We had a morning plan to get water, pass through a swing bridge, round the corner at the junction to a lock; use the rubbish disposal facility and work through some more locks. There were people at the water point but it was not long before they were done and they were cheery and chatty anyway. They said they were just going to “pinch ” our place and moor up.
Shane had suggested that the lock was so close that it might be worth checking and preparing it before the boat was through the bridge. So once I had pushed the boat out, I went ahead and opened the bridge, ran round the corner and opened a paddle, since the lock looked almost ready but I could not open it yet. I was hurrying back to close the bridge when I met the men from the water point. “He’s got you doing all the work!” they said.
I was back as Shane was driving through the bridge and shut it behind him and back to open the lock gate. I had no time to admire the little garden across the bridge. It was just as well I had done that yesterday. There are some novel garden ornaments.
The lock went smoothly though this set have some strangely angled gate arms and the first one had iron bars for propping the gates to stop them swinging open, so an extra little feature to chill the fingers. I had fingerless gloves as I knew I would warm up locking. I had already had one wardrobe malfunction though. When stepping off the boat at the water point, I had ripped the rather worn bottom zip insert so the zip no longer worked. This is my boat and lock working coat and not chic, looks didn’t matter. It had some velcro and a couple of poppers so I wasn’t cold.
A couple of women crossing the bridge remarked on me doing the harder job. I told them it was certainly warmer but we would swap jobs when he was cold. I finished closing the lock. They walked along the same way I was heading and I said to them as I passed that I had another nice job to do, emptying the rubbish (not a chic coat job!) Shane had the bins ready and handed them to me. “I hope there are some beer and wine bottles in there” called one of the ladies. I still had my windlass in my hand and laid it on top of my recycling container while I tied the general waste bag up – must remember that is there before emtying it, I thought. This job is easier if you are not still carrying locking equipment. Then I went to the glass bin for the bottles and jars that Shane had piled on top of the other recycling. I found the mixed recycling bin and began to tip it in and heard a loud clang. Ah that would be the windlass hitting the bottom of the metal bin, that is almost as tall as I am. I would not be able to reach it right at the bottom, and wouldn’t get out if I managed to get in. But I remembered just the thing – the boat hook on the roof of the boat. Shane got it for me as the boat was a bit away from the side and it was the very dab at catching into the windlass hole and I returned them both to the boat, for fear of any other mishaps and finished the dealing with the recycling.
The rest of the locks were straightforward (compared to emptying the bins anyway) and I was plenty warm enough though a passer was remarking on how very cold it was today. The coat velcro really didn’t hold well when I was doing lots of bending and moving, such that my scarf was falling forward and I had a very long scarf on. Note to self, need to wrap scarf round more so it doesn’t dangle when locking, now I can’t zip it in. The other lesson for the day was to take care with damp shoes when crossing the roof in a lock, as the paint is smooth. Accidents waiting to happen…
As predicted Shane was cooling off and I drove and he did the last lock. The coat is fine for driving! We drove on a little and moored up at the village of Alrewas. I noticed a thatched house across from where we are moored.
After lunch we went to explore the village which Shane said was nice and quiet. I soon found that it was hoaching with thatched houses or houses that looked like they were originally thatched and now had curved slate roofing over the windows.
I was amused to see one was called the White House, which is the name of the house my parents lived in too.
As we walked towards the end of the village we found the sign to the canal, and the off road route had my mother’s name.
There was a nice footbidge across the canal brought me to a church yard with some unexpected animals. I had seen them while driving the boat along but now had a chance to see it up close. I am not sure if the pompoms are camel bridle adornments or snowballs.
I like a walk in a churchyard and had a look at their monuments and I was surprised to see the Christmas nativity scene still on show outside the church. Anybody’s guess what the donkey is wearing. The church was open so I got a look inside too. It had a very fine lychgate and yet another thatched house next door.
churchyard and church plus a memorial or tree? snowdrops Inside the church lychgate thatched house kings without their camels