I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Sunday 4 April 2010

Sunday 4th April

We are now on the third day of our journey round the Leicester Ring - well really only the second as we didn't set off until late on Good Friday.

For those of you who don't know Richard and I intend to spend most of the summer, after he retires, on our canal boat, "Mary H" (don't ask about the name she came with it!!) We are hoping to take, Millie, one of Richard's cats with us and this is her first foray and according to Canal Planner it should take us about 13 days.

It was Millie's first long journey in a cat basket and she didn't like it one little bit! I realised that she seemed not to miaow so much when we were talking so I put an Abba CD on and she seemed to quieten down - either that or Abba drowned her out! She didn't seem to mind the boat too much when she got out of the basket but didn't go off to investigate.

We decided to set off as it was a lovely evening but Millie didn't really like the engine and hid under the chair! I stayed down below with her stowing things which Richard never thought I would find homes for! We motored for about an hour then tied up for the evening. Millie then went exploring the boat AND used her litter tray :-) Millie loves to be with Richard and I and we weren't too worried about her but of course she also wanted to be with us during the night but with a 4 foot bed it wasn't to be!! I think she woke us up about 4 times during the night crying and scratching at the door.

On Saturday we set off to go up the Buckby Locks (7) through Braunston Tunnel and then down the Braunston Locks (6). I had to leave Millie while going up through the locks but she settled down behind the chair! The great thing about Buckby locks is that there is a great pub on the top lock :-) So after 6 locks we tied up and went for a well earned pint and a sandwich.
Buckby Locks have to be some of the hardest on the Grand Union Canal. I did the first three then let Richard do the next three! Not long after Buckby is Braunston Tunnel, I love being on deck in tunnels but decided I had better stay with Millie - just as well as she was frightened! Unfortunately we met a boat right where the tunnel wiggles and Richard not only hit the wall but the boat coming towards us - Millie was terrified! It started to rain just as we were going down through Braunston locks - we shared the locks with another boat and, as is the norm on the canals, the 2 women did the locks while the men steered and chatted - no doubt about batteries!! Apparently in the days of horse drawn boats if the horse died the woman used to pull the boat along - I am definitely not up for that one!!!! We were going to spend the night in Braunston but there was no room so we turned on the North Oxford Canal and stopped just after the village.

Sunday was a mainly fine day. We decided to let Millie have a taste of fresh air. She has a cat harness which she wears when we are under way so we put on the lead and Richard took her onto the towpath, she sniffed about then set off quite determinately in the direction of home! At the sight of 2 dogs they returned to the boat pretty sharpish! Just before we set forth I was in the bedroom and Millie hopped up onto the bed and crept between the wall and Richard's pillow disappearing completely! I am glad I saw her go in there otherwise we would never have found her! I am in the process of making new curtains for the boat. I had done most of the work at home but wanted to finish them off on board where I could measure as they are headed top and bottom and measurements have to be just right! We have brought my sewing machine with us so I spent most of my day pinning and sewing – I did get a few strange looks from passing boats as people are inclined to peer into the other boat! Just before lunch we went through
Hillmorton Locks - these are three pairs of single locks which work very efficiently but typically we didn’t have a boat waiting to come up as we came through on 2 of the locks which made more work for me. In the afternoon we skirted round Rugby – many of the bridges have been painted inside showing the history of rugby football. We passed a huge shopping area but of course it was Easter Sunday so I couldn’t go and get the missing bits off my shopping list but did find a Co-op open further on! We stopped for the night just north of Stretton Wharf and I cooked an Easter roast chicken dinner!

We have been lucky with the weather so far. A little rain, some sun but it is windy which can make manoeuvering a little interesting. It looks as if the wind will stay with us for a little longer but at least we haven’t had the rain that was forecast.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck guys! Linda it is so good to see you so happy and contented, enjoy every minute!! Bwst wishes Ron.