It is a truth universally acknowledged that an old couple in possession of a narrowboat must be in want of some friends to bump into now and then like ships in the night. And so it was that just after breakfast on the moorings near Brinklow that a knock on the boat roof enticed me outside to see a lady I thought I didn't know. Then she introduced herself as Marilyn from nb Waka Huia and of course we knew each other well, just not in the flesh, but from our respective blogs.
It's astonishing that in meeting someone from the other side of the planet (Marilyn and David are Kiwis), that you find you have so much in common, and by the end of the day, during which Marilyn had supplied us with her delicious fresh baked cheese scones, we had discussed canals (of course), politics, literature, sourdough baking and goodness knows what else and found that we agreed on pretty much everything.
Next morning we said our fond farewells and were happy to have consolidated our on line acquaintance into a proper real life friendship, and here's the photo of Marilyn and Kath to prove it.
We walked into Brinklow village to see what it was like and came way with mixed feelings. It's a pretty enough village with a wide main street, but very little in the way of victuals. The village shop, which the lady in the little adjacent delicatessen cafe described as an Alladin's cave, had tins and packets and fresh meat, but not a single vegetable or salad item. Maybe the residents of Brinklow are strict carnivores. It was a hot day so we popped into a pub for a drink, only to find that they were short on ales and the cider we suggested was 'out of stock'. The one cider they did have was refreshing enough though to fortify us for our walk back to the canal across fields and down a lane. Returning along the towpath we were pleased to see that someone at CRT has found a sense of humour.
A day earlier we left Stoke Golding on the Ashby after an early start and were at Hawkesbury junction by late morning. Glad to see en route that Charity Dock had lost none of its ramshackle charm and the usual mannequins were on duty to delight us.
And so on to Hillmorton top lock moorings for the night then on next day round Braunston turn and on to the popular bridge 102 moorings near Flecknoe for an assignation with another Marilyn. This time it was Marilyn and Rick who picked us up in their car and tootled up to the splendid Old Olive Bush pub where we hoped to find a meal and perhaps a Thursday night quiz. However we were cruelly disappointed to find the Landlord/Landlady had gone off on holiday leaving only a skeleton crew doing drinks only so we diverted to the Folly and ate there.
I've been doing a bit of remedial work on Herbie's roof which had got pretty scabby in places. I was thinking I must have done a poor job last time I repainted it, then I looked back at the blog to find it was in August 2017, nigh on six years ago, so now I feel a bit better about it. Boat roofs take quite a hammering from the weather and wet leaves in the winter and from the various items of equipment laid on them, so six years is I suppose an acceptable time for it to need a bit of TLC. So far I've just been scraping and sanding, so it's at the stage where it gets worse before it gets better, especially where the Fertan has turned the rust black. So regard this as the 'before' picture.
Now (Friday) we've arrived at the Folly, this time by boat, for what we think is our final night of this cruise, providing our daughter Claire comes to pick us up at Ventor tomorrow evening.