Thursday 4 September 2014

Newly shorn and on to Fazeley

I had my haircut – it is not as cool as the cuts I get from Michelle at home, so she has no need to worry that I will desert her. She does need to know that the water in the spray bottle and its tube was WARM, and the cut cost £9 plus a tip of £1. However the woman did not put a towel around my neck before she put the cape over me, so I got water down my neck, and when I came to be de-caped, there was hair all over the place. The woman tried to brush it off but it wasn’t happening on a knit top. So, needs must, I took the top off and shook it. So disrobing is becoming a habit. I did it a few years ago in the garden of the Bell Inn at Lower Heyford when a wasp went down my shirt – well, would you stay clothed for the sake of modesty and let the little b*stard sting you?
We cruised on yesterday to Fazeley Junction even though we would have loved to stop longer at Whittington and go to explore it and Lichfield – Whittington is lovely from the canal. Next time! We needed water for showers and laundry.
The canal is quite varied on the stretch between Whittington and Fazeley– some of it is shallow and reedy, and other parts are quite wide and deep. We can tell the difference in the engine noise – that doesn’t mean we travel with our eyes closed, mind ….
We came through Hopwas Wood which has signs saying ‘Danger. Do not enter these woods. Military Firing Range’. Even so we saw a couple waiting in the woods, admittedly close to the edge, while their dog frolicked in the canal.
I thought Hopwas looked lovely, but there was very little visitor mooring and signs on the south side of the village for No Mooring, so it didn’t appear very welcoming.
As we approached Fazeley I saw two boats that raised my interest, one was called Melita (we have a dear friend called Melita) and the other was called Chardonnay and it had an NZ flag on it. I remember when that boat was built I saw it featured in Waterways World magazine, and I was grumpy that the name had been used up – I thought that, by rights, it should have been reserved for any boat I had… However it was neat to see it yesterday complete with an NZ association. Unfortunately it was locked up, so no one around to call out to in passing. I couldn’t get a photo either as David was in the shower in preparation for taking on as much water as poss before he needed more abluting, and the camera wasn’t on deck.
When we had got water (while I showered, started a load of laundry and then rinsed the lime off the boat roof and side) we moved across to a mooring here just before the junction. It is across from a place that has refrigerated lorries, so it is occasionally a bit noisy with their compressors going off, but that is fine. More disturbing was that we seemed to be moored in a line of BCF (Boaters Christian Fellowship) boats with the boat nearest us being a Canal Ministries boat. So many christians in one area close to me brings me out in hives … However the ministries boat moved off about 6pm – maybe the service had been had and it was time for new congregants. I am considering getting a sticker made that declares our atheism, just to keep a bit of balance on the cut. I shall set David on to finding a suitable name for the organisation and an appropriate acronym and symbol.
After we’d moored up we set off to Ankerside Shopping Centre to find the Holland and Barrett store (more yoghurt sachets required … and some gf biscuits as my stock was out). I was feeling tired and grumpy (result of too much gluten over the last few days, not the proximity of christians, really!) and had considered not going. However I am really pleased I did. The walk of nearly 2 miles was well worth it as Ankerside is approached on foot through a beautiful park. I’ll let the photos tell the story.
Now, shouldn't every shopping centre be approached past a Norman castle?

And shouldn't it have a band rotunda by its entrance?

And a large grass area to sit on?

And lovely terraced gardens beautifully kept?

Speaks for itself, eh?

I have made this photo larger so you can see that I am there, tiptoeing on the edge of the bridge side so I can see over ... Most of the benches along the riverside, facing the park and castle, are dedicated to soldiers lost in various conflicts.

Our shopping expedition also produced puppy training pads (thanks for the tip, Jerry and Cheryl) which are 60cm x 54cm, and 40 for £5. They will be excellent for placing under the engine to collect oil drips etc. David also got a bright pink container to go under the stern gland greaser to catch any blobs of that, however he tells me it cannot be pulled out with fluid in it, so he will have to scoop it out when the time comes.
We were chugged (mugged by a charity fundraiser) who even though we said we were on a mission to get to the shop before it shut still insisted on asking the question he intended all along, but I harshly turned down his offer to partake in his charity drive. There was a full scale assault on the high street – there were about 8 of these people within 100 yards.
Back to the boat and I prepared dinner – Jamie Oliver’s beef kofta curry with rice and raita. Then a blob for a bit until we phoned Kirsty to say happy birthday. She is in NZ at the moment, so her dual hemisphere birthday lasts 37 hours or thereabouts. Would be longer if she was home in Sydney though.
Today I need to find a chandlers to get some boat wash stuff, some black paint for the section under the gunwales that I have removed rust from, and some rollers.
Tomorrow we have the glass and channel for the side of the shower (1200 by 300) being delivered and fitted so we have to decide where best to be. Here is good as there is road access with parking less than 50m away, but not sure if we want to be in Fazeley on Friday night. Will check it out with other boaters today. This piece of glass is required as the shower curtain is valiant in its effots to prevent water getting on to the floor, but cannot do so easily at the showerhead end. The glass will protect that end and then the curtain can happily keep the water off the floor past the galss. It couldn’t be longer than 300mm as I wouldn’t be able to reach the taps …
OK, lovely sunny day so up and at ‘em …


Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

I share your rash!! Stateside in the early 1980's when a revival of Christianity swept the land bumper stickers appeared on cars with the fish sign (used originally as an early secret symbol of Christianity under the Romans). An astute atheist created his own bumper sticker which took off like a flash--a fish with legs and one word accompanying it: evolve. Perhaps you could use it for your new group.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Damn fine idea, Jaq. I will see what I can get organised for next year - the friend who designed Waka Huia's name and koru/scroll will be commissioned, I think. I may get several done so I can distribute them to other boaters with similar views. What do you think? Hugs back, Mx