Friday, January 09, 2009

A bit of a thaw allows a short hop to Shadehouse…

The grocery and coal deliveries arrived at the same time on Wednesday. So we quickly offloaded the fuel onto the bank, then pulled the Tesco van up and unloaded that. You’re not supposed to block the access road up to The Swan and the caravan site, so we didn’t want to hang about.

Frozen Fradley

Had a good long walk with Meg yesterday morning, up the locks, around Fradley Wood and past the Curborough sprint motor racing track.

Curborough Sprint Track. Quiet this time of year….
A few years ago I was a member of the Reliant Scimitar and Sabre Owners Club. The RSSOC used to hire this course for the weekend once a year to let members loose with their cars. I didn’t get to go, having restored my 3 litre Scimitar, I couldn’t stand to see it damaged.

1972 Reliant Scimitar GTEI also sold 2 more “classics” when we moved aboard. The one on the left is a 1962 Riley 1.5, and the other was my pride and joy, a 1956 Riley Pathfinder. Both were restored from scratch.
We’d spent yesterday watching the ice slowly melting as the weather warms up, so today we decided to push on up to above Shadehouse Lock for the weekend. Problem was, we were facing the wrong way. 2 choices. Either down to Alrewas to wind (turn around), and come back. 4 locks and a couple of miles each way. Or, reverse back to the sanitary station for water and “disposals”, then continue, in reverse, up Junction Lock to turn at the junction. I wanted to go for option 2, but Mags wasn’t too keen. She would be the one on the boat after all. But I talked her round.

So off we toddled 300 yards backwards to get water, then another 200 yards to the lock. It wasn’t as daunting as Mags had expected, just a bit different.

Filling Up
Then backwards up Junction Lock
We got a few strange looks as Mags came out of the lock!
After turning around to face “uphill”, we went up Middle and Shadehouse Locks in a more conventional manner, and moored just above the last lock.

A bit tight near The Swan
Moored at Shadehouse.
It’s a pleasant spot, with reasonable TV reception at this time of year. It’s worse in the summer when the trees are in leaf!
I was preparing to take Meg for a walk this evening when I saw a boat coming up the lock. As it got nearer I realised it was Amy on Black Bryony. Quite a surprise, she’d originally planned to winter on the Leicester Line, but changed her mind and came up the Coventry instead. Like us, she’d been frozen in for a while, nearer Fazeley Junction. Meg soon picked up her acquaintance with Dillon, Amy’s Border Collie.

Also up here are Tony and Jacqui, on Timewarp, with their German Shepherd Callie. We met then around this time last year, here at Fradley.

Locks 3, miles 1

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