Thursday, 11 May 2017

Stratford on Avon (2017/18 winter is looming)

There was quite a frost on Wednesday morning and Karen had to scrape the ice off the car windows before setting off for work.  It didn’t take long to disappear once the sun got up and it turned out to be a glorious day.

View from the galley on Wednesday morning

As I would probably be moving the boat out into the country on Thursday I took Buddy up to town to stock up on a few supplies.  The tourists were out in force reminding me once again why we don’t like mooring in the basin – they wander up and down the pontoons, peering in the boats as if the boats are part of Stratford’s attractions.  Saying that, we get our fair share moored next to the park with people often taking selfies against the boat or pictures of the boat itself.  I’m always tempted to stand in the window pulling faces at them.

Asian tourists having been sold authentic Shakespearean garb

When we got back there were two boats moored next to us – it was about the busiest we have seen it boat-wise over the month we have been here.


I had an email from CRT during the day announcing that they have just published their proposed winter stoppage program.  Winter stoppages are put in place so that repairs and maintenance can be carried out at the quieter times of the year.  A series of proposals are made and boaters can respond and after about three months of refinements the final program is published.

We take them as a challenge as it means we have a logistical nightmare working our way round them.  Mind you, we were happy with this years’ stoppages as it meant we could stay in one place for six weeks in January/February waiting for a lock to open  – rather fortunate as it was near Karen’s work and also in a nice part of the world for walking.  Normally you are only allowed to moor in one place for two weeks before having to move on.  

Winter 2017/18 will be different as we plan to get up to Liverpool and then cross the Pennines to Leeds on the Leeds Liverpool canal.  I may have mentioned before but my mum and dad live in Gargrave at the northern extreme of the canal in the Yorkshire Dales and we couldn’t take the old boat up there as it was too long.  Now we have a shorter boat we can fit in the locks and are really looking forward to cruising new territory.

In the afternoon, we went for a longer walk along the old Stratford to Worcester railway bed.  At one point, I came across a short stretch of track and some buffers.  I can’t believe they were original as tracks from disused railway lines were completely removed as part of the war effort.

Old siding

It really was a warm day and Buddy started lagging behind – he only does this when he’s too hot but after a few days he gets used to it and is back to his usual self.

Buddy hanging back rather than keeping 20 yards in front as he usually does (The tower of Stratford church in the background where William Shakespeare is buried)

Passing the racecourse again – just one cloud in the cloudless sky

Later on in the afternoon, another boat arrived to fill up with water and confirmed to me one of the differences between living aboard a boat and having a holiday on one.  They were the same sort of age as us and as they took on water they sat on a bench and drank a bottle of wine between them.  You can’t do that every day when living on a boat but when on holiday it’s perfectly acceptable and part of it (as long as you’re not driving the boat afterwards of course!).

When Karen came home from work we popped over to the Mucky Duck for a cheeky Wednesday drink – our first for a couple of weeks.  First cheeky Wednesday, not first drink I hasten to add!  It’s strange that with so many hostelries on our doorstep we haven’t bothered to try them out.

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