Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Astwood (I didn’t realise I could be so lazy)

Monday and Tuesday have been based around the weather.  It has been far too hot to take Buddy out between about 10 and 4.  By the same token I cannot leave him inside a boat during that time and go off and do my own thing.

It’s surprising how easy it is to only do the basics and for the last two days the only must dos were: get to boatyard at Droitwich to pick up some stuff I’d ordered; fill up with water; do the washing and go to Stratford for bridge.

On Monday morning, we walked down the Astwood flight of locks before it got too hot but by the time we were nearly home again, Buddy just laid under the bridge.  As we were moored less than 100 yards away I left him there to make his own way back when he had cooled down.

I’ve had enough of the heat he said

I’m convinced he looks at me sometimes in a way that says he blames me for the hot weather!

When we were walking down the flight I stopped at one of the locks where there was a boat going down and the lady greeted me with, ‘Aaah – we meet at last’.  It transpired she reads this blog so it was really nice of her to own up to it 😊
My memory is not so good these days so I cannot remember where they were going or where they had been but her name was Philippa and her husband’s was Steve.

Philippa taking Pippa B down the top lock at Astwood

As we were playing bridge in Stratford in the evening I had taken Karen into work just before six in the morning and then picked her up at six in the evening – at least it makes her have a short day 😉

Although we are nearly 30 miles from her office it doesn’t take long (providing it’s before and after the rush hour) but it is a boring journey.  We are near an M5 junction so it’s up to the M42 and then across to the M40 to Warwick.  We had to cancel the last couple of bridge evenings as Karen was picking me up and then we were going to Stratford; unfortunately, as it meant she left the office about 5 the traffic was crawling the whole way on the motorways.

We had had two neighbours on Monday night but they both set off on Tuesday morning.  Buddy and I helped the first couple down the flight of locks.  Maggie was driving and her husband was going ahead to set the locks whilst I closed up behind her.  They had their fenders down and I asked if she wanted me to lift them before going in the first lock but she said it was OK as they hadn’t had problems before.  Embarrassingly for Maggie the boat stuck fast exiting the top lock and it took some time to extricate her.  Anyway, her husband came back and cut the fenders off so it wouldn’t happen again.

When we got back I checked to see if Gary was in.  He lives in the house just down from where we are moored and had said we could fill up with water there.  The house is the old wharf and workshops but has been changed out of recognition.

The old wharf and workshops

I was glad Karen wasn’t there as Elaine has a new Discovery and since Karen has seen Mike and Lesley’s she is determined it’s the car she wants when the time comes to get a new one.

Gary and Elaine used to have a boat but gave it up a few years ago but he clearly regrets it which is partly why he offered me to pull up with water I suspect.  I reversed back and pulled up and he was happy for Buddy to join his dog in his garden. After tying up I went to find Buddy and he was happily eating the cat food – how embarrassing!  To make things worse he had scoffed so much he brought it all up again.  Anyway, as he is a dog he soon made it disappear and I could get on with taking on water.

Taking on water at the old wharf

Buddy finding more shade whilst we take on water

In the afternoon I cycled down to Hanbury Junction to pick up a fuel filter and spare fan belt that I had ordered.  I left Buddy on the boat but he had all the hatches and windows wide open on the waterside.
In the evening I got the barbecue going ready for when Karen got home and we ended up sitting outside until it was time for bed - it was such a light night again.  Friends of ours were down at the Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge and they have some wonderful pictures this morning - it must have been really magical to have been there.

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