Saturday morning began with a cup of tea in bed and the F1 qualifying from China, now that is the way to start the day ;0). Well done to Lewis Hamilton for getting pole.
After qualifying it was up and off the boat with Paddy. The sun was shining, bringing a Spring warmth to the air at long last and the birds were singing, so all was good in our world. With the temperature warming up, the saloon stove was going to joining the back cabin stove in being let out, no point burning coal for the sake of it and we are plenty warm enough on the boat, so no fires to stoke up. After breakfast, the floor in the saloon and galley got a sweep to get rid of the tumble weed of dog hair rolling up and down the cabin, Paddy’s bed cover also got changed and washed, it was hung out to dry in the sunshine. Keith ran the engine for 15 minutes, as she hates standing for a week or more, I guess that comes with being an elderly lady. She thankfully fired up first time on both cylinders and sounded very happy.
I am one of those people that when I see a job needs doing, I usually want to get on and do it, but because of the weather of late I had been putting off shovelling coal into bags in the hold. Today however was to be the day it got done. Keith wanted to change the oil on the generator as it had done another 200 hours, so we got that job done first having run the generator for a while to warm the oil. Warming the oil means it drains easier and quicker. With that job done for a further 200 hours, I then exchanged our Winter clothing for our Summer clothing and put the Winter wear in its box for the rest of the year. I know I am probably tempting fate, but hey ho I am ever hopeful that we will get a descent Summer this year. I think I only wore my shorts twice last year. It was then time to tackle the loose coal we had left and to shovel it into bags. Before getting down to the task, I donned my face mask to keep out the coal dust, it did do the trick to a point, but nothing was going to stop me from getting covered in dust and look like a coalminers daughter. I had been shovelling for about half and hour when Lesley and Jo off NB Yarwood and Pip and Roger of NB Windsong came up the towpath with their dogs to say “Hello”. I was not looking at my best, I was covered in coal dust and so I must have looked a fright. It had been an age since I had seen Pip and Roger, although we do have each other on Facebook, so I know their news. It was lovely to see them and to have a natter before they all went off in the direction of The Admiral Nelson for lunch. I got back to shovelling coal until I ran out of bags. The pile is now just a small heap, which we will either burn or I will bag up when I have some more empty bags. By the time I had sorted the hold out and tidied it, it was 12.30pm and lunch was called for.
After lunch, I sorted through my Summer clothes and put them away and did the same with Keith’s. We are now ready for some nice weather should it come our way. Enough jobs done for a Saturday, the TV went on and we watched The War of the Worlds on Film4 and then To Kill A Mocking Bird on ITV3. Again there has been a steady flow of boats toing and froing including Halfie on his boat. I did not get to say “Hello” because I was in the hold shovelling coal, but Keith walked down to the lock to see him. Maybe we will see him somewhere on the cut and I will get to have a chat.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, feet up and TV on. Until it came to lighting the fire to keep the chill off, cooking dinner, feeding animals, washing up and laying out the bed.
Sunday morning the sun was shining and there was a definite warmth in the air. We were awake early again, so cup of tea in bed and then we began to watch the F1 GP from China. Come 8.30am I was up to take Paddy out for his walk, so we watched the rest of the GP in the saloon whilst having scrambled eggs on toast. Great GP and well done to Lewis Hamilton for getting 3rd, a great result for the team. Jenson is struggling, but hopefully things will improve. After the GP we locked the boat up and set off for a walk as it was so nice. The plan was to walk up into the village and out the other end, then back along the towpath. As we got towards the top lock, Lesley and Joe on NB Yarwood were setting off, so we said our goodbyes for now and we continued on our walk. The breeze had turned into a gale especially on top of the hill. The church bells were ringing and the sun was out, so a stunning Sunday morning even with the wind. Walking back along the towpath we had a little more shelter away from the wind. Boats were coming and going as we got to the first lock, Keith bought us both an ice cream from the shop our first of the year, so we sat on the bench and enjoyed a break and our ice cream. A boat came into the bottom of the lock and it turned out to be Steph on NB Witchboy, we had not see Steph since 2009 when she came to Market Harborough, so it was wonderful to see her and the dog who was a puppy when we last saw her. We helped up up through some of the locks and had a chat before she went on her way through the tunnel.
After lunch, I went off out with my camera to photograph a pair of Jackdaws who looked like they were nesting in a hole in a tree beside the second lock down, but having got there, they were no where to be seen and despite the fact I wanted for sometime to see if they would return they did not, so I went back to the boat to sort out something for dinner and an evening in front of the TV watching Lewis and Morse. I had never seen the last episode of Morse when he dies. It was very sad.