We were supposed to be boating today, but the forecast said winds gusting to 35mph so we gave ourselves the day off. Not that our time was wasted. Knowing that James and Amy were coming down the Leicester line on Willow, we texted to offer our help coming up the Foxton staircases.
J&A gratefully accepted so we met them at lunchtime as they came into Foxton, and with Grace's help made short work of lifting their splendid old boat up the hill. 10 locks in a little over half an hour.
We are privileged to be some of the first to get a look at Willow since the Ducks took her over, and I have to say I reckon they've done really well to find and acquire her. Granted she needs a good deal of fitting out, but as a base to work on she's brilliant. Some really unusual and attractive features such as the posh stove and the oak panelling and loads and loads of space.
Amy had been on the phone to Midland Chandlers at Braunston spending loadsamoney as it is their 20% off day. As soon as we had waved Willow off at the top of the locks, we drove over to Braunston and spent a rather smaller sum, coming away with a new chimney and a thermostatic shower mixer and a boat hook. I had been a bit worried about fixings for the shower mixer because our old one has quite different fittings from the way they do them now, but the nice man at the shop showed us the adapters provided with the shower and I think they'll do nicely (Rick please note).
Here on board Herbie I've just finished reading Valerie Poore's book Watery Ways about living on a barge in Holland. It's worthy of a post all of its own, which I'll do in the coming days. Suffice it to say for the time being that it makes me want to visit the Dutch waterways. Val is an avid boaters blog commenter and has been keeping my spirits up ever since the early days of this blog.