Buddy and I walked down to Shrewley first thing on Wednesday to visit the village stores as we had run out of a couple of things. Considering the bad forecast (rain and strong winds) it was strangely balmy. I haven’t been able to use that word for ages although, coincidentally, sitting here writing this blog update I feel it is balmy on this Thursday morning too. By the way, balmy is one of my top three favourite words along with antimacassar and serendipity.
The towpath climbs steeply over Shrewley tunnel and we had a look around the portal before going into the village.
Looking back down the canal from above the south eastern portal of Shrewley tunnel built in 1799
We have been here several times before and I have always wondered about, but never been able to find out, the origin of a stone and brick wall and these stone steps over the portal:
Reading the BBC news before we set out I found out that Leamington Spa had just been voted the happiest place to live in the UK. There was other more serious news too but this was in the light hearted section. Strange, as Karen and I find the area a very happy place to live too and will probably end up living around there when we finally move back to bricks and mortar.
There were some strong gusts of wind and a few squally showers around lunchtime but nothing to stop us having an afternoon walk. We came across the mallard that had had eight ducklings recently, by Tuesday she was down to six and there were only two left when saw her in the afternoon - I had told her that it was the wrong time of year to be bringing up a family. Writing about birds reminded me that the absence of buzzards was over – I heard a mewing and then saw a couple flying around above the boat whilst having my lunch so I was happy again 😉
We walked past the oddly named Mid Warwickshire Yacht Club. I say oddly in that it is on a canal and there don’t appear to be any yachts there.
The yachts at the yacht club
At one point we walked back to the Hatton flight and came across a couple who were tying up for the day and stopped for a chat. It transpired that they were from a local boat club (not the yacht club but one near Knowle). I mentioned that friends of ours have a mooring there – I am not mentioning names for reasons that will become obvious. The guy I was chatting to knew them well and told me that they had had a scare recently. They run a B&B and it transpired that they had been putting up a murderer on the run!
As it’s such a balmy (😊) day, Buddy and I will cruise the four miles or so down to Lapworth and moor in the Lapworth cut which is the short stretch of canal between the Grand Union and the North and South Stratford canals. There are only a couple places in the cut that are in the sun during the day so, if they have been taken, we will drop down the first lock on the South Stratford canal and moor there, opposite what we call the marquee field.