Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Our week with Michelle - return journey

Thursday's travel started with Blisworth Tunnel. This time we encountered just one boat coming in the opposite direction, and two going our way.

We stopped at Gayton Junction services, then moved on to a vacant spot on the long-term moorings for lunch.

The journey to Nether Heyford, where we stopped for a quick bit of shopping, and on to our mooring just beyond, continued hot and sunny, through beautiful countryside.

Normally camera-shy, Michelle allowed me to take one photo of her.

On Friday morning, we moved on to Buckby where, after the bottom lock, we paired up with NB Windsong for the rest of the flight. Pip and Roger were very good company, and we moved along at a good pace with them, with lots of chat on the way. At the top lock, Pip told Michelle that the lock-keeper's cottage there is featured in the book "Lock, Stock and Barrel", a title which Michelle recalled seeing on our bookshelves. It's a signed copy, given to us by brother-in-law Rod - I'll have to read it soon.

Windsong and Kantara left the top lock and made off towards Norton Junction, turning right there onto the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union. Pip and Roger took the last remaining mooring straight after the turn, and kindly invited us to breast up to Windsong, which we did. We all needed lunch! 

Within the hour, the boat next to Windsong moved off, and we hauled Kantara back into that space, where we stayed for the night. When Roger told us that there was a good satellite TV signal at that location, we tried our FreeSat (which we had finally got working back in the marina). Nothing! Roger came along and helped us, but all to no avail, and we concluded that the tuner in the TV has an intermittent fault. We have a standalone tuner in the house, and there might be one still in the marina lounge (subsequently, I found that it had been taken by someone else), so it's not too much of a problem.

Saturday morning, Windsong left before we got up, but I saw them leaving Watford Top Lock as we arrived later, and I went up to sign in with the lockie. Unlike our descent the week before, our ascent was speedy. The lockie took it upon himself to do the locks for us, thus depriving an enthusiastic Michelle of her last locking session of the trip. We had lunch above the top lock, then left for Yelvertoft, arriving there in the sunny and hot weather we had been fortunate to have throughout the whole week. 57 miles and 42 locks.

Michelle treated us to a meal at The George that evening - excellent as usual - and left for home the next morning, feeling relaxed and refreshed. Thank you, Michelle, for sharing the week with us; for your company, the laughs and the fun - and your help on the locks!

She sent me the following photos the next day; her favourites of the many she took during the week.


  1. Thankyou both so much for your kind hospitality, and the chance to win a few games during the week. And also introducing me to Plum Chutney which I now have in my fridge. I had such a relaxing week even if I did lose the arm wrestle and get a few bruises along the way:-)

  2. It was a great pleasure, Michelle - and we promise we didn't lose deliberately! You're very welcome to come again next year - but you'll still lose the arm-wrestle! Enjoy the chutney :-)