What a difference a bank holiday week makes. It seems that a constant stream of boats have been coming past us all week. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great way to take a holiday either with or without children. The vast majority of people who hire or use their narrowboats for a holiday love it and find it’s a great way to relax. Some hire year after year; we hired boats from all over the country before buying our first and many boater friends have started the same way.
As we are near the end of the Stratford canal (well, 17 locks and four miles from the end) nearly all the boats that come past, visit Stratford and then come back again. It seems that not many venture out onto the River Avon and then onto the Severn at Tewkesbury.
The weather has been milder this week so we have had the side hatches and doors open and it’s a great way for people to smile and wave as they cruise past us – there’s always the odd one who won’t make eye contact but that’s usually because they know they are going too fast!
Talking about the side hatches, the mallards and moorhens are already teaching their new chicks to swim to the open doors on boats as they may get food.
There were only five ducklings left in this brood – quite a quick failure rate if they started with a dozen or so
I forgot to mention that we saw our first Small White butterfly of the year before we left our AirBnB at Cambridge last weekend.
Jo stayed with us for a few days this week and she and I cycled into Stratford with Buddy for the day on Wednesday. Whilst having a picnic in the churchyard where William Shakespeare is buried I saw my first Holly Blue of the year so things are starting to pick up in the 2017 butterfly world for me at last.
After our picnic we took the chain ferry across the river. Strangely it was our first trip on the chain ferry even though we have been to Stratford many times in the past.
The ferryman kept making a fuss of Buddy
On Thursday morning we had a cruise of about 100 yards so that we could get into a sunnier position.
Our new morning at Wilmcote after cruising 100 yards - it doesn't look sunny as it's first thing in the morning!
Thursday was our first day on our own for a week so Buddy and I tried out a new circular walk. From the maps it was more like a square walk. Unfortunately when we got past the half way point we ended up on a busy road – it seems a footpath had got lost. We pressed on hoping to find a footpath but ended up walking nearly two miles on the grass verge.
Karen and I had our annual summer plant trip to a garden centre on Friday to get all the bedding plants for the summer pots on the boat, along with bags of compost and other paraphernalia like tomato plants etc. It’s still a bit cold at night so we’ll be using the cratch as a greenhouse for the next week or so. Buddy enjoys garden centres as he’s allowed in and there's all sorts of different smells to find.
By early evening the visitor moorings were full with about 12 boats. Getting up this morning there are only three of us left. We may well move on today too and maybe go down to Stratford and out onto the river Avon for a few days.