Monday 22nd September
I was up and at-em at 07:30 helping nb Just Heaven extract themselves from the raft to head South. Nb Earnest (yes, that one) had left at 6:45 and we set off behind at 08:00 after I had used our car to give Glen’s camper van a jump start. The run to Polesworth was very atmospheric with the low sun lighting up the mist rising from the canal. Brenda surfaced at about 9am bringing me a much needed refill of tea. As we approached Grendon I managed to get some breakfast ready for the run up Atherstone flight. The first 6 locks were either in our favour or someone was leaving as we approached and so we had a smooth run up to the bypass bridge. We stopped there to visit Aldi as we needed some bread and milk. What we came back with was a rechargeable vacuum cleaner, a waterproof jacket and a new blade for my circular saw at home. Very expensive bread and milk then.
The run up the remaining 5 locks of the flight was equally easy with every lock being vacated as we approached. We have never had a run up Atherstone like this before. On through Hartshill, Nuneaton and Bedsworth where we stopped and tied up alongside nb Grace for a chat with Christine and Terry. They fed us tea and cake as well as returning an empty beer bottle in exchange for a couple of full ones. After a couple hours I decided we had better set off so I paid a visit down the weed hatch and removed a large sheet of black plastic from around the prop before we left.
As we turned onto the Oxford canal we found the lock empty with the gate open so I steered straight in, it’s definitely been our day today. I walked ahead as Brenda brought Jannock along the moorings and i found a gap that was just the right length. Brenda got annoyed because as she was bringing Jannock nicely into this gap, the bloke on the boat in front obviously thought she was going to hit his boat and damage the paintwork so he pushed Jannock away which really messed up the manoeuvre. He then hung around until he was happy with my knots and mooring ropes before scuttling off back into his boat. The next boat along complemented me on the skill used to get Jannock into such a short gap so I was a gentleman and gave the credit to Brenda who had steered her in.
Faggots for supper ( yum!) followed by an evening doing nothing as I was absolutely shattered.