Do It Twice

I have rarely have my eye on the grand route plan and don’t hold on to spatial information easily, therefore it’s fairly typical for me to not remember the geography and whether I have been through a place before, and if so when, or in which direction. My strong impression of being in Braunston was not even arriving by boat. There was a big event of old traditional working boats so we had cycled there to see the show but kept the boat away from the crowded water. I had remembered eating at the Gongoozlers Rest. We have eaten there twice since.

We made a move yesterday from Braunston, Shane had got the new blue ropes out and as I headed to cast off the front he handed me the second one and swapped the ropes over after casting off. Shane moved the short distance to the water point, as the other boat was just finishing and he happily swapped places mooring where we had just vacated.

Once the water tank was full, I started driving towards the locks. There was a boat ahead and it was possible we could go up the flight together. It was a postcard perfect picture of an old working boat, all brass, chimneys, traditionally painted flower boxes, jugs and buckets on the roof. There was already a boat on the lock bollards so the driver ahead stayed parallel to it and I came in to the side between it and another boat, to let Shane off and stayed there to keep out of the way. I wasn’t quite sure if the boat at the lock bollards was going in or not but there was no sign of activity. Two boats were coming out so I followed the trad workboat slowly and sure enough the other boat was merely moored up at the lock bollards and going nowhere. So I slipped in to the lock beside her. She declared that she preferred going in second so for the remainder of the flight I went ahead.

Traditional family boat, Mjor and modern Bartimaeus

I enjoyed her company and found out about the brass chains they had to hold the chimneys and it explained to us about one of the hooks we had seen in the chandlery called a chimney hook. The chimney can be attached to the roof so they don’t get lost in the water if they fall or get knocked down. They had two chimneys, one for the engine and one for the stove. The flight passed very pleasantly and easily as they had two crew working the locks so we were able to have someone preparing the next one each time and still have someone on each gate. At the end of the flight they went out first as we were officially behind them and also intending to moor up soon.

We decided to try out the new short strop at a bollard while the front was on a chain at pilings.The strop worked easily.

New strop for simple mooring and new Bartimaeus blue rope hanging on the tiller

Shane decided to change the loop on the front new rope attached to the cleat. We have never had a problem at the front due to the shape of the cleat but occasionally the rope used to slip off the dolly at the back, so he had changed it a while ago to a different self tightening arrangement.

Shane tying off the new blue rope on the bow

Shane has now reminded me that we have done this flight in both directions twice and so have driven it both ways and worked the locks both ways but one of the times was not on Bartimaeus, but on a holiday hire, on that occasion both Shane and I were locking crew so Shane has yet to drive it this way.

We had stopped here to be walking distance from Daventry. Shane had noticed that One Love, the film about Bob Marley was on in Daventry for only two days. I had wanted to go while in Edinburgh but didn’t get round to it. So here was our chance. We enjoyed the film, and having revelled in the sounds of the seventies, we were tempted by a reprise of the 1980s with the new Ghostbusters film that was also showing this week. We haven’t been to the cinema for ages, but this time it was so nice we wanted to do it twice. So we stuck around today and went into Daventry again this afternoon for an explore, Shane picked up a book and we had a coffee and cake, then we were off to the cinema a second time and as well as a new young cast all the original 1984 cast join in.

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