False Alarm

We are not in a hurry to get anywhere in particular, but we hadn’t really planned to spend a further night in Rugby.  A shower of rain just when we were thinking of moving on yesterday afternoon decided it for us.  In the early evening the smoke alarm in the saloon went off.  This isn’t the first false alarm we’ve had since installing it last year.  Yet again we could see no reason whatsoever for the activation.  Then it went off again before we were out of bed this morning!

Fortunately we were only a short walk from a well-known DIY store (other well-known DIY stores were only a short walk further).  So before morning coffee a heat alarm adorned the ceiling of the saloon.  I’m hoping that the false alarms were caused by condensation or dust, and that the heat detector will not be affected in the same way.

It was only a couple of miles to the Hillmorton Locks so I chose a pace to maximise battery charging as we went.  We were over half way when I noticed a boat behind gradually catching us up.  I didn’t want to hold the other boat up, but I knew that very soon we would be passing moored boats before the twinned locks, so I maintained my gentle pace.

When we reached the locks, Clare chose to work them.  Both of the twinned locks were set against us when we arrived.  I suggested she should empty the other lock while waiting for ours to drain.  Both locks drained very quickly.  The driver of the other boat chose to use the bow of his boat to (gently) open the lock gates, so he was in to his lock before we were in ours.

He was delivering the boat to have work done on it over the weekend, so he wasn’t going through the rest of the flight.  Still, I was pleased that we’d managed to be helpful in the flight.  We also tied up because I had correctly remembered that we could put glass in to recycling here.  With that job done, Clare went ahead to operate the next lock, handing her scarf to me before walking on to the top pair.

Locks ahead.  A view from the back of a narrowboat approaching a pair of locks.  The gates of both locks are closed.  A figure can be seen on the towpath heading to operate them. A bare tree hangs over the water.  Fields rise gently beyond the locks.
Clare Walking Ahead to Hillmorton Top Locks

We moored up just above the locks for some lunch.  This is the same set of moorings we used in the other direction.  There are mooring rings, but the towpath is extremely muddy.  The field opposite has a herd of Belted Galloway cattle (“belties”) grazing in it.  The belties are playful and charge around the field unpredictably.  One of them will spook at something and they all run off in a state of alarm.

Belties in a field by a canal.  About a dozen cattle are grazing.  They are all black other than a belt of white around their bodies between the front and hind legs.  The sky and a bare tree are reflected in the canal.
Belties in the Field Opposite

Another sprinkle of rain decided us on staying where we were again, though in the end there wasn’t enough to get us wet.  I put the cratch cover up at the front to give me a little extra working space and put my mind to a minor issue that has been neglected for months – bedroom curtains!  We replaced the main curtain at the front with a blind last year.  That still left the issue of the windows either side.  We continued to use the original system, relying on velcro.  Unfortunately, the glue holding the velcro to the window has failed.

My alternative idea is to use small boards to hang the curtains.  We’ve been getting away with only closing one curtain in the darker months, but this job really needs doing now that the mornings are getting lighter.   There’s also a lot more chance of alarming a passer-by as the canals get busier.  I have the prototypes installed successfully, I’ll get the white paint out once the design is finalised.

Curtains on hanging boards.  A rectangular blind covers a door.  On either side are tapering curtains, narrower at the top.  Above the curtains are pieces of wood to support them.
Curtains on Hanging Boards