Lived onboard Hadar

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday 22nd December.

Hillmorton Top Lock to Rugby and back again, 6.3 miles and 3 locks.


Having had a really lovely weekend, the only downside was Keith’s teeth. Yes his teeth are playing up again. He has a couple of fillings which are crumbling, just in time for Christmas, so we will need to find him a dentist. We left our weekend mooring above the Hillmorton Locks and headed to Rugby for a festive food shop. On reaching the last lock, we emptied the toilet cassette and got rid of a bag of rubbish, before descending the lock, where we saw a familiar boat and its owners standing on the stern looking as if they knew us. The boat in question was N.B Gypsy Rover with Dot and Derek onboard. We past the time of day and found that we were both heading for Rugby, but for different reasons, as I have said we were going for a food shop, Dot and Derek were going to collect their daughter. I was hoping we would get a chance to chat to them both when we were at the Rugby moorings.N.B Gypsy Rover followed us all the way into Rugby. When we arrived at the moorings in Rugby by 58 Master bridge it was already busy with boats, so no room for a 70ft boat arghhhh, maybe if everyone squished up we could have got in LOL. So we carried on and winded Hadar opposite the Willow Wren Hire Cruisers up the Rugby Arm. On the way back we found a mooring before 58 Masters Bridge just above the water point. We could not get Hadar into the bank, so I made a jump for it from the gunwale and pulled Hadar in as close as I could get her. Keith then secured the stern on the rings available and I did the bow. We then donned our rucksacks and headed off to Tesco for what would be a food shop to last us over Christmas and the New Year. As we entered into the jaws of Tesco, it was as if we had entered a different world. The place was heaving with people bustling all over the place. It reminded me of a charity trolley fill, because people were grabbing things and throwing them in their trolleys, before rushing onto the next isle. It was not something I was looking forward to, ploughing through this mad crowd, but we just put our heads down and got on with it. It seems the credit crunch has not hit the food for Christmas shop, if this was anything to go by. We finished shopping for food and took that back to the boat, before heading off to Pets at Home to buy Marmite and Paddy’s food; thankfully it was somewhat quieter, with people just browsing without any panic buying. Having done all of that, we then had some much needed lunch before setting off back towards Hillmorton. The time had certainly moved on and it was now 2.20pm, so we would not bother with the locks.
As we left Rugby we once again saw N.B Gypsy Rover and wished them a happy festive time. We hope that we will see them again, so we can stop and have a proper chat.
We also saw a boat name we recognised as fellow loggers. It was N.B Debdale, but Adam and Adrian were nowhere to be seen, so we headed onwards. We ended our busy day by mooring up below Hillmorton Lock for the night. Keith got online to see if there was a dentist in Hillmorton, which their was, but they would not see him as he was not their patient and they said they had no room. He did however find a few in Daventry so we may have to go there.

Tuesday 23rd December.

Hillmorton to Braunston, 6.9 miles and 3 locks.

Whilst all the country around us is going shopping crazy, we set off from the bottom of Hillmorton Locks, to head for Braunston. But first we needed to take on some water from the water point below the locks. What we did not realise however was how slow the water flowed from one of two taps. We waited and waited and waited some more, and while we waited N.B Debdale cruised past to the first lock, as they came past we passed the time of day and said we would see them along the way. It turned out that five minutes later our water tank was finally full; it only took three quarters of an hour grrrrr. Finally we were on our way, we entered the second of the pair of locks, after Adam had very kindly helped me to set the lock for Hadar. We got chatting about where he and Adrian were going, which was Braunston to collect their turkey. Adam set lock two for us which was so nice of him. It gave us the chance to have another natter about all things boating.
Having left the locks, we were now following N.B Debdale both of us on our way to Braunston, Adam and Adrian waved us past as they reckoned we were going to be going faster than they were.We wished them a Merry Christmas and hoped that we would see them again very soon, as they would not be staying long in Braunston. We arrived in Braunston and found a space on the 14 day moorings. Whilst I made some lunch, Keith rang one of the dentists in Daventry and low and behold they said they would see him at 4.30pm, which was fantastic, as we had visions of him getting tooth ache on Christmas Eve evening, therefore he would have suffered all over the festive period. Having had lunch we caught the bus GA01 into Daventry from below Braunston church, it took us to the Daventry bus station, which is very close to Tesco. Before we walked around the shops, we went and found the dentists and let them know that we had arrived. Daventry has a number of Charity Shops, so we were in 7th heaven. It had a small street market going on, which was busy, as were the shops.
The dentists visit went well, Keith had three fillings repaired, so fingers crossed he should be pain free for Christmas. The last bus to Braunston goes at 5.20pm and we were fortunate enough to get to the bus station in time to catch that last bus. We were joined onboard by a young couple who sat opposite us, which was not a problem. What followed part way through the trip back to Hadar however was not so pleasant. The young woman began to throw up all over the seat in front of her. Just as well no one was sitting there. Her partner immediately gave her a plastic bag to carry on being sick into, but she had already covered her coat and the seat. At first I did feel a little sorry for her, as I thought she was just feeling unwell. But it turned out she had been drinking and that was why she was sick. As you can imagine the bus driver was none to pleased, but he did give the young man something to spray over the affected area and a yellow plastic bio hazard bag to cover the vomit up, as he did not want anyone sitting on the seat. I thought he was really quite calm about the situation. I think if it had been anyone else, they may have asked the couple to get off of the bus. The young man did ask if there was anything he could do. The bus drivers reply was “Cough up £500 to have the area cleaned” and then laughed. Thankfully her sickness did not continue and we were soon at our stop.
After another busy day, back onboard Hadar I lit the saloon stove, cooked some dinner while Keith took Paddy for his evening walk. We then settled in for the evening in front of the TV.

Wednesday 24th December.

Today was a quieter day than the past couple of days. We spent the day cleaning the boats brass. I put some gammon in a pan, on the back stove to boil, the smell was mouth watering. Maybe that was what drew a little visitor to our boat during the morning. A small tabby and white cat came to say hello, I think she belongs to the gentleman who owns Working Boat Aldgate. She clearly felt at home on the boat, investigating it from bow to stern, she even wanted to introduce herself to Marmite.
Marmite was more than happy to let her stay, but the little tabby was not so sure and seemed to be getting a little stressed, so I picked her up and put her out on the towpath. She then had other ideas, as she turned around and sat on the gunwale of the engine room for a while, before toddling off back down the towpath to her own boat. Not even Paddy was bothered by her presences.
Christmas Eve is drawing to a close, and we will not be wandering far this evening. Another evening spent in front of the TV watching the festive films.

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