Friday, 13 May 2016

Hopping along!

Since our last full post, we have moved along, slowly. This has been partly because we wanted to visit certain locations and partly due to the weather!

On Sunday, we made the move from our mooring just above bridge 20, to Alrewas, after a stop at Mercia marina where we visited the chandlers and the farm shop. Then, as per our previous post, we walked in golden sunshine to the very moving National Memorial Arboretum.

A walk into the village later in the day saw us enjoying an evening meal and a pint or two in a local pub, the end of a wonderful day. On Monday, we moved on to Fradley junction and then made the turn south. The weather was glorious and spotting a rural mooring we had noted previously, we stopped at lunch time, got out the chairs and made the most of the weather. Pity about the rail line, but not too intrusive.

Tuesday dawned as forecast, damp and cloudy. We made a start before the weather was predicted to deteriorate and headed for Tamworth. The general idea was to moor up near the retail park and visit. However, shortly after we had showered and prepared, the predicted downturn in the weather arrived! The slight drizzle of the morning, gave way to heavy rain. We are not in a rush, so we sat it out. Reading for me, Ali catching up on a job or two (Work related!)

So the shorts have been relegated for waterproofs once again. Don't ya just love British weather!

Tuesday morning dawned, wet. We sat it out, or rather I did whilst Ali went shopping to the rather good retail park nearby. By late lunch time,  there was just a hint of light in the sky, so we decided to risk it and make the move. At the services, we waited a short while whilst NB Isleonian watered up. They were preparing for an event at the junction being held this weekend, being a trading boat.

Once done, a quick left turn and up to what we thought would be our only two locks of the day, below Glascote basin. This now sadly missing Steve Hudson. Would you believe, there was actually a queue! We were third in line, but being narrow locks, we were soon up and on our way.

It remained warm, but the dark clouds heralded rain. But, it failed to arrive so we ploughed on. We decided to ascend the first two locks of the Athetsone flight, knowing that the moorings in the long pound to be good. So by 7pm, we were moored, pram hood up and weed hatch visited to remove a rather substantial plastic fertiliser bag. Settling in, the sky darkened and the much heralded rain arrived. So tucked in, hoping that the forecast for Thursday is correct. No rain...

And guess what? It was correct! Shorts out and off up the flight in sunshine, which stayed with us the rest of the day. The volunteer lock keepers certainly aided us up and should be congratulated for keeping the environment so clean and tidy. A quick stop at the top for a visit to Aldi, then we continued on this ultra familiar route. No surprises or problems and we were soon into Nuneaton. This seems to have a somewhat poor reputation amongst boaters, but I know not why. We have never encountered any sort of difficulty and the locals appear friendly!

As we approached Sutton stop and discussed whether to make the turn onto the North Oxford, a boat pulled off just prior to the water points, so a quick reverse and we were in. Moored in front of Fernwoods display boat at Crick this year. It had been quite a long day, so we chilled out on the boat during the evening.

The way moorhens build their nests at the end of twigs
 and out of the reach of predators never ceases to amaze us 

Friday the 13th. A chill out day, with a bus trip into Coventry planned. The main reasons for going were a beard and hair trim for me, a bit of clothes shopping for Ali and then a trip to IKEA. We both really like their Crispbread, sad I know. As we had run out, we stocked up. As you do, we came away with some other handy bits and bob's.

I know not why, but Coventry just seemed to have a different atmosphere since our last visit. A bit run down. Almost every language under the sun seemed to be spoken, with English the secondary language! I felt out of place and not in a British city at all. Well the curse of the day struck when our bus home broke down at its first stop! So we were all kicked off. The next bus was rammed full, mainly with a class from school plus teaching staff obviously returning from a trip into town. They all had seats, whilst this old codger, and Ali, had to stand!

If the trip into Coventry has been useful, it was for one thing. I have now truly made up my mind on Brexit.

(Ali - I didn't think it was quiet so bad as John obviously did & I still haven't made my mind up!)

Miles 50
Locks 24 (narrow)

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