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  • clivenmel

June 2nd

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;} Once again we were greeted by bright sunshine and a cloudless blue sky this morning.  The first thing we did after breakfast was nip to the local Sainsbury�s.  I know we just stocked up at Tesco�s the other day, however there were a few bits and pieces that we forgot!    Once back at the boat I quickly unpacked the shopping and stowed it away then trotted up the lock, which was about 100 yards in front of our mooring and there was another boat just coming down.   As soon as they were out of the lock Clive brought Lady Arwen in and by this time there was another boat coming down as well.  Then just as I was about to shut the gates Clive called out to tell me there was another boat coming up, so I waited until they came into the lock and we went up together.  By the time we were leaving the lock another boat was coming up behind us and it ended up a bit like the M25!  This is something we are going to have to get used to over the coming weeks.  Don�t forget when we set off on this journey it was September and the summer holidays were over and there weren�t all that many boats on the water.  Now however the season has started with a vengeance and we are meeting more and more boats each day.  I am sure it is going to be extremely busy in July and August � we�ll hardly be able to move for boats!    The couple we shared the lock with were pulling in for water after the next lock so we went on our way alone.  However a short while further along as we were passing through Hemel Hempstead I spotted a B&Q right next to the canal so we pulled in and moored up.  The reason we wanted a B&Q is (I think I have mentioned this before!) that we want to buy one of those plastic parasol bases that you fill with water so that we can use it to hold a whirligig washing line and also a parasol so that we can sit on the stern on long summer evenings sipping our gin and tonics whilst watching the world go by without getting burned (I am very optimistic aren�t I). Anyway as soon as the boat was secure we trotted off to B&Q � they didn�t have any!  Evidently they had one batch in at the beginning of the season, which all sold almost immediately but they have never had a second batch delivered!  I don�t know where we are going to get one from, we have been looking for weeks now and nobody seems to have them!  Oh well � back to the boat!   We decided to have a spot of lunch before we set off again as there wasn�t much chance for me to prepare anything whist negotiating the locks and there was one right in front of where we had moored!  We soon got going again though, it was so lovely cruising in the sunshine and we have both been very pleasantly surprised at peace and tranquillity of this stretch of canal, it is really pretty and there are some lovely waterside properties with beautiful gardens flanking it, we have really enjoyed it.  It�s not at all as we expected it to be.  Many of the locks are in really beautiful settings, surrounded by trees and full of birdsong.   We actually tried to moor up just before this lock as it was so pretty but Clive couldn�t get the boat into the bank, it was too shallow, also there was a bit of a whiff in the air and when I got up to the lock I understood why � the lock was called Sewer Lock and sure enough was adjacent to the local sewage works!  We don�t want to stop here � oh no!   We carried on and did another couple of locks and then we came upon a very pretty spot just before the next look � that will do nicely thank you!  Fortunately it wasn�t too shallow and we moored up without any difficulty at all.  Then a Virgin train went past about 200 yards away!  Oh well never mind, we can live with trains, we have done before.  It is far too pleasant here to move just because of a few trains.   All in all we have only travelled about five miles today, however that has included 11 locks but it hasn�t been too tiring really.  There were good pounds between most of the locks, which gave me a chance to relax on the boat and just enjoy cruising along.  Plus of course it keeps me active and gives me plenty of exercise � I just don�t understand why I�m not a size 10 yet though!  I must be doing something wrong somewhere � eating perhaps!   The locks start again immediately in the morning, there is one right in front of us.  In fact it is going to be locks all the way to Milton Keynes now, we will have a brief respite whilst passing through MK then they start again.  Still never mind, its all part of the fun.   I only managed to take the above two photos today � too busy to take more!    

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