Saturday morning I was pleasantly surprised to see the sun out as I opened an eye from beneath the duvet. It did bode well that after rain all day on Friday we may get a dry day. After getting up, Paddy got his walk, whilst Keith sorted breakfast out. back on the boat, I riddled the back cabin fire out and it soon showed a spark of life, the kettle went on ready for coffee later in the morning. Keith went off to Tesco to see if he could get some boot laces as his were a little threadbare, so whilst he was gone, I did a bit of hand washing, which was then hung out on the back counter. I make a line up from the swan neck back to the handrail, this allows me to hang a few items out when the weather is nice.
With that job done, I then turned my attention to Paddy, who was in need of a good brushing, because his coat is falling out in handfuls at the moment. So I took him off the boat and on to the grass, where I got several brush loads of hair out of him. The hedgerow alongside the boat, has a lot of Sparrows in it, so I left the unwanted hair for them to use for nesting material, and within seconds they were on it and it was gone.
I watched where they headed off to and it looks like they are nesting in the British Waterways buildings.
Sparrows have been in decline over the last few years, so it has been wonderful to watch these guys and to listen to their high pitched chatter.
Dog brushed, I then got on with polishing the side of the boat, this is the side I could not do before, because the sun was to strong. Looking back that was the 27th March, when we were having an early Summer. Boat polished and dog hair all gone, Keith was back in time for coffee, he had got chatting to Anita and Steve who we met at Etruria last year.
The local Pen and Cob were in an amorous mood.
It was all very lovey dovey after the Cob had almost drowned his wife. I have not seen any nest building, but I guess they will be getting to it very soon.
For the rest of my day it was a matter of fixing the TV aerial again with Keith after we lost our signal again completely, we discovered it was the new cable we fitted, it was just not man enough. After that we did very little, after lunch we sat and watched films, sold a couple of key rings and had a fellow Facebooker coming to buy some cabin strings. Dek arrived later in the afternoon after he had finished work and his volunteer work for British Waterways. Dek can be seen volunteering on the Audlem locks. Dek came over to buy some cabin strings for his boat NB Tern from Keith, so of course we spent a good hour just chatting. It was nice to hear from his point of view about volunteering. It was however sad to hear that he does get verbally abused by some boaters. I think it is completely unacceptable that some people feel they have the right to verbally bash people like Dek, who give up their time to help out on the canals. No wonder some people are put off by volunteering when you get treated like that. Many of the lock volunteers are boat owners or ex-lock keepers, so are more than qualified to help out and they should be given more respect (ok rant over). We spent a wonderful time nattering to Dek before he was on his way back to his boat. By this time I was chilled to the core, as I had been stood outside in trouser and a short with nothing on my feet. Normally I do not feel the cold much, but the wind had got up and had chilled me. Still I was soon back into a nice warm back cabin. The rest of the evening was spent in front of the TV watching "Britain's Got Talent" and "Terminator Salvation" which is the newest Terminator movie. I only managed to watch it until 10.30pm, I was then away to my bed.
Well if you had seen the weather forecast, you will know what the weather was going to be like and oh boy did they get it right. The wind was blowing when I woke up at 6am and then at 6.30am the rain began, followed by hail and more rain. There was only one thing for it and that was to stoke the stove and put the TV. Keith got up and made us a cup of tea and we settled down in bed and watched some paraolympic rugby, what a fantastic sport and incredibly physical. The GB team stands a good chance of a medal in the paraolympics, so good luck to them. at 6.45am someone started up their boat engine, and I thought wow someone is off early, but no they had just decided to sit on the mooring and run their engine early. No consideration some people and no consideration to the regulations of no running your engine before 8am unless on the move.
8am it was time to get up, because Paddy was stirring in his bed. By 8.15am we were off the boat and sploshing up the towpath in the rain. On the way back, my morning was brightened by the sight of a Kestrel battling again the wind to catch some breakfast. All this rain must be a nightmare for the wildlife trying to catch food for their growing families. I know Barn Owls really struggle when it is wet, because their feathers become water logged and broods have been known to starve to death, if they do not have a larder of food to fall back on. The Kestrel did swoop down on something, which was probably a mouse and flew off with its catch.
Back on the boat Keith was cooking us Mushrooms on Toast, and whilst they were cooking, I got on with lighting the saloon stove, because the temperature was on 3.9c outside, which meant it was cold. Breakfast was very much enjoyed as was the following coffee. I then got very brave and ventured to Tesco to get a few items we would need for the coming two weeks, just in case we could not get to a major store. I was well wrapped up at the rain which was now lashing down. The wind had really got up as well, which was making it fun and games for the hire boats which were on the move. I do feel for them, they have paid a lot of money for their holiday on the water and here it is lashing it down and blowing a gale. I got into Tesco which looked like a ghost town, there were not many people about due to the weather. I was in and out in a blink of the eye. On my way back to the boat laden down with my booty, a private boat pulled into the moorings down the arm, and it was clear the lady on the boat was not impressed with having to move in the rain.
She said "Why the F did we move in this weather".
He said " We moved in this B*****d weather, because you said we needed shopping, so don't shout at me".
She said " Well you could have said No"
He said "There is just no pleasing you woman".
As I walked past them mooring up I had a little giggle to myself. I have a feeling it will be a frosty walk around Tesco for them.
Back on the boat in the warm and dry, the shopping has been stowed away and I am not venturing out anymore, so it will be a day either online or watching Sunday films.