We came down the Foxton Locks a couple of days ago. I had remembered doing them with Stuart and Wendy in the other direction and had worked the locks then, so this time I drove. I didn’t realise that in this direction there is a lot less of a view of the flight and also less contact with the people around than there is in the other direction. Shane also had Wendy aboard with him most of the way. Mostly I was beside a very deep wall and doors of a lock. I could still see Shane, but none of the flight.

Shane at the Foxton Locks

Still there were some walls flowers beside the lock near the top and inside one or two of the lower locks. Plus I saw a bluetit flying into a crevice in the side of the lock so there was a little extra colour and entertainment thrown in as all as the odd interaction with people peering down into the lock from the bridges, over the locks.

One woman passed me and said it was good we had swapped. I didn’t understand at first as I had driven the whole flight but then I realised that she was the same woman I had met locking on the way to Welford, when Shane was driving and I was working the lock with her.

All went smoothly and we arrived at Market Harborough and reversed into the mooring there. We had to change our electric hook up point a couple of times, shuffling to the lower point on the same post and then along to the next post. At last we got it working. We didn’t have to move our mooring though. There was a lively pub beside us but we had some last vegetables to use up so just stayed in to eat but had a little explore of the town.

I had finished my latest knitting project but still needed to block it. I rearranged one of the dinette sets, removing a table and pushing the seats together to make a suitable cushion space to spread it out and pin it. I had done that before lunch and the locks so it had all day and at night I turned it over and changed the towel underneath to help it dry as it hadn’t been a hot day.

Summer top blocking on the dinette seats, pushed together.

Having finished one project I had immediately started planning the next . Shane has wanted to do something that might mop up condensation pools on the windows. I thought with visitors arriving we might want that in place. I started knitting flat strips to go along the window cotton. It was taking a bit of experimenting to get ones the right length that lie flat.

Experimental condensation mopper upper on the window

The next day was much warmer. We had a relaxing day. We had spotted the night before some shops we might visit and remembered having lunch in the square. When we found the cafe we decided the one we had previously used must have changed hands as we couldn’t find one quite like it. We found one in the right place but with fewer tables and a much reduced menu, so in stead we tried a Turkish cafe (we don’t remember if it was there at all) with lots of outside tables and a light meze selection that we could share, Shane carefully divided each item in half (many were 3 piece portions) so he didn’t accidentally eat more than half. With sunshine and Mediterranean food, it really felt like a holiday.

The sunshine is most welcome and timely as I was able to put on the new summer top once I was sure it was dry. Shane said it looked like I was wearing a swimsuit. I wasn’t about to leap in with the shoals of fish we could see swimming past. We had a lazy afternoon sitting in the bow and enjoying the atmosphere, interspersed with small “getting ready for visitor” tasks like shuffling items around to make free shelf space available; fixing the bathroom door that had just stopped closing that morning and a bit of general tidying and sweeping.

The next morning we filled up with water. This is a common enough occurrence but being moored end on and the tap being at the stern but our tank at the bow, we needed either to turn the boat or connect our two hoses together to reach the tap. The two hose option seemed quicker, yet there was still a further complication that the jetty only came halfway down the boat so we couldn’t just run the hose on the ground alongside. In stead we decided to take it over the roof and Shane had to shuffle along the gunwale arranging it once the jetty ran out.

We went to the station to meet Benny and Heather off the train. En route we saw a man with a huge camera trained on the church. Since I was looking puzzled , he explained there was a pair of peregrine falcons and pointed them out. One was on a stone lump between the arches of the large arched windows (male) and the female was on the narrower arches on the steeple and had had a big feed this morning. He said her crop was very full. My camera was never going to get any detail and they were well camouflaged but he showed me his shot on his superior apparatus.

The female with the full crop on the photographer’s quality camera.

We met the train in plenty time despite our pause at the peregrines. We managed a shopping en route with 4 of us and a few double quantities of some things so we shouldn’t run out. We used two checkouts and had four bags and shuffled ingredients around so Heather and Benny weren’t adding too much weight when they already had luggage to carry. We came back past the church. I hoped Heather would get a good photo of the peregrines, as she has a better camera but though she had it with her, it was needing charged.

After having a quick cup of tea, unpacking shopping and rearranging some bags, we set off cruising. Heather was hoping to see a water vole but the only one we saw was a boat named water vole. Heather did see a bird she and called out ”what’s that?” It was a green woodpecker and we were really chuffed to see it. They are often heard and not seen.

We decided to go through the Foxton locks. Heather and Shane worked the last swing bridge and went to ask the volunteers if we could come up and find out when. Benny and I moored up at the bottom but shuffled back a couple of bollards when we heard there were two coming down. We went up the flight with Benny driving, at first with Shane beside him. Benny has driven through locks many times but this was the first time for a while. He didn’t seem to need any help from Shane. Heather and I were working the flight and Shane got out and joined us and took pictures.

After the flight we carried on a little then moored up. Heather cooked a scrumptious tea and we ate al fresco as the sun eventually appeared in the evening. We haven’t had 4 people sitting at tables on the stern deck before and it worked fine. It is lovely having guests! There is more waiting to get time to squeeze past each other to reach the kettle etc and Heather stacked the light house mugs in the wrong order so they may need a reshuffle before tomorrow!