Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A busy few days, Dad goes bionic, Mags goes mermaid.

We moved into Loughborough on Friday and stayed there for the weekend.

A dry but cloudy and cool day.

“Will I grow up to be big and strong too, Dad?”

Zouch  Lock was a mile or so from from where we’d moored, and with only gate paddles to fill it, it gets a little frothy…

The short cut has the lock at the downstream end and two large weirs and a flood control barrier at the upstream end.

“Dolphins” are installed above the weirs for use in an emergency, and it’d have to be serious to consider them. You’d have to shoo the gulls off first…

Normanton on Soar Church, St. James’.

There are good moorings for The Plough Inn just upstream.

A happy wave as we pass by…

If you look closely you’ll see he has his little dog on his lap.

Bishop Meadow Lock House is for sale, around £400k.
The sanitary station has been replaced by a summer house, but there’s still a (very slow) water tap and rubbish disposal above the lock.

After topping up the tank we carried on, up Loughborough Lock and around the corner to moor on the bank just past Chain Bridge.

Lots of water at Loughborough Lock

Loughborough Junction

Ahead is the terminus with moorings and services, to the left, under Chain Bridge, is the main route towards Leicester.

The Loughborough Navigation, based on the River Soar from The Trent to Loughborough, opened in 1780 and ended at the terminus near the town centre. The route was extended to Leicester by 1794, this section known as the Leicester Canal.
A few years later the Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal was started, intending to link Leicester with the Nene at Northampton. By 1809 it had managed to reach Market Harborough, but the finances collapsed. At this time the Grand Junction Canal was well under way, heading north past Northampton towards Braunston, so the decision was made to abandon the original Nene destination in favour of linking with the GJC.
This modified route gave us the impressive locks at Foxton and Watford and joined the Grand Junction in 1814. Unfortunately, to save money, it was built to narrow gauge, effectively preventing wide boats from running up to Leicester from London. Shame, really.

We stayed in Loughborough for the weekend, then headed a couple of miles further on to moor in Pillings Lock Marina for a few days.

Leaving Loughborough on another bright, brisk day.

Plenty of water under Nottingham Road Bridge

The hosiery mill alongside Nottingham Road, dating from the late 18th century, ceased operation and was most recently occupied by 3M. It’s now undergoing another reincarnation as apartments.

Good Morning!

Just about to turn into the marina, dazzled by the low sun.

We got set up, then I went off to collect a car from Enterprise in Loughborough. Dad had been in hospital since Friday having a new knee installed, and we didn’t expect him to be discharged until Tuesday, but they were happy to let him go early. So I dropped Mags and Meg off his house to keep step-mum Ann company while I went to collect him.
He’s doing ok, it’s a fairly routine op now. Got to be better than before, he had no cartiledge left on the bearing surfaces in the joint, just bone on bone. He should have had it done earlier – much earlier.

Then yesterday, Tuesday, we went north. Not the best day for it, with rain, sleet and snow. But we had to go to Mag’s doctor’s to get a follow-up blood test. The one she had done at Newark was cocked up, Loughborough Hospital flatly refused to deal with it – “Not from our area, sorry”, so we decided to go up to get it done.
It snowed while we were up in the dales, but the main roads were clear and the snow turned to rain as we headed back south. Not a fun trip but it could have been worse.

Snowy up in the Dales

It was dark by the time we got back, and the pontoons in the marina had a coating of frost. I’d got Meg back aboard, and was guiding Mags along the narrow walkway when she slipped and fell sideways. I tried to hold her but she went off the side of the pontoon and into the water. Only up to her chest before she caught hold of the edge of the pontoon, but that water is cold…
Luckily the folk on the boat next door heard the commotion and came to give me a hand to get her back out. Fortunately, apart from bruising, she’s none the worse for the dip. A hot shower, soup and hot chocolate warmed her up, and a cold compress on the bruising on her hand reduced the swelling. Needless to say, she’s elected to stay on board today…

The temperature dipped to -4° last night leaving a skin of ice on the water and frost on the boat roofs.

Another sub-zero night tonight, we’ll wait until it thaws a bit then move out. Not far though, we’ll hang around this area for a week or two.

Locks 3, miles 7½


Tom and Jan said...

Mermaid..... Hell Mags is now an official member of the Polar Bear Club!

Congratulations Mags..... I thought only the Russians were that crazy :-)

KevinTOO said...

Bloody Hell Mags... don't you know that the auditions for Dancing On Ice don't open for another few months yet??

Seriously though I hope you recover quickly from your cold bath xx

Carol said...

Poor Margaret and it would have given you a fright too Geoff. Hope that she is feeling better today with no after effects of what must have been very cold water. Please give her lots of big warm cuddles from us. xx

NB Muleless said...

Oh poor Mags! Hope she is ok - give her our love xxx
Are you coming down Braunston way? Would love to catch up!
Gary and Della

Sheila too said...

Hello! to you both.
Read the escapades, of you, dear Mags. Do hope you are none the worse.

I was also sad to learn, that you have been in our vicinity, fairly

recently. A catch-up would have been most enjoyable. Maybe

the next time ? Much love to the 3 of you. x x

Judith nb Serena said...

Hope Mags is none the worse for dip! Keep warm. Judith nb Serena

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi all. Thanks for the kind wishes. Mags isn't too bad, just the bruising a bit sore. She's kept well away from the edge while the canal has been frozen...
Hi Tom, she's thinking of setting up a UK branch of the PBC...
KevinToo, SheilaToo, falling through rather than dancing on would be more appropriate! We will be heading back that way when the T&M stoppages are finished. Maybe a side trip up the Erewash later this month. We can catch up then.
Gary, Della, sorry, we'll miss you this time as we're heading up the T&M come March.
I've passed on all the cuddles, thank you.

Pip and Mick said...

Hope Mags has now recovered from her dip! Not a good time of year for falling in. I'm glad help was available to pull her out, wet people can be heavy.
We've been stuck at Cromwell Lock for a couple of days waiting for word from Keadby that their ice had gone away. But I can think of worse places to be stuck than Cromwell, the electricity post has been put to good use.
The thinking is that by Tuesday they should be clear of the ice so we are leaving Cromwell tomorrow (Monday) for Torksey, then on to Keadby on Tuesday. Here's hopeing it warms up a bit!
Do you have the contact details for the coal merchant that delivered to you at Keadby? We might try and get a delivery if we can arrange it at short notice.

NB Oleanna

Jennie said...

Goodness me Mags - what a shock for you both. A wise decision to stay on board whilst it is slippery. I do hope you are not too sore, Mags. Take care both of you Jennie and Chris, nb Tentatrice.

Ade said...

Wow just caught up with this, hope Mags is ok bit of a shock that!
Speedy recovery.

Jennifer said...

Greetings from very hot and sunny Tasmania. Hope Mags is recovering. Hope to catch up again soon. Jennifer and Peter nb Mactra's Filia