Author Archives: pipandmick

About pipandmick

We discovered our mutual love of canals early on in our relationship when on a canal holiday on the Leeds and Liverpool. Since then we enjoyed four years being part owners of a share boat and have now progressed up to owning NB Lillyanne. Mick is a Telephone Engineer and Pip is a Theatre Designer. We have both taken time off work to explore the waterways, meet up with old friends, make new ones and watch the seasons change around us.

Speeding Through Milton Keynes. 17th June

Great Linford to Dairy Bridge 102

Shame we weren’t moored the other way round

Today is the last day on the flat for a while, so I wanted to try to get as much work done as I could whilst going through Milton Keynes. But things just kept happening!

We pushed off at the same time as our neighbours, leaving the wonderful moorings for some lucky person. As we pootled along to the water point I cleaned out Tillys pooh box and gave her a fresh lot of litter. Unusually she obliged by using it just before I cleaned it out, normally it’s christened just as the new litter goes in!

As we filled with water the first of todays many speeding boaters came past. This was a converted butty. We were only tied by our centre line in amongst other moored boats. The chap at the helm obviously clocked us, so cut his speed as he levelled with us, Oleanna rushing back and forth! As soon as he’d passed us his throttle was pushed forwards again as he passed other moored boats. I wonder if he would have bothered adjusting his speed if a, we weren’t outside or b, we’d been an older boat with piles of possessions on our roof!

Breasted up coal boats with Jules at the helm

A little while later Jules Fuels slowed at the bridge ahead of us, breasted up the butty and slowly came in in front of us. Stopping briefly to fill a couple of containers with water before they carried on towards Wolverton today. Their holds seemed to be predominantly gas bottles today. A shame we’d got coal at Rugby boats, but if the weather hadn’t warmed up in the last couple of days we’d have been needing some more.

Along the next stretch I concentrated on the Bank of England’s vault. Grey/gold/silver? A couple of miles along and Mick opened the hatch and beeped the horn twice. Was I needed? I popped up top.

Pulled pins

Ahead there was a short narrowboat right across the cut blocking our way. I’d be needed to hold Oleanna in the bridge hole if there was nobody on board. No signs of movement came. Mick went to see if he could pull the boat in and hammer it’s spikes. Both bow and stern lines had been pulled, the centre line somewhere on the middle of the boat. He stepped on the back, trying to make his way to get a rope, a dog started to bark, Mick tried to squeeze past drying washing, then retreated to the bank. I spotted someone inside, eventually the chap got dressed and appeared at the back door. Between them they managed to pull the boat to the bank, we left the chap to tie up again and slowly passed him.

New bridge ahead

As there was a space at Campbell Park we made use of it for a lunch break. Just as we were pushing off a chap came up to chat about our chimney, windows etc, both of us clinging onto the ropes. Eventually when the chap paused we pushed off and left him to it.

Y

I stayed up top for a while to see the new marina and Y shaped bridge. Large buildings are going up opposite and the marina looks like it’s about half full already, considering we don’t remember it in the slightest two years ago that’s not bad going. The Y shaped bridge is pleasing to the eye and a nice contrast to most modern canal bridges that are concrete clad in brick. The rusty metal railings depict bullrushes if you look closely enough.

Maybe this is where Boris has been hiding

The amount of moored boats through Milton Keynes seems to have increased greatly. Mick slowed whilst passing them and at times had to reverse to let other boats come past. At one such moment he picked something up on the prop. The next opportunity, a couple of bollards, he pulled over to investigate. As he rummaged around in the mucky water boats sped past, very few slowing. The tool box was required the normal implements wouldn’t do the job today. Wire cutters and molegrips instead. A steel cable was the culpret and was eventually coaxed off the prop.

Todays catch

We both waved at the couple who sit in their living room at Fenny Stratford, but nobody waved back, the garden seemed not quite as neat and tidy. A single hander had just set the lock so we joined him and closed up after us both, swinging the bridge back over the lock when all was done.

Fenny Stratford Lock

Mick pootled us another couple of miles whilst I popped a loaf of bread in the oven and carried on with work. At a reasonable distance from the road we moored up and let Tilly out. I made a pizza, finished off knitting the pair of socks. At 10pm two local boats must have been doing a boat swap. They sped past us at a rate of knots first one then the other, we really hoped they didn’t meet each other at a bridge hole.

Baked and on the way to our tummies!

1 lock, 8.72 miles, 1 swing bridge, 1 Y shaped bridge, 166 grey dots, 1 heavy sleeper, 3m steel cable, 2 many moored boats, 2 many bored boaters, 2 many speeding boats, 1 vault painted, 0 riches, 1 step closer to London, 1 loaf, 1 giant GF sour dough pizza, 2 full tummies, 2 socks knitted.

All Hands On Deck. 16th June

Not quite Pole Position to Pole Position

On Saturdays we buy our newspaper, Sundays we read it in bed with a cuppa in hand. This morning however this was curtailed a touch.

First there was some yapping, then a bit of boat moving noise, no engine audible. I peeked through the front door blinds, the boat in front of us was being clung onto by a chap with the centre line. Time to get dressed, the opportunity to move up 60ft was not to be lost. All Hands On Deck!

QUICK!!!

We were out the doors and untying within minutes. Pulled along we now had THE view up the parkland towards the Nags Head, it was sunny too. We’d now have to stay another night. The bollards not quite spaced right for our length, so Mick tied a spring line then we could settle down for breakfast.

With eggs needing eating it would have been daft not to have a cooked breakfast.

Not bad, not bad

They moved the outside without the big noise. It’s a similar outside to yesterday, but now there are trees that way and this. There’s also a good wall with gaps that I can get my arms down to feel for any possible friends. She came out for a while and we had a game of stick on the big grassy bit. Then She wandered off to see if she could find Houdini’s daffodil.

Mine, all mine

Apparently this outside is one of the places they chose to remember their previous second mate at, they planted some mini daffodils in amongst the trees. She was being silly, no way was she going to be able to see them, yellow time is long gone, even I know that!

See you later

As Tilly and I played the sound of a Russell Newbery engine got closer. The large windows gave it away as NB Tyseley came past, crew sat out the front enjoying the sunshine, still wrapped up in waterproofs. Not much further for them to go today, just around the next big bend is Lionhearts Cruising Club where their next show was this afternoon.

Lillian in Pole Position

At 2pm we picked up our folding chairs and walked up through the park. We paused near the gates for a photo. We’d moored in the same position in March 2015 for the solar eclipse and taken a photo then.

Oleanna in Pole Position

Today the trees are in full leaf and Oleanna’s blue doesn’t sing out in quite the same way as Lillian’s yellow, but it was a photo that had to be taken.

Am afternoon cuppa and a play

Lionhearts Cruising Club had not taken any chance with the weather today, two marquees had been erected, one with a bar and tea and cake, the other the auditorium for the show. We claimed some seats, no need to have brought our own, and then got ourselves a cuppa each. Mick had a scone with his and after a short delay I got a couple of slices of gluten free cake. Very nice it was too.

Our neighbours at the park

Marianne the Artistic Director of Mikron came over for a chat. After a week on board with the cast she was looking forward to a few days back at home near Marsden. The weather, falling trees and reduced opening hours of locks have all been a problem to them this year. The canal tour is planned to within a few hours, so any delays can leave the cast/crew stuck away from a venue. yesterday they had had a show at Bilsworth at 1pm, by the time they’d packed up from it and got through the tunnel they would be at least an hour late to get down the locks. She had had to make numerous phone calls to find the person who was able to give special permission for the locks to be opened for them. With 24 hours between shows, 15 miles, 8 locks, around 7 hours cruising they really had to get through the flight on Saturday. Luckily they were granted permission.

We sat back and enjoyed the show. All Hands On Deck. In true Mikron style with minimal set and props, numerous musical instruments even more costume changes the four actors worked their socks off. Lily and Ginger are two new WRNS, they go through training together and end up one in the engine bay the other deciphering morse code. It is a poignant tale of these two Wrens battling through all that was thrown at them. Songs and a few laughs, a very enjoyable afternoon. We hope to catch Red Coats their other show a bit further down the Grand Union.

Brick kilns just by the cruising club

The afternoon had stayed mostly dry so we walked back through the parks canal side back to Oleanna. Tilly had another hours exploration before a friend of hers caught my eye, so she was picked up and brought inside, her friend scurrying off into the wall.

My sour dough starter has been woken up over the last couple of days. A bowl of pizza dough is sitting overnight and a sponge is now doing it’s thing ready for a loaf tomorrow. Have to admit I put the sponge in the fridge as I was a touch worried that it might have taken over the boat by morning!

The view from Pole Position

This evening we have enjoyed a joint of pork, better crackling but still not quite perfect, a couple of glasses of wine and I am 15 rows away from finishing off my latest commissioned pair of socks. Then I’ll have all the bloomin ends to sew in.

0 locks, 62 ft, 1 pole position, 1 beautiful mooring, 6 hours of cat freedom, 1 friend at least, 1 rescue, 0 daffs visible, 5 on a boat, 2 marquees, 100 plus, 2 redundant chairs, 1 scone, 2 slices cake, 1 great show, 160 grams starter, 200 grams starter, 1 run away sponge, 1 joint pork, 15 rows to go, 1 lovely Sunday, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.

Replenishing Stocks Just Enough. 15th June

Haines Bridge to almost pole position at Great Linford

Last night we almost ran out of wine! Supplies on board of all sorts have been gradually running low. We’ve not had the chance to have a delivery for a while so we only stock up on items that are needed. Our evening meal last night was created from what I could find in the drawers and fridge, a nice chicken and mushroom risotto (thank you Christine for the dried mushrooms at Christmas), but today we would be down to emergency tuna pasta. We had to go shopping today.

Wide beam just winded

Mick pootled us along as I carried on trying to paint bits of model between being needed. Thrupp Wharf came into view, the bridge over the canal having several cars parked on it, boats here there and everywhere including a wide beam that without warning winded at the entrance to the marina in front of us. Permanent moorers weren’t impressed with the chap at the helm and wished Mick luck following him.

Solomon’s Bridge

I managed some red painting before we reached Solomon’s Bridge where I managed to take it’s photo from the hatch. The wide beam soon pulled in opposite the Barley Mow. Green paint followed before we pulled in at the services. The yellow water needed to be emptied along with disposing of the other contents from our waterless toilet. By the bins was an amount of wood, I helped myself to a length for kindling as we’d run out.

Cosgrove Lock

Cosgrove Lock was sat open waiting for us, either self opening, blown open or a lazy boater having not gone back to close the gate. The gates on the lock looked like they were new this year along with a stretch of high wooden fencing behind the wall. Some trees have gone since we were last here and the fencing means you can no longer watch the Lamas and other beasts behind the wall whilst the lock empties or fills. Maybe they have gone too.

The Ouse looking full below

The white paint came out from my paint box, mixed with some PVA to help solidify some thin bits of card I’d just started to apply it when I noticed flats outside, we’d arrived at Wolverton. There were only a couple of rings left at the end just past NB Carpe Diem. The wind buffeted off the tall buildings pushing Oleanna into the off side as the lady we’d met yesterday came out to say the same had happened to them. Mick did his best to ignore her as keeping Oleanna out of the undergrowth was a bit more important to concentrate on. A boat behind was just pulling out so we reversed to take their spot. The rings here didn’t really work for us, the wind still pushing Oleanna away from the bank. As soon as Carpe Diem moved off we could tie up better and helped another boat moor up.

Trains Planes

With a bike as sherpa we walked down to Tescos with quite a long shopping list. We returned with four heavy bags despite Leighton Buzzard only being a couple of days away (there are moorings right outside Tescos there). The steps down to the towpath necessitated de-bagging the bike but we managed.

After a late lunch we pootled on some more. Mick at the helm, me at work, Tilly asleep. We’d discussed how far we’d go today, Fenny Stratford, Campbell Park, there wouldn’t be any space at Great Linford, not on a Saturday afternoon. How wrong were we! There was space, not the prime position with the view right up to the pub, but there was space. So we pulled in deployed the tyre fenders due to the submerged ledge and let the cat out.

Great Linford, here’s hoping gravity doesn’t get too much for the trees here

1 lock, 6.92 miles, 1 aqueduct, 1 wee tank empty, 1 pooh bucket empty, 1 length of timber, 3 colours paint, 1 almost dry day, 2 boxes wine, 1 pork joint, 1 box of model bits getting more colourful, 3 hours, 1 favourite mooring almost, 5 yappy shitinyourshoe neighbours, 1 cool cat.

Is It Us? 14th June

Stoke Bruerne to Haines Bridge 62

A bee busy at work

This morning we noticed that NB Tyseley was unable to come through Blisworth Tunnel due to a tree blocking the navigation close to the north portal . A rather big tree too! We seem to be having this effect on trees, luckily for us they fall over behind us. That of course is no good if you are on a schedule, maybe we should let NB Tyseley get ahead of us!

With the knowledge of no boats about to appear from the tunnel we headed for the locks. It was nearly dry outside, but we didn’t trust it so put our waterproofs on. Two boats were coming up the top lock with the help of a Volunteer. They had been told to moor up and wait for news, there was concern that the moorings would soon fill up, would there be enough space for them. There was plenty and I’m sure even by the end of the day there would still have been plenty of room.

Stoke Bruerne Top Lock

One of the boats that had followed us yesterday had already headed down the locks, no locking partner would appear from behind so we started down on our own. The volunteer Lockie soon appeared and went ahead setting locks and by the fourth lock we’d caught NB Carpe Diem up.

Just about full to over flowing

They waited for us after a short pound, our locks worth of water adding to theirs and flooding the sides of the lock. By now the sun was trying to come out, waterproofs came off. We chatted as we descended, they are pootling about until they can get back onto the River Nene once the levels have lowered.

That cloud was catching up with us

As we walked down to the last lock a very dark cloud had caught us up, the boats took their time to deliver our coats, but luckily this was before the rain really got started.

The new collar on the bottom gate was only just noticeable, a new weld giving it away.

2 soggy Micks
A new weld on a slender collar

The level below the lock looked much higher than we remembered. The River Tove joins the navigation here before heading off eastwards, so the current rainfall was swelling the canal.

That looks a touch higher then normal

Pulling in at the services we were pleased to see a recycling bin and one for glass. We made good use of this and deposited our collection that had been taking over the cratch and galley for a while. Then a nudge up to the end where there’s a handy water point. The pressure wasn’t great but that suited us, we could run the washing machine and have lunch as the tank filled. It beat us to it though, but with no other boats arriving we stayed put and topped up the tank before leaving.

Shelving all dressed now

Mick moved us along to find a mooring as I retired below. Models take a lot of painting and I seem to have the same problem as last year, I keep changing my mind! Today some kitchen units were painted three different shades of pink before I liked them. Grrr, designers!!

The sun came out and we had blue skies for much of the remainder of the day.

7 locks, 4 shared, 4.66 miles, 1 downpour, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish left (except bits of cardboard tucked behind the knife block), 1 load washing, 1 pooh bucket changed, 4 hours, 0 fire, 1st blue sky for ages.

Mending. 13th June

Nightingales Bridge to Stoke Bruerne Top Lock

Another very wet morning. We weren’t going to be going anywhere! Tilly however was encouraged to take a morning nap as the weather app suggested that it might dry up later on, then we could at least get to Blisworth where we might find a shop for a few bits.

As I sat down to breakfast and to catch up on the latest blogs I picked my computer glasses up. These are old prescription reading glasses that are just perfect to view the lap top with. They are quite old and a lense has a tendency to fall out. Today however it wasn’t the screw that had come loose, it was still there, just where it connected to the other side of the frame had snapped off! Darn and blast!

Broken!
Mended

My bifocals are not good for the computer, I’d have to do something about this. Father Christmas had been a jolly good chap this year and bought me a tube of super glue. This alone would hold things together but some reinforcing would be wise. With some black button thread and Mick to help hold things in place, I tied the joint together then applied some glue, letting it soak into the cotton and hopefully the joint. After a minute I tied a few more knots around the joint sealing it all with more super glue. The end result is a fully operational pair of glasses once again. may now have to dig out the other old pair that have a loose lense and see if I can mend those also.

Our spritzer bottle for the composting toilet has recently lost it’s spritz. We use this with diluted vinegar in it to spray the urine separator on our toilet with the hope that the vinegar will help to keep the pipes clear. However the spray was starting to be a bit feeble. Mick took it apart. The spring that makes it spritz fell into four pieces. We’d been warned not to have a steel urine tank as gradually the vinegar would work it’s way through this, it looks like it had eroded the spring.

A spare spring was found in an empty hand wash container. Now our spritzer spritzes again. Not bad for £1 from the handyman shop in Ellesmere eighteen months ago.

Which way?
Brentford!

By 11:45 the rain was easing, we needed to find a shop, mostly for some cat food, a variety and flavour that Tilly would actually eat rather than be put in the bin after a day. The wine cellar is currently half full of rejected boxes of cat food and very little wine! Mick doned his waterproofs and pushed off, leaving me indoors adding detail to my Boozer model bits.

Gayton Junction

At Gayton Junction a boat had just pulled up and positioned itself right in the middle of the service moorings. Mick couldn’t be bothered to ask them to nudge up so we could off load our rubbish so he carried straight on, the mountains of rubbish having to wait a while longer.

Round the bend towards the tunnel

The moorings at Blisworth had space for us so he pulled in. A walk into the village proved fruitful for cat food, but little else. After lunch there wasn’t sufficient time for us to go through Blisworth Tunnel and to reach the top of Stoke Bruerne locks before the last boat in at 3:15, so we didn’t rush.

North Portal

The boat was put into full tunnel mode, I came up on deck having suggested an early afternoon nap to Tilly and we pushed off. Blisworth Tunnel is just short of 3km long and is the third longest navigable tunnel in the UK, ninth in the world. It is straight, very straight therefore you can see all the way through. The interior goes from arched brickwork to a long section of concrete hoops in the central section, back to brick again towards the southern portal. The tunnel suffered over the years altering shape, it became unnavigable. In the 1980s major works were done to rebuild it, the method used was a try out for the Channel Tunnel.

The other end
Nearly there

Just before halfway through we could see another boat had entered at the south portal. Was this the trip boat that sticks it’s bow into the tunnel then reverses out? Or were they coming towards us, if they were they were going very very slowly. The tunnel was wetter than usual, no surprise there and we gradually came to meet the on coming boat. The speed they were going at it would take them an hour to go through!

The South portal

We had risked arriving at Stoke Bruerne where there might not have been any moorings left, but it turned out there were no queues waiting for the locks in the morning. We had a choice of where to moor and later on we were joined by three more boats, one having reversed past us at 22:45.

Mikron van hiding at Blisworth, wonder if it has a name?

We could hang around for a couple of days and share the locks southwards with NB Tyseley the Mikron boat, but that wouldn’t get us a Saturday newspaper or our wine stocks replenished. Hopefully the weather will improve, Mikron are loosing donations due to the bad weather. They had to perform a ‘radio’ version of their show the other night at The Admiral Nelson due to lack of space indoors for the full show.

0 locks, 4.4 miles, 1 straight on, 1 spring sprung, 1 pair glasses mended, 1 boozer exterior finished, 10 hanging baskets, 2nd sock new and improved version started, 9 pouches of edible food again.

Tall Tales. 12th June

Bugbrooke Bridge to Nightingales Bridge 46 ish

Another miserable day in the making. At least it started off dry, for a while. All the boats around us moved off and carried on their journey and it was soon time for us to do the same. With Stoke Bruerne flight closed we decided to move along to before Gayton, mooring up where Tilly could go off and explore.

Get that door open!

I helped push off and then left Mick to it whilst I did some work below. I’d been putting off checking a few things out on my ground plan for panto. So I started the day with the drawing board out. I made a list of potential problems and then worked my way through them. Details of the trap in the stage had only just been confirmed, the size and position having changed a touch since last year! It didn’t matter for Aladdin, but this year it does. A bit of problem solving and I have a couple of options.

Mick moved us on, far less traffic on the cut than in the last few days, most probably due to the broken lock ahead. He pulled us in after almost three miles cruising at the last big M on our map before Gayton Junction. Here there is armco to make it easier to moor, but the trains are quite close. Trains are a feature of the Grand Union Canal that you have to get used to. The line does move away at times but hugs the canal the remainder of the way to London.

I’m busy!

Seven Hours! Blimey! What could I do with all that time?! No need for it to rain as the grass was good and soaking which got me very wet too. Marvellous.

More of my model got painted this afternoon and Mick went for a walk up to the junction to see what he could see and give me a bit more room to work. He returned just after it started to rain again, I made him some room on the table in return for him not nudging it too much as I painted thin lines of turquoise and dark red.

Boozer and The Nick

If you are looking for something to help fill these rather wet times avoiding being outside, can I point you in the direction of a friends blog. Jan is a story teller based in Edinburgh (Link to her blog). She is also a Theatre Designer, textile artist and curator. Last July Jan joined the crew of tall ship Tenacious as a volunteer, hauling sails, climbing the rigging, hearing and telling stories. This year she is aiming to tell tales on ten tall ships and will be joining the crew on board The Lord Nelson sailing up the Norwegian Coast as part of the tall ships race. The first posts on her blog take her to the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies, she featured on Ramblings on Radio 4.

Jan on Tenacious last summer

Stay dry. Oh, this afternoon there was an update on Stoke Bruerne (on the website not an email) saying that the locks are open again, so dependant on how much water is falling from the sky I will either be working or we’ll be heading to descend the locks. Fingers crossed.

0 locks, 2.72 miles, 1 dry start, 1 very wet end, 62 trains, 1 tail held high, 6 hours of soggy moggy, 1 hour of exhaustion, 1 set of new tenants, 1 hat (of mine) headed for the high seas this summer, 10 tall ships, many tales, 900mm wide not 700, 1 trap a touch bigger than planned.

Bangers, Rain and Burgers

Weedon Bec to Bugbrooke Bridge 36

Blimey I totally forgot about the Braunston sausages in yesterdays post. Really not sure how that happened as they certainly left an impression on us.

Braunston gluten free sausages come frozen wrapped on a tray with just GF Pork written on them. For around £5 our initial thought is that they were quite expensive, but there certainly looked like there was plenty, next time we’ll weight them. Mick prepared them for our evening meal, one of our favourites sausages and roast veg (potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a bramley apple all chopped up like chips). After a while he opened up the oven door to check on them and give everything a good move around. ‘They’ve expanded!’ He pricked them with a knife and put them back in the oven.

Giant sausages

My photos don’t quite show the scale of them when they’d finished cooking, but hopefully you’ll get the idea when I say that the smallest one (which did look measly compared to the others) was a touch bigger than your average sized supermarket sausage. But the biggest one was the equivalent to at least two whole sausages. There was far too much sausage for us to cope with! We both ended up leaving one.

Tasty too

So they were big, very big, but where they tasty? Verdict. Yes, the tastiest gluten free butcher made sausages we’ve had yet. Not quite the same as a Braunston Banger, but close enough. As with all Braunston butcher sausages you get them in a variety of sizes and in future we’ll know not to cook all six for one meal.

The first boat came by a 6:45 this morning, it’s engine didn’t fade away quite as normal, but as we were still very much in sleeping mode we didn’t take much more notice. Next came a hire boat who pulled in and moored in front of us at just gone 9. Maybe they were wanting a full day looking around Weedon. Then a boat that had been moored ahead came past, then went into reverse, they moored up too.

That’ll be why there’s only been one way traffic!

As we started to get ourselves ready, a slight lull in the rain stired us into action, this is when we realised why we were surrounded by boats so early in the day. Over night a tree had come down about 200ft behind us, luckily missing any moored boats. At 11am there was a boat moving around with a chap at the front, he was sawing up the tree and others were pulling sections out of the cut to open the navigation.

Bye bye NB Bleasdale

We were wanting water so took advantage of there being no through traffic and pushed off. This of course got the hopes up of other boats waiting to go through. We pootled on the short distance to the next water point where we pulled alongside an ABC hire boat to wait. Swallows and swifts swooped back and forth having a major feast on the wing as boats filled with water. When it was our turn the washing machine went on and we stayed until the final rinse, we also rinsed off the nights debris from the roof.

A roof full
A good price not to be missed

Just round the corner we pulled in for a top up of diesel. Rugby boats is one of the cheapest on the cut at 77.9p a litre at the moment we weren’t going to pass them. Next fuel stop will be Uxbridge, then we’ll be onto Thames prices, best make the most of it whilst we can.

Another fallen overnight, good job the angle of the wind wasn’t different

It wasn’t raining now, but still very drizzley. We pootled on, another tree down across the towpath, we’d be looking for a tree free mooring today. Arriving at Bugbrooke there were plenty of git gaps, then one space by the bridge. A touch too close to the road for Tilly shore leave, but we couldn’t see anywhere else. As soon as we’d moored i lit the stove to try to get some warmth back into the boat, today definitely felt like an autumnal day.

Oleanna, The Wharf and Unusual at the back

This evening we’ve been across the way to The Wharf to meet with Lizzie our friend from Crick. She works next door at Unusual Rigging. This is a company who engineer complex flying equipment for theatre, TV and events world wide. We’d last seen Lizzie at the beginning of the year, much has happened since then, so there was a lot to catch up on.

Spot the difference

We all three chose the same Hog Bun Burger but with slight variations. Mick had the standard, I had the Gluten Free option (GF bun) and Lizzie opted to have hers bread free. All were very tasty and it was nice to not have to have either Hunters chicken or a steak.

Tomorrow we’ll move on a bit. Ahead of us is Blisworth tunnel, then Stoke Bruerne. Currently the Stoke Bruerne flight is closed as the bottom lock was damaged in a boat strike yesterday. Hopefully it won’t take too long to mend, but no updates have been issued yet.

0 locks, 3.72 miles, 1 more wet day, 2 trees down, 1 broken lock ahead, 1 full water tank, 1 chinese laundry, 0 shore leave, 1 full diesel tank, 1 bag of coal on the roof in June! 3 non-identical identical burgers, 2 glasses of wine less than yesterday, we did leave the pub before it closed today!