Monday 5th to Sunday 11th December 2011

Someone is 90 today (Monday 5th). Congratulations Uncle Harry, down there in Whitstable. All that square bashing 70 years ago is obviously paying off because he still walks to the shops, although the bike doesn’t get used so much these days.

It was a cheerless grey day when we left Barrow. We slipped quietly away from caravan-land through the centre arch below traffic heading for Quorn and the A6.
Barrow

A pleasant stretch of river followed, bounded by the railway and low lying fields and ending in my kind of lock, the ones that are open both ends at the same time. Yes, I know what you are saying, this lock comes into operation in November, but water is still at summer level and who were we to argue.
pillings lock

The cruise was cold, very cold. Fingers and toes took a battering but it’s only a matter of getting used to it, after all it’s still above freezing point.

Loughborough’s boat basin was empty so we took our usual spot, out of range of the student windows, below the crane. It was quiet enough until eight the next morning when the generator kicked into life and the first pallets of wood made their way into the air above the Travel Lodge.
travel lodge

Thursday I tested the bus pass and got hit with a full price ticket at 9am. It’s half price until 9.30, my carer pointed out. No, full price, said the driver which was confirmed by an Arriva suit at the bus station. That concession was removed in April, he said. I’m obviously not getting out enough.

Before we dropped in on friends in Glen Parva we took a look at the canal by the County Arms (Leicester Line, Grand Union). Impassable, I’d say. A couple of boats sitting on the bottom said this was a no-go for the likes of us. But strangely the water level had risen 9 inches by midday when we caught the bus back to town. How weird is that?
county arms

Missing a coal lorry by 10 seconds delivering to a nearby boat prompted me to call nb.Callisto. Mark should be up this way around New Year so we’ll hang on in the hope he has something other than Taybrite. Has anyone else noticed how much ash comes off this coal? I’m having to empty the ash pan twice a day.

A visit from Ter and Claire brought a bunch of letters and “Seasonal Cards”. What’s wrong with “Christmas Cards”? Have I missed something along the way?

Talking of which, we’ve only 2 weeks left till the Festive Season, when St Nick tries to squeeze down our double skinned safety chimney.

We’ve decided which church we’re going to for Seasonal Carols. Hope they do mulled wine and minced pies.

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