Tuesday 5 July 2022

Greenberfield to Foulridge. Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

   At Greenberfield locks we got chatting to a lovely couple who told us that the next boat yard had red diesel for £1.20 as litre, this at a time when white was almost £2 a litre on the forecourts. So after a couple of nights at the bottom, we set off up the locks along with Nb Tess, made full use of the services at the top and moored up opposite Lower Park Marina in Barnoldswick. In the morning we pushed over to the other side and filled up with the most expensive – but cheaper than other places we’ve heard about recently – boat diesel ever. Thankfully it will be several months before we have to do that again.

   With all our various tanks filled and emptied we set off again along the summit pound, passing a couple of places that may or may not have previously been the Lancashire/ Yorkshire border...

....and on to Foulridge where we moored up just before the wharf. Ahead of us was the mile long Foulridge tunnel, but that would have to wait, we had flights booked to go to France to meet our new granddaughter Axelle. Foulridge was a perfect place to leave Legend; secure 14 day moorings right next to the car park, a busy restaurant in the wharf building and a constant stream of cyclists and walkers passing by. The night before we left we packed our swimmers, wrapped Ann-Marie’s beautiful labour-of-love cross stitch for Axelle in bubble wrap...

...checked Dave’s patented Plant-o-Matic watering system, made pack-up rolls from the fridge contents, then first thing the next morning we locked the doors and set off for Manchester airport.

   You may remember, Dear Reader that in summer 2022 Britain’s airports were a complete disaster. We’d seen pictures on the news of endless queues, cancelled flights and miserable people stranded all over the place. The words “Manchester” and “Easyjet” cropped up quite often in those news bulletins, so we were prepared for the worst. However, after dropping our hold luggage off without a hitch and sailing through security, the worst turned out to be not being able to find an empty table in Pret.

And off we go.

   The flight to Bordeaux was only half full and Janice and Paul were there to take us to Jussas. We can report that our new granddaughter Axelle is absolutely gorgeous. Ann-Marie spent the next 12 days mostly cuddling the baby. 


   During the first few days of our visit the weather just kept getting hotter. To begin with it was a welcome change from the miserable non-starter of a summer we’d left behind in the UK, but after 6 days it was up to 42˚C and we were all either inside with the air-con on, or in the pool.

   Dave went out for a few 6am dawn runs, because any later than that and it would have been impossible. Thankfully, on day 7 the heatwave finally broke. We all went out to Twin Lakes for a very nice Father’s day meal...

...then came back home in time to welcome Frankie’s Aunty Sue and Uncle Crispin who’d ridden down on their motorbike.

   Later on that afternoon Harry and Thibault went to pick up Harry’s parents, Norm and Jude, from the airport, so Jussas was happily full of Axelle’s and Thibault’s grandparents.

   After two more days Janice, Paul, Susan and Crispin left for Le Mans and the day after that Norm and Jude flew home, so that just left us.

    There was an almighty storm that day with torrential rain and almost constant thunder and lightning.


   The water was coming through the roof in the workshop (which has happened before, but never as bad) and dripping from several places in the ceiling in the house (which hasn’t happened before). A puddle appeared in the kitchen where it was coming under the wall but we quickly dealt with it all and hopefully there won’t be any permanent damage. Frankie got a panicky phone call from Ruth; she was 2 hours away and Neil, who’s in a wheel chair, had phoned her to say that their kitchen was submerged and water was still coming under the back door. Frankie and Dave went over to help out and found the patio outside the back door and the outside laundry room both under 4” of water. They spent a couple of hours bailing out, clearing drains and mopping up. All very exciting.

   We didn’t spend all our time baby cuddling, Ann-Marie did quite a bit of cooking and some weeding in the veg plot.

Ann-Marie's beautifully weeded onion bed.

   Dave mowed the grass...

Dave riding the mower round the vineyards of Bordeaux.

...and helped out a bit in the workshop...

The engine that Dave stripped, cleaned, changed the crank bearing and rebuilt.

...and we helped Frankie make a “Family Tree” picture with the kid’s footprints as the trunk, F&H’s hand prints for the branches and the grand parent’s finger prints for the leaves. 


   Next day it was time for us to go home. We had lunch with Frankie and Axelle in a terrific restaurant just outside Bordeaux airport.

    Then it was all over.

   As always it wasn’t long enough and we can't wait to get back down the to see them all again. We love spending time with our wonderful family, but we also love coming home to our gorgeous little boat.

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