To Market

The engine roared in to life at the first click this morning, so I’m wanting to believe that means that swapping the batteries over was the right thing to do.

We were only half a mile from Foxton Locks this morning, but saw a selection of minor canal awkwardnesses before we got to them.  A moored narrowboat had a small boat tied behind it, but this was slewed across the canal.  I sent Clare to the front so that she could fend as needed, but somehow the water movement caused it to drift to the bank as we slowly approached.

The next plan was to top up with water.  The first water point we reached had a small boat tied at it using a hose to do their washing.  The next one had a day trip boat moored at it with the occupants eating their lunch.  I knew there was a third by the swing bridge.  That mooring was free, but the water was being used by someone parked on the moorings reserved for people operating the bridge.

We got chatting with the man getting water who suggested we could fill up simultaneously.  We said that usually didn’t work, but he showed us that this water point had an unusual arrangement that meant we could.  So we connected our hose up and were full before he was.  While we waited one of the swans we’d seen yesterday made it very clear that he (I bet it was he) wasn’t happy to share the basin with a pair of unlucky ducks.

Swan Chasing Ducks
Swan Chasing Ducks
Swan Chasing Ducks
Swan in Hot Pursuit

We are saving the locks for another day, and instead taking a detour along the Market Harborough Arm. I went to open the swing bridge while Clare drove off towards it.  Someone mentioned there was a second one, so I walked on to open it.  It was further than I’d realised, but it was still easier to operate by walking to it than trying to hop off the boat on approach.  However by the time I got back on Clare was wishing she’d put long sleeves or sun cream on before she set off – she’d assumed she could hand over to me after the first bridge.

We stopped for lunch before driving the rest of the way to Market Harborough.  The Union Wharf at the end had confusing signs saying we were welcome to moor on the towpath, with other signs saying a mooring fee applied (though not how much it was).  We moored up, but then thought better of it and came back a little way to a gap I’d spotted on the towpath.  Unusually, this section of towpath has frequent water points, but we are clearly allowed to moor for two days at this one.

I decided to put the cratch cover up again so that we can sleep with the cabin doors open, while having reasonable privacy – we can leave the water side flap open.  The next two nights are forecast to be very warm.  To add a further layer of privacy, we’ve left the clothes horse full of my washing in the way too.

Bartimaeus with Cratch Cover Installed
Bartimaeus with Cratch Cover and Clothes Horse Privacy Screen

While I was still organising that another boat arrived looking for moorings.  I could see they nearly fitted behind us, but we also had some space in front, so I offered to move up a bit.  They were suitably grateful – we’re still not sure if they would have squeezed in, but it seemed polite to move anyway.  We had a very pleasant chat until they needed to go to for their booked restaurant meal.

Clare was most of the way through making our dinner when when she dropped more spice in than she intended.  We had just used up the yogurt, so I offered to get some from a nearby convenience shop.  Luckily, other shops were available as this one was shut.  On the way I went passed an interestingly shaped building.  No doubt Market Harborough will have more to offer than this architectural oddity.

Unusual Building
Building Based Around a Chimney
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