Tuesday, 27 December 2011

It’s All Over Bar the Shouting ……

Don’t know what it means but it’s the sort of thing my mum would now be saying.  Perhaps it’s all about the large amounts of money we have been tempted and succumbed  to spend – all over bar the paying for things that have been put on credit card!!

We have had a completely different Christmas from any we have had before.  Despite my reservations about not being in Staines, it’s been really nice Ben coming here to us for a change.  He seemed happy enough being back on a narrowboat, was very observant and complimentary about anything we have done on board “Ellen” and definitely appreciated being catered for and waited on!!  Probably like everybody else, we’ve eaten too much and drunken FAR too much.  Do hope that everyone else out there has also had a nice Christmas.

Christmas 009 (600x800)

A new ruler for the tool box!!

                                              Christmas 007 (800x600)Do I smoke it, eat it or ……. HIDE it!!


Maisie has enjoyed having someone else to sleep with (! – she gets right down under the covers given half a chance) and play with – fighting with poor old Mr Lion.  We gave her a large bone/biscuit thing for Christmas and she didn’t know what to do with it!  She just wanted to hide it and then guard it!!  Maggie on the other hand got well stuck in!!

On Boxing Day we thought it was a good idea to take Ben to Foxton to show him the locks and the incline plane.   THE PLACE WAS HEAVING!  Car parks both top and bottom were virtually full, both pubs, both cafes and the shop were all chock-a-block.  Investment in the development of this area as a tourist attraction is certainly paying off.  We were staggered at just how busy it was.  A quiet stroll around Foxton it was not!  I’m still hoping to get out on the boat and go there whilst the canals are not frozen – from Crick to Foxton is one of my favourite stretches.       Christmas 013 (800x600)                                

 Looking over the Inclined Plane at Foxton Locks.

                                     I like the way this sign has been made to look like a lock beam.Christmas 014 (600x800)

Ben left this afternoon (borrowed my brother’s car rather than come up on his motor bike).  Bye Ben – maybe he’ll come again next year.


      Christmas 020 (800x600)

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Moment of Extravagant Madness!

Today it has rained …… and rained …………….. and rained ………….. and rained!!

The reservoirs need it really badly so no grumbles.  It’s a necessary delivery of what we float on!

But what to do on a day like today?  Go to the posh kitchen shop in The Heart of the Shires complex and buy a lovely new set of saucepans of course!!  I had NO idea how many different types of saucepan there are!  But, yes, a moment of extravagant madness took place.  I blame Nigella and all that scrummy Christmas cooking she has been broadcasting on the tele this week.

BUT ….. if you had seen the old ones ……………… !!!  UGH! 

It’s really quite dangerous having access to a car!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Year ago Today

…………… I lost my mum and …………….. I’m still so very, very sad.  I’m still on the side of that invisible assault wall where you feel  agonising sorrow for what you  have lost.  On the other side of the wall I’m told you feel intense joy at what you had but ……. how to get over???!!!

Anyway, special memories today of my mum ……………

                                St-Davids-Day-daffodils-007                 dragon


Saturday, 17 December 2011

We Salute Them!

We awoke this morning to find a thin layer of ice all over the surface of the water – for the first time this winter, we are frozen in!

In this month’s “Canal Boat” magazine there are pictures of boats trapped in the ice out on the cut last year.  This time last year the cut had already been frozen over for at least a month.  The ice was really thick and boaters were trapped for weeks on end.  The article in the magazine states that:-

“during severe weather liveaboard boating is not for the faint-hearted and that whilst resourceful boaters take wintry conditions in their stride, others should consider more conventional accommodation”!

Well, we are amongst those ‘others’ – yes, we are faint-hearted and less resourceful and our chosen winter ‘accommodation’ is in the marina with all it’s comfortable facilities close at hand.  We know/know of more than a few hardy boaters who choose to stay out on the cut even in the most bitter weather and embrace the challenge. We salute them.  Thumbs up    When groups of boaters are frozen in close to each other they have the opportunity of getting to know each other well and, on reading their blogs, it is clear to see that there is lots of camaraderie.              I envy them that.   Green with envy

I’ve had a letter published!  (I rather suspect though that anyone who bothers to write in about something does!)                                          In November’s issue there was a letter which, to my mind, was a blatant attack against continual cruisers – those who have no home mooring.  I suspect that it was really attacking boaters who abuse the mooring rules but that’s not how it came across.  I don’t consider us to be continual cruisers because we pay to moor up and stay put over the winter but, in defence of those who don’t, I sent in a (somewhat sarcastic!) response.   Sarcastic smile

We seem to be back on track.  The ‘incident’ (we had a prang in Meg’s car!!  NOT OUR FAULT!) has been sorted, the dentist has given us the all-clear this time round and anything that needed to be delivered to Staines in readiness for Christmas …………….. has been.  For the first time in my life I will be spending Christmas Day away from Staines.  Ben is coming up here instead.  On the plus side there won’t be associated sad memories but on the downside, I won’t be able to catch up with lots of old friends.  Crying face

Can anyone help?   Computer  Our computer skills are elementary at best and we keep getting the blue screen!  The computer freezes and says that it’s crashed.  Baring teeth smile  Can anyone explain to us why this is happening and what we need to do to resolve it.                                               We would be grateful for any advice.

Crochet Cotton  I have sourced a little ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ in Rugby so, at last, it’s all systems go again.  I need to do about 27 feet of cabin lace altogether.  At the speed I go this is going to be a long-term project and a test of discipline and perseverance.  John says it will keep me out of trouble!!  Stupid comment!!  Annoyed

Megan  Today Megan is leaving Florianopolis and travelling 12 hours on a coach/bus to get to a place called Paraty where she will be spending Christmas.  She is then going to Rio for the New Year.      Island with a palm tree              

                                                I MUST NOT WORRY   I MUST NOT WORRY   I MUST NOT WORRY!!!!   

Friday, 9 December 2011

Welcome to the Cut

Another new boater has arrived at Crick marina.  This is 12 week old Megs – a chocolate Labrador.

Megs 004 (800x600)

Megs 009 (800x600)


I just know that she and her owner, Rob, are going to have a lovely time living together and cruising round the system on their narrowboat “Green Manalishi”.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Everything Comes to those who wait …..

Well, I’m sure that’s not true in reality but …………… after searching for well over a year, we have finally managed to find someone who could supply us with kits to fit electric motors onto our Brompton bikes.  It would have been so easy just to go out and buy new bikes that were already motorised but …………. we like our Bromptons because they fold up really neatly and fit tidily on a shelf in the engine room.

The company (small – existing of only two guys!) is based just outside Marlborough so, needing to go back to Staines for a few days, we went via Marlborough!  It was further than we thought!  Unfortunately, the solitary guy there was way behind schedule with what he was doing so we left our bikes with him arranging to pick them back up three days later.  It’s a sad tale in one way but encouraging in another.  This nice chap used to be a really keen cyclist but, several years ago he had a devastating accident that has left him severely disabled.  He can now only walk with two sticks and finds it really difficult to use his hands.  Being determined not to give up on life and wanting to get back on a bike, he engineered a way to motorise a Brompton.  He now markets this.  Everything takes him a long, long time and his patience with himself is amazing!  I don’t know how it all came about that we ended up having them fitted for us rather than John fitting them – it just happened that way!

Anyway ……………. I now have electric wheels!  No more struggling up hills going slower than a snail with arthritis.  Now, me with a rucksack full of shopping and Maggie in the basket will exhibit oodles of va-va-voom!  I’ve even had a rack fitted on the back so I can carry extra! (John declined this accessory! He says it was the price that was prohibitive.  Rubbish!  He just wants ME to carry the beers!)

                               ALichfield 010 (800x600)    ALichfield 011 (800x600)

My mum was a keen cyclist all her life.  Back in the 20’s and 30’s she belonged to what was probably one of the first type of cycling clubs.  She told me how it took her ages to save up enough money to buy what was then akin to a racing bike. She had me riding my first two-wheeler when I was only four years old and, from then on, we cycled all around the local area together.  My bikes just got progressively bigger – always Christmas presents and always second-hand and I always loved them.

These newly acquired motors (John wasn’t going to be left out!) are from you, mum.  You kept riding your bike well into your 80’s.  Now, if you’d had one of these motors ……………….. you would have been down-right dangerous!!!

In Staines we had the soul-destroying task of completely emptying John’s mum’s bungalow. The charity shops didn’t want the larger, more dated items of furniture – display cabinet, dressing table and sideboard so …….. John had to break them up.  He made that dressing table for me 37 years ago – I couldn’t watch.

On the plus side we got to spend some time with Ben and I met my ex colleague, Lorraine, for a pub lunch – and a good old gossip!

On the minus side, we were involved in a bit of an incident on the way back to the marina – nothing serious but hassle we could do without.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Yesterday …

Yesterday was ………………..

John’s birthday.  Yes, another one!  I can’t believe we’re SO old!  How did all these years creep up on us? On the + side, he is now entitled to a winter fuel allowance!!

Anyway, Rodney came up to the marina for the weekend and I enjoyed two whole days catering-free.  On Saturday we had a take-away and on Sunday Rodney took us  for lunch to “The Red Lion” in Crick.  Lovely old pub, a really good Sunday roast (PROPER crumble and custard for pud!!) AND ….. they happily let dogs in.  Cheers, Rodney!

birthday 006 (800x600)      birthday 007 (800x600)     birthday 009 (600x800)

We had just said “see you later” to Rodney and were un-zipping our cratch cover when the phone rang and it was himself.

“DI-SAS-TER”,  he says.  “I’ve just dropped my keys – house keys and car keys on the same ring – in the water!  Have you got a big, strong magnet?”

Fortunately we have so up went John to do a bit of fishing.  I thought there was NO chance but luck was on our side and he did in fact manage to retrieve them!

birthday 011 (800x600)



All’s well that ends well!  Less wine next time!




Yesterday was …………….

The sixth anniversary of the death of John’s dad, Ernie.  How bizarre – losing your dad on your birthday.  In the big pattern of things six years is not a great deal of time but in those last six years SUCH a lot has happened in our family……. and quite a bit of it …… sad….Crying face

Yesterday was ………………….

The happy christening of young Harry John Clayton, the eldest grandson of our lovely friends Mick and Lynn.  The ceremony took place in Sawbridgeworth church where Andy and Rhia were married – THE wedding we went to by boat back in 2010.

Harry's christening (600x800)

Yesterday was ……..

The day Ben got safely back home from his holiday with friend Chi in Thailand.  Judging from the photos he had a good time and did manage to do some more diving.

b6 (598x800)                    b8 (800x600)                 b9 (800x600)

b12 (800x600)     It’s easy to see why he likes Thailand so much.  The beaches look amazing, the towns – crazy!  b10 (800x600)

Today ……… 

We need to organise ourselves for going back to Staines to empty John’s mum’s bungalow completely.  Very sad but now, very necessary.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Let the silly season begin…..

One of the things I look forward to seeing in the winter is the increasing display of pretty outdoor lights that adorn windows, doorframes, bushes and trees in front gardens.  With the onset of darkness now at about 4.30 pm, us Brits need to cheer ourselves up with something!  And, getting into the Festive Spirit now includes large, illuminated Santas, snowmen, sledges, moving reindeer etc etc.  Up goes the electricity bill but, hey, it’s Christmas time!  Each to their own!

Boaters are not to be left out!  We had intended to wait until December 1st before turning on our contribution to the festivities.  In the past I have been known to grumble (I know it’s hard to believe!) about Christmas coming far too early ……….. cards and crackers in the shops in October!  Ridiculous!!  BUT …… last weekend other boaters here got things going so ……….

Fellow Boaters ………..

lights 016 (800x600)           lights 018 (800x600)      lights 024 (800x600)

And us …………………..

Ernie's slides 008 (800x600) (2)      hooknah 001 (800x600)      Ernie's slides 010 (800x600)

Apparently our lights can be seen from the gate.  Jolly good!  If necessary, they can help to guide folk safely back from the pub!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

You Have to Laugh ……….

Ernie's slides 002 (800x600)      Ernie's slides 003 (800x600)                        

This gate, seen on the North Oxford Canal whilst we were walking the dogs with Lynn, is clearly doing a grand job!  The notice tells walkers to make sure they shut the gate!  No ‘invisible’ fencing is either side of the posts!  You have to laugh!

Whilst in the marina we have met another chap (Brian) from Wakefield and he has the same sort of humour as the Wakefield Three we met on Skye – Den, Wally and ‘Rocket’ Ron.  What do they put in Wakefield Water?!  Brian moors his boat at Crick and told us that he is thinking of changing the name to “The Olympic Flame”.  Why?  Is it because he’s a keen, enthusiastic sportsman?  A patriot wanting to support in 2012?  No, because, he says, his boat never goes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  “B-Boom”, as Basil Brush used to say!  You have to laugh!

He also told us that, un-be-known to us, Crick Marina is split into suburbs!  There’s “Council Row”, (that’s where we are at the moment), “Snob’s Alley” (that’s where we’ll never be!) and “The Ghetto” (that’s where we were!)  You have to laugh!

hooknah 004

This is Hookna.  (Scottish derivative for ‘half-penny)

She likes to give Maisie a big, wet lick whenever we go by.

Maisie does not protest!  You have to laugh!

Yesterday we drove to Shuckburgh laden with cakes to accompany the cup of tea promised by Lynn and Paul. We had a good old chat too!  Their boat is looking so smart.  They now have three solar panels all neatly and cleverly mounted on the roof of the boat.  Paul never stops striving for perfection and the results of his efforts speak for themselves.  Praise where praise is due!  Regarding solar panels, we haven’t got passed the ‘thinking-about-it stage’.

AND …………….. the Middle-Sized Buckby Can is VERY NEARLY finished!

bc 001 (800x600)

Megan’s leg, thank goodness, is on the mend.  The big blisters have burst but she says that it’s clean and not too painful.  I have sent her some special dressing.  I’ll be AMAZED if she ever gets it!  She is coming home early in January ……………. but not for long.  At the end of January she is going to Alicante where she has been offered a teaching job.  Europe!  Hooray!  I know that teaching English as a second language is nothing like teaching in a school but I never, ever thought that a daughter of mine would be talking to me about lesson plans!!!!!!!!!!!!!                    You have to laugh!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

So…………. What’s been occuring?

I can’t believe that we have been in the marina for nearly two weeks already!  Time usually goes ‘Slowly, Oh, so slowly’ in here!

There have been at least two ‘next times’ where the Eberspacher is concerned but, somehow or other, John seems to get it going again.  Must be sweet-talk!  Our friend, Paul, on n/b ‘Piston Broke’ told us of a chap who is based at Braunston and deals with heating systems on boats so we went over there yesterday and are now in possession of a new motor for it – might be fitted later on today.

So, how did we get to Braunston?  We have wheels!  Megan is letting us use her car whilst she is away.  It is being M.O.T.’d as I write – fingers crossed.  Megan sorted out insurance all the way from Brazil – technology today really is ‘magic’!  Becky had got all the documents together for us.  After all she has been through in the last couple of years it was so good to see her looking really, really well.  She now has two little dogs of her own – Dennis, who is a cross between a Westie and a Cavalier and Doris(!), who is a Jack-a-poo!  Both gorgeous.

Megan:  Yesterday she had a really nasty accident.  She spilt a pan of boiling water down her leg – a large area of skin has been burned and is really nasty – we’ve seen a picture!  The handle on the pan broke as she picked it up.  We were doing our best to offer her some medical advice over the internet!  I’m sure it’s going to remain painful for quite some time and take weeks to heal.  Internet reception in here is not good and it is really frustrating trying to use Skype – yesterday was the worst experience because we were trying to communicate with Megan who was understandably very upset and it just kept breaking up.  So – Paul - the dongle is going on top of a broomstick!  (Talking of broomsticks Paul, hope Lynn has got back safely and on time from Kent!)  Let’s hope this strategy makes a big improvement.  An extension lead and different dongle have been purchased – it’s all so easy to support the world of retail when you have means of independent transport!Ben diving

Ben:  For those of you who know him – he is fine and off to Thailand – Phuket- for a two week holiday on Thursday.  Something about another diving course.

We have been getting well carried away because a set of Christmas lights for the boat and new raincoats for the dogs have also been purchased.  And, continuing the search for crochet cotton, we came back to the marina via Berkhamstead where I know of a well-stocked craft shop.  Cotton has at least been ordered ……… I just hope it actually materializes.

A new Winter experience for us:- we are sharing our pontoon with another liveaboard – Bob.  We actually met him briefly on the Ouse last year.  He has a lovely Alsation puppy.  Maisie is already besotted with her.

Surprise news:- John was reading a canal boat forum the other night and saw that Ian, who operates the coal boat ‘Gosty Hill’, has put the boat up for sale.  We only saw him a few weeks ago and he didn’t indicate that that was on the cards.  I hope everything is O.K. with him and Alison.

The double-glazing has been put in as the weather is now wet and miserable!  New dog coats purchased just at the right time I would say.

John has just returned – the car failed!  Now booked in for a service and repairs first thing in the morning.  ‘Means of independent transport’ obviously doesn’t come without hitches and £££!!!!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Back to Base

Yesterday, whilst moored at Norton Junction, it rained all day!  Today, however, we travelled back to Crick in glorious Autumn sunshine.

finals 006 (800x600)

Going under the M1 which was as busy and noisy as ever, none of the road travellers would even have known we were there!

Coming up the Watford Locks there are displayed photographs (taken last August) of the reservoirs which feed the top section – Welford, Naseby and Saddington – and even back then they were incredibly low.

The lock-keeper explained that, in order to keep this top pound in watefinals 008 (800x600)r at the moment, they are back-pumping all the way from the River Swift near Stoke Bruerne.  Due to the fact that Foxton Locks have been closed since the middle of August boat traffic on this section has fallen by 40% this season.  No doubt trade for the shop, cafe and pubs at Foxton has been badly affected.

                                                                                                               Entering Crick Tunnel

Whilst at Braunston we treated ourselves to this month’s “Canal Boat” magazine.  I almost wish we hadn’t!  There’s yet another letter gunning for Continuous Cruisers.  Of course my reaction is defensive!  Even aggressively defensive!!  Yes, there definitely are those who break the rules but ……………?

finals 007 (600x800)

For example, is this boat continually cruising?  It might be.  It might be just having a jolly good sort out within the 14 permitted mooring days!

So, by and large Crick will be our base for the next few months.  On the plus side – I have unlimited amounts of electricity!  I will be able to appease my O.C.D. and hoover to my heart’s content.  I will be able to use the washing machine without having to ask permission and …………….. if I want to, watch an old black and white film in the middle of the afternoon ………………. whose to stop me?!

On a more serious note, we have lots of sorting out still to do back in Staines.  Apparently there is a suggestion that it should be re-named Staines-on-Thames.  And why not? Bring it on, I say!

Saturday, 22 October 2011


If only it were that simple but ……….
They do say that two heads are better than one so…………………
Both John and Paul put their thinking caps on to deal with the offending eberspacher.  Yet again it was disassembled.  The suspected dodgy component was identified and given a thorough clean.  Parts re-assembled.  “Try it now”.  “Wr-wr-wr-scr-ee-ch, squ-ea-l, scr-ea-m, gr-in-d, gr-a-te ……………….  “Turn it off. turn it off.  No good.”
Now what?  Two pairs of eyes.  Two pairs of ears.  Two brain cells ………… sorry!  I mean brains!
Grease the bearings!  It’s too clean and dry!!
Now – try again.
Sounding good!  Hot radiators.  Hot water.  Hooray!
The Next Morning………………
Eberspacher set to come on at 7.40am.  7.35am – anticipation mounting.  7.38am – high tension.  7.40am – a buttock clenching moment!
Whirr-irr-irr-irrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  Exhale.  Great stuff.  Showers and hair washes?  No problem!
So here endeth today’s episode – we’ll see what happens tomorrow!
Saturday 22nd October  Vast numbers of hire boats have been whizzing past us today moored here at Onley. Half term has clearly arrived! The speediest boats definitely come out of Willow Wren being crewed by either a large groups of young girls (they don’t go too fast!) or a large group of young guys (they do!!) or a large group of mixed gender youngsters (they do too!)  We need some means of retaliation!  We get the feeling that the owners of Willow Wren are only interested in taking the money and give insufficient guidance (if any) to their hirers.
Strictly’s on …………… I’m off!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Since my last entry we’ve spent some very ordinary days, hence my lack of motivation to report!  This is just to pin-point our current location really and to mention a few mundane things:-

  • Cavalry one day, Navy the next!  Completing the last 5 locks on the Atherstone flight I was helped by the crew of the boat following – chaps from the Navy!  The Navy apparently owns 3 narrow boats for their staff to use.  This time, the operation of those locks was ……… easy-peasy!
  • Coming through Nuneaton we got a jacket wrapped around the propeller.  The Navy chaps picked up a matching jumper on theirs!  How DO these sorts of things end up in the canal?  It can’t be by accident?  The mind boggles!

rugby 017 (800x600)  Wood around the prop     rugby 020 (800x600)  and then clothing!

  • Between Atherstone and Rugby we have made ourselves moor up in some different places.  We were finding that we were tending to stick to mooring spots we knew to be OK so, in order to break that predictability ………………rugby 021 (800x600)

                                                                          Moored in the Autumn sunshine near Easenhall.

  • We haven’t moored up where we usually do in Rugby – we’ve gone on a bit further and have moored by the golf course.  Yesterday we cycled into Rugby town centre from there – not far but up-hill all the way.  Oh, for that electric motor!  Coming back though was ………. SIMPLES!!
  • The Bionic Boiler has packed up …… again!  It HAD been behaving itself!  I have now lost all patience with it and want it to be jettisoned but John, it seems, has developed an intimate relationship with all it’s components and it’s mood swings and it appears that he is unable to envisage life without it!!
  • Speaking of not living without things …………………  Those of you who know me well know Rugby A 004 (800x600)of my attachment to all things purple.  What about these then?  My birthday present from my mate, Gill.  Fab-u-lous!    
  • With both Gill and Mick in mind, it seems amazing that it’s half-term next week already.  How quickly one forgets!!
  • The cabin lace up at our windows is literally falling apart.  Old age, sunlight and washing detergent have all taken their toll.  So, I have set myself the challenge of replacing it.  Thing is, I can only ‘dRugby A 005 (800x600)o’ one self-taught crochet pattern!  And, it needs to be made smaller to go up at the windows.  I have been in every traditional wool shop/craft shop I have come across between Llangollen and here and it seems that the recommended yarn (Twilleys no 5) is no longer available.  I managed to get one ball of something that looks promising in Atherstone so the experiment has begun.  For each window length I need to do 14 crocheted patterns so, if I do one pattern a day (MASSIVE concentration required) it should take me …….. 4 months.  Yeah, right!!   Just as well I no longer have a day job!


  • It was Meg’s birthday last Saturday and not a soul out there in Brazil knew it!  We had a really good internet connection where we were moored so were able to talk to her and see her on Skype.  To me it’s like Merlin - just magic.
  • The paintwork needs a polish.  Having read Lynn’s recent blog (n/b Piston Broke) John is out there doing it right now!  Keep a space for us guys – we’ll be with you (like it or not) either today or tomorrow.

Well, I did say mundane!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

“Grande Cassina”

That’s Italian for ‘Big Drama’ or so I’m reliably informed.

And, YES!  Today we were involved in yet another drama and, YES! Yet again it’s because we got stuck on the bottom.

SO …….. there we were having just gone through the first two (or last two depending on which way you are going) locks on the Atherstone flight.  We were expecting the water levels to be low because the operation of the flight has been restricted in terms of usage time for quite a while now.  Attempting to enter lock 9, we ground to a halt.  Then, to make matters worse, something got stuck between the propeller and the skeg and the engine cut out.  We were going nowhere!  A broken boat hook and  mangled rope later, along came another boat.  The owners only picked up their boat, “Adagio”, three days ago!  They very kindly towed us backwards and we managed to get in to the side where John could try to remove whatever it was around the prop.  Well, somehow or other, after a great deal of whacking with a 4” diameter ash bough and getting extremely wet, hot and bothered, John managed to remove a large piece of wedged timber.

By this time another boater had come down the lock and, on hearing of our dilemma, he pulled up behind us saying that we might need some help during our second attempt should we get stuck again.  We got stuck!  Phone call to BW in order then!  Phone in hand ready to make that call, around the bend comes ………….. the cavalry!  Well, a BW chap in a tugboat but as good as.  He got on the phone to his mate at the top of the flight and in no time at all water was being sent down.  Under his tutelage I learned a new technique for flushing down water!!!  A dozen or so surges later we managed to get into the lock.  On our way – no more problems …………… until we got to lock 5.  There we again met “Adagio” who explained that, as water was being sent down to the long pound below lock 9, …………… nobody could go any further that day!  Guilty as charged!  We have since been told that someone had left a paddle up on lock 10 overnight so the pound had fallen by nearly 2'  They should have done something about it earlier but other boats had been getting through OK!

So, here we are, moored at the bottom of the last 5 locks, under the trees, by the A5 and opposite “The King’s Head”.  We’d never been into Atherstone before so this was our chance!  What a lovely high street with an assortment of individual shops.

chimney 005 (600x800)


And …………….. the new chimney is in place, looking good and working well.



Never a dull moment!!!!!!