Monday 31 October 2011

Hatton in the sunshine- my first blog in 'live writer'

Couldn't resist  putting this up today (albeit out of sync) spotted on the wall of bridge 103 on the run into Braunston.
Decided to have a go at blogging off line and then transferring it as Blogger actually ate the whole of Beefur's blog spots yesterday - not just a post - so it seemed like a good idea. Quite straight forward, even to a techno-phobe like me.

Beautiful sunny day with Sue ready to take Beefur down the flight with Matilda Rose tied alongside as a fender – not that she needed  fenders.
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I make no apologies for  publishing, yet another, couple of pics of the dragonfly sculpture
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It is so beautiful
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So off we go, Sue doing a splendid job with the wallowing pair
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The front was steering, but the ass end was wallowing to starboard
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We realised why later – we’d emptied the poo tank (sits on the port side) and all the coal was loaded on the starboard side – no wonder we were right hand heavy. No probs for a helms woman of Sue’s calibre though – sorry Sue
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An attractive bit of graffiti to finish the flight
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We continued onwards through the Cape Locks, Warwick and Leamington before mooring at Radford Semele around 4.30/5ish. All but one lock against us, but tying the boats together left us with crew either side, plus one to set ahead. 2 hours 20 for the Hatton 21 and we didn’t rush it –a beautiful day in the sunshine.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Downpours and blog eaters.

I was just about to publish this last night when vanished. Nothing in draft. Nothing in the re-cycle bin. Even my resident font of all knowledge couldn't find it. That's it then, after this one I'm going to get to grips with Microsoft Live Writer.

Having seen the weather forecast for Thursday I donned full wet weather gear from the start. We moved the short hop up to the top of the Hatton flight, stopping by Shrewley tunnel for an essential visit to the shop at the top of the horse tunnel - lovely sausages, bacon, ham, samosas etc. They even gave me a supply of fresh coriander from their own kitchen as there was none in the shop.
Once moored I took Muttley (and dragged Baxter) out for a walk
passed Hatton station
It may have been raining the whole time, but the colours were still fabulous

We went to the Waterman in the evening to celebrate the 19th anniversary of Dave's living afloat (the reason why we moved up in the rain

We had a lovely evening and my Sea Bass was stunning-the staff were friendly but it wasn't busy. Probably because no-one else was daft enough to turn out in the ghastly weather

Friday 28 October 2011

Somewhere over the rainbow/s lies Baddesley Clinton

Stayed in our lovely spot on Wednesday as we're not planning to do the Hatton flight until Friday, after Thursday's predicted (and actual as it turns out) all day rain. So I set off, rather late in the day, in search of Baddesley Clinton's medieval manor house.

A right old kerfuffle going on as a full length boat tried to turn right onto the Grand Union out of the Kingswood link with another boat coming. Why they insisted on 'keeping to the right' in this situation I don't know - it made everyone's life doubly difficult
Hadar's Chetsey's  bought a new butty, I wonder if the owners would sell me this one - goes by the name of Hebe
Turning right over bridge 65 and then, almost, immediately left past The Navigation I encountered, 'Kingswood Park, the home of Castle Eventers'. Their set up is fantastic with barn stalls, menages and cross country fences. Then the heavens opened (not forecast) and drowned me. Worth it though as rainbow after rainbow popped up all around me.

Quite stunning

The weather continued to look more than a bit dodgy, but I didn't care as the light was sensational
I arrived at a junction and asked another walker which way to the house and the church. I followed his directions against my instincts and later regretted it.
He sent me the long way round on the circular National Trust walk - if I'd gone straight on I'd have been there in 10 minutes, instead of walking another mile and a half!
The church is 16th and 17th century

By the time I reached the house and stables it was one minute past 5pm. They close at and, with the sun setting behind, I couldn't even get a decent photo, grrrrrrr

Despite my mis-direction and missing out on the house, it really was up there with some of my best ever walks

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Down the Lapworth with NB Beefur

We moved on a short distance on Monday and Dave and Sue (NB Beefur) caught up with us later at the Bluebell Cider House.
Fortunately, this boat reached us just by the winding hole - there is precious little passing room at the moment along here due to shallows and overgrown vegetation
Out passed the Disney Set Dickens Heath - still looking pretty much deserted; such a strange place
The building edge (right below) is the end of the building (left above). That's it - straight back into open countryside.
Another Shetland
I wouldn't fancy staying the night here - a bit drafty!
A quick stop at the bakers/deli/greengrocers off of bridge 20. They offer a good selection of fresh produce and amazing patisserie, but very little is priced and you can get a nasty surprise if you get carried away.

We set off slightly ahead of Beefur Tuesday morning in glorious sunshine
Muttley snatched something dead and disgusting and then shot off with it back the way we had come, the little b****r. I had no choice but to wait for him to finish it as, every time I approached him, he ran further in the opposite direction.
We pulled over at the pretty Hockley Heath where G had some mail to collect from the Post Office
I love these carved picnic tables that can be found at intervals down the canal
The last one is actually on the Kingswood link
Beefur passed us whilst we were at Hockley and went on so as Sue could lift the first bridge
 I lifted the second, but didn't find Neil's (NB Herbie) windlass
 Sue's flowers are still looking good
No matter what time of year you pass this cottage, the garden is always a fabulous contrast of colours and textures. BW person said that the cottage  had just changed hands. I hope the newbies keep the garden up.
A time share boat had gone down the first three locks before us; leaving open a 'full house' of paddles and gates. We shut some and the BW person went and found them to explain how it should be done. We passed them a little way on where they had pulled over to do a spot of fishing.
Starting on the main flight proper, I was unlucky enough to encounter a boat coming up out of lock 8 whilst I was trying to get out of lock 7, round the bend and into 8. If you have a 66ft boat, you run out of pound before you can get the back clear and start turning; then the waiting boat is there as well - plus I got a bit of the bike embedded in the wall. It wasn't elegant!
I love this canal and it's beautiful locks - and what a day for it
Although we were intending to turn left to the Grand Union, we took the right lock option as we wanted the services
G does a quick pas de deux  in the basin
and reverses up passed the barrel cottage onto the service point
and I run round with the dogs over the first of the South Stratford locks before continuing through the Kingswood link and turning onto the Grand Union and waiting in the rain for MR to catch us up to moor at Turner's Green just before the newly re-opened Tom o'the Wood pub on the opposite bank