Monday, 23 January 2017

Welsh Road lock (a day of wasted journeys)

Sunset from our Monday evening mooring at Welsh Road lock

We were frozen in again on Sunday but as we hadn’t planned on moving it didn’t bother us and we made sure we had a long walk with Buddy.  I looked out an interesting circular walk that I knew Karen hadn’t been on before and involved a couple of good lengths along unadopted roads.  We had forgotten it was the weekend so were surprised to find it busy – we saw four other people during the day.

Hmmm.  Which way should we go?

I have the car on Mondays as we play bridge in Stratford on Avon in the evening.  This means I can get the weekly shopping out of the way and anything else that requires a car.  The waste facilities on the northern Grand Union are few and far between and, unlike some other canals such as the Trent & Mersey, does not have recycling facilities.  So Mondays often also includes a trip to a recycling centre. 

This morning I had taken Karen to work, filled the car up with diesel, done the shopping, got rid of the recycling and was back on the boat by 7.15.  I am having the car on Tuesday too as we are playing bridge in the evening with two of our friends and it makes sense to pick Karen up from work on the way.  Having the car for two days means I can get more of the heavy chores out of the way.

We have a load of stuff, like the sewing machine, that we are not using on the boat so we need to put them into our storage facility in Redditch, which I will probably do tomorrow.  I spent what seems like many times, on Monday morning, walking the 1/3rd mile along the muddy towpath between the car and the boat.  Carrying shopping one way and stuff for storage the other way.

During the morning a boat, the first we have seen on the move for three days, came through carving a nice channel through the ice.  The sun was also out so I thought that after lunch there would be so little ice I would cruise down to Welsh Road lock where the car is parked.  Before that I drove the car to Stockton, where Mark has his base for his fuel boat, to pick up some coal.  He seems to be the only person who sells the coal that burns best on our stove.  

We had a good chat and also talked a bit about his round.  He goes along the Grand Union to Braunston, up the North Oxford, along the Coventry and all the way up the Ashby.  He then comes back the same route and turns left at Braunston to head over to the Leicester line all the way up to Foxton.  On the way he pops down the Welford and Market Harborough arms.  When he gets back to Stockton he carries on to Warwick, turning at the Saltisford arm and comes back to Stockton.

He varies the order he does the various parts of his route and I had mistakenly thought he was heading away from me when he sets off tomorrow which is why I drove over to his boat.  It transpired that he was setting out for Warwick first thing and would therefore be passing me in the morning.  Not only did it mean I wasted time going over to see him it also meant I had unnecessary trips along the towpath lugging the coal from the car to the boat.  Oh well, at least he will stop and fill us up with diesel in the morning.

Anyway, when I got back I cruised the 1/3rd mile down to the lock (where the car is parked) and moored up.  This also meant that all the carrying I did in the morning between the car and the boat had been a waste of time and energy too.

Looking west towards Welsh Road lock from our Monday mooring

This is looking the other way

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