Ryans Red Cabbage 3rd, 4th, 5th September

Crick Marina to The Moorings to Welton Hythe Marina

Monday morning Mick was up early, getting a lift from Lizzie he headed into Rugby to pick up a hire van, yes he’d booked a van because it was cheaper and he actually got a van! He popped back to the boat for breakfast before setting off on a day trip to Scarborough leaving Tilly and myself behind.

First I had parcels to pick up from the post office. They have plants and some veg for sale depending on what is ready in a locals veg patch. The runner beans can not be missed, so I picked up a bag and headed to pay for them. As soon as the lady saw me she popped behind the Post Office counter and returned with two parcels. Sadly as I hadn’t intended buying anything I had no cash on me and they don’t accept cards. I was about to return the beans when the lady said I should just take them. Blimey, what a service! They have received various parcels for us over the last month with smiles on their faces and now I was being given free runner beans.

Sewing in the endsYarn ready for the next orderBack at the boat I set about finishing off the custom order for my Etsy shop. A pair of wrist warmers which I wanted to get into the post before we left Crick. The ends were sewn in and then they were laid out on our bed to block them. This helps to even out the stitches and makes things look that bit crisper.

Not as streamline but hopefully cheaper to build

Then it was time to pay attention to work emails. I spent the day to-ing and fro-ing, phone calls and third versions of boats all with the hope that they would save us some money and still do all that the Director wanted. It was a very busy day.

Just as I was about finish Tilly ran into the boat in a very frantic way. Low and spooked, making noises as if she had a fur ball. I tried to get near her to see what was the matter. This was different than when she got high on ants, maybe she’d been stung. I managed to get us both in the bathroom and tried to have a look, but she wasn’t having anything to do with me. Over the next hour she gradually calmed down. When Mick returned I asked him to have a look at her in case he could see if she had a swollen face in anyway. Of course by now she’d calmed down, had a head rub and wanted some food! She’d had me worried and I was about to call the vet in Hillmorton an hour earlier!

Anti-raked sheep checking out my next order

Tuesday morning was another early start for Mick to return the van. Tilly strangely didn’t pester this morning to go out, something had happened the evening before that left her cautious about this outside. Work emails started early with a quote from a Scenic Artist. This was quite a shock, how much do they get paid nowadays?! Was I very out of touch. It turns out that everyone was shocked at her quote not just me, maybe she didn’t want the job, she could have just said!

We needed a bit of shopping to keep us going before either getting a delivery or arriving at bigger shops. So we decided to head into the marina, top up with gas and diesel before mooring nearer the bridge to the village. The mooring in front of The Moorings was free. It is an odd mooring, you would think that it was for the water point, but there are no signs to suggest as such. When ever we’ve been in Crick of late there has been a boat moored there. Possibly having work done on them by Neil Stuttle or waiting to go on brokerage with ABNB. It is also a perfect place to get a supermarket delivery. We pulled in and checked the internet, it was slow but we had some signal.

Usually we get deliveries from Sainsburys, but this time we were going to try out Ocado. I’m wanting to try a few weeks totally gluten free and see what effect this has on a persistent complaint I’ve had for ages. One week of gluten free cereal recently and I felt an improvement, so it’s worth a try. Most supermarkets have a selection of gluten free products, but I’d looked at Ocado the other day and wow what a choice. Instead of four choices of pasta they had forty two. They offer free delivery for your first year and  a discount on your first shop with them. So I reserved a slot for Wednesday. One thing however that they don’t have much of a selection of is boxes of wine. The prices were higher than Sainsburys so we checked on deliveries from them. A slot for £1 had our name on it.

Blackberries at last

We spent the afternoon comparing prices between Ocado and Sainsburys. It was quite an interesting exercise. Wine, fresh veg and fruit are cheaper at Sainsburys, but chilled goods, spices and some cleaning products were cheaper with Ocado. So we ended up with two orders. The wrist warmers were parcelled up and taken to the Post Office, chance to pay for the beans from the day before and give the post service some money. On the way back we picked a good quantity of Blackberries, we’ll be having crumble soon!

Phone signal was none existent outside The Moorings, so I ended up walking back up to where we’d been moored earlier in the day to have work conversations. I’ll be glad when someone can call me without having to send an email first, then wait for me to walk up the towpath for ten minutes. Well it was our decision to be in Crick!

Green pepper vanDiddy red onionToday our deliveries arrived as planned. Bang on 11am the Sainsburys Green Pepper van backed up towards us. Their pickers must have had a bit of a laugh, I got six huge bramley apples and one very small red onion. With everything stowed away I wondered where we would put the next order! Ryan in his Red Cabbage van arrived half an hour early he was going to back up and wait for our slot, but that didn’t bother us. Everything was off loaded and onboard swiftly.

Number twoRyan in his red cabbage vanDifferences between the two deliveries. Sainsburys you can opt to have no plastic bags, Ocado you can hand them back to be recycled and get them refunded. Sainsburys you can choose to have substitutes if something isn’t available, Ocado they give you a substitute, if you don’t like it you can hand it back with both of them. I suspect we’ll end up using both in future.

Bye bye Crick

Once the water tank was topped up and all our rubbish was disposed  it was time for us to say farewell to Crick. We may be back before Christmas  but we haven’t quite sussed our movements around the stoppages yet. In the tunnel we met three boats coming the other way, the last one in the last 25 meters. Lunchtime, so we pulled over where we’d been moored last week before carrying on to Watford.

Perch heading downThis outside will do. Lots of TREES!We’d expected there to be no queue to go down as no boats passed us, we might have to wait for boats coming up. However as we approached there were two boats facing downhill and one uphill just above the lock. I walked up to check in and was told we’d timed it perfectly, the lock had been closed for a couple of hours for a work boat to clean the gates and they were just starting to let boats down again. One boat was already heading down soon to be followed by NB Perch a 70fter, then a hire boat, then us. I was first told to put the kettle on, then the lady Lockie changed her mind, there wouldn’t be time for a cuppa so I should pour a glass of wine instead.

Downerty, downerty, downerty, down

The hire boat took their time, possibly the first downhill lock they had done. The Lockies looked after them, but making sure there were two sets of gates between them and NB Perch. Perch being so long they wanted to keep an empty chamber above them to save the chap at the helm from getting a soaking through the gates. We followed on behind taking our time, no point rushing. A boat came up and pulled in at the holding point below the bottom of the staircase, this is when it all started to get a bit complicated.

Three boats in the pound

The Lockies set the next single lock for us and as I approached they suggested I should go and set the lock below for us once the hire boat had finished going down. So I walked down and waited for them to finish, my windlass at the ready. The C&RT work boat that had been used to clean the gates was in the pound in between along with another boat waiting to go up. The bottom lock gates were left open, a boat was coming up. Sensible use of water, well except the pound above was full and instead of Lockies waiting for the bottom lock to start filling before they let Oleanna down they emptied our lock, the water all heading down the bywash. Mick brought Oleanna out and replaced the waiting boat as he waited for the bottom lock to be full again. The crew from the work boat decided to untie, were they coming down first? Luckily not. Some do-si-doing went on to get Oleanna and the uphill boat past each other as the lock above was being emptied. Then it was plain sailing down the final lock, our last narrow one for a month when we hope to be on the South Oxford.

Egypt gets everywhereOur last narrow lock for a bit

We pootled along and pulled in opposite Welton Hythe Marina. NB Alchemy looking very clean on her temporary mooring. I was at last allowed out! They’d said I wouldn’t like the outside where we were yesterday, but they never gave me the chance to decide for myself. This outside was familiar so I went for a wander a bit further a field. When she came calling for me it was quite a walk to get back to Oleanna, she wanted to go via the towpath, but I knew the way back was alongside the biggest pooh tray ever! I made sure I made full use of the shore based facilities and covered up after myself before heading inside for my Dingding.

All shiney

7 locks, 4 of which a staircase for the 18th time, 4.72 miles, 2 parcels, 6 balls yarn, 2 bow thruster fuses, 3 rights, 1 reverse, 1 left, 1 mooring at The Moorings, 1 noisy night with traffic, 2 deliveries, 1 green pepper, 1 red cabbage, 2 substitutes, 3rd versions of boats, 1 show almost in budget, 1st order posted, 2nd order on the needles, 3rd order received, 1 full tank diesel, 2 bottles gas, 1 full water tank, 6 boxes wine, 1 full fridge, 10 GF fish fingers, 1 empty pooh bucket, 1 clean pooh box, 1 empty wee tank, 0 rubbish, 1 container blackberries, 1 cat half a mile away, 1 giant huge pooh tray, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.