Thursday, 9 June 2016

Radford Semele (to the boat rescue)

As usual, the warm weather brings thunderstorms but there’s a wonderful feeling when the rain stops, the sun comes out and starts drying the ground, especially in the late evening.

Late evening sun appears after another rainstorm

Buddy and I have taken to cycling into Leamington every day.  We follow the canal towpath for a couple of miles or so and then join the Riverside Walk.    This is one of those combined cycle and pedestrian paths; it runs along the River Leam for about a mile and a half right into the centre of town.  It means we can get in without cycling on any roads.  

The two main parts of Leamington town are so different in character.  The Old Town, which is where the canal runs through, is an area that is undergoing regeneration and reminds us of places like Brixton with little independent shops and cafes.  The main high street of the regency town is rather grand and the white buildings quite striking.

Near the top of the High Street

Towards the bottom of the High Street - I wonder how the owners of the building on the right get away without having it whitewashed

I have been searching for a hairdressers’ shop that allows dogs in.  It is time for my annual haircut and this year’s reason is Dominic and Becky’s wedding at the end of the month.  It is being held in National Trust grounds in North Wales and as a lot of our children are also going we have taken a cottage on Anglesey for the weekend.  The farming family who let it out will look after Buddy whilst we are at the wedding so he can come too and we can make a (partial) family weekend of the event.  Anyway I have now found a suitabe hairdresser so will probably pay them a visit on Thursday.

On Tuesday morning, Craig from the boat moored next to us, called in to find out if we had heard anything suspicious the previous night as a window had been smashed on his car.  We park our cars about four hundred yards away in a layby on a country road.  It was really bizarre because nothing had been stolen from the car and, being in the country, it’s not really the sort of area where you might expect that sort of thing to happen.

Between the rainstorms on Wednesday Buddy and I went for a walk and passed three eastern Europeans hanging around under one of the canal bridges near the lock where we park the car.  They seemed pleasant enough and made a fuss of Buddy.  On our way back they were still there and I noticed an unmanned boat drifting towards the lock.  The boat has been moored for a couple of weeks near the lock and had somehow come adrift and was now on the far side of the canal.  After a bit of a struggle I managed to get on the boat and started manoeuvring it to the lock where it would be easier to get it to the towpath side and then drag it out and secure it again.  Fortunately Craig was passing as he came back from work and together we managed to get the boat tied up safely again.  It did seem a bit suspicious that the boat had just come adrift whilst the eastern Europeans were standing there - but what can you say?

In the evening Karen picked me and Buddy up and we went for a cheeky Wednesday drink at The Stag in Offchurch where we are now recognised as regulars having been going there for five or six weeks.  A couple of girls were having dinner at the table next to us and both had black Labradors and we ended up having a pleasant chat with them about our different lifestyles.  The pub is high on Buddy’s list of favourites as he is always given dog biscuits by the staff.

We’ve got a busy few days ahead as I am travelling up north on Friday to check on the progress of the new boat.  My Dad, who lives in Yorkshire, is joining me and will get a train to Northwich station where I can pick him up and then continue on to the boatyard.  At the weekend my sister Judith, and Nigel are coming to stay so we are really looking forward to catching up with them.

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