Two Reds. 30th December


The levels appeared to have peaked this morning and were just starting to come down. We knew we wouldn’t be going anywhere today.

Phone reception is almost none existent inside the boat in Shardlow so it was no surprise when Micks phone received a text message from Adrian at C&RT. He’d tried calling to see if we were still wanting our booking tomorrow to go through Stoke Lock, Cranfleet Flood Gates were still closed. He already knew the answer as did we, Mick texted back confirming that we’d like to cancel our booking. He also asked what would happen from the 3rd of January at Stoke Lock, would we need to book? The answer was that there would be plenty of people about to pen us through when we arrive, hopefully soon afterwards the lock will be back to self operation. Adrian would stand the team down for lunchtime tomorrow.

Wall? What wall!!

Mick spent sometime sat out the back making phone calls to cancel all our Trent lock bookings. We’re hoping we may still be able to make the window of good tides next week, but who knows what the river will do and when Cranfleet Flood Gates will reopen. Cromwell Lock said that they’d be able to get us to Keadby one way or another, maybe missing out on a stop at West Stockwith. One slightly worrying thing was that despite us both remembering Mick having talked to Keadby Lock they didn’t seem to have us in the diary! Glad we hadn’t got to the M180 Bridge and radioed ahead with no-one expecting us! Doesn’t matter now, and we’ll double check when we booked it next.

Mick also called Shardlow Marina. Oleanna was due an oil change, the price of oil was a touch more than he was wanting to pay, maybe it would be cheaper to get the bus and buy some from Halfords? He decided to pay the extra and got on the bike and headed off.

When red lights shows it is not recommended for craft to proceed beyond this point due to flood conditions

Down the towpath at the Shardlow EA flood gates two red lights showed. Both the River Soar and Trent are closed. We’ve stayed this side of the flood gates just in case the river comes up even more!


Tilly did more calculations regarding the wall. She eyed up the wooden signposts again, checked them for claw stability, then decided the call of Dreamies was greater than achieving her goal of getting to the top of the wall.

Inside I took over the dinette table. Foamcor was measured out and cut up to make the base shapes of some giant sugar lumps and milk pods, the sort you get in hotels. I caught up on the Christmas Day radio 4 play which was directed by an acquaintance, The Signalman. All the edges of the shapes were covered in masking tape, this should stop the contact adhesive from eating into the foam when I come to cover them in yoga mats.

Held in place till it’s dry

Whilst the PVA glue was out I made use of it to re-stick some edging strip that was coming off in the bathroom. An off cut of foamcor proved useful to get the glue in behind the veneer. Masking tape used to hold it in position whilst the glue dries.

Mick got on with the oil change in the engine bay. He’s saved doing the filters until tomorrow, we doubt we’ll be on our way for a few days.

This evenings meal made use of the last ham, ham stock which I’d drained off when I roasted the joint. I made it into a stew with a potato, carrot and peas. The stew bubbled away on the stove top for an hour before I made use of the last of the stuffing, making a sort of topping out of it. It then went inside the oven to finish off. Verdict, tasty maybe a little bit salty, but a good invention to use up the last of the leftovers from Christmas.

Yesterday and today we watched Mayflies, a story of a man diagnosed with cancer and his wish to control the end of his life. What a jolly bit of TV to have between Christmas and the New Year! Some very good performances, but a box of tissues was very much required. To jolly things up we’ve watched episodes of Ghosts, Mick has nearly caught me up.

Glad I can’t make the mug to go with them!

0 locks, 0 miles, £60 oil, 4 bookings cancelled, 1 oil change, 6 inch sugar lumps, 1ft milk pods, 1 pot of stew, 2 many tears, 1 near death experience, 1 red lever, 20 catnip Dreamies spilled on the sofa, 2 swirling cats eyes!