One’s Better Than None. 21st May

Lockdown Mooring 4A to Cholmondeston Lock to Lockdown Mooring 4A

Time to fill up with water, we’ve not been so careful this last few days so the tank hadn’t lasted so long. But which water point to choose? I knew as there was something that needed to be picked up.

Sun’s out again

We reversed back through bridge 97 to Hurleston Junction, winded and headed up to Barbridge. Our Lockdown Buddies were all busy, some already with plans as to which way to head when cruising restrictions are lifted this weekend. Most of us will need to move off the 48hr moorings on Monday. At the moment we plan on staying around the area for another week or two with the hope that the Covid-19 statistics improve.

A boat!!!

For the last two months we’ve hardly met another boat on the move, but now numbers are picking up. Those visiting their boats for the first time in a couple of months, maybe even this year, are out for a there and back day cruise. Others who can’t wait for the weekend and who have started to move already. So of course today we met a boat at a bridge hole, we were the closest, ‘Just like old times’.

Building site back up and running today

I stood as look out at Barbridge Junction and signalled the way ahead was clear as we turned into the Middlewich Branch. The building site opposite is back up and running again.

Not what you normally see on the Four Counties

A cruiser with a huge engine sat on a trailer by the slipway at Barbridge Marina, bit of overkill for the canal system.

Elderflower on it’s way

Now most of the Hawthorn blossom has gone, but getting going is the Elderflower. A few more days before the flower heads are out fully.

The plant pot lady on her swing now just about overgrown.

The length of boats we’d left a couple of months ago are still moored above Cholmondeston Lock. Each with their little patch and all very friendly now. A group stood round the water point as we pulled up, a boat just having finished filling. They wound their hose up and gave us room.

With the tank filling I took a large shopping bag with me and headed off on my own. There was a delivery I needed to pick up, sadly a second one hadn’t arrived. I returned to Oleanna where one half of Mick’s birthday present was presented wonderfully wrapped in a Sainsburys bag.

A while ago Paul, from Waterway Routes, had pointed us in the direction of Tannus tyres. These are solid tyres so therefore cannot get a puncture. As our faithful Brompton has had a couple of punctures lately I decided to fork out for a pair.

Present

Delays had happened. The company only dispatches orders the following week as they were working with reduced staff. They sent no confirmation of my order and it was only when it arrived that I was informed that there was only one tyre, not a pair! I ordered a second one, luckily getting some discount from the company. Then I wasn’t able to pick it up until Wednesday. Hence all the delay. So either Mick will get his Christmas present early or Tilly has used up all her pocket money for the next five years in buying the second tyre.

Look at that de-lamination, that used to be plywood.

Lunch was eaten as the water tank filled, we then backed past the line of boats and headed back home.

They’ve lost the ability to change the outside!

Videos of how to fit a Tannus tyre were watched, they are renowned to be quite tricky as they are a solid tyre. Time to give it a go.

The Brompton had it’s front tyre removed, easier than the rear one, it also had a slow puncture. Then the choice of which pins too use, red, blue or black. The blue ones were the correct size for the wheel. These were fed into the holes and then Mick started to fit the tyre. He’d had the foresight to leave the tyre on the rear hatch sitting in the sun for a while. This made the tyre more malleable and considerably easier to fit than expected.

Tyreless wheel
Blue pins slotted in

The wheel back on the bike it was taken for a test drive a short distance up the towpath. Just the second tyre to arrive now and he’ll be puncture proof.

Fitted

I started on some details and shadows on my illustrations. This became quite satisfying, the characters now taking shape and form on the page. There is still more to do and the slight disappointment when I realised that the main character, Emma not only has a stripy cardigan but her coat is multicoloured also! I saved that as a job for tomorrow.

Just that red coat to finish

0 locks, 5.55 miles, 0.2 in reverse, 2 winds, 1 right, 1 left, 1 full water tank, 0.5 present, 1 solid tyre, 1 birthday boy kept busy, 1 endless coat, 2 neighbours gone, 1 new neighbour.

One puncture proof tyre

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