Monday, 16 July 2012

Summer for a day...

The evening weather was kind to us yesterday, with the winds abating we nearly had a sunset!

Pretty sky but the ducks are swimming in the fields

Lots of boats with stoves lit again

The tow paths here are in an awful state, thick mud, deep puddles and no grip on the mooring pins. We resorted to using the spare pine through the eye of the first one so each line had two pins at opposing angles – they held fast.

If we stay here another day we will end up here for a week. It’s a convenient location and a nice spot for people watching; there are permanent moorings, paddocks and water points to keep us busy. No we definitely need to be off tomorrow morning.

Lunchtimes (actually brunch times) fish and chips saw us through the day finishing with a power saving (no need to spark the generator up) cheese salad sarnie and a coffee made with boiling water from the flask (well not boiling really but just about adequate we really need a better one). The fish and chips were a bit of a bargain as well; half price at Morrison’s all in one box for £1.50, 15 minutes in the oven et voila. We even broke the bank with a small tin each of ‘saver’ mushy peas at only 8p a tin; they were pretty good quality and a lot cheaper than I could have made them from scratch! Pickled onions and a slice of bread reminded me of our many trips to Harry Ramsdens overlooking the grockles on Bournemouth beach a couple of miles from our house in Poole. At about £1.65 each it was certainly a lot cheaper though and the view was nearly as good.

A probably too large a glass of calvados (glad we bought so many random drinks on previous holidays – what are we going to do when the cellar runs dry?) had us ready for ZZZ’s at a decent hour for a change. We would be up early (ish).

I could hear the dawn chorus starting and I reminded myself of our early start, not that early though. The kind weather man had forecast a high of 28deg C right over us and uninterrupted midday sun and I wanted to be moored up by 11.00 latest, don’t want to burn to a crisp! The dawn chorus came and went and I was back to the ZZZ’s. Water fowl tend to have their dawn at a slightly more reasonable time and I awoke again (properly this time) to the whisper of drizzle on the roof light.

Sadly the weather forecast was figment of my dawn til 6.30 imaginations. The reason we had agreed to leave so early is that there was a window in the weather between 6.30 and 10.00ish, after that we could expect 10mm plus from the heavy rain clouds before lunchtime.

We were up and straight out by 7.00 and making enjoyable progress on our first proper run for a long time. I do like early morning and late evening cruises; I can go at my own pace and not conform to everyone else’s hurried plans. I travel at about 2.5mph possibly 3mph if there are no moored boats and nesting wildlife close to the water’s edge. It suits me and I really don’t care if I manage only six miles in my unhurried two and a half hours where the hurried others can get oh, maybe eight miles in that time.

The rain had started by Marston Junction, but it was only light. We are moored in another pleasant spot just up the Coventry; the next leg see’s us through town (loads of gardens to nose at!) before we get to Athertone and its 11 downward locks – double porridge on that day then!!

New neighbours come to say Hi!

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