Thursday, 14 December 2017

Hopwood (will we get to Lapworth this weekend?)

Due to the weather we’ve had two more quiet days not doing much other than getting our tax returns almost completed (early!).  Just before the snow came we got neighbours, Steve and his wife on their boat Frayed Knot.  They moored up next to us so they, too, could be by a water point if the freeze set in.  They had a rather ambitious plan of getting to Chester by the 21st December – I imagine it will be more like 21st January 😉

They’re a pleasant couple and we’ve had a good few chats over the last couple of days, but we also kept ourselves to ourselves.  On the way back from a walk on Tuesday, I saw that Steve was trying to get water out of the frozen tap by pouring boiling water over it.  Stupidly and/or cowardly, I didn’t point out what a bad idea that was.  Although, in retrospect I could have likened it to being in a house and said something like, “Would you pour boiling water on a frozen pipe in your house?”.   

Anyway, the inevitable happened, the pipe split, and water started gushing over the towpath and spreading across the ice on the cut.  There was so much water that it looked like the canal wasn’t frozen any longer.  Steve rang CRT and they have now stopped the flow; hopefully, they will get it fixed today before people start getting inconvenienced.

Buddy trying to work out why the thawing snow keeps falling on him near Wast Hills tunnel entrance

Scenic view but the road was treacherous to walk along so we didn’t go far on Tuesday

On Wednesday morning I heard the sound of ice being smashed and looked out.  Steve was breaking the ice round his boat and looked like he was getting ready to move.  He had three attempts to pull out past our boat but had to keep stopping as he was heading straight for the back of us.  By the fourth attempt he reversed back and had a good run at it and managed to get alongside us.  He got about another boat length along before coming to a grinding halt; the boat wouldn’t cut through the ice, so he reversed back and moored up again.

Thawing snow from the roof forming an ice flow
It had been raining or sleeting most of the day thus giving Steve hope that the ice was being melted.  He set off again at about three and this time he got away towards Birmingham.  At least, if we decide to move over the next few days, we will have a channel to follow as it shouldn’t freeze over again now the temperature has lifted.   It’s a shame that he was going through Birmingham as it means when we turn off onto the Stratford canal at Kings Norton, we probably won’t have a channel to follow.  Because of this we will leave it another day or so just in case.

Mike and Lesley, who are having their boat built and fitted out by the same people who built our shell, heard yesterday that it won't be finished until the new year now.  This is a bit of a blow for them as they had hoped to live on it over the break whilst their Cropredy house was full of guests.  We are due to see them on Saturday so are looking forward to getting all the latest news on the boat build.

It’s Karen’s last day in the office today for over three weeks, so we have a mini holiday ahead before she starts her final few weeks next year 😊 😊

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