Tuesday 6th to Sunday 11th October 2009

Had a surprise call this week from friends Dave and Margaret from Cornwall who were out for a couple of weeks on a hire boat in the West Midlands. Dave bumped into Bill and Michelle on a visit from N.Carolina and cruising on their boat nb.Shilling and our names came up in conversation.
We met blog readers Bill and Michelle in Braunston back in October last year and they remembered us. What a small world we live in.

This looks like being a quiet week. We’re hanging around Sileby Mill doing pre-winter boat jobs and getting that horrible tax return out of the way.

The mornings are developing a wintery look with the sun low on the horizon filtering its light through the mist. But within minutes the effect has gone as the sun rises above the hedge.

I’ve just bought one of those hot glue guns and wonder why I’ve never had one before, they’re brilliant. I wander up and down the boat looking for things that need sticking. But I discovered that this glue doesn’t like silicone, the roof vent surround fell off a day later. Now I’m wondering if it comes unstuck in water. It says on the box that you shouldn’t try to pull the glue off your skin, the skin comes off too. Whatever, I still think it’s brilliant.

Just across the river from us nb.Trundle, from Raynsway Marina, is having having her bottom blacked so we popped over for a cuppa and a natter with Dave and Dil. Glad we did because they helped solve the question of where to meet up with cousin Roger and Babs when they pop up for a weekend. That’s one downfall with rivers, there aren’t that many places to leave a car for a couple of nights.

A rainstorm the other night brought fresh water down the Soar along with rafts of floating pennywort, the stuff that was treated in July. Someone must have switched fertiliser for weedkiller because there’s loads of the stuff, it looks like it had a good summer this year.

Once the dreaded weed had passed we set off downstream calling in at Loughborough for munchies and a post box for my Kent aunt’s ninetieth card.
Seeing as how they tell us we’re all living longer these days you’d think there would be a reasonable choice of cards on the rack. A choice of two, that’s all I had. I was going to send a funny one and write my own words but V reminded me that not everyone understood my stupid sense of humour. She’s a girl, I let her choose.

Every time we came across a mooring place on the journey down the Soar we discussed its merits and passed it by, thinking we could just go that bit farther and save journey time the next day. We eventually finished up at Redhill tired out and ready to drop, unfit or what?
The power station’s fumes were blowing t’other way and we hardly heard a sound from the works so decided this was another spot we could add to our list of acceptable moorings.

Friday’s cruising lasted all of ten minutes because we were a stone’s throw from our destination Trent Lock and the pontoon outside the Navigation pub.

Nb. Best o’ Mates joined us for a couple of hours before motoring back up the Soar. He corrected my belief that there was cheap diesel on the Erewash because he’s from these parts so the next time I see that red and yellow boat I’ll give its skipper a piece of my mind. 46p a litre, huh.
Thought we might bump into Mark from nb.Lorimar as he works nearby but it wasn’t to be. We’ll catch up with you another time Mark.

Saturday was good for meeting relatives. A new aunt this time, one I only discovered a couple of years ago. She runs a hardware and sweet shop in a small town in Derbyshire so there was no time to lose in finding her. Cousin Sue brought her down to the boat and I’m afraid our first conversation must have sounded more like an interrogation as I tried to fill in the gaps in my knowledge of the ancestors. They left us with black and white photos, cake and a Draper tools catalogue, one couldn’t ask for more. I think a 72 piece drill set might be in order before too long.

Sunday is gun practise day. Somewhere across the fields they’re blasting away at something or other but from within the boat it sounds just like a tennis match between beginners. A couple of volleys and then quiet while they picked up the balls from the net.

Narrowboats compete with sailing dinghies for the water outside Trent Lock. Yesterday we saw raft races in the morning, followed by canoes and sailing dinghies of various shapes and sizes, accompanied by rescue boats that dashed here and there towing boats and crews back to safety. The raft races had us in stitches, the yells of excitement started before they’d even let go of the bank and within minutes one was up-ended spilling the crew into the water. Great fun too for those of us watching.
raft race

This morning around 9am we were greeted by the strains of ging-gang-gooly-gooly-watcha from a circle of uniforms and the raising of the red duster that signalled the start of sailing practise.

Boats coming down the Trent zigzagged as they tried to work out who was going to tack when and where. Most of us seem to be woefully ignorant of the rules of the road when approaching sailing boats and seeing how so many ran down the marker buoys in the centre channel some of us haven’t a clue why they are there or the dangers of snagging one with the propeller.

I suppose the weather will improve once the sailing is over, prayers for wind will change to prayers of sunshine for the journey home and we’ll see an end to this breeze and drizzle.

Something else to see the back of, is snoring. Not hers this time but mine. It’s starting to affect my quality pillow time because I’m getting jabbed in the back every five minutes. I don’t know what has started it, I’ve never been a snorer, it’s always been someone else’s problem. I now find I can’t nod-off in front of the TV, my snoring startles me.

Perhaps the dinette is a temporary solution but there has to be something that will fix the problem, anyone got any cures?