Monday 10th October to Sunday 16th October 2011
47 Miles, 14 Locks, 1 Swing Bridges – for this week
Totals: 922 Miles, 768 Locks, 27 Tunnels, 18 Lift Bridges, 19 Swing Bridges
A quite pleasant way to spend half an hour on a Monday – we had no sooner pushed away than when we went around the corner at Hillmorton when who do we run across – Paul and Lynne on Piston Broke – so naturally one stops in the middle of the canal for a bit of a chat, catch up on things and said our goodbyes when not one but two boats came along and needed to pass by – a very pleasant start to the day.
We were on our way to Rugby to catch up with my eldest daughter Rebecca, who timed it to perfection and was just arriving in the carpark as we were mooring up. It was too windy for a cruise – well too windy for winding twice and end up back where we were, but we ate lunch at the Harvester and found out how everything was going – she was over here for 2 weeks to see friends before returning to Australia and continue her studies on the way to becoming a paediatric surgeon, which will involve a stint in New Zealand next year.
We lingered for an extra day in Rugby for some restocking and a much needed haircut for me – it was starting to look a bit wild and woolly, but I am assured that the result is much better.
Onward to Hawkesbury Junction and as I had indicated last week, working whilst Diane cruises along and watching changing scenery is very much better than the lifeless view from an office.
As we were going to be passing through Nuneaton on the next part of the journey we took the opportunity to visit Les and Pauline (nb Nibby) whom I had met last year and spent a bit of time with – they are still such wonderful people and is was great to be able to introduce them to Diane – even if Les was going to try and get me into some make-believe trouble – all backfired on him.
Whilst we were shopping in Nuneaton earlier Diane really embarrassed one of the check-out girls (well not really a girl but a woman).
Anyone who knows us will be aware of our usual response to the inevitable question when buying something – “Do you need a bag?” – to which one of us will reply “No, I married one” – this time it was Diane and the usual giggle and smile from the assistant ensued; but this time the shop was promoting packs of batteries and the woman asked Diane “Do you need batteries?” and very quickly the retort was “No, he doesn’t need batteries – he is fine without them” and the woman turned bright red as she obviously was thinking about something she could not say out loud.
Down through Atherstone and we moored up at Alvecote outside the Samuel Barlow pub – after dinner we were over there for a drink and to catch up with Paul – who runs/owns the pub (not exactly sure – but has worked wonders with it) – it was busy as usual and caught up with Robbie and discussed a bit about boating but also the Wales v France game on the following morning.
It also transpired that Paul was putting on breakfast for some of the regulars and very pleasing to say we qualified so we rocked up at 8:45am into watch the match on the big screen and enjoy a very delicious breakfast.
All bar one were supporting the Welsh, and unfortunately Wales fell foul of the referee and the French as well – try again in 4 more years – the same as for the Australians against the All Blacks.
Robbie was the lone supporter of the French (due to parentage only I suspect).
In the space of just 12 hours we had enjoyed ourselves immensely and as usual we will be back there next time in the area.
It is not hard really to meet up with people who you just want to keep seeing again and this week has been just something to prove all of that.
A while ago we had made the decision to change the name of the boat from “Gypsy Rover” to “Ferndale” and I have almost completed the repainting of the back panel on each side – removing the old name. We have indicated this to a number of people along the way and are finding less people reacting to the old superstitions of changing the name. So when the time for the licence renewal comes in December the name will be changed with BW as well.
We are now nearing the point where we will be past the point of winter stoppages that would have prevented us reaching the marina and well ahead of schedule we are.
We will be able to take it a bit easier in the travelling which lays immediately ahead and continue to enjoy this unique lifestyle that we have – with or without extra batteries.