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  • clivenmel

Jan 28th

Normal 0 false false false /* 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;} After a great night at The Folly folk club we decided it was time to be moving on again � mainly because we had overstayed our welcome on the 48 hour mooring in Stoke Bruerne!  It was quite foggy first thing in the morning, but the sun was burning it off slowly, visibility still wasn�t brilliant as Clive cast off  and I went ahead to set the first lock.  One more lock and then it was plain sailing till we arrived at the Blisworth Tunnel and the fog was gradually lifting.  Travelling through the tunnel was pretty uneventful too apart from us getting a bit worried at one point because we thought a boat was coming towards us with an extremely faint headlight, however when I got the binoculars out to check we realised it was going the same way as us and the light we could see was his rear deck light!  Even so it was a bit dodgy because he was going very slowly and our tickover speed is about 2.5mph and we were gaining on him!  Anyway we eventually came out into the sunshine at the other end.  The fog had finally gone!   We needed to stop for a pump-out and therefore we pulled into the brand new Blisworth Marina which is just before the Gayton Junction.  While Clive was dealing with the pump-out I made us both a cuppa soup and a sandwich, which we ate before we set off again.  By this time we were travelling in familiar territory, not only had we come through this way twice before on Lady Arwen but we also spent a week�s holiday in this area on a hire boat in 2007.  It is a very pleasant stretch of canal and there are some really gorgeous houses which back onto the water � very expensive looking houses!    A little while later we thought it was about time to start looking for somewhere to moor and we noticed that there was another boat a little way in front of us, which we were catching up with rapidly, then Clive realised it was Molly May II with Peter and Pat on board!  We ended up mooring right behind them a short while later.    We had a really poor TV and dongle signal last night.  Clive did the blog and was beginning to lose the will to live as it was taking soooooooooo long to download anything.  It probably won�t be much better tonight but I will do my best!   We set off this morning in the drizzle around 10.30.  All togged up in waterproofs as the forecast was for heavy rain today.  However, the weathermen got it wrong again!!  It continued to drizzle for about an hour then it was gone and we didn�t see any more all day.  Not that we are complaining mind you!   As I mentioned, we were now on familiar territory, so much so it was like a d�j� vu, or Groundhog Day or something because we were rapidly approaching Whilton Marina yet again!  Now just before the marina there is a place called Heart of the Shire Shopping complex � it�s a collection of farm buildings which have all been converted into rather nice shops.  Every time we drove to and from Whilton before we moved on board we said we were going to call at this place, but we never seemed to have time.  Well today we had time and when we saw an advert for it on one of the bridges we decided to moor up and go and investigate.  It was only 300 yards from the canal!  They were lovely shops but not much use to us really; designer clothes for ladies; gorgeous shoes; beautiful furniture; stone flooring, bespoke kitchens and even hot tubs � trouble is none of these are much use when you live on a narrow boat!  However there was also a Tea Room so we went in and I had a lovely bowl of Butternut Squash Soup and Clive had a cream tea!  Then it was off back to the boat.   We set off again and very soon arrived at Whilton where we moored up in order to replace our gas bottle.  Whilst Clive was sorting that out I went up and set the lock, then went up to the next one to set that as well as they are quite close together.  There are seven locks in the Buckby Flight and we finally reached the top lock about 4.30pm and got moored up � very conveniently there is a lovely pub just the other side of the lock!  It�s called the New Inn and we have been there before � several times!  We are actually moored about 100 yards from where Dave Bassett met us way back in September when he came to check the fit of our cratch board!   We were supposed to be meeting up with an old family friend tonight, Mr Barrie �Whizzo� Williams and his partner Cath, but unfortunately when I phoned him this evening to let him know where we were he informed us that they are completely fogbound � they can barely see a hand in front of their faces!  So we have made a date for tomorrow lunchtime instead � in the pub of course!  We had better spring-clean in the morning so that Lady Arwen is looking her best to receive visitors � Clive is seriously thinking of giving her bodywork a wash and brush up as well � she really is a grubby boat at the moment and desperately needs a wash!  We also happen to be strategically moored up right next to the water point and although we really shouldn�t, we might be able to get the hose on her in the morning and wash some of the mud off.  (The BW taps are really only meant to be used to fill the water tank so I hope nobody notices!). I forgot to mention � whilst I was setting the next to the last lock something caught my eye and I wandered over to have a look, Snowdrops � at last Spring is in the air!  Aren�t they beautiful!   So we are staying put for a couple of days � we are on a 48 hour mooring again so that�s not a problem, plus we can�t go much further now till the weekend as the Braunston lock flight is closed until Saturday.  Then we will be off again, desperately in need of a launderette and there is one at Braunston � yippee!        

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