Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Big Breakfast(s) and Scott and Family Visit.

Wednesday 5th June, 2013 at Braunston
To our utter astonishment, we were awoken at 4:32am, not by birdsong, but rather by a boat going past. Unheard of!  Narrowboaters don't normally do anything much before 8:00am!  It wasn't even a quiet, modern boat; it had the distinctive loud throb of a vintage engine. It must have woken every sleeping boater for miles as it went on its way!  Then at 6:30am, another one came by, and yet another, so M got up mutteringly darkly and made a cup of tea.
Moored at the entrance to Braunston Marina is a boat that is a very famous cafe called the "Gongoozler's Rest" whose breakfasts are legendary.
A "gongoozler" is the boater's (rather derisory) name for a person who sits and watches boats go through locks.  M says she knows from experience that a crowd of gongoozlers can be very disconcerting to a novice boater! We had promised ourselves breakfast at the cafe one morning while we are in Braunston, so this morning we set off at 9:00am, just as they opened. The menu was tempting, although we did decide not to have the "Gongoozler's Breakfast" as it was huge and we thought we might sink the boat!
Even the "normal" breakfast was as good as the legend.
Angela arrived just as we were finishing and joined us for a cup of coffee. Daisy and Ruffty were left on the towpath but watched us closely through the door in case there might be titbits!
We had been trying to contact Scott all week (Scott is M's "second son", who still lives in Daventry with his family) to arrange a visit for them to MM. This was difficult due to the lack of any mobile signal close to the canal. However, this morning we had an email from Scott and they are coming over this afternoon. Hooray!
The little tea room called "The Cake Slice" in the centre of Braunston had always been closed when we passed, but today it was open and when we walked up into the village we felt that it was definitely time for "second breakfast".
It turned out to be a very friendly establishment with excellent tea, capuccino, Victoria sponge cake, crumpets and toasted tea cakes! We waddled off down the High Street to look at bus timetables in order to get to Rugby Railway Station on Friday.
We also looked at some property prices and found that they are still considerably cheaper than down south, although there was a significant increase in prices in "picture-postcard" Braunston village compared to Daventry town.  For example, a three bedroom house a few doors down from M's old house was on the market for just £159,000 and there were good properties in Braunston starting around £250,000. How agreeable, we thought, to live in Braunston with the canal on our doorstep. It really is a very friendly and vibrant community. (However, M does tend to say that everywhere we go!).
Back on MM, it was necessary to work off some of the calories acquired in the tea room, so R attended to the "front door" that had suffered a bit from the weather over the winter and it now looks brand new again. Meanwhile, M busied herself with some long-overdue brass polishing so that the old and the new navigation lights at the front now match each other much better!
Scott, Paula and their two children arrived in the early evening and it was lovely to see them walking on the towpath towards us.

We've not seen them for a couple of years and how the children have grown! M said that little Lachlan is an exact replica of his Dad at that age and both he and his elder sister Amelia are delightful, well-behaved children. We had tea and biscuits and a catch-up with news of both families.
The sun had finally come out and it was a pretty evening, but we decided not to take them for a ride as their time was short and we didn't want to lose our mooring. However, we have arranged to meet again next Thursday when we plan to take them out and try to take them through some locks.
Soon they had to leave, but we are looking forward to seeing them again next week.

Today: We just moved a few hundred yards as our previous mooring was limited to 48 hours. 

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