Monday, September 9, 2013

Lovely weekend....but there's always one.

Well we are finally untied and off on our late summer holiday. Two weeks to negotiaite the Leicester Ring should be quite pleasant and relaxing. We are later than usual for our last main trip of the year due to other events and also it happened to be our eldest sons 21st birthday at the beginning of the month and it was considered to be rude had we been not been there to celebrate it with him.

Note we said it should be relaxing....boating is always relaxing, but this trip has things going on at home in the background as we have 'tradesmen' in at home providing us with a new kitchen and bathroom whilst we are away. Bringing it all together to make it happen has been an absolute nightmare and today we must have made and received half a dozen calls about matters which have already been discussed. We can't help but ask ourselves whether we have done the right thing, but its too late now and we just hope we can enjoy our holiday in a stress free environment.

Over the weekend we had our good friends Steve and Madeleine with us. They met us at the marina at Kings Bromley on Saturday afternoon and we had a pleasant cruise down as far as Huddlesford, mooring up just before the heavens opened. A nice meal in The Plough in the evening before retiring for the night.
Early morning skies at Huddlesford
Sunday morning was sunny and still. We had breakfast on the move as we had Sunday lunch booked at the Samuel Barlow at Alvecote. We were lucky at Glascote Locks. We were straight through, passing another boat between locks, but by the time we had ascended the bottom lock there were three waiting to follow us up. We arrived at Alvecote in good time and met with Steve and Madeleine's daughter Eleanor and her friend Rebecca who joined us for lunch.
Now that's our idea of a pub !!
A very popular pub and thank goodness we had booked. 30 people had booked for 1pm, but the quality of the food was excellent and the service very personal and friendly. 

We said goodbye to our guests and then headed on through Polesworth and moored before Grendon in a very peaceful location.
Steve, Rebecca, Madeleine and Eleanor
I have been reading blogs tonight and catching up on what folks are up to. The Manly Ferry and Maffi are two of our favourite blogs and both have recently named and shamed other boats who make life a misery for the rest of us. Well, we'd like to add a third. Nb Sark is the name. Whilst we were sat out on the towpath enjoying the world passing us by, we could hear a boat getting ever closer for  some considerable time due to the high revving engine.  When it eventually came around the corner into view the bow wave was one of the biggest we've ever seen. We looked in amazement as it continued to travel towards us with a token drop in the engine revs, but still far higher than any 'normal' boat. We just stared and looked in bewilderment as they obviously found it most funny and clearly knowing they were in the wrong. 

This morning we ascended the Atherstone flight which was as busy as we have ever seen it. As we exited Lock 6, who should be tied up on the lock landing but our friend nb Sark. By this time it was 10.30am and plenty of boats would have passed but still it sat there tied up and looking like having no intention of moving. Bloody ignorant.
Sark moored on lock
By the time we reached the top of the flight we had started to encounter some of the working boats coming away from the Shackerstone Festival held this weekend. We passed Nb Tench and then butty 'Australia' being bow hauled by a young lady on her own. We didn't envy the huge queue of boats waiting to follow her down. One boat was waiting a couple of hours before it finally started to descend the flight. After lunch and some shopping we headed off again, calling in at Springwood Haven to discuss a problem with our inverter when it is hooked up to the landline. Extremely helpful and knowledgeable and fingers crossed it is problem fixed.

Tomorrow looks like a decent day and so we will press on through Hawkesbury and onto the North Oxford. 

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