Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Frozen Wastes.

What to say? Market Bosworth is a splendid place and the Olde Red Lion a fine hostelry with excellent beer, we are becoming locals. Iced firmly in and wondering if a thaw is likely to occour. Christmas was excellent, far to much food as usual and plenty of lolling about, ideal.
Yesterday we discovered, from Pete and Lisa, on Pickles No2, met them in the Red Lion, they're frozen in at Far Coton, that Ian on Gosty Hill is iced in at Sutton Cheney but he has acquired the services of a van and is continuing his deliveries, what a player. We were getting a bit fretful as we are down to our last two bags of Supertherm but now have ten more bags arriving today, hopefully that will see us through until it thaws. Now I know you are all worrying and saying "Oh poor them, what will they do for water?" well rest assured, we moored within a hose length of the water point, we may be crazy but we're not daft! Just hope the tap doesn't freeze, ok so far.
Still not enough signal to download photos' so I shall just try to put the occasional comment on while we sit here suffering from cabin fever.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Winter Drawers On.

By 'eck it's been cold today. Sutton Cheney to Hinckley, thermal long johns, scarves, wooley hat and still it was proper parky, or, as we used to say in Sarf Lunnen, real 'taters. At least we have stocked up now for the holidays, Jill has her new specs and tomorrow we are heading back towards Market Bosworth to snug in until the new year. No 3G signal up there so this will probably be our last entry for a week or so, so, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our readers and anyone else who happens to wander into our vicinity.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Up the Ashby.

Not much report, we had a day in Hinckley which is a splendid town but not exactly photogenic. Jill took the opportunity to get her eyes tested and sort out some new specs, she went to Specsavers, good grief, have you seen the price of specs?
We are having a couple of days in the country before moving on to Market Bosworth to meet up with eldest daughter and family for a day, be good to see them again.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

No more Emus'.

OK, emus' are unlikely but our 'oppo tom is more believable(just). Not seen him for a year but there he was
on Breakaway, opposite Springwood Haven, caught up on news, his old Springer is looking like a new boat.

Stopped at Hartshill Yard for water, it's the old maintenance depot for the Coventry canal, a really wonderful complex, evocative of an earlier age, shame the clock doesn't work.
we had a day at Atherstone for shopping and headed back for the Ashby

passed Mount Judd, a spoil heap from Judkins quarry

and turned onto the Ashby at Marston Junction. Now moored at Marston Jabbot by bridge 2 and not an emu in sight.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Birds Fly South for the Winter?

Today we left Hawkesbury Junction, a.k.a. Suttons Stop, where the Oxford joins the Coventry canal. After watering

we negotiated the stop stop lock,

passed the old police station,
said farewell to the Greyhound (They do a brilliant pint of mild)

and negotiated the 180 degree turn under the junction bridge.

The old engine house used to supply the canalwith water pumped from the nearby mines, we were now on the Coventry and heading north, totally unaware of what was waiting for us. We passed under bridge 14 and on the towpath

an EMU?

Is it a winter migrant? A result of global warming?

Ducks on the roof are bad enough and swans banging on the side for bread, I don't think a crust will keep this one happy.

Oh yes,there was ice on the water in some places!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Still alive.

Made it as far as Suttons Stop despite rain and gales, getting the bus into Coventry tomorrow for Christmas shopping. Not our favourite city but handy for shopping.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Rugby to All Oaks Wood.

We shopped out Tescos and yesterday headed for Brinklow, weather wasn't too bad at first but the clouds gathered and for the last half hour it hurled it down, our happiness was made complete by the way the prop kept getting clogged with dead leaves, we arrived at All Oaks Wood (Why is it called that? it's mostly beech trees) well soaked and thinking how we love autumn.
The dredger was working on the bridge hole at bridge 35, I put the photo' in just to prove BW does actually dredge sometimes, bless 'em.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Beef on the hoof.

Well we have finally escaped from Braunston,new cratch cover fitted and hopefully no more work to be done for a while. We will miss Avril in the Old Plough but otherwise.....? We have got as far as Rugby, weather is absolutely foul but no trip is without its interest. On the way we passed a field with some Old English Longhorns, these are the original English cattle but are now an endangered species, they don't meet the demands of modern agriculture.

This is the old man, a ton or so of beef on the hoof, a real handsome fellow.

The two cows have really different styles of horn

and the young heifer is trying to catch up.

These are the cattle that were the mainstay of agriculture in the middle ages, the castrated males (oxen) even pulled the ploughs and wagons, horses were only for the upper classes, too costly for peasants. Let's hope the breed survives.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The gas man cometh.

Just like Flanders and Swan, twas on the Monday morning the gas man came to call, except we were getting too much gas, red hot oven, frazzled nosh, guilty party, the thermostat.

This is the new one!

Here is the nice man fitting it, we now have an oven that works, hooray. How do we survive the excitement?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Some time at Flecknoe.

having become bored with Braunston we moved out to Flecknoe for a couple of days

on our favourite mooring, the field opposite now green with winter wheat.

After two days of howling gales and pouring rain this pair took up residence on our roof, every time we opened the side hatch a little head would peer over the edge of the roof in hope of a morsel of bread, we did give in occasionally and feed them.

On the way back to Braunston (new oven thermostat and cratch cover fitting) we passed this sorry sight, the gale had blown them off of their usual mooring and fifty years of neglect took its toll. I suppose BW will end up footing the bill for removal.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Still at Braunston!

Today we had an engine service, topped up with water and stayed at Braunston, the oven thermostat has gone on the blink and we are awaiting the arrival of a new one, being sent post restante to the post office here, then we have to find someone to fit it, oh joy. By the time that happens we will be due back here to have the new cratch cover fitted, Braunston seems to have a magnetic attraction for us, I swear we will not come through here next year!

Thursday, 5 November 2009


We were still at Barby yesterday and as the weather was pleasant we decided to walk out to Willoughby on local footpaths, this was a mistake as the local footpaths, so lovingly recorded on ordnance survey maps, were, to say the least, obscure.The local farmers appear to have taken great delight in plowing over them and padlocking the gates along the way. Being intrepid explorers we made it to the village with each boot weighing a ton, the local clay is rather clinging!

Needless to say Willoughby has a church

and a pub, The Rose, which was open but, to be honest, was not up to scratch, five out of ten.

Next to the pub was the old school, now a private house, and a playing field exclusively for the village children under sixteen years of age. We walked back along the towpath

and passed the old signal again.
Why does my mind keep wandering to Yorkshire Pudding?
Today we moved back to Braunston as tomorrow we're being measured for a new cratch cover, more excitement.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Having seen the weather forecast we have moored up at Barby but there is no sign of her or Ken.

There is however a very large prison.

If you are prepared for a three hour walk there is a church and

a pub, unfortunately we got there too early and it was not open, curses.

We also found a wonderful gate standing alone in the middle of the track, no fence, nothing

Except a sign.

British Waterways say it is fine and not collapsing, we all believe them of course, they wouldn't tell us porkies would they?

Friday, 30 October 2009

Hillmorton, mostly.

We have had a really exciting day, made it to Rugby and ......Daaa-daaah, Tescos!!! OK we had to stock up on essentials, red wine, sherry, malt and I think we bought some food.
To go back, Braunston and we finally caught up with Chris and Jude

on Theathenia, didn't get a photo' of them but they are good mates and we caught up with their happenings, and supped a drop of red with them.

Between Braunston and Hillmorton you run alongside the old Great Central Railway, long closed but this signal still stands forlornly waiting for a train that will never come.

At Hillmorton you have three sets of paired locks with the church towering over them.

These were the central workshops of the Oxford Canal, now a busy boatyard and hire base.

At the bottom of the locks we came across this Rose Boat (Which we had already met at Braunston)

with its splendid Anglo-American crew, it was great talking with you guys, hope we will see you on the cut in future.

Where do people get there boats names from?

Although some are more obvious.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A change of scene.

We finally left Braunston today, after several days of debauchery with some old friends, Chris and Jude on Theathenia. Made it to Hillmorton but only have a GPRS signal so can't load any pictures. Hopefully will make it to Rugby in the next day or two and will do a full update then. Oh for full 3G coverage!!!!!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A lost church.

Yesterday morning we walked out from Braunston to Wolfhampcote, a village that disappeared in medieval times.

All that is left is the splendidly irregular church.

The interior was vandalised in the 1950's shortly after the church went out of use, but a few bits of medieval wood work survive.

On the way back Braunston church loomed above the trees, next to the remains of the Windmill. We then adjourned to the Old Plough for lunch. The Black Sheep bitter is superb.