Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Lots to see while going hardly anywhere


Making good use of our magnetic letters

I wonder if we've just had the last gasp of summer.  Our few days on the boat ending yesterday were blessed with glorious warm sunshine (albeit at first tempered by a bit of  a breeze).  Sometimes, just occasionally, I wonder if we've had enough of boating, then we have an outing like we've just had and we remember why we love it so much.  The strange thing this time was that we hardly went anywhere, just between Wigrams Turn and Braunston and back.  Although we moved every day, some times our daily cruise was less than half an hour - just as far as the next attractive mooring spot.  For mooring spots we had a list of requirements.

1. A flat wide grassy towpath

2. Arnco piling to chain up to

3. Shelter from the prevailing breeze

4. Not overcrowded

6. An attractive landscape view across the canal

7.  Some blackberries in the hedge.

We didn't always succeed on the blackberries, but we managed the rest.  There are lots of good places along that it of canal.

The reason for going to Braunston at all was to get a new chimney from Midland Chandlers. Our stove replacement just before lockdown (we still haven't needed to light it yet), meant a flue replacement of a narrower bore which our lovely existing chimney made by Alex wouldn't fit. The new (double skinned) one fits well looks smart enough but it won't last as long.

Back on the canal, we've never seen it so busy. You'll hardly believe me but one morning (while we were stationary) I reckon fifty boats passed us in the space of an hour.  Is everyone out having a final fling we wonder.  Some surprising boats too. How about this one?

 These so-called Caribbean Cruisers are ten a penny on the Norfolk Broads, but a truly rare sight on a canal.  I politely pointed out to the driver that the Broads were in the other direction, thankfully he laughed.

And how about this for a boat name?

I bet they didn't know how prophetic that was when they named it.

Here's where I have to confess that we didn't only go to Braunston, we did manage to fit in a short detour to Napton when we set out.  Here we sampled the local produce

From the Napton cidery, and I can declare that it is a decent cut above yer normal bottled cider, as good as a good draft real cider.

We also put on our masks and braved the little Napton village store and succumbed to some lovely pork pies and some flapjacks.  On the way back we stopped to look at the tiny Christadelphian Church with this er, charming notice.

Ever the optimists, the Christadelphians.

On a more pragmatic and enterprising level we saw these little posters by various gates and bridges along the canal.

For those reading on a small screen, allow me to explain that the folks who run the splendid little Olive Bush pub in Flecknoe, a bit of a walk up the hill from the canal, are not only offering take-away meals and drinks but will also 'deliver to bridge 102 after 7.30.'  What a good idea.  We've eaten there two or three times and the food is always very good, so if you're along there, go for it.  There is good mooring at bridge 102.

A couple of final pictures to show we were not just loafing about all week.

I washed and polished Herbie's starboard side.  Here, just before I finished, you can see the before and after shot. Still got the other side to do though :-(

Meanwhile Kath had her sketchbook out recording the local flora with her pen and water colours.

Getting good ain't she?

Well I reckon that was a pretty good six day outing.  Here's to the next one.


Carol said...

Great to see you out and about again enjoying what appears to be the last of the summer weather. Best wishes to you both from both of us.x

Lisa said...

Kath I'm loving the blackberry watercolour, you should sell them, id buy one.


Vallypee said...

Lovely post, Neil and well done for your efforts in polishing. Kath's water colour sketches are beautiful! That's a really lovely creative outlet.