Melding Into The Sky. 5th September

Sainsburys Nothingham to Stoke Lock, River Trent

Flip flops

A number checker was spied through the curtain this morning, time for us to move on. Mick rolled the covers back whilst I dug about in the shoe cupboard below the dinette, just what shoes would I be able to wear? Anti-slip clogs, possible but maybe a touch touchy on my toe. Sandals, sadly the strap would sit exactly over my toe. Flip Flops, yes they would do, thank goodness it’s not raining or winter yet. I’d normally avoid such flimsy footwear on a boat, they can be slippy in the wet, offer no protection to your toes and because I don’t wear them all that often I occasionally catch the toe and they become a trip hazard. But I’d not be working locks today, I’d be at the helm, so they would be fine.

Castle Lock

A touch breezy as we came up to Castle Lock. Mick hopped off to set the lock, then set me and Oleanna free thankfully not ending up on the offside where the wind and bywash were encouraging us to go.

Seaton House

Along the canal past the old British Waterways Building, the pubs, under all the low bridges to the right hand turn. Here we said goodbye and thank you to Nottingham’s NHS once again. Maybe they should have a mooring for us outside!

The new mural seems to be lasting well, we only spotted one rogue tag along it’s length. At Meadow Lane we pulled into the water point, started to fill up the tank, disposed of yellow water, the rubbish would have to wait til later. A boat came up the lock in front and asked if we’d like the gates leaving, we’d still be a while, they closed up behind them.

A while later a lady walked up from the river. They had a widebeam and a narrowboat to bring up, would we be using the lock to go down. Not for quarter of an hour at least, she decided that they’d wait for us, she thought the widebeam wouldn’t get past us and the cruisers moored opposite, it looked wide enough to us and it wasn’t as if they’d be saving water by waiting as the bywash was flowing away quite happily. Each to their own.

Meadow Lane Lock

We were quite grateful as the crew worked the lock for us, nowhere to pull in below so we were able to sound the horn and head on downstream. This solved our possible problem of pausing at the pontoon to pick Mick up and me not being able to get off to secure a rope whilst waiting. Thank you guys.

Today there was to a be a Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge, Mick had considered going, but at £60 a ticket for pajama cricket he felt it wouldn’t be worth it. Shame as we’d have moored on the County Hall Steps and Mick could have walked. Another time there will be a match worth staying for.

Mick on button duty

The river was quiet, only one boat came towards us, a few paddle boarders enjoying the last days of school summer holiday. There are now signs warning of strong currents above Holme Lock, we made sure we tucked well up towards the top gates before Mick stepped off to go and press the buttons. I’d warned him about the flashing lights going on and on and on and on forever between button presses.

The top sluices were up, it looks like they have altered the locks to reset to being full for safety. Thankfully we were heading downstream so this would help speed up the lock operation. But if you were coming from below it would take forever to empty the lock as only one set of paddles were working. I got to go through at the helm whilst Mick waited and waited to press the green button. I should have moved Oleanna over into the shade as the water dropped, I could even have taken a seat and put my foot up, but I remained at the helm incase. Such a big lock, such a long time to empty it!

Mick stood watching waiting for the level to equalise, his t-shirt the same blue of the sky. With a big exit after the lock before rejoining the river properly I could slowly make my way to the pontoon to pick Mick up once the lock was closed, here’s hoping Gunthorpe Lock is manned tomorrow!

Down stream we sauntered in the sunshine. Under Radcliffe Viaduct, round the big bend bringing us to Stoke Lock. A cruiser seemed to be sat in front of the lock, what were they doing? It took a while for us to realise it was actually moored on the high wall. We pulled in to the pontoon, the low mooring we’d hoped for was occupied. The Cat health and safety committee met.

Approaching Stoke Lock

Pontoons set away from the bank give us cause for concern. Tilly may spot twitching in the friendly cover along the bank and go for a pounce, only to discover that the friendly cover was hiding the river, a river with a current towards a weir. We weren’t willing to risk it. Sorry Tilly.


The afternoon was spent behind closed curtains keeping the sunlight out. A breeze through the boat would have been nice, but it was our choice to have the doors closed and Tilly in, a load of washing was dry in no time.

This afternoons foot up film

I cast on a sock whilst watching ‘It Should Happen To You’ 1954, starring Jack Lemmon in his first major film appearance and Judy Holliday as Gladys Glover a young woman seeking fame. Gladys rents a billboard and has her name painted on it in BIG letters. This leads to her becoming a name, Jack Lemmon falling in love with her and the owner of Adams Soap company trying to seduce her. ‘Me Too’ came to mind. Thankfully Gladys came to her senses and managed to escape, I didn’t have to shout at the TV anymore!

I managed to turn the heel of the sock whilst watching a Hitchcock Presents.

3 locks, 6.8 miles, 1 left, 1 pair flipflops, 1 collapsing chair, 0 cricket, 27p a ball! 0 shore leave, 1 miffed cat, 0 bbq tonight, 1 pasta salad, 2nd sock well on it’s way, 7th requested.