No, I’m Spartacus, 5th June

King’s Orchard Marina to Meadow Lane Bridge 50

Is that the first sign of HS2?

Settling into the earlier routine now we got going in the morning sunshine a touch later than yesterday. Standing on tip toes I could just see a big digger and some fencing. Is this our first glimpse of HS2? I’m sure we are going to see more as we work our way southwards.

At Whittington we skirted round the village with neat back gardens all open to the canal. In fact one garden seemed to have a welcoming committee out to greet us. The gardens here were to set the theme for our days cruise.

Weather vane

The polytunnels that used to fill the fields alongside the canal have been moved away, the contents of which didn’t look very productive from what I could see. The tractor weather vane still looks good especially with the bright blue sky we had.

Another Geraghty zoom on the move, today we could worry them all as we passed through the shooting range, no flags were showing so we were fairly sure we’d be safe. Popping out the other side of Hopwood Woods one cloud hung behind our heads, would more join it through the day?

At Fazeley Junction two new birds have joined the Kingfisher and Robin not quite in the same style, but the Finches (?) are still quite effective. Fortunately Mick was on the ball and followed his instincts as to navigation as I’d got side tracked somewhat by the birds and had not given him directions! We turned left towards Coventry, soon arriving at Glascote Locks.

Glascote Locks

Quite often there is a queue here for the two slow flowing chambers, but as we arrived one boat was just finishing in the bottom lock so there was only a slight pause for us before we could start to ascend.

As with most narrow lock flights, I waited until Mick was happy, maybe the lock half full before I walked up to the next one. I could see that there was a slight gap between the gates indicating the chamber was empty, I’d just need to push them open. Well the next photo contradicts what I’ve just said.

A full lock!

That is because despite Oleanna most definitely being in view from the next lock, she had almost reached the level of the joining pound, a chap arrived and wound both paddles up to fill the lock. I’d walked about two thirds of the way to the lock, called out but wasn’t heard. An about turn for me back to help Mick open the gate and drop the paddles, no point in raising the blood pressure, surely the chap would apologise.


If he was a single hander I could be of assistance, I walked back up, crossed over the bottom gate so as to drop the offside paddle once the lock was full. The gate was opened, he brought his boat in and was just closing the gate as his partner arrived with some shopping, she stepped on board and took over the helm, well once she’d sorted herself out by which time the chap had already lifted a bottom paddle. I waited for a thumbs up from the helm. When the gates opened she seemed a touch bemused that there was a boat sitting waiting in the lock below!

Good shrubs

We paused for lunch and a top up shop at the handy Co-op before carrying on. Our aim for the day was to get ahead of ourselves again and get towards the bottom of the Atherstone flight so we could climb them all tomorrow instead of just the bottom two.

Hoovered lawn

More wonderful gardens including the one where they really must hoover the grass to keep it so immaculate!

Good clouds

Clouds were gradually gathering. Some impressive cirrus above our heads, their long whisps stretching off.

At Alvecote Marina we looked at the old work boats that moor there and hunted round for a blue boat with a bench on the bow. There she was NB Harnser having a little rest between cruises.

Needs a bit of TLC

Under the M42 where a couple were busy painting their roof making use of the shade from the bridge and easy mooring with armco.


A short distance on there is a little island, behind which are some private moorings, NB Spartacus being one of them. The proposed route of HS2 will pass directly over the heads of these boats as it clings to the route of the motorway.


Onwards some more, not quite wanting to get to the bottom of Atherstone today. We passed under the railway and then skirted round a small hill which we hoped would shield us from the trains. A couple of boats were moored up their tabby cat sitting watching the world go by. A bit further and we passed NB Burghley Girl, we pulled up a little way on from them as yesterday I’d seen them walking their Siamese cat. Not often you get three boats in a row all with cats. We kept our distance so each feline could enjoy their own patch of towpath.

Spot the cat

Tilly was straight out, along the cat walk at speed. She’s seen some movement up ahead that would require a pounce into the friendly cover. Would two hours be sufficient? Six would have been better!

Chicken, leek, bacon, and feta

A copy of a script was printed out as a quinoa crust quiche cooked in the oven. Time to get my head round my next show as before I know it I’ll be doing costume fittings. The quiche went down very well accompanied by some Jersey Royals, there’s enough left over for a couple of days time too.

2 locks, 14.24 miles, 2 lefts, 1 turned lock, 0 apology, 5 zoomers, 0 shots fired, 1 Saturday newspaper the last copy in the shop! 3 cats in a row, 32 pages, 1 quiche, 2 more colours on the crochet blanket.

Thumbs up. Not enough time for a stamp of approval. Reusable blocks still being problematical!

7 thoughts on “No, I’m Spartacus, 5th June

  1. Mike Todd

    Good to hear that the work is beginning to come back again – still seems a very uncertain situation for the performing arts of all kinds, theatre especially.

    1. Pip Post author

      Thanks Mike. There are lots of things happening in the theatre world and a great many number of fingers crossed! I think that is all many in the entertainment world can do. Quite a few of my friends have left the industry, others are trying to find ways of keeping another job whilst freelancing in holidays, trying to keep some stability going.

  2. Anonymous

    Train! wouldn’t be reference to Foxes Afloat vlogs by chance?
    Nice quiche

    1. Pip Post author

      No reference what so ever. When would we get chance to watch vlogs?! We’ve never got into them, no offence to anyone, but I prefer a good read.
      Anyhow, just about all boys of a certain age are besotted with trains.

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