Thursday, 28 November 2013

On our way for batteries.

Now making our way to Springwood Haven for the new batteries. They are main dealers for Victron and are doing us a good deal. Got to be there next Thursday.
 So yesterday it was back through Shackerstone.

Just before bridge 53 the motte of the Norman castle is prominent in the field, with the tower of the parish church looming through the trees.

The farm by the bridge is home to the usual collection of decaying agricultural machinery and this rather intriguingly decorated trailer. Who, I wonder, were The Do-Little Bro's & Co. My guess would be entertainers of  some sort. Do people somewhere still ask, "Whatever happened to the Do-Little Bro's? Not seen them for a while."

This morning dawned somewhat murky. This didn't deter me though, I soon had the spinning rod set up and was off after those pike. I don't need to publish the result. One day I'll have 'em.

Watch this space..........

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Dark transit.

After a couple of days at Shackerstone we have moved on to the (current) terminus of the Ashby.

That is it, the end, just beyond the current bund though the next step of the restoration is taking shape.

It might only be a hole in the ground but to me it's a sign that things are still happening. I doubt if we will be around to see the day when this

is open water to Measham and beyond. That is if this ludicrous HS2 doesn't block the restoration.
To get here we had to transit Snarestone tunnel, it may only be 250 yards long but it has more twists than an Agatha Christie novel. As we entered the portal

that wise old canal stricture came to mind, always check your tunnel light before entering, because ours had packed up, not a glimmer. Bless the chap who invented the electric torch.

Here we are then, snug in the new moorings, courtesy of Leicestershire County Council who own them. We have a splendid view across the fields to

Measham brickworks and the finest array of baled straw I can remember. Tomorrow we start to retrace our steps.
Talk about problems never coming singly, just discovered that our domestic batteries are on their way out. We can't complain though, they have been looking after us for seven years unattended. The plus side of A.G.M. batteries, the down side is the cost of replacements. B.o.a.t.

Just to end on a more cheerful note, The Globe at Snarestone, to which we repaired this lunchtime for a comforting pint of bitter.

Watch this space...........

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Through the ice to Shackerstone.

We had intended to have another day or two out in the country but

this morning we had a layer of cat ice on the water. Not having any desire to get stuck out in the more rural bits of the Ashby we revved up and headed for civilisation.

Winter has put her icy grip on the land. It was November 23rd. three years ago that the big freeze started, we were stuck at Hinckley for eight weeks. Lets hope there is no repeat, Shackerstone doesn't even have a waterpoint, but it does have a rather good pub.

Watch this space...........

Friday, 22 November 2013

The coal boat cometh.

This morning, as I was setting up the fishing tackle for a spot of pike fishing, in the distance I heard the distinctive sound of a working boat approaching. It proved to be coal boat Auriga, ex. G.U.C.C.Co. star class, still fulfilling her original purpose.

Topped up the coal store and filled the diesel tank. We really appreciate the service provided, makes winter boating so much more pleasant, knowing that fuel is available.
And the pike fishing? Don't ask, might as well have stayed in bed.

Watch this space.........

Thursday, 21 November 2013

We make pigs of ourselves, again.

This really is not intended to be a sort of Michelin Guide but we were off out again last night.

Softley's Restaurant on the corner of the market place.

Work of art, it seemed a pity to eat them,

but we did anyway.
So that's another restaurant we can recommend.
Today it's all change, it's a fast day on our diet, only 600 calories, all day. I'll not complain though, I've lost nigh on three stone in weight and six inches around the waistline. Two stone to go.

So to remove temptation we are now out in the boondocks, between Market Bosworth and Congerstone, not a building in sight. A couple of days here will soon pull us back into shape.

Watch this space..........

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Twenty two million, one hundred and four thousand, two hundred and eighty seven.

Market Bosworth is probably our favourite small town. It has all the facilities one could ask for, a Co-Op, a greengrocer,

a splendid butchers, Lampards, presided over by the ever friendly Bill. Unfortunately the little bakers has gone.
The market place, apart from the cars, seems unchanged from Georgian times,

I must say that they seem to have lacked imagination when allocating street names,

they also have a Station Road which runs down to the station, original eh? The station is close to the canal but was long ago closed. It has recently reopened as a stop on the Battlefield Line, the local preserved steam railway. Trains only on Sundays this month.

Main Street with The Dixie Arms on the right, chemists and post office on the left and The Red Lion, middle distance. I wandered down and secreted myself in a corner of the bar while Jill went off to get her hair done.

Unusually quiet for lunch time. It may be a bit predictable but we always go for the steak and kidney pie, it has never disappointed.
It's always nice to see old friends,

two old friends and a new acquaintance, just had to try the Single Hop, it was more of a summer beer but I found it most palatable, citrusy yet robust said the anorak.

The 22,104,287?
Well I came across a blog ratings site recently and that is this blogs place in the global league table. Wonder who's at 22,104,288?

Watch this space..........

Monday, 18 November 2013

Yet another marina.

These used to be moorings for the Bosworth battlefield,

now disused owing to the battlefield having moved a mile up the road. The battlefield centre still sits up on the hill but a mile from the actual site of the battle and the moorings have been returned to the landowner.

So we proceeded on our way through a misty, drizzly morning. Heading for Market Bosworth.

Ah, the sweet smell of the countyside.
Things are changing at Market Bosworth, after threatening for several years they have finally started on the marina.

It is going to be huge, the only figure I have seen is one hundred and fifty berths. If they manage to fill that then the peace of the Ashby will be a thing of the past.
Lunch in The Red Lion tomorrow.

Watch this space............

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Stoke Golding.

We didn't stay long at Hinckley, just enough time for a dash up to Tescos and then we moved out past the Triumph motorcycle factory.

Yesterday morning arrived with a sharp frost and bright sunshine, ideal day for moving on, we managed nearly two miles up to the farm shop at Stoke Golding. King size pork chops for Sunday dinner.
It's been a while since we went up into the village so we decided that lunch out sounded like a good scheme.

The church stands at the highest point of the village and is a landmark for miles around.
There are three pubs in the village, The Swan wasn't doing food but a pint of Everard's Tiger proved a good investment. The Three Horseshoes only opens in the evening but The George and Dragon came up trumps. Limited menu but freshly cooked. Jill had the steak and ale pie and was most impressed, my gammon was also spot on. On the barman's advice I tried

one of the local brews, it was so good I forced myself to go back for another pint.
On the way back to the boat we spotted a blue plaque on a house,

now I've seen blue plaques for all sorts of people but this is the first I've seen for a domestic appliance.
We also found another a little way along the road,

mind you, every village in the area claims to be where the usurper placed the crown of the foully slain good King Richard on his own head.

I've put this picture in purely because I like it and I'm rather proud of it.

Looks like it will soon be time for turkeys to take cover.
Today we moved another two miles, out into the rolling Leicestershire countryside. Really getting into winter mode now.

Watch this space...........

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Park homes and pylons.

After sitting out the rain and wind of yesterday, today we moved on. Bright sun and no wind, what a contrast.

Through the cutting just past bridge five, narrow and shallow and overlooked by

a plenitude of park homes. We always say that the boat has three speeds, river speed, canal speed and Ashby speed, there just isn't a lot of water under your keel up here.

Plenty of electricity pylons though, Jill got quite fascinated with the perspective,

lots of those little wiggly amp thingies nipping along that lot.

I doubt if they will outlast Burton Hastings church, set up on its hill top since the 14thC.
Now moored at Nutt's Lane Bridge, Hinckley.

Watch this space............