Hi Dear Readers and Followers.
So come-on tell me how was it for you?
We had a wonderful Christmas, which began for us on the 19th of December, when we left our mooring to head to our Christmas destination. To reach our Christmas lunch, we had to do Forty locks. Up the Hatton flight first and then the Lapworth Flight.
We did stop in between. We stopped first at Tom O’ the Woods and then half way up the Lapworth flight, where we had lunch at The Boot Inn. It is rather a posh pub, with Bentleys, Range Rover, the odd Porsche and BMW parked outside, but never the less we had a fabulous meal and a pint, whilst still in our boating gear. The pub was busy with people having pre-Christmas drinks and meals. Our trip continued up the remainder of the Lapworth locks until we had winded and moored up at our Christmas destination.
First job to be done was the loading of another load of bricks for ballast. This task was tackled by Keith, Jacky and myself and we had it all done within 2 hours. Great teamwork.
Christmas Day dawned and Keith and I were awake early. We had our usual cuppa in bed, before getting up and exchanging presents. Breakfast was something small, because we knew were would be eating a hearty lunch. Christmas lunchtime was spent in the company of wonderful friends and an absolutely amazing Christmas lunch. In fact Keith and I spent the whole day with Jacky, enjoying a nice evening meal as well and of course watching Christmas Day television programs.
Boxing Day dawned and with it a stunning sunrise. We said our goodbyes to Jacky and started to wend our way home.
Back down the Lapworth flight in the Winter sunshine. We had made such good time, we decided to carry on to at least the top of Hatton. The thought was we would do the first Eleven locks on the Hatton flight and then moor up.
It was late afternoon, when we moored up, but there were still plenty of people out walking off their Christmas food. The weather forecast was for heavy rain and then snow. The heavy rain came and come the morning we realised the snow had also come as well.
Come the next morning Keith, Paddy, Marmite and I were awake at 4:00am, this is due to the clumps of snow falling on to the cabin top off the trees! Having had a cup of tea in bed, there was nothing for it, we decided to get up and wait for sunrise before setting off for our home mooring. Marmite was very unhappy with what was going on outside, it seemed to upset her, whereas Paddy was laid in his bed, wondering why the heck were we up so early. I decided to start preparing a Turkey curry, which would be cooking in our boatman's cabin stove as we head home. Eleven locks in the snow, cannot wait as I just love the snow. I am like an excited child when it snows.
Time to go home.
I walked on ahead to set the first of the locks, making sure I was careful with my footsteps as it was slippery underfoot. The good thing was it was virgin snow so I was not walking on ice.
Having descended the first couple of locks, I was aware that getting the gates open on just one paddle was becoming more difficult, and this was because of the amount of water flowing down the flight and poring over the gates.
The only thing to do was to gingerly cross the lock gates and open the other paddle. Now this had not been in the plan when we set off. The plan was for me to just work one paddle and gate. So much for plans. I never learn that our plans never work.
I was beginning to realise that we had another issue going down and this was because of the sheer volume of water coming down with us, the towpath was flooding.
This meant I could not walk down the towpath to the next lock without getting soggy. But Keith could not get the boat into the side either, so I had to accept soggy feet and get on with it. Keith did manage to pick me up at one lock. The water was also flooding out into neighbouring fields. I had never seen anything like it, but we were fine.
Some two and a half hours later we finally arrived home. Instead of winding we just went straight onto our moorings and winded a few days later. The Eleven Locks had taken us the two and half hours, we could normally do the whole flight in that time.
So back home, that evening it froze solid down to –4.3C. We were so glad we had decided to come home when we did. Since being back we have been enjoying the fact that we are able to watch TV and chat to friends and neighbours about the Christmas and we have seen in the New Year with a tot of Whiskey as we always do. We have been shopping and enjoyed a walk around our home town on a cold and frosty morning.
I wonder what 2018 will have in store for us all.
Happy New Year and please pop in again x