Left This Time Please. 16th August

Avon Aqueduct to Bungalow Bridge 59

Finally the new quote for building panto was added into the other numbers that make up the budget. Bang on, with no contingency and me unconvinced about the printing. A few emails back and forth, one pot of money identified that could be raided, another possibility, but a couple of things missed off the budget. It’s all so frustrating!!

Left this time please

I need to chat to the print man but unless something has changed along the summit pound in the last few years phone signal was going to get worse not better. Our first trip along the summit was on a hire boat many years ago when my Dad went missing with his warden call button. Messages from the neighbours were intermittent, his car was in the drive, search parties about to walk the fields, us several days away from the hire base in Rugby not able to do anything. Thankfully he turned up fine, think he’d gone out for lunch with a friend who’d picked him up and he’d taken his warden call button with him by accident. So I’m well aware of poor signal towards Foxton. In the end I decided there was little I could do about this today other than answer emails.

Another tunnel, another boat

A wave to NB Panda as we cruised past North Kilworth, then tunnel mode was engaged, into Husbands Bosworth Tunnel. We were following one and passed another, thankfully the tunnel wasn’t too wet.

Soon views to one side or the other appear. We once spent a November here and tried to find a suitable mooring for Bonfire Night to overlook Market Harborough to watch the fireworks. No suitable mooring showed itself before dark. Today distinct signs of autumn showed in the trees, berries reddening in the hedgerows. This stretch normally has a very good show of berries.

Mooing on a sunny day

Cows in the fields, sunny sunny day. The scary trees didn’t feel quite as perilous today, maybe the most perilous have lost their fight against gravity in the last few years.

We pulled in short of a long line of boats before bridge 60. Here Tilly could explore without too much footfall from gongoozlers towards Foxton Locks. The solar was good, yet we still needed a short top up with the engine before 8pm to keep us going all night.

The afternoon was spent doing sketches of props and logos for panto. All jobs that would normally get left a while longer, but I’m wanting to pack away my work things, so ticking jobs off the little list was good. I’d been hoping by the end of the afternoon the budget for panto would be signed off. 6pm came, the emails stopped, people were headed for holidays.

During the day an updated notice regarding North Lock in Leicester came through from C&RT.

Following yesterday’s assessment of North Lock, it remains unsafe for boaters to operate unassisted. We will therefore be offering assisted passage to boaters on a Tuesday and Friday between 1pm and 3pm from Tuesday 22nd August 2023.

We’d passed two boats earlier that had turned round because of this. For us we are happy to wait for one of the days with assisted passage. Stories of four hours being stuck in the lock, Spanish Windlasses and six/seven people needed to encourage the gates to open have been heard. We’ll let C&RT do that bit for us.

Chicken spring rolls and fried rice Click the photo for recipe

Tonight we had chicken spring rolls again with fried rice. I’ll try to find the time to do the recipe as I think it’s a keeper.

Today the panto cast has been announced, two familiar faces amongst them from Puss in Boots.

0 locks, 7 miles, 1 left, 1 tunnel, 1 passed, 0 mysterons, 0 contingency, 2 user sign in confusing things, 3 logos, 1 beast, 6pm deadline missed, 1 designer sat in budget limbo, 5 hours! 1 sunny day, 1 towpath filling up with boats, 1 panto cast announced.