Saturday, 7 October 2017

Cape of Good Hope (we can’t believe it’s a year since we moved onto the new boat)

Friday sunset over Warwick

When going through the photographs on my phone this morning I came across two from when I was in Yorkshire earlier this week.  When I was visiting last week, the water levels were low so we could use the stepping stones as a short cut to the village – not so this week:

I mentioned yesterday how the landlady of my B&B keeps giving Buddy treats behind my back.  Here she is giving a treat with my permission – just look at Buddy’s tail:

Karen worked from the boat on Friday morning and Buddy and I had a walk back to Radford Semele.  The weather was really rather nice and I saw quite a few butterflies including: Brimstone, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock and Speckled Wood.  There was also a rat scurrying along the towpath but it wasn’t bothered about getting out of the way.

Walking back to our mooring at Lidl – what a glorious morning it was

Whilst having lunch Karen remembered that it was a year ago to the day that we moved from the old Chalkhill Blue onto Chalkhill Blue 2.  We had the boats moored next to each other as we moved our belongings and poor old Buddy was quite upset.  He kept sitting on the back deck of the old boat or just wandering around the emptiness inside Here’s a link to that moving weekend.

Later in the afternoon we all set off for a cruise to get water and also to get in position for ascending the Hatton flight.  Mike and Lesley are coming over on Saturday morning to come up the locks with us.  We couldn’t believe that it’s over eight months since we last went up the flight; Mike and Lesley helped then too.  We remember it being a glorious January day and coats weren’t required!

As we cruised along I explained to Karen how I often count down items on a journey when I’m on my own.  For example, I would say, 11 bridges, 6 locks and two aqueducts.  Then when passing one of the items I would repeat it with one item fewer.  Karen wasn’t surprised!  I used to do the same thing driving too and from work but with traffic lights and roundabouts and once nearer the destination I would add in left and right turns.

Bridge outside Leamington with freshly painted black and white iron protector posts (used to prevent towlines rubbing away the brickwork)

Just before Warwick is a 24-hour Tesco where the canal does a sharp right into a road bridge.  It is quite a blind bend and, as is usually the case, we met a boat coming the other way.  We were into the bridge hole so they reversed back as soon as they saw us.

The blind bend and bridge outside Warwick

Once we got Warwick we pulled up alongside Mharie and Andy’s boat and stopped for a good old chat about boat life and all things boating.  They have a young baby, Rose, and Freyer who is at preschool so Mharie describes herself as a stay at home mum.  Since living on the boat Karen has referred to me as a stay at home husband, I think I’ll add a second profession – stay at home dad (even though all our children have long since flown the nest).

Mharie had been baking and had made me some delicious lemon biscuits:

I’m afraid they were all gone by the time we had finished our cruise.

We pulled up at the bottom of the two locks at Cape and took on water.  Karen took the opportunity to make some soup whilst we were waiting.  She was still making the soup when we were ready to set off so I did the first lock on my own.  I mention this as we have been trying to avoid me doing locks on my own whilst my back strengthens but these locks are quite easy – gates and paddles very light.

Buddy waiting patiently at Cape bottom lock

Repair works to a culvert below Cape bottom lock

Familiar sight at Cape top lock – all the drinkers sitting outside gongoozling

We moored up and walked back to Leamington to get the car.  For some reason we both felt shattered so spent the evening in.

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