As it was relatively mild when we woke up on Monday morning I thought it would be a good time to clean the chimney before I got the fire restarted. Cleaning a chimney on a boat is much easier than cleaning a house chimney. I used a length of chain and held it down the chimney and spun it round. It did a really good job and cleared out a load of soot. I felt quite practical for a change. As ever, I had to do the job in two halves. As a pile of soot had built up on the topside of the top plate I had to use some willow twigs to get up from inside the stove and wiggle the soot out.
We felt like staying in Willington for the day so went for a walk on the opposite side of the Trent to the side we walked with Catherine on Sunday. The Trent is to the south of Willington and has this smart stone bridge crossing the river. This is the last bridge upstream until Burton on Trent.
Back to the relative mildness, we noticed a lot of hedgerow birdsong which made us feel like it is nearly Spring even though we may well yet get some harsh weather. Whilst drinking my morning coffee I was accompanied by a robin singing its heart out right outside the window. Spring is a special time of year for a lot of our family as it means the first butterflies will soon be on the wing - a sure fire sight to bring a smile to my face.
Our walk took us to Newton Solney which was fairly pretty; no shops, just two pubs. It sits above the point where the River Dove (from the Derbyshire Dales) flows into the River Trent.
We stayed in for the rest of the day and Karen baked a Madeira cake. Before we came away I made a little pact with myself that I would always attempt the cryptic crossword in the Saturday Independent. I used to mange it most weekends but have got out of the habit. I’m sorry to say that I have only completed it once since moving on board but I will persevere (I’m just over half way through this week’s).