We’ve always found the time between Christmas and New Year to be a bit limbo-ish, and this one was no different. With nothing to do and no visitors we embarked on a de-cluttering program, starting with the diamond cupboards in the dining room. Amongst other stuff these hold all our hobbies; beads, string, models, paint, jigsaw puzzles etc. which, when we’d finished being ruthless, took up less than half the space they did before. A couple of bags got skipped and although the cupboards still looked full, there was much more order to it.
During the next few weeks we're hoping to continue with all the other storage spaces aboard the boat. It's very therapeutic.
We moved Legend through Cape bottom lock, filled up with water and then moored up again.
It wasn’t what you’d call an epic cruise, in fact we’d only moved about 200 yards, but it took us out from the shadow of the flats and let the sunshine get to the side of the boat and the solar panels. It’s little things like that that make all the difference to our simple world.
The clear sunny days brought clear frosty nights and on more than one morning we woke to find the canal frozen around us.
As long as we’re prepared for it, being iced in doesn’t cause us any problems, in fact it was nice to be able to walk along the towpath without getting muddy.
We’d just filled the water tank, the car was nearby, so we just enjoyed being in our lovely cosy boat surrounded by a sparkly white world.
The next day we sadly had to say goodbye to them but we’re definitely going to see them again soon; they know the Nene extremely well and have promised to pass on all their hints, tips and mooring spots to us before we venture forth from Northampton. We just need to go and visit them for a weekend. Oh the hardships we suffer for our way of life!
On night in Leamington was enough, the canal runs through it on the south side of the railway line and is not particularly inspiring, which is a shame; on the other side of the tracks the town is beautiful and well worth visiting for all sorts of reasons. There’s the Pump Room, with its amazing internal architecture, which used to be the main spa, then swimming baths and hydro pools and is now a museum and library, and the lovely Jephson Gardens.
We moored up in an open bit of countryside between Leamington and Radford lock, which is where we still were when some of our other best boating buddies came to see us.
Dave turned the wood we’d collected from this.
Then they got stashed on the roof.
There was some maintenance due to start on Radford Lock, so we picked the best day weather-wise and made our way up to Welsh Road. We’d stopped there the last time we came this way, so we knew it was a good spot with lots of footpaths and decent parking. The day we moved started off cold but not too windy, however it wasn’t all plain sailing; we both got a bit shaken up when at wood lock Ann-Marie lost her footing on some slippery tread-plate and her feet went under the balance beam. She was left bruised but thankfully still on the bank. A reminder that although this life is relaxed and idyllic most of the time it can, and does, occasionally bite back.