We've made our way to Foxton and we'll probably be here over the Christmas period, both bottom and top lock with a trip down the Market Harborough arm thrown in to boot. I did the trip from Kilby Bridge yesterday and Lisa met me here. I was shocked that she actually found it as she's not much good geographically and she would be the first to admit it. She does need a satnav thingy and we'll probably get one in the new year unless anyone wants to buy us one for Christmas (hint, hint).
Sam was very good on the way here. As long as nothing out of the ordinary happens, she knows the procedures for lock operation. She gets on and off at the right places but she still doesn't help out with the locks, neither paddles nor gates. This may require further training.
I've got to say that it is very pleasant here and much changed over the past ten years or so. When I arrived, I parked at the back of the line of boats as I normally do and took a walk down the line to check out the mooring situation as I don't like Lisa having to walk too far when she gets home from work (I am a considerate sole, aren't I). Mo and Nessa from nb Balmaha (fellow bloggers) were just pulling away. I shouted, "Hello", but I think they had already recognized me.
Whether this is a good thing or not I am not entirely sure. I was looking particularly scruffy with grease splattered jeans, black hands and a muddy dog. Is this why liveaboards tend to wear dark coloured clothing and hirers can always be identified with their garish holiday coloured clothing.
We exchanged pleasantries and I said that we would speak properly over the next day or so. Then they were off to Debdale to buy coal. So I stole their mooring. Well you have to take an opportunity when it presents itself and these continuous cruisers don't own their mooring do they. They arrived back at our boat this afternoon for a coffee and I showed them around. It's bound to make people feel better about their own boat when they see ours. I took a peek at theirs and was impressed with the woodwork and as usual got some interesting ideas. It was good to meet them and I will have to introduce Lisa before we move on in the new year.
Lisa and I have been having heated discussions over the layout of the kitchen area. Lisa got up Ikea's and B&Q's kitchen planning software and tried to plan out kitchen on them. Absolutely useless (the software, not Lisa). In the end we came to the conclusion than I was to build the kitchen from scratch (I thought that was always the plan anyway). It seems to be the smallness of the space and the amount of stuff that we want to put in that throws the software.
On the way here, I found that some of the locks had contractors fitting new bollards. On one, there was already eleven bollards around the lock (not counting the lock approach bollards, some of which were up against the lock gates) and these contractors were fitting another three. I've got to say that I was a little worried that eleven would not be enough to safely hold my boat in the lock. Thank goodness that the other three were being fitted before the new cruising season starts. Any kind of disaster could befall a boater without all fourteen bollards. Fortunately the next lock already had fifteen bollards installed. Well that was a relief. You can't have enough bollards, that's what I always say.
Absolute insanity. Remind me again, how much it costs to install a bollard? How many bollards does one lock need? Answers on a post card.
BW's bollard policy is a load of bollards.
Should I be in charge? In my head, I'd be brilliant. Don't answer that.