Friday, 25 September 2015

New friends, old friends and Lesley

I took this photo in Atherstone for Lesley who is a huge Minions fan

Yippee! We woke to sunshine on Wednesday morning in Atherstone. It was chilly but very bright, with lovely reflections on the water. 
Looking back after the first bridge

Looking ahead. Chilly but very sunny.

Although we had travelled the section between Atherstone and Hawkesbury Junction last year, neither of us could remember it at all. I was poorly when we came through it (I was recovering from an infection for which I had gone to the George Eliot Hospital’s out of hours service in Nuneaton) and I don’t know why David didn’t remember it. Most likely he was doing boat bitch tasks.
Horses wrapped up warm

Alpacas looking after their own warmth needs
David is awake and he really was quite happy

Gary (Inca) said everyone needs to take a photo of this - I am always obedient.
Not sure the lizard needs the ladder - seems to be making his way up without much assistance

Apart from the manky bits of Nuneaton, the trip is lovely, and there are lots of lovely places to moor out in the countryside. As we passed them, I put little flag markers on Memory Map so we will know for next time. (I am always so impressed by other boaters who can say ‘OK, the best mooring between Napton and Braunston is at Bridge 102’ - Jaq and Les Biggs come to mind … My favourite in that stretch is after Bridge 103, by the way.) So now, even though I cannot remember the precise location of particular moorings, I do not have to dredge up the info from my memory, I can consult Memory Map instead.

After I posted our tale of woe about traversing the Atherstone flight in the rain, there were comments from Adam and Adrian on Briar Rose about having missed seeing each other. But not daunted, we decided to meet for lunch at the Greyhound Inn at Hawkesbury. As we had been communicating via blog comments, I got a phone number for them from Jaq who, being a careful source, rang to make sure the text really came from me. A voice message, a returned phone call and a couple of texts established that we could find them. Disappointingly Adam refused to lie out on the towpath to stake a claim to a mooring spot for us. Said he only did it for people he had already met …

It didn’t matter though, as the moorings were pretty empty, and we moored up in full sunshine (damn, we are fussy about sunshine now we have solar panels) behind Briar Rose a couple of hundred yards back from the junction, and met some new friends. Such lovely guys.

We headed to the Greyhound towards lunch and alcohol. We were meeting Lesley (ODS) at the pub as she was going to leave her car there for a few days while joining us on the boat. I declared that I wasn’t waiting for her to arrive to order lunch. Such a selfish but hungry friend I am …

Not to worry, she arrived in short order and chose a 16oz burger – WHAT?!?!?!?! She has had a stressful time lately and the first half of her first pint of cider barely touched the sides …

Lunch was yummy, it was fun and the surroundings were lovely. Back on board, Lesley had a nap – well, digesting the burger took all the energy her system had, so sleep was the only option. David watched rugby and I watched a movie – thanks, Mike C. Adam and Adrian headed into Coventry with a promise that we would see them yesterday morning as we passed by each other.
Lesley in Olek's bed ...

Leaving Hawkesbury

In the morning we headed off in sunshine again but Lesley told us it had rained heavily overnight. Neither of us heard it though. The trip down to Coventry was pretty good – it is built up pretty much all the way, and traffic on the M6 can be heard almost constantly. We saw Briar Rose moored by Bridge 8 - Adam was doing the laundry while Adrian went to Tescos - such a useful place to see them as we hadn't been aware there was a supermarket so close to the cut. It will be visited on our outward journey.

Some parts of the canal are lovely, others are messy, but only in one place, quite close to the city, is the towpath overgrown. There wasn’t as much rubbish in the cut as I expected, but by Bridge 3 there were three large black bags of rubbish that had only recently been chucked in.

One thing that did puzzle us was the proliferation of carrier bags hooked over fence palings along the way – most seemed to be partially full of rubbish. Does anyone know what that is about? I have never seen it before.

We arrived in the canal basin before lunchtime and moored close to nb Holderness, Tony and Helen’s boat. Tony wasn’t around but Helen came over for a cuppa. After a bite to eat she and I headed into the city centre for a wander around (and a bit of retail therapy for me…) 
There are some lovely old buildings in Coventry that fortunately escaped the WWII bombings

Dinner was on Waka Huia last night: salmon steaks marinated in sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and coriander, accompanied by spinach salad with lemon, honey and ginger dressing, and potatoes. Helen had whipped up a chocolate brownie and we bought strawberries and cream as we shopped. Cider, chardonnay, rose were chilled. What more could be required? Ah yes, sloe vodka from nb Holderness.

This morning, as I write, David and Lesley are watching an episode of Doctor Foster that was recorded the other evening. I am under instruction to provide breakfast when it is finished - in 28 minutes' time to be precise ...

1 comment:

Adam said...

Really lovely to meet you the other day -- we enjoyed it. I also wondered about the bags hanging on the fence -- I assume they're makeshift bins, but I suppose there could be a hidden cultural meaning. The black plastic sacks of crap were on the towpath when we went into Coventry, and in the water when we came back out. The whole canal was much worse the last time we went there (in 2009, IIRC), so things are getting better. Hope to see you again next year.