Thursday, 28 August 2014


There is nothing more fun than bubbles.

You can have little ones.

Big ones.

Play solos or

mixed doubles.

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

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Catching up.

We are still alive but decidedly frayed around the edges.
So to catch up from our last post.

On the 19th we came through the stop lock at Sutton's Stop and onto the Coventry Canal.

The piles of scrap at Charity Dock just seems to get higher every time we pass. We turned on to the Ashby and spent the night by bridge 3.

In the cutting beyond bridge 5 C&RT are busy dredging, Something BW never managed to get round to.

Esme and Elliot were impressed with the mud.

Seen on the moorings by Hospital Bend, one of my favourite boat names.
We stopped at Stoke Golding. Good moorings by the farm shop.
Next stop was Sutton Cheney and a walk up to the Bosworth Battlefield Centre.

Of course it isn't where the battle actually happened but what's a mile between historians?

I reckon this pair would frighten the tin pants off of any old knight.

Jill also modelled the latest in battle bowlers.
Since then we've been shuttling up and down the Ashby, went back to Stoke Golding to collect daughter Natalie, we had arranged to leave her car in the car park at the farm shop, £1.50 per night. Up to Market Bosworth for a close encounter with Battlefield Line.

We are now at the end of the cut where the next stage of the restoration is going on apace.

Flooding up in October?

We lunched in The Globe at Snarestone, under new management and absolutely excellent.
This is the first time we've had a usable mobile signal for three days so it will be another gap in the narrative.

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

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Brinklow, with ice poles.

Day one of the grandsprogs visit. They actually arrived yesterday but as it was late on we won't count it.

First job after leaving Rugby was to top up the water tank, here Nanna initiates the sprogs into the mysteries of boating life.

We pushed on through Newbold tunnel, where none of the lights are now working, and on to All Oaks Wood. Unusual to find plenty of space here so we moored and after a hearty lunch we set off to have a look at Brinklow.

Nice village sign, did you notice the clever bit of narrative/visual continuity there?

Behind the church there are the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle, we clambered up the steep sides of the motte and Esme and Elliot stayed still long enough on the top to actually get a picture.

Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.

The views from the top are well worth the scramble up the mound.

No, she isn't leading him by the ear, emergency treatment for nettle attack had just been administered (Dock leaf).
At the village shop we discovered that ice cream was available and very soon the little 'uns were slurping down the most violent coloured ice poles.

Not sure why Elliot has a thirty m.p.h. speed limit sign growing out of his head.
Once back on board it was "Snap", and "Old Maid", while Nanna cooked up a stupendous roast chicken dinner. They tucked it away like there was no tomorrow and rounded it off with fresh raspberries and clotted cream.
And so to bed.

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

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hillmorton to Brownsover.

Hillmorton Locks, just to prove, contrary to generally held beliefs, I do know which end of a windlass is which. We shared the flight with two pairs that were on their way to Alvecote.

Brain has gone on strike and for the life of me I can't remember what boat this was.

This pair were Biddy and butty Olive, ex-LMS

We watered at the bottom of the flight and then made our way to Brownsover Park where we have replenished the store cupboard and the wine rack and are now awaiting the arrival of daughter Natalie and grandsprogs Esme and Elliot. She is leaving them with us for the week. This means that my normally irregular posts will become positively chaotic. Please bear with me, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

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

Thursday, 14 August 2014

I manage to work the word Machiavellian into a blog post.

Technically this is where the G.U. becomes, temporarily the Oxford Canal. As originally built the Grand Junction Canal joined the older Oxford Canal at this point and an imposing toll house was built to regulate the traffic.

As the new connection put the North Oxford in direct contact with London it led to a huge increase in traffic on the North Oxford and a dwindling of traffic on the south. When the Grand Junction needed a connection to the Warwick and Napton Canal it came to an agreement with the Oxford to use its line between Braunston and Napton Junction, (A.k.a. Wigrams Turn) rather than go to the expense of digging a new cut. The Machiavellian deals that finally led to the agreement are way beyond my comprehension but are all explained in Alan H. Faulkner's excellent book "The Grand Junction Canal". The outcome was that the circuitous route of the North Oxford was straightened and the Grand Junction paid for the straightening of the Oxford between Braunston and Napton. The old route of the Oxford went through the bridge in the top picture but after the improvement it now goes through

the rather lovely double bridge at Braunston Turn. In the 1930's when the Grand Union, successor to the Grand Junction, wanted to widen it's route to Birmingham the Oxford gracefully allowed it to improve the five miles of joint canal and then charged the G.U. high tolls for the privilege of using it. Anyone wanting more information should check the aforementioned book and Hugh J. Compton's equally excellent, "The Oxford Canal", both published by David and Charles in the 1970's. If anyone spots any errors in this account, please don't tell me for, "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise".
We headed north up the Oxford.

Near Willoughby the long disused line of the old G.C.R. is visible with the forlorn remains of a signal waiting sadly for a train that will never come.

Bridge 80, Wise's Bridge, once notorious for the precarious state of the arch, now restored by the good offices of the W.R.G.

The new bricks are already starting to suffer from boat strikes.

Under a bridge, I can't remember which one, near Rugby is a monument to the towns major claim to fame as the place where Rugby Football was invented, but probably not by William Webb Ellis.
Today we are watching the rain clouds process across the sky as we dally above Hillmorton Locks and the boats hurtle past, mostly private ones, the hirers seem to have got the message.

Watch this space.......

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Gongoozlers Rest and the sin of gluttony.

A day behind as usual, one day I'll catch up.

As we had promised ourselves a treat we arrived at the Gongoozler's Rest sharp at 0900. We hadn't seen Avril, the owner/chef, for over a year so we had a bit of catching up to do.

The interior is really looking smart, having had a major makeover.

Jill waits impatiently for the arrival of her omelette, with scalloped potatoes and beans and it wasn't too long before it and my Gongoozler's breakfast arrived.

Now that is what I call a breakfast. Definitely sets you up for the day.

And relax.
Having consumed enough victuals (Pronounced vittles) for a week we not so much walked as lurched up to Braunston Chandlers for a few odds and ends. Shackles, you can never have enough shackles, our current bow button seems to have more shackles than chain holding it on.
Needless to say the rest of the day was spent quietly digesting.
Whilst considering the sin of gluttony during the afternoon there was a rap on the side of the boat and we welcomed aboard fellow blogger Debby of NB Chuffed and the delightful Meg, who thoughtfully brought us a stick. Always good to put the world to rights over a cuppa.
Today we aim for Hillmorton but being us, who knows?

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


Meant to put this picture on a couple of days back. The latest in mobile 'phone masts, I bet it confuses the local sparrows!

Monday, 11 August 2014

On as far as Braunston.

With much improved weather we made an early(ish) start and in half an hour we were heading through the portal of Braunston tunnel.

Now we've done a few tunnels in our time but today we experienced a strange phenomenon, as we entered the tunnel the air temperature shot up. Result? My specs misted up and suddenly I had no idea which way I was heading. No good taking them off as the world then becomes just a blur, so it was grab a bit of kitchen roll and try to clear them. More by luck than judgement I managed to avoid walloping the wall and they eventually cleared. We only met two boats coming the other way and thirty minutes later we emerged from the Stygian gloom and into the cutting above Braunston Locks.

Luckily there was another boat waiting and we were soon making good time down the flight.

Keep hearing good reports about the Nelson in its present incarnation but have yet to personally try it out.

Stewart and Lloyds are well represented at Braunston at the moment.
We grabbed the first mooring spot we came to although there seemed to be plenty of space. This afternoon we were treated to the sight of President and Kildare passing through breasted up but by the time I woke up to who it was and grabbed the camera they were well past us.
Tomorrow morning it's breakfast in the Gongoozler's Rest, can't visit Braunston without a blowout in that splendid floating cafe.

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