Thursday, 14 March 2013

Up to Barby...

Up to Barby...

The frost was more widespread and the canal ice thicker than I expected this morning. The sun was shining and by the time the stove was lit the boat was being warmed by the sun. As soon as tea and toast was over with I set about identifying a leak from one of the mushroom vents. The seal was good to the roof even after thirteen years but the top of the wooden ceiling insert was exposed to rain splashing off the roof. They regularly drip from the centre but I don't want water tracking between the steel and oak roof planks. 

Whilst I was on the roof Deb was getting chicken stew on the go so we could take advantage of the sunny morning and hike up the Barby hill. Even though there are several pathways up the hill they are difficult to see from the bottom. We decided to walk a mile down the towpath to bridge 81 which led us to the most direct path, a straight line ESE. First boat of the day passed under the bridge as we went over, crunching its way through the ice which was thick enough to veer the boat of the steerers intended path. 

Ice breaker

The lower field was waterlogged but as it was now only a couple of degrees above freezing the larger tufts were still frozen. A steeper field was sheltered from the wind and all of a sudden it felt like spring was back, at least until a style took us into the shade of a northerly sloping field and the frozen ground turned back to rock. 

Hot in the sunshine

Luckily all still frozen

Must be some heat in that pile
A farm path took us the last half a mile or so to the centre of this pretty little village. The size of the church shown that it was probably a village of note locally and there were several quite will sized houses going back to the mid 1700's. A large area in the middle of the village that I presumed was the green is now hedged off for allotments, a sign of the changing times that allotments that were once the preserve of the working classes are now the focal points of middle class villages. 
Barby Church
We took the road back the majority of the way before skirting the field above the canal and crossing one of CaRT's project bridge repairs of last year. A short walk back along the towpath took us back to LJ on  a grassy bank in total seclusion, well apart from the yiong offenders institution a couple of hundreds yards behind the hedge.  

We're down there in the middle somewhere

Rebuild bridge with no rebuilt fence - 'please shut the gate-

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