Wednesday 30 April 2014

Last Ocado order

Sutton Cheyney Wharf - Hinckley : 6 miles, 0 locks
To date : 1277 miles, 872 locks

This morning while we filled with water at Sutton Cheyney a Dutch fellow from the hire boat moored behind us came over to chat some more.  Mick had talked with him for a while last night too.  He was very interested in our tale of having lived on the boat for 19 months now.  He was also fascinated by our boat buyers being from Denmark.  I think he quite fancied the idea of buying a boat himself having hired 7 or 8 times now.  Many hirers would have never seen inside a privately owned boat and he kept saying how luxurious it was inside.  Armchairs will win over straight backed dinette seats every time!  We waved goodbye to them as we headed off

Among a whole lot of other "lasts" we are encountering in our final few weeks, we have one more.... a last order from Ocado.  We decided to stop again at Trinity Marina as it was a fantastic spot for grocery delivery.  With no delivery charge we'd be silly not to take up the offer.  Just don't tell Ocado we're going back to Oz as I'm sure the reason for the freebie is to entice us back into ordering from them.  We used the service a lot over both Winters but probably only once since February.

Angie from nb Lady Esther, moored in the marina, came in for a cup of tea this afternoon and we chatted about their exciting house plans.  We also cooked up a plan for dinner at the marina pub tonight. 

It's a bit of an exposed mooring with people sitting in the pub for lunch peering out at us and many more walking past for a nosy. Ok for overnight though.

We've been looking at photos of our house and feeling more enthusiastic about living there.  It's a bit more exciting than otherwise as we have never lived in that house.  I'm really looking forward to having a laundry....  a pantry.... a full size fridge!

I've also been having a further cupboard thin out in the boat and that's making the reality of selling the it make its presence felt.  There's just over two weeks left of living on Parisien Star and then she will be out on hard standing for her hull survey.  Another week later and she will no longer be ours. The thought of trying to sort out all the remaining things and pack what we want to take home into our suitcases is a little daunting.  It's so much more difficult in the confines of a boat!  We will be tourists for our last 3 weeks in England. 

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Pretty Shenton

Market Bosworth - Shackerstone - Sutton Cheyney Wharf : 11 miles, 0 locks
To date : 1271 miles, 872 locks

A rain free day today so we made the most of it.  We had decided we wouldn't cruise beyond Shackerstone so winded there after the pretty but extremely smelly field of sheep beside a long row of private moorings.

We reached Shenton in time for lunch so moored just before the aqueduct, had lunch and walked to the village to check out the antique centre.  The antique centre was ok and we liked having a browse.... but what was a lovely surprise was how very pretty the properties in Shenton were.  It was gorgeous.  By far the largest and grandest was Shenton Hall.  A local walking by got chatting when he saw us admiring it from afar and said it was owned by a wealthy American.    You can't really see the main building from the road but the gatehouse, outbuildings and brick fences are grand enough and the glimpse of all the chimneys gives you an idea of its size.

It was a bit of messing about to get the boat moving again, we were pretty much aground where we were moored.  It's nice to be on the towpath side for passing other boats though.  The day before we had two occasions where we had to pass another boat on a narrow stretch.  Both times I was inside working and almost stumbled off the dinette seat.  The boat slowly tilted over to one side as it rode up over the muddy canal floor.  The second time was so severe I thought we might get stuck but thankfully there was an offside mooring just ahead and the water was deeper beside the moored boat.

We continued on then to Sutton Cheyney Wharf which we'd spied on the way in along the Ashby.  We moored on the 48hr mooring pontoon and sat outside the little cafe in the sun.  Although we had discussed visiting the Bosworth Battlefield visitors centre we decided to give it a miss and save the admission fee.  We did walk there though and had a look around the grounds.  It was a very nice walk through Ambion Wood.

When we returned to the boat, the hire boat previously moored behind us had moved on and with Parisien Star alone on the pontoon now there was a couple with two little grandsons busy peering through our windows. We asked if they'd like to see inside so they trooped in to have a look.

Another hire boat pulled in behind us early evening, hitting the pontoon with such a wallop that the whole thing moved!  At least it was the decking and not us.

Monday 28 April 2014

Big boys toys

Stoke Golding to Market Bosworth : 6 miles, 0 locks
To date : 1260 miles, 872 locks

After talking with Angie and Dave about the Battlefield Line railway we looked up the operating hours and saw today wold be the only day we could take a trip on it.  We missed out on doing this on the Caldon Canal with the railway there being closed on the Sunday we visited.  We had a choice of stopping at Shenton, Market Bosworth or Shackerstone.  We were also interested in checking out the antique centre at Shenton so tried there first.  There were boats on the moorings we would have liked to have stopped at, further on when we tried to get into the bank we ran aground.  In the end we decided to continue on to Market Bosworth where we moored in front of the new unfinished marina there. 

We walked to the railway station and discovered there was an event on this weekend.  It was the miniature traction engine weekend so there was more to see than we expected.  They had many of these tiny little steam engines (big boys toys).  They were tootling around with wives riding pillion or dogs in little trailers (at least they had that the right way around!).

We bought our train ticket and enjoyed the afternoon on the train and checking out the stations along the way.  As we were at the middle station we went first back to Shenton, then on the train again back to Market Bosworth, then off again to Shackerstone.  Each time we got back on the train we chose a different carriage.  They were all about 1960's era.  It was pretty busy with lots of little kids enjoying their afternoon out.

The station at Shackerstone had a railway museum and a gorgeous little tea room.  At each end station they detached the engine and shunted it to the other end of the train for the return journey.  We crossed over roads with lines of cars and kids waving, the driver hooting the train whistle.  On the final return to Market Bosworth there was a crazy symphony of all the little engines blowing whistles in response to the big engine. What a fun afternoon we had.

The weather was on and off today.  We had sunny spells interspersed with rain.  In the end we decided to save the antique centre for our return trip on the boat.  We know where we can moor now!

We noticed a sign for Will's free range eggs on the canal side today so when we reached the right bridge I jumped off the boat and through the little gate to find a box attached to the other side of the fence with a money tin with a locked code on it.

It was another enjoyable day today.  Nice cruising this morning... chatting to passing ramblers... seeing nesting swans.... donkeys in spotted rugs.... horses rolling in the grass... and the afternoon was a very pleasant way to pass a few hours.