Saturday 29th July
Having travelled up to Huddleford on Friday evening, I was awake at 6am and it was lovely weather outside. The clear blue sky was streaked with contrails that were smudged by the wind. By the time I had got up, dressed, made tea and cast off lots of clouds had appeared all across the sky accompanied by a cold wind.
I wanted to get Jannock back to her mooring at Brinklow this weekend as life at home is getting busy with my Dad needing to be found a care home and the work associated with means test form filling etc. that entails. So, my target for this evening was on the North Oxford canal after Sutton’s Stop.
We had an un-eventful run down through Whittington, Hopwas and Fazely and round the corner into Glascote locks. I love the bird pictures on the factory wall at Fazely.
Once up through Glascote we continued past Alvecote – no time to stop for a pint at the Samuel Barlow – shame! and on through Poleworth to Brenda’s favourite sight. She loves the Alpacas at the farm with the disused swingbridge, especially the new born. It appears that she thinks they are sweeeeeeet! Good job she doesn’t own one – she’d find out what they were really like.
Our next task was to grab our lunch on the move before we faced the climb up the Atherstone flight of eleven locks – some spaced out in pairs and some close together. We were following another two boats going up with little coming down so no records broken today. Out of the top lock and on past Hartshill where our summer holiday started almost a month ago.
Passing through Nuneaton, we spotted some lovely big ripe blackberries growing on the edge of the allotments near the pedestrian bridge. I pulled Jannock over with the rope whilst standing under the bridge, this positioned Brenda, in the foredeck, in exactly the right position to pick them. They were huge, so possibly Loganberries escaped from the adjacent allotments. Once gathered, we decided they were too good to cook so started to eat them as they were – excellent.
As we approached Hawkesbury the rain decided to start. We had to follow an Anglo Welsh boat around the turn but luckily they provided the entertainment for all the pub-goers at the Greyhound. I followed around once they had gone through the lock with a manouvre so good I even impressed myself. Once onto the North Oxford we moored up on the bend as all the other mooring spaces were occupied.
A long day – almost thirteen hours but it guaranteed we could make it back to Brinklow with a chance of me fetching the car before it rains again tomorrow.