Sunday, 28 June 2015

Better and better

Gosh, what a day. The forecast rain did indeed arrive, but that just gave us a chance to try out the new coveralls, which performed admirably, I'm pleased to say. Time will tell how well they stand up to wear, of course, but the advantage of buying workwear, rather than fancy boating gear or the fashion items that Black's seems to specialise in these days, is that it's designed to be straightforward and hard wearing. After a morning of on and off rain, sometimes quite heavy, we were both still bone dry under the gear.

I'd done four locks, what's more, and hadn't sweated up at all. We set off at half seven, stopped to water below Barton and got to Alrewas just after eleven. We'd seen a fair few boats coming the other way for the last hour and hoped that that meant that there would be room to moor when we got here. There was, but only on the bendy bits between Wharf and Hangman's Bridges.

We've managed to tie on the straightest bit and it's fine for an overnight, but it's clear that the season is warming up and I don't mean just the weather.

After coffee, I popped round to the Co-op for some bits and pieces. After working all those locks (aah, I hear you say – sardonic lot, aren't you?) I wasn't in a mood for complex cooking tonight, so I've cheated by getting a pack of fresh tortellini and a jar of tomato and basil sauce.

It's just as well that I did, as on the way back I noticed that Alrewas is having an Open Garden weekend this weekend. After lunch and some post-prandial eyelid internal surface inspection, we went out to see what the gardens of Alrewas are like. We managed about half of the 20+ available to view and very good value for £4 per head they were. All kinds and qualities were taking part, from narrow back terraces to a magnificent Georgian walled garden, from classic herbaceous borders to an "Architect's Garden", very structural.

One of them was attached to one of the new houses that abut the offside of the canal and we had a great view of this excellent looking boat just opposite. Sheila took a photo but she's not uploaded it yet; I'll try and get her to do it for tomorrow. We weren't the only Braidbar on view, in fact. Phil and Barbara in Bessie Surtees, number 92, had turned up just after lunch and could also be seen.

Once we were all gardened out and even Sheila had had enough, we came back via the Co-op, ice cream having become essential. We've been chilling with cups of tea since and letting our feet cool down. Tomorrow, onwards and upwards to Handsacre or thereabouts.

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