Saturday, 8 August 2015

What a good day if you are not an Aussie

It's been a beautiful day for boating, especially if you're an English cricket fan. We set off at half seven, having left too early the last time we came this way so that we arrived at Alrewas before the overnight boats had left. As it was, there was a risk that folk had arrived on Friday and planned to stay for the weekend. As it turned out, we had another good run, though there was a worrying moment when we got to Wychnor Lock and the sign said that the river section was closed.

Sheila walked up to the lock and found Ami Bovard about to work down. As we thought, the sign was somebody's idea of a joke – the river was well down in summer mode. After exchanging greetings with her crew, Sheila helped work Ami Bovard down and then Sanity Again up. By the time we'd done that, another boat had arrived to go down. It was all in all an excellent morning's boating in perfect summer weather.

And, what's more, there was a huge amount of room on the water point moorings by the former Rebel's Field. We tied in front of the only boat there, sharing a ring in the expectation of more boats arriving as the day went on. As we finished, the guy on the boat behind came out onto his deck and praised us for neat mooring. Apparently, the moorings had been full last night but everyone set off at six this morning. He commented on the wasteful way folk had tied – pacing out the spaces he reckoned there would have been room for at least one more boat.

After a quick glass of squash, we popped into the village for supplies; pasty and salad tonight, yum. The rest of the day has been divided between staying in the cabin when the sun was at its worst and sitting out on the spacious towpath. The moorings were indeed full by mid-afternoon, much to the chagrin of later arrivals.

Tomorrow, on to Handsacre, probably, depending on how bad the morning rain turns out to be.

John, look away now if you don't want to know – England won by an innings and 78 runs. Broad was the man of the match, not surprisingly. Alister Cook is only the third England captain to regain the Ashes twice in his career, the others being WG Grace and Mike Brearley.

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