday, but also not helped by the foul weather which seemed to be a good excuse not to get things done on the boat!
However a good evening out was followed by a good Sunday Lunch Chez Fran & Keith in Upperbruntingthorpe.  (Lovely name that).  We also fitted in a Sunday morning  visit to Clifton upon Dunsmore Church.  This was their monthly sort of Family service which was reasonably traditional with good hymns and was led by one of their Worship Leaders.  She gave a very entertaining and thought provoking sermon and ended the service by handing out noisy musical instruments which we used to accompany a rendering of Jubilate.
Soon after our return from church it was time to wave goodbye to Helen, Paul and Ben aboard Barrogill.  They were off to London to be one of the 40 narrowboats taking past in the Jubilee pageant of 1000 boats down the Thames in just under 2 weeks time.  This promises to be a spectacular event and we hope to be moored somewhere with a good television picture on the day.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Back to Hillmorton

A somewhat gusty trip back to Hillmorton this morning which made life interesting at times......the hardest bit being to escape from the bank when we set off! At least it stayed dry. However now moored at the top of the locks ideally placed for supper in the Bistro this evening. On the kettle gave a little this the forerunner to a full blown whistle when it grows up? We will persevere. I wanted to take it back to Midland Chandlers and complain but Geoff did the long walk back from our open mooring to fetch the paper and he does not do returning faulty goods..........Hey Ho
 5.5 miles, 0 locks

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Shake down cruise

It is normally the woman's perogative to change her mind but in this case it was the man's. At Geoff's suggestion we decided to go by boat to Braunston to do the bits of shopping we needed. This would give us a chance to check that everything was working as it should. Having had the cistern leak there was always the thought of what else could go.....being pessimistic....which Geoff is!! The first thing we discovered as we set off just after 8 on this slightly chilly morning was that we (I) had somehow left behind the bag with all the woolly hats, gloves and scarves.......more shopping to do. The forecast was for no rain (wrong again!) however we managed to have a by pleasant first run of the year. At each of the three Hillmorton locks there was someone helping. The first and last had volunteer lock keepers and the middle one had a passing boater. One set of locks is padlocked as restrictions are still indorse. However we did not perceive a lack of water! All shopping was completed successfully apart from gloves, including a new whistling kettle to replace ours which has become dumb!! The new also appears to have lost it's tongue.........where have all the whistles gone??? We also paid a visit to the very good butchers in the village. After all was done we turned and retraced our steps until we found a congenial mooring in the open. Back to Hillmorton tomorrow to meet Fran and Keith for dinner at the Bistro.
10.2 miles, 3 locks

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Home to Petroc

Well ....busman's holiday over (or do I mean boatmans...).
6 days (well really only 5 and a bit after the travelling was done) aboard the Anacolouthe being very well looked after as we cruised up the Seine and through Paris.   The included wine, which we expected to be a glass of white and a glass of red at each meal, turned out to be continuous!!!  The food was wonderful and as there were only 45 passengers  it was like a large family gathering.  Most people were very congenial and interesting to talk to, but as in any group there were one or two to be avoided!!.

There was a jacuzzi situated on the foredeck and since the weather was a little chilly they offered a bottle of champagne to the first 6 people to take a dip....I could only find 2 other willing volunteers so we had the bottle to ourselves.
There were several shore excursions and one of these was to Monets garden at Giverney

After a weekend chez grandchildren we are now back on Petroc where it appears I am expected to cook...I think I shall return to France.
To add insult to injury we were greeted by water on the floor and it appeared our hot water tank had a problem, so we had to spend a night with no water and millions of towels on the floor........all fixed now though.
So getting ready very slowly and expect to set off next Monday.  Friends to see and various things to do.
Helen and Paul who own the boatyard here at Clifton are taking their boat, Barrowgill, down to London to as they will be one of the 40 narrowboats taking part in the 1000 boat gala cruise down the Thames for the Jubilee.