There was a programme about caravanning on TV last night. We watched it, as a lot of gadgets designed for the caravan market, can be useful on a narrowboat.
One enthusiast described his love of travelling around the country as `Adventure, not Dementia`, which we both thought rather summed up our approach to this gypsy lifestyle. But our itinerant, off-grid existence is almost over: for this year anyway. Our next blog will either be from our moorings at Mercia Marina or from our house in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire.
It’s been a busy old week for us. We normally cruise for two to three hours a day, and travel just a few miles in the process. But since we left Banbury last week we have clocked up nearly 80 miles, with an average speed of 2.8mph. Now that might not sound very fast, but that includes waiting at locks as well, so we have not hung about. We even had a rest day on Sunday, when rain was forecast, but never materialised, and we stayed put in Rugby and re-provisioned.
|The Greyhound at Hawkesbury Juncion, where the Oxford meets the Coventry Canal|
The weather has been very mixed but we expected it to cool a little as we headed north. We’ve swapped `Look East` for `Midlands Today` on TV and we tune in every evening to see what `Shefali`, the local `Weather Girl` forecasts for us.
On Monday we saw another `Cat’s Whiskers` on the North Oxford Canal. We’d met the owner of this boat a couple of years back, and lo and behold, we swung round at Fazely Junction (Tamworth) this morning and there was another `Cat’s Whiskers` - one we had never seen before. The boat was much the same age as ours and the hull was also built at the same place as ours. David and Ann were very welcoming (they follow our blog) and we both clambered over each other’s boats while we had a coffee with them, in `Cat’s Whiskers` mugs. I hope we see them again. It would be fun to have a `Cat’s Whiskers` boat rally somewhere.
|Ann models her Cat's Whiskers limited mug|
|Pat with David and Ann on their Cat's Whiskers at Fazeley Junction|
When we started cruising again, back in May, I decided to start re-writing my book on Welwyn Garden City where we lived for 35 years. The book was published in the mid-eighties and was written on an electric typewriter, so I have no digital copy. With the town’s centenary coming up in a few years, I thought the time might be right to bring it up to date and see if the original publisher of the hard back might be interested... I am still awaiting a reply. It’s been a big job – around 60,000 words and needs a lot of work updating it. We sold around 6,000 copies when it was in print and it went to two editions. I reckon there is scope for around the same number, but time will tell.
|Rog finishes off the digital manuscript for his History of Welwyn Garden City|
We are currently in the tiny village of Hopwas, near Lichfield. Not much here apart from two pubs opposite each other, on either side of the canal, where we are moored. So I’m not sure which pub to patronise this evening. What a decision.
|Sitting between two pub gardens, The Cat's Whiskers, rests in Hopwas|
It seems our daughter Erica and son-in-law James, have also got the moving bug. We are currently getting regular e mails with attachments showing suitable homes for us both to share in the Wellington area of New Zealand. So, it’s exciting times for both of us.
So we are now just two cruising days away from our marina. We then have to pack and say goodbye for several weeks while we move down south, re-decorate the house and prepare it for sale. But whatever happens, I have to return to Mercia during the last week of September to move TCW to Trent Lock, 10 miles down the canal, to have the bottom blacked and some other remedial work done.