The plan today was to go to Market Harborough market and we had a list to tick off. We live very near a shop in Edinburgh where we get quite a lot of out cleaning products, returning with the plastic bottles to fill them up again. It is hard when travelling to find refills as most small places don’t have that facility. The other thing that can be hard to find, near the canal, is a Post Office, which again is not usually in villages. We had already seen two in Market Harborough.
I have been hurrying to finish a baby cardigan but had to unpick and reknit the sleeves a few times as I was running out of the wool and had to rearrange the stripes, weighing what I had left of each colour as I went. I been optimistic about the quantity needed as I hadn’t noticed that the smallest size was a larger size than I usually knit for a new baby. I had also stalled with the sewing up stage, but the chance of a post office made me make an effort to finish up.
So it was finished last night so we could take it to the post office in the morning…as soon as it stopped raining. Meanwhile I found myself organising the possibility of visitors tomorrow. Most unexpected, but very welcome!
On the walk in we have been disappointed to see so many cars parked all along the pavements and on the cycle path. At least while parking, people drive slowly, but at the pedestrian crossing it was clear that not everyone takes care near the pavement. The pole may have saved those waiting to cross.
There are no cars in the pavement in the picture as the pavement is left clear opposite a driveway so that people can drive over the pavement. We found our post office on the way into town and Shane navigated us through an attractive park, away from car filled pavements. It brought us right to the Indoor Market. Shane went directly to the refilling stall, while I was paused at the craft section, closed yesterday. I had no immediate need for anything there, but had also been collared the day before by a stall owner offering me a variety of hats to try on, which were on offer. I went back again and was unsurprisingly indecisive about design and colour. In the end I just chose two a plain pink and a light blue with dark blue and white flowers. I was just completing the transaction when Shane found me.
Next on his shopping list was a handy implement that could be used to lift the mooring chain rings from the water and not get your hand wet and possibly avoid a nettle sting. We had seen someone use it and found out that it was the repurposing of a long handle for a paint roller. There was a suitable stockist right next to the covered Market.
While Shane went in to purchase it I found I wasn’t the only one taking an interest in a floral hat or two. A group of Morris Dancers fund raising for Macmillan nursing, so I was well entertained during my wait. They seemed to be having a fine time too. The man with a collection hat was happy to chat and was not upset to discover that the only donation I had was a Scottish note. They were modern enough to have embraced a varied dance group, but not to have stretched to payment by card. I didn’t know Shane had left the shop until I saw him taking photos from the other side of the group.
Our morning continued with successful purchases at the greengrocer stall and a baker’s shop and back to the boat before the next bit of rain to have lunch. Our 48 hour mooring had allowed us a very satisfying use of the market town and varied weather. We only had a few hours left and timed it well as far as a group looking for a mooring were concerned as we let them have our space.
On approach to Foxton there is a swing bridge that Shane had found hard going, but as he was driving I decided to give it a go. You can’t open it at all until you have manually swung barriers across the road. I had no traffic to deal with, just a couple walking who quickly made their way over before I closed the road. The bridge was indeed very heavy to move, but I at last got it moving, just as Shane was tying up the boat and preparing to come and help. It was a very slow opening, so I was glad that no cars were queued up. Just as I had completed putting everything back, a woman with a buggy and boy arrived. I recognised the boy was from a boat we had recently passed who had been keen to share that he had seen fish in the canal. They had used the bridge before and so were familiar with the routine. She was hopeful the lad would help her open it but also knew they had backup coming. They didn’t need the back up and the boy was pleased when I told him he must be very strong. We moored up just as the rain started again.
In the evening we had a short explore of Foxton, when there was another short rain gap. A cold wind was blowing and we were just remarking on the huge drop in temperature from yesterday, when we came across a wedding reception at the tennis club. They didn’t get the best weather for a midsummer wedding but people were obviously enjoying themselves. We assumed they got married in the nearby church.