Time for LJ to visit the Doctor...
Nothing serious only a 'check up', well in reality an engine service.
After our very brief trip through Rugby we arrived at Newbold where we moored up for the night just before the tunnel, in a lovely spot and if we didn't have to be at Cathiron the next day we would have probably stayed a while. So Wednesday James and I were up and on the move by 9:15 as we were due at Lime Farm Marina for 10:00. Lime Farm is where we hired Sarah-Louise from last year and John and Sarah who own and run it are a down to earth couple who probably know, between them, everything you would need to know about narrowboats.
Now the entrance from the canal into Lime Farm marina is a little tight (we remember from getting back with Sarah-Louise!!) I was on the front deck ready to fend off the sides, James was doing really well and was looking like getting it through in one, then I spotted John running towards us shouting - unfortunately I couldn't hear him until he was quite close and he was saying ... "can you come in backwards"!! I wasn't sure if James had heard so out with the walkie talkie to relay the message - "he wants us to come in backwards"!! I knew James had heard my message when I saw him laughing - or was that crying!! This meant turning 60ft LJ round in a very, very tight space. But with a little help from John pulling the front round the the rope James got her in backwards.
We had a long chat with John and Sarah, then once the engine had cooled down John could have a good look to see what filters etc he needed. We had decided to leave him to it and went off for a walk towards Brinklow. We walked down the lovely peaceful country lanes, except for the Virgin train whooshing by, and arrived in the village where we spotted a chip shop - it was lunch time so a treat was in store for us. Leaving with bags of chips in hand we went back to a bench we had past - then it began to rain, so with chips eaten in the rain, we decided not to explore the rest of the village and headed back for Lime Farm Marina, which was about two and a half miles away! (we will go back to Brinklow as it seems to have a really interesting history). It rained heavier and we got soaked, we had waterproof coats with us but not the trousers and jeans are not particularly comfortable when wet!!!
We arrived back and John was still working on LJ with a massive umbrella over the engine bay. We went back on board and sat still, so as not to 'rock the boat' and read our books. John pumped out all the water that had been sitting in the bottom of the engine bay, which had been there since we bought her, and what a difference. When it gets warmer and drier (if ever) I will get down there and paint it. Well with the service complete, more diesel bought, pump out done and another bag of coal we were on way, that's when I realised it was 7:30pm! What service from John and Lime Farm Marina - as you can probably tell I would highly recommend them.
Up and about this morning I was getting the fire ready to light as James was going to cook up some rhubarb to make into a crumble for pudding tonight, he was also making some scones as we had got some clotted cream in Aldi on our last visit and this needed using and scones and jam are the only way to have clotted cream. So with a little coal stored in the engine bay I lifted the top and then .... I felt like a cartoon character with my eyes popping out - I couldn't believe it a couple of inches of water again - so down I went and started bailing it out. I knew it rained last night but really - that much - I got about five buckets out and there is still more there, so a mop is on the next shopping list so I can get the rest out. Whilst I was down there I thought I may as well check the weed hatch again - all was ok with that. This probably ended up taking a couple of hours and I was rewarded with some very delicious scones with clotted cream and jam.
This afternoon has been on and off rain - so we stayed in a relaxed. With the fire lit I prepared the cottage pie for dinner which was followed by rhubarb and apple crumble - yum.
Tomorrow we are getting the bus to Rugby and then back to Braunston, where we have left the Bongo and bring it back close to us - oh yes with a stop off in Tesco at Rugby to pick up the home brew kit - so bye bye airing cupboard for a couple of weeks.
Oh and James has asked me to put this picture in - this is the family size nan bread, he has previously mentioned, from our visit to Rugby with Pam and Pete. Must be for a huge family as the four of us couldn't manage it all!!!