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We had always planned to be “continuous cruisers”, living on the boat most of the time and moving along frequently.  Our Canal and River Trust (CRT) licence requires us to move the boat to a new “place” at least every fourteen days if we don’t have a mooring agreement.  We have occasionally seen CRT staff, often on bikes, making notes of boat index numbers as they travel the towpath.

We’d left Bartimaeus in Nuneaton for fifteen days when I got The Email from CRT telling us that our boat was overdue to move on.  We speculate that this may not have been quite as keen as it sounds, as we were also in the same spot the week before – though we did the entire length of the Ashby Canal between visits.  I replied to the email explaining that I had a run of medical appointments and that we would be back to cruising on Sunday.  This explanation was acknowledged without comment.

I had my third immunotherapy treatment on Thursday, still with no side effects – great!  On Friday, Ewan and I took the electric bus to Perth and cycled to Bridge of Allan for a train home.  On Saturday, while Clare was in Perth for her knitting event, I revisited a regular haunt in the Borders.  A party of five of us took the train to Tweedbank and cycled along the River Ale and over to the Tushielaw Inn.

Tushielaw Inn Beer Garden
Penny, Bruce and Kenny Waiting for Food in the Tushielaw Inn Beer Garden

The Tushielaw Inn was a regular destination for Sunday lunch before we started cruising. We have also found good beer, excellent overnight stays and amazing flat-sitters!  After lunch the others were cycling all the way home. Having cycled 40 miles the previous day, I decided I might not enjoy more than 50 miles, so I bimbled down the Ettrick Valley on my own to get a return train.  I had a long soak in the bath afterwards – something I don’t get a chance to do on the boat.

On the way from the station in Nuneaton we went via a motoring retailer (other motoring retailers are available) to buy de-ionised water for topping up the batteries.  I’d noticed before we left that we were running low.  The batteries seem to have been quite thirsty over the summer.

The important thing to get done when we got on board was to reinstate the back steps.  They had partially collapsed under me in the hour before our train left.  It didn’t take long to finish demolishing them.  I then drilled through the risers, applied some more glue, and drove two screws in to each side of the treads.  I think that will hold for a good while.

Now we’re ready to resume cruising as promised.

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