Thursday 6th September
It was very cold when we awoke this morning – nice and sunny but lots of mist rising from the canal due to the cold air.
Our target was to get through Leicester without stopping but in the end we stopped in the middle, by bridge 1, for lunch and shopping. At Mill Lane bridge there is a selection of shops in a newish block that include Tescos Express, Sainsburys local, a pharmacist, a booze shop and a pizza house – all obviously designed to serve the student accomodation in the area. There is also a childrens play area in the park behind the shops – an ideal stopping point for hireboats.
We set off from Kilby bridge at 8am. At Kilby lock I mounted the lock-wheeling bike and went ahead to set Double Rail lock. Then Linda took the bike and went to set Ervin’s lock and so we melded into the practice of alternating who took the bike ahead to set the next one until the chain came off and jammed between the sprocket and the frame. I managed to sort this out so that we could continue on to Freeman’s.
At Limekiln lock the CaRT workmen were repairing the lock landing stonework and were having trouble getting the broken blocks of stone out. Having failed to free it using a pneumatic jack-hammer they then took to bashing it hard with the digger bucket in frustration.
When is it art and when is it graffiti? I believe this wall at Frog Island should be classified as art.
We moored for the night immediately before Birstall lock in Watermead country park. The outlook is slightly more pleasant than below the lock. The country park is good for walking and exploring. Go up past the White Horse pub and then up to the village for Co-op, doctors and take-outs etc. The post box is at the top of the lane.
What is it about Jannock and Leicestershire? When we did the Ashby we had the issue of concussed man and the Police. Tonight it has been the Police and their helicopter looking for a missing old lady. We even had a policeman board Jannock and question us. Ho hum! It wouldn’t be so bad but the East Midlands police helicopter has been apparent in the skies over us every day this week. At least whilst they are whizzing back and forth on their bicycles this evening they are more or less silent with only the flashing lights and reflective stab vests to un-settle us.
Store cupboard challenge Day #5 – we are increasingly confident that out of date food does not kill that we invited guests for supper. The ‘best before’ 2010 curry mix was superb, the ‘best before’ 2007 boil-in-the-curry was fine, the tinned tomatoes were best before 2010. Everything went together and achieved a joint score of 10/10 – even the guests scored it so.