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  • clivenmel

Dec 10th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Not a lot to report today really.  We set off at 11.45am and cruised in the winter sunshine � it was cold!   Clive tried out his new foot stool and it worked a treat.  Just having that bit of support allowed him to perch on the rail and ease his back � well worth the �3.95 he paid for it!   We hadn�t been cruising long before we realised we were on very familiar territory and sure enough a few minutes later we passed Percy�s cottage!  You will remember Percy from back in September when we moored up on the towpath and met Percy walking his dog.  He later took us into the �music room� under his cottage and showed Clive his guitars and his trusty banjo � lovely man.  We were hoping he might be out walking his dog so we could say hello, but it was quite chilly and if he had any sense at all he would be snuggled up in front of the fire in his cosy cottage!   We hadn�t encountered any ice on the canal today until we got past Percy�s cottage and then we started hitting patches of it in sheltered areas that the sun hadn�t reached.  We came around a bend and saw yet another familiar landmark � Mount Jud, one of the spoil heaps from the local quarries.  We also passed by the old Roman settlement of Mancetter, the site of Boadicea�s (or Boudicca�s) last battle with the Romans in AD60.  Clive is fascinated with this era and Boudicca is one of his hero�s (heroine�s!).  Her grave has never been found and I think Clive has fantasised about finding it himself one day!   Next came Nuneaton � nuff said!  We were very glad to get to the other side � it wasn�t very pretty and the canal was full of rubbish again.  In fact, we came across a couple of BW guys dredging the cut with a rope and grappling hook, they had just pulled out an armchair as we passed them!  I have said it before and I will say it again, there are some horrible people out there who have no regard for the countryside, nature or other fellow human beings whatsoever!!  Yeuch!!   Continuing along we came to Marston junction, this is where the Ashby Canal wanders off on its 22 mile journey to a dead end!  It is a stretch of canal which we must do as it passes through some quite interesting places, but that is for another day.    By this time we were both thoroughly chilled � we had passed through a long dark cutting that the sun, being so low in the sky at this time of year, just hadn�t penetrated at all and it was really cold!  We couldn�t wait to get to Hawkesbury Junction and find a mooring.  It wasn�t too much further along but we knew that there were moorings on both sides of the canal on the approach to the junction with loads of moored boats, both permanents and visitors, which meant we couldn�t get any speed up!  Finally we arrived at the junction and Clive had to negotiate a quite tight 180o turn under the bridge onto the Oxford Canal, but there was also the welcome sight of The Greyhound � a hostelry of high repute, with good ales and fine wines and a roaring log fire!  Immediately after the turn is a stop lock, it was against us but only took two ticks to fill as it is all of 6� deep!!  We finally got moored up in the only available spot.  Not the best place as we were almost under the electricity pylons and also opposite a boat with a petrol generator, which was extremely noisy!!  Anyway, we popped back along the towpath to the pub for an hour or so, had a couple of drinks then back to the boat for dinner.        

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