Friday 16 October 2015


After a mile or so this morning we passed under the M45, two corridors intersecting but interacting little more than a neutrino with the earth as it passes through.

How many times have I driven over a canal without even realising it was there, let alone what it signified? We left the noise of the traffic behind and made our way to Hillmorton Locks, where there are pairs of narrow locks side by side to enable boats to cross more easily, or a steady stream of one-way traffic to move through more quickly.

We were pleasantly surprised to find volunteer Maurice out helping today.

Narrow lock bottom gates are generally lighter and easier than those on wide locks, but the person working the gates has to cross over to open the second gate. With two operators, it's a doddle!

It was time to empty the unmentionable tank that sits beneath our bed, and I'd rung last night to check that Grantham Bridge Boat Services could do us a pump-out.

Maurice thought they only did such things for their resident clientele, because the yard is in a short and tight arm branching off between two of the locks. However, I managed to squeeze in neatly, and Dave was happy to fulfil the promise he'd made on the phone.

I think he's saying: "We do what it says on the tin"! So, happy with a full clean-water tank and an empty black-water tank, we made our way round the north-east side of Rugby, and moored up in a delightful CRT picnic area.

Claire was coming for the afternoon. We hadn't seen her for about 30 years, since we were colleagues in Brazil, and she used to come and spend the weekends with us in our house in Campo Grande do Rio, but we've kept in touch since with Christmas letters and so on. She'd been surprised (no surprise!) to get our phone call yesterday seeing if we could meet up, and it just fitted nicely into her schedule. So we've had a great (and all-too-short) time catching up. It's nice when a plan comes together.


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