Keeping Cool

Today’s forecast correctly warned us that today was going to be very hot.  In a break from my usual obsession, I had deliberately chosen a mooring under the trees.  On the hottest day of the year we have generated a dismal amount of electricity.  It was still pretty warm on board this morning, but the temperature went up a notch when we stepped off the towpath on the way in to town.

We headed first for the Market Harborough Museum, housed in the Symington Building, a former corset factory, and once a major employer in the town.  The main exhibit was of the Hallaton Helmet, an iron age helmet found outside the nearby village of Hallaton.

We found shaded outside seats in the town square for lunch.  From there we could see the large sundial on the church, which was displaying the time fairly accurately, but had not been adjusted for daylight savings time.

Market Harborough Church
Market Harborough Church with Sundial

Next to the church is the old grammar school.  This was built on stilts so that it also provided cover for market stalls.  We’re pretty keen on dual purpose things on board, but this seems beyond even our usual stipulations.

Market Harborough Grammar School
Market Harborough Grammar School

We gather the locals usually refer to the town as Harborough but still thought we should have a look at the market.  At some point in recent centuries the covered market has moved to a more modern building a short distance away.  We had a short wander around but weren’t inspired to buy anything.  We tried to go behind the building but found our way blocked by gates, so we took a short-cut back through the building.  We came through a section of the market we hadn’t noticed previously, and discovered a stall selling refills of all the cleaning products we tend to use – and are running low on in some cases.  The stallholder was very enthusiastic, and spent some time showing off the very clever way everything fitted so neatly in to her tiny stall – and she was right to be proud of it all!

We’d deliberately gone unencumbered with bags today, and certainly weren’t going to rush back up the hill to get bottles.  But tomorrow before we leave town we will take all our empties down for refilling.

On the way back towards the boat, we found another more modern sundial.  This one was also reasonably accurate, but seemed to be set on permanent summer time.

Modern Sundial
Market Harborough Summer Sundial

It was pleasantly cool under the trees in and on the boat for the rest of the afternoon.  Clare continued with her knitting project.  I busied myself trying to work out how to stow the pram cover.  We don’t seem to make much use of it in the summer, but it makes opening and closing the hatch awkward.  I’ve removed and stowed the cover before.  What I realised today is that by flipping the rear pair of poles, they can be attached to the front pair.  They still interlock with the life-ring on top of the hatch.  This means we can choose to be able either to open or to close the hatch from inside, but not both.  I think I may have to construct some wedges to fix this problem properly – but I wasn’t starting to saw anything in today’s temperatures.