Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Rain and a Closed Tea Room.

Wednesday 11th May, 2016 at Brinklow.
We had moored at a very pleasant, quiet spot overnight. It was raining, but not heavily at this point, so we set off fairly early as the forecast was for heavier rain later.
The rain came and went throughout the day.
Soon, a considerable amount of detritus in the water (including an upturned sofa with a resident moorhen and a semi-submerged foot-stool) heralded our approach to Nuneaton. It is a rather uninteresting town (M compares it to Red'ill) but it does have two famous (if gender confused) associations: George Elliott (aka Mary Ann Evans) and Larry Grayson. The statue in the centre of town is wearing a dress - so it could be either of them!
As we approached Hawkesbury Junction, where the Oxford Canal joins the Coventry Canal, we spotted the familiar Kingsground logo on a boat emerging from the junction. It was "Bosley Belle", which we last saw at Crick three years ago. The owners called and waved cheerily as we passed.
During the day, we received a lovely email from Tiffany at Kingsground, celebrating the fact that it was five years ago yesterday that the steel "shell" of MM had arrived at their workshops at Upper Heyford for her fit-out.
At the junction is the Greyhound Pub, much loved by the boating fraternity; in fact recently it was voted "Pub of the Year" by the readers of Canal Boat Magazine. The turn on to the Oxford Canal is 180 degrees and very tight!
Beware of the residents of Ansty Village - the natives are hostile! The notice (one of many) says "Strictly No Mooring". White vans appear acceptable but obviously we uncouth boaters are not - not that this swan seems to care. Fortunately, this kind of rejection of narrowboaters is very rare.
We were thrilled to see a water vole sunning itself on the bank; they are very shy and rarely seen. This one hid as soon as it saw us. M remarked that he looked just like Ratty in "Wind in the Willows".
At Brinklow, one of our favourite moorings beckoned.
Despite continuous showery rain, we walked to the High Street of the charming village of Brinklow, past the "Tump", which is a Norman Motte and Bailey. We were planning to have afternoon tea at "Pumpkins" tea room - but Oh No! The owner had shut up shop early and gone home.
So, we contented ourselves with a Magnum from the local Post Office. Jolly nice too!
Back at MM, the rain continued into the evening.
Today: 15 miles, 1 lock and 6.7 hours.
Trip: 59 miles, 21 locks and 35.7 hours.

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