We were up early this morning as we wanted to get to Braunston for a pumpout. It was a lovely sunny start to the day and as we pulled out of Rugby we said our goodbye's again to Gary and Beryl on n.b. The Answer. It was very cold as we made our way up the Hillmorton three locks. We soon hit the Barby straight and through the countryside into Braunston. We were breaking ice in a few places, and it was a good job we passed Gosty the coal boat, who was fully loaded, and had broken the ice for us. We then passed a few boat bloggers in the village but couldn't stop due the the waste tank being right on it's limit's. We pulled over and topped up with water before we turned into the marina with a sigh of relief and emptied our tank. The light is now against us, as it's coming up to the shortest day of the year, but we decided to go up the Braunston flight of six locks which were all against us. We then went through Braunston tunnel (and it did get dark in there) and it got our eyes used to the light when we came out the other side. We quickly found a mooring and managed to get a telly spot. It was a good days cruising, but it still knacker's us when we do a full day. It must be being out in the air!!!! We crashed out on the sofa getting in the Christmas spirit with a few drinks.
It was a icy start with rain to follow, so we couldn't (or we mean didn't) move today. We have been here thirteen days now, the longest we have stayed in one place out of choice for three years. The drizzle turned to heavy rain later but with so much to do here we were content. We then got a tap on the boat and Gary and Beryl asked if we fancied going out for something to eat. So we met up at 6.00pm and walked over to the Harvester which is next to the canal here. We had a really fun evening which ended up with a coffee with a tipple on the side, back on Derwent6. We didn't make it too late a night as we wanted an early start in the morning. We said our goodbyes. Thanks guys for a great week, we feel like we have had a mini Christmas already.
Another really cold night last night and the sound of the cracking ice which woke us up in the morning. This was followed by some heavy snow showers. Hmmm not moving today then!!! Del when down to McDonalds to finish off the updating on the computer. We then had a walk round the shops and brought a draft excluder for the bedroom to stop the drafts from the engine room. It was then back to Derwent6 for our first Christmas dinner. No doubt there will be more to come!
It was another cold night and we were iced in when we woke up. When this happens you just want to pull up the duvet cover and hibernate. This made the decision for us, not to move today. Al was planning a Christmas dinner but we had a lot of food close to it's sell by date so we had a massive buffet instead. We called it our strictly party buffet as Al was wetting herself waiting for the final in the evening. We then had a bit of a rain shower which cleared most of the ice away but as it got darker it got colder and it started to freeze again. Del got a tip from Gary on the boat next door that there was a pallet for kindling just up the way, so we collected it and put it on the roof. We picked at the food all day and got the atmosphere right for Strictly Come Dancing. With a roaring fire and the twinkling lights and glitter of course, we snuggled down on the sofa. Well done Harry!!!!!
There was a bit of rain when we woke up this morning so we didn't feel like moving. We have been here ten days now and that's a long time for us to stay somewhere, but we have every thing we need and we are in good company, so why move! We had to do some more washing, so we run the engine late morning. Gary and Beryl came round with some Christmas presents for us. It was a small pile of kindling with our names on it, so sweet!! In the afternoon we decided to get the pc updated so we walked down to McDonalds and used their Wi Fi broadband with a cup of coffee. In the evening Al watched a hour of Strictly before we chilled out with some music.
After our chilled out evening last night we felt a bit better this morning. We sorted out the fire and had breakfast before we had a knock on the side of Derwent6. We were greeted at 11.00am, by Bonnie the Bear and Jo and Keith off n.b. Hadar, who we invited round for coffee and mince pies (kindly supplied by Jo). We had a lot of catching up to do and it was good to see them looking so well. We also always put the world to right. Bonnie is on a mission to get on as many boats as possible and Derwent6 was the first, she even has a facebook page. They all left at about 1.30pm and we chilled in the afternoon. In the evening we were invited round by Gary and Beryl off n.b. The Answer. We had a great time downing more wine and beers, we love this Christmas lark.........We came back to Derwent6 with aching faces where we had laughed all night, at around 1.30am, trying to be a bit quieter then last time. Good job the bed was made and ready to just fall into........
After that very late night last night we didn't surface till 10.30am together with a bit of a head! We got a knock on the side of Derwent6 but were still not dressed at the time. It turned out to be Keith and Jo on n.b Hadar, so we will hope to see them later in the day. We got ready to go out as we had to go back to Tesco's to replenish our wine stock which had disappeared. We now have three other bloggers here, so we delivered our Christmas cards and walked down to the recycling station to get rid of our old bottles. On the way back we stopped and had a chat with Jo and Keith and arranged a met up for tomorrow. We spent the rest of the day recovering, and by god we needed it, the good news was that Gary and Beryl felt the same.
After a very windy night we still managed to get a decent nights kip. We were up quite early and had breakfast before Del set about looking for an engine water leak he spotted yesterday. After getting the covers off and cleaning out the undertray, we noticed a mark on the engine support runners where it looked like a small pipe had been dripping. After nipping up all the jubilee clips and cleaning up the excess water we ran the engine and all seems ok at the moment. We then had Gosty the coal boat turn up, so we filled with much needed diesel and added a couple of bags of coat to the roof. This made us £160.00 pounds lighter in our pockets. Ian and Alison are selling the Gosty Hill business and have had a few offers already, they will be missed by everyone who uses them, but they will still be around on the cut. Del was just about to calibrate the fuel gauge when Maffi on n.b Milly M turned up. (http://narrowboater.blogspot.com/). With Gosty blocking the way he decided to moor up behind us. In the evening Beryl and Gary came on board for a few beers. They turned up with a bottle of wine and six bottles later we were all slaughtered. We had a great night and got to bed...........late!!!! (Well 3.00am actually), so sorry to anyone in the vicinity for our noise!!!
We made the decision to get water as the weather over the next couple of days doesn't look too clever. There is talk of very strong winds again, which we don't need, and heavy rain, which we do need. We managed to wind (turn) in lovely sunshine and then moored up for water. It's always a bit boggy here, which puts people off, but it's a fast tap. We then tried to get on the same spot we had left a hour earlier but can you believe it someone else was in it, so we moored opposite. We had just tied up when that boat decided to move, typical! So we untied and then reversed up back onto the mooring we left. We had telly and a good signal here so we were pleased to get back on it. At midday we were met by Andy and Hilary of n.b. The Maisibert and we decided to meet at Franky and Benny's. We all came back to Derwent6 for a coffee and with the fire roaring and full tummies as you can see it's was hard to keep our eyes open. It was lovely to meet up again and to see them both. They left us at around 6.00pm and we settled down for a evening with the telly as the rain started and the winds also picked up. Lets hope the ropes hold!!!
It was another cold night but rain was forecast so Al walked down to the shops and topped up with Christmas goodies, mince pies, chocolates and nibbles, all those bad things that make you feel good!!!!!!
At 11.30am we were kindly picked up by Keith and taken over to Welford marina and n.b Thema. Del hadn't seen his Mum (Pat) since March and we haven't been able to get up to Welford due to the water levels on the summit at Watford. So it was a nice reunion .... Pat had cooked a lovely meat pie with loads of vegetables and we had a lovely catch up with every thing that had gone on this year. They then came back to Derwent6 for a coffee and mince pies with Strictly Come Dancing as we are all fans. It was a lovely day (apart from the rain in the afternoon)
Blimey it was cold last night... We were lucky that we had a boat come past us at 6.00am in the morning which broke a lot of the ice which was trying to form. We had the fire going full bore all day and we just kept warm. Al wanted so bad to see Strictly in the evening........ so we stayed put.
Del was up doing the brasses this morning which made it rain by lunchtime. While he was doing them Adam on n.b Briar Rose (http://www.nbbriarrose.blogspot.com/) came by with the sad news that he had found a body in the canal at Newbold and had to call 999. The canal was then closed at bridge 50 for most of the day due to divers going in looking for clues as to what had happened. In the afternoon we went to the pictures to see "New Years Day" as Jon Bon Jovi was starring in it... Al cried most of the way through it.....
Well for the first time this year we are out of wood and will have to start on coal. You get more control with coal and it will last all day, but we really do miss the smell of wood burning. When we tried to move the old coal bag on the roof it split open where the bag had perished through the summer and tipped coal all over the roof, Del was not happy....
The wind had got up in this time and we pulled the ropes in as we were rocking about a bit. It was so warm and snug on Derwent6 we just spent the best part of the day watching the wind and rain bashing and lashing around us.
Del was up getting rid of the rubbish this morning and then we had a walk down to Maplin's to get some electrical bits and pieces. On the way back we popped into Tesco's and brought back the heavy stuff, and Christmas goodies.
We then took a walk over to the bus stop where the buses run every ten minutes into Rugby high street. We had a walk round the shopping centre and got into the Christmas spirit. We had some lunch at Weatherspoons for £3.20 each and got back to Derwent6 before it got dark. In the evening it was out with the box of chocolates and a good film......
After another cold night we were up early. We decided to move today due to the fact we needed some food shopping. We made our way up to Brownsover at Rugby and were lucky enough to get moored up in this normally busy part of the canal. We couldn't get a telly signal but we weren't bothered as we planned to go out anyway. The boat in front of us then moved off so we moved forward a boat length so we could then get a signal alright. We then walked down to Pizza Hut and grabbed their all you can eat buffet for £6.99. While we were in there we watched two youths try to nick two bikes off the Sports Direct forecourt. They hid round the corner after ripping the labels of the bikes and were just about to ride off when the staff caught them and they dumped the bikes and scarpered. We watched all this from the window of Pizza hut and we took this photo, but after talking to the manager saying we had a photo they weren't that bothered about looking at it, or catching them.We then walked over to Tesco's and got some of our shopping. After getting back to Derwent6 we sat down for an hour before we walked down to Cineworld and watched the film "Hugo".
We had a bit of a frost last night but it was a lovely day. Del set about doing the brasses but it as a lot colder than we been used to and he only stayed out for a hour. Al sorted out some bits and pieces inside, arranging our summer and winter clothes, and also the boots and shoes. We just had a relaxing afternoon with our Christmas songs playing. It then made us get out the musical instruments and have a go at playing some Christmas carols. We then got a knock on the side of Derwent6 and we thought it was going to be someone telling us to shut up making so much noise, but it was a lady on the boat behind us who invited us in for a glass of wine. It turned out she could play the squeeze box and we ended up all getting together and playing folk songs. We had great time! Three hours later we crawled back to Derwent6 at 10.30pm........good job we were so close to home.
We were up early on Saturday morning and got ourselves ready to get to the station by midday. We got the train down into London and then across to Reading, where we were picked up and taken to Joy and Steve's. It was nice to see them and they accommodated us in a cosy festive style with Christmas music and a lovely decorated house. It just got us in the mood for us going out in the evening where we met up with some of Al's (old) work mates and partners. We hadn't got together for a couple of years and it was lovely to catch up with everyone. We just had a great time and too much to drink.... fun, fun, fun.!!!After a good nights sleep we were woken up with the thought of bacon sandwiches while Al & Joy caught up with Strictly.
Joy and Steve kindly gave us a lift back to Reading station and we made our way back to Derwent6. Thanks guys for a lovely weekend in your lovely house. We got back just before dark and Derwent6 was freezing. With the central heating and the fire it took a hour to get Derwent6 warmed up, then we chilled out in our own little grotto by the telly.
It was a lovely frosty morning and the wood we put on the fire kept in all night and Derwent6 was still nice and warm and it really felt Christmassy. After breakfast we went on the hunt for wood but couldn't find any, so we set off for Rugby. It was one of those sunny frosty mornings where it feels lovely and fresh and you can see your breath.....you know it's December. Still nothing has been done about the bridge falling apart. Hopefully someone will not have to get hurt before it does. We arrived at Hilmorton and it seemed a bit weird doing a single lock again. We hadn't done one of these since March, as we had been down on the Thames, K & A and Grand Union, all with double locks. We managed to get moored up just past the locks, and then get the wood we had left on the roof chopped up. Al had cooked a nice Toad in the Hole for us and we were ready for it. In the evening we made a start on the Christmas cards!
We had a lot of overnight rain so we stayed in bed till it cleared away. Del was still struggling with a swollen ankle, after spraining it yesterday. It got to 9.30am and the sun tried to poke out through the clouds. We set off and took the turn back on the Grand Union to Braunston. We hadn't see anything all morning but as we approached the tunnel we could see a big headlight in the distance, typical........although the good thing about this time of year most people on the cut know what they are doing and we passed with no problems. The good news was that it meant all the locks at Braunston would be in our favour. We never waited at the top due to the fact we had waited to see if anyone had gone by when we were at Norton junction, and also no one was behind us in the tunnel and that takes thirty five minutes to get through. So we pushed on down the flight of six locks. It was sad to see the Admiral Nelson pub up "For Let" again. We then turned into the marina where we got a pumpout. This had gone up to twelve pounds, but we still felt it was a good price. We then pulled out and filled with water and while we were there we got chatting to Beryl and Gary on n.b The Answer. We last saw them on the Trent and Mersey about a year ago. We had a long catch up, and took their number to meet up in the future. We left it a bit late to leave Braunston as we forgot the light was fading fast. We hit the Oxford and Al lit the fire to start warming things up as we headed towards Rugby It started to get very cold and dark, so we pulled Derwent6 over and set everything up. Ahhhh, it was lovely to walk into Derwent6 with the smell of cooking and the log fire burning in one corner and the Christmas lights on and the Advent candle burning in the other corner ....We love Derwent6!!!! XXXXXXX
We were woken up by some contractors (Allen Groundcare 01327 354789) who decided it would be fun to cover Derwent6 with wood chips "Oi!!!" they got from Del. "Oh we will clean it up" they said. Um with a hard broom we thought.. No chance!!!After wiping down Derwent6, and calming down a bit, we set about getting the Christmas Decks up. Al missed out with all this last year because of problems with her Mum, but this year (with what had gone on) we really wanted to enjoy the build up to Christmas. Derwent6 has got its Christmas tree up and the famous mouse ears on the bow of Derwent6. It's like Santa's grotto inside with a bit of twinkle on the outside.. Later in the day, Del got rid of the rubbish and twisted his ankle in the process, so we will have to see how that is in the morning as we need to get water.