Falling Behind. 2nd June

Meadow Lane Bridge 50 to Whitley Bridge 47

With precipitation likely for much of the day and snot levels also high we decided to see how things were by the time we got to the longish pound between locks 10 and 9 of the Atherstone flight. Boats were already coming past before we pushed off. A few jobs to do first, yellow water, a load of washing and give Tilly a clean pooh box. We pushed off following on after NB Piglet whom we’ve been playing leapfrog with since Stone or maybe earlier.

Nearly 150 years worth of paint

They pulled in at the services at Bradley Green, so did we to dispose of rubbish, top up the water and have a chat with them. As we filled our tank it started to rain. A steady stream of boats coming past. Here our milometer, if we had one, would have clicked over to 500 miles so far this year.

With chores done we joined the queue at the bottom of Atherstone, I walked up to lend a hand.

A single hander was coming down and an elderly chap from the boat in front of us was giving him a hand with the gates. The single hander pulled out of the lock and the old chap started to close the gate, ‘You might want to keep that open’ I said. He said he wasn’t quite with it yet (taking a swig from his can of Old Speckled Hen), but would be by the time they reached the top of the flight. Maybe the beer helped!

The bottom two locks of Atherstone

Turning to watch for his boat coming into the lock, his wife was struggling, clinging onto the centre line for dear life. The single hander had shot out of the lock at a rate of knots just as she was untying. Mick tied Oleanna up and rushed to give the lady a hand, it took quite a bit to pull it back in. The single hander joked as he passed Mick saying he hoped there weren’t anymore locks, Mick replied with ‘I’m more concerned about the speed your doing!’

1 casualty, a mug

The speed had been so great that Oleanna, tied only on a centre line, had tilted over creating a five drawer moment. Our pull out corner cupboard hadn’t been latched properly so had also pulled itself out smashing a mug in the process! A nice calm morning boating.

Rising in the bottom lock

I helped the octogenarian couple up the lock and a passerby walked up to empty the next one for them. We worked our way up and swapped places with a hire boat coming down. The rain kept coming and going, decision made we’d pull in for the day. My snotty head didn’t fancy the idea of another 9 locks in the rain, it would just mean a few longer days to come.

Tilly was quite happy at the early stop and made the most of her time behind the very thick high sideways trees. Mick pottered away the afternoon. I woke my sour dough starter up, fed it and got a sponge mixed to be able to make a loaf tomorrow after the locks. The rest of the day was spent watching Columbo on the sofa with my second box of tissues.

2 locks, 1.65 miles, 1 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 1 clean pooh box, 500 miles, 335 locks, 2nd box tissues started, 90 grams brown rice flour, 120 ml water, 2 episodes Columbo, 1 sofa Sunday.

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