Lock 9 to somewhere between Napton Junction and Braunston
Christmas Eve has been busy. A wonderful misty morning that meant the car having to be defrosted and scraped with a credit card, thank goodness boats don’t require having a clear windscreen.
Then into Daventry to drop off old engine oil at the tip. Then back up to Braunston to visit the Post Office. A card and a parcel to pick up and we were on our way back to the boat.
Mick headed to drop the car back at Enterprise whilst I got on with a few Christmas Eve jobs, the most important one, making the sausage rolls! Tilly busied herself trying to work out what was in the parcel from her friends Dog and Mungo.
Once Mick returned we pushed off and descended the last lock of the Napton flight and pulled in to dispose of yellow water and as much rubbish as we could find (there’s always something you miss).
The third Kate hire boat we’ve seen in two days vacated the water point so we pushed over and filled the tank up. The oven was put on, kettle filled and we were on our way.
This is the first time we’ve ever cruised on Christmas Eve, we’ve normally reached our chosen destination by now. It turns out we chose a really good Christmas Eve. The sun was out, it’s low angle catching all the lumps and bumps in the fields. Soon the timer beeped and our Christmas cruising sausage rolls were ready.
With a cuppa each we cruised past the windmill high up on the hill. At Napton Junction we carried straight on, hoping to find a space on our own away from the roads. The number of boats coming towards us suggested that we’d be lucky to get a stretch of towpath all to ourselves. Today we’ve seen more moving boats than in the last month.
With the day drifting away I headed below to start the preparation for tomorrow leaving Mick to pootle us along to a suitable space. Days like today I have two cookers, the multifuel stove top comes in handy at keeping things simmering, also saving us gas. The cider gravy stock sadly has to bubble for quite sometime to reduce and increase it’s tastyness. Today we cruised with the side hatch and galley window open to try to cut down on the amount of moisture inside, the windows still steamed up! As we pulled in the sun was just starting to dip below the horizon, Tilly was allowed out for an hour even though it was starting to get dark.
Stock, stuffing, braised red cabbage, bread sauce all just need finishing off. All presents are wrapped. This evening we’ve enjoyed half of our ham baked with maple syrup and wholegrain mustard accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes. My birthday cake has been baking and is now cooling giving off very tasty smells.
The stockings are out in front of the stove waiting for the man in red. We’ve lit our two guiding lights just so that he can find us, one at the bow and the other at the stern.
1 lock, 5.81 miles, 1 straight on, 1 parcel, 1 card, 1 still to come, 10 litres oil, 1 empty wee tank, 1 full water tank, 8 sausage rolls, 4 each, 0 Frank to steal any, 2 cuppas, 1st Christmas Eve cruise ever, 2 many boats, 1 stretch with our name on it, 1 very good smell, 1 hour! 12 extremely tasty morsels in my bowl before dingding, 1 ham, 1 mountain of presents, 1 birthday cake cooling.
Christmas morning and Father Christmas found us.
7 pairs socks, 10 pencils, 3 pairs scissors, 3 chocolate oranges, 2 light switches, 64 fire lighters, 2 types Dreamies, 4 bouncy balls, 6 walnut whips, 1 pump action hand wash, 1 Ladybird book of Great Inventions, 2 spoons, 6 candles, 2 much chocolate!
Happy Christmas to all our readers
Have a wonderful day