Although Karen doesn’t work on Fridays, she has tended to either go into the office for a while or work from the boat. Now she is managing to pass on responsibility for her work we were able to have a proper Friday for a change. That means that Thursday becomes Friday and we get a three-day weekend.
Being the festive one of the pair of us, Karen wanted to put up some decorations. We searched high and low but could not find them. For some bizarre reason we must have taken them to our storage unit at some point during the year. This meant a trip to Solihull and, as we were out, we got some more coal and did a bit of grocery shopping. The plan is usually not to use the car at the weekend unless we move the boat, but we had no choice apparently.
The poinsettia is standing in as our indoor Christmas tree, complete with baubles made by Karen's mum, Ann. The photo was taken at ten past six in the evening by the way, not in the morning, and I obviously didn’t feel like being a scrooge as usual, as I had put on a Santa hat.
On Thursday, Lewis had FaceTimed me asking if he could marry my middle daughter, Lauren. This has been a long time coming but, pleased as I was, I had to play around and ask him how long I had to make a decision etc. They were off to Cologne for the weekend and he wanted to propose to her there – which, of course, he did 😊
During the day on Friday we walked into Alvechurch and were glad it wasn’t snowing as heavy as had been forecast as the wind was blowing the snow into our faces the whole way there and, for some odd reason, seemed to be doing the same thing on the way back.
The original plan had been to cruise back to Lapworth over the weekend but that became out of the question with the ice and snow forecast, but we moved the boat closer to the water point to be on the safe side anyway.
Moored just up from the water point at Hopwood
At about four on Sunday morning we were woken by the constant revving of an engine. Looking outside, I saw a petrol tanker had become stuck in the snow on the bridge you can see behind us in the picture above. It’s on a slight incline on the Redditch to Birmingham road and, as it was a bridge, I assume had iced up before other parts of the road. Amazingly, within an hour, a breakdown truck had pulled the tanker free. Not sure if it was a local truck or if BP have their own fleet but it must be a costly service.
The water in the canal hadn’t completely frozen before the snow started so, with the heavy snow, it was more of a gloopy soup that had frozen over by Sunday morning:
When I went to take Buddy out for his first run, Karen asked if I could switch on the lights on the outside Christmas tree we keep in a pot on the boat all year. I must admit, that I didn’t see much point 😊
Thinking of Karen winding down at work reminds me she only has thirteen weeks left and she is having three of those off over the holiday period too 😊