Wednesday, 30 November 2011


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Mr Kipling's exceedingly good cupcake sculpture on the roundabout has been re-designed. We took the long walk into Rugby today and the Christmas street decorations are looking nice. Although there was a sharp frost last night it was a bright beautiful day for walking. Rugby was busy and the market stalls were stretched out all along the main street.


As we approached the town we could see that the old cinema on the corner was being demolished. Wonder what plans there are for that space?


The mooring for the water tap here is so difficult to get onto without getting wet feet. The edging has all eroded away and the bottom of the boat grates on the underwater stones as the tank fills up. I think I will point this out to BW/C+RT to try and get some firm edging put in.

IMG_0422 Tesco RugbyI will also be contacting Tesco about their useless trolley barrier. So many trolleys have been wheeled up the footpath and dumped into the canal by Masters Bridge 58. Many boaters I have spoken to have grounded over abandoned trolleys underwater there. We spoke to the BW man who came with his grappling iron to retrieve the stuff and he said they are called to do so regularly.

One positive thing has been done here recently, the Elsan point for boaters has been reopened at last.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


IMG_0414Nothing like free foraged mushrooms for breakfast, is there? Here is the best of the bunch looking like one of natures special sculptures.

I remember a friend buying a whole fish for dinner. Before cooking and eating it though, he painted it and did a few prints from it.

So, you don’t need to be an artist as you can make prints from almost anything. Potato and leaf printing maybe a cheap way to occupy the children during their school holidays.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Brinklow Church.

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St John the Baptist Church built in the thirteenth century has records stored in Warwick County records office going back to 1557. It stands between the old Roman Fosse Way and The Castle Mound which was a Norman Motte and Bailey.

IMG_0408 Victorian Minton tiles     IMG_0406 Brinklow graveyard plan

It has just over 200 gravestones and luckily for family history researchers there is a handy graveyard plan in the porch. The ornate glazed Minton tiles are Victorian and cover the space behind the altar.

IMG_0407 St George Dragon     IMG_0409 Hardman window with 100 faces

St George stands over the slain dragon with the yellow stained glass teeth, eyes and ears, backlit by the sun shining through. The fine stained glass west window was made by Hardman, installed in 1871 and has 100 faces. It was rather high up for me to be able to find the makers symbol for Hardman. These symbols are usually at the bottom of the window.


An unusual and curious feature here is the slope of the floor which rises up almost twelve feet from West to East. There are two stone Ambos or Pulpits either side of the steps that lead up into the Chancel. The archway is inscribed with a Christmas salutation ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo et in Terra Pax Bonae Coluntatis Hominibus.’

The Oxford Canal was built through the village in the 1790s. The subsequent straightening of the canal bypassed the village leaving a disused arm. A boatyard/narrow boat holiday hire company still thrives beside the main canal. Every time we pass through this area we have to swing a curious little footbridge that leads between the boat builders yard over to the towpath.

We have very much enjoyed mooring at Brinklow as it is peaceful being surrounded by farm fields. The village is interesting with many footpaths and side lanes which we will explore next time around.

Friday, 25 November 2011


IMG_0383 Spring Haven     IMG_0387

Here we are in Spring Haven having our new batteries fitted and our Inverter reset by Kevin of Onboard Energy. He also made up some larger battery leads to replace some of the original ones which were too small. We can recommend Kevin for his friendly reliable service and helpful advice. We stayed here overnight hooked up via our shoreline to the electricity, a luxury indeed. It was so peaceful that we had a very good nights sleep, but it felt very claustrophobic being in a marina. Can you see Oakfield’s smiley face tucked tightly in 2nd from the left? The marina has a beautiful landscaped hillside setting, but as roads are some distance away it is a disadvantage not to have a car here.

IMG_0389 Charity Dock Bedworth IMG_0390

Oakfield was pleased to escape back onto the open canal to freely cruise along on a bright autumnal morning. We passed the interesting jumble that goes under the name of Charity Dock near Bedworth.

IMG_0392There are several semi-sunken old working boats here too. We took a break at Hawksbury junction before carrying on to Brinklow.

IMG_0401 OsloOslo is a new looking R W Davis boat which has an elegant tug-style deck.

IMG_0405Once upon a time these travellers may have been ‘New Age’ I suppose.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


IMG_0358 Brinklow     IMG_0381

While we were filling up with water at Newbold I walked down the road to discover that there was a Co-op. I got some milk because we will be miles away from any shops for a while. At Brinklow we met up with our friends Graham and Betty who were on their way south. Long chats over drinks were in order over the next few days. Friday we all walked into Brinklow for a snack at the cafe which was excellent value.

IMG_0361 Fosse CottageThere is quite a mixture of interesting architecture all along the main street, this one was called Fosse Cottage.

IMG_0362The old Fosse Way runs straight through the centre of the village.IMG_0360There is the Cafe/Delicatessen, General Store, a Fish and Chip shop, Chinese Takeaway and two pubs.  

IMG_0379 Holly CottageThese two little cottages are now one and named after the Holly Tree which still grows in the garden.

IMG_0380Here is an interesting row of cottages, the cosy little one in the middle is for sale. On Saturday Betty and I walked up for her newspaper while Graham did a bit of fishing and Bottle was on the laptop of course. Sunday we said our goodbyes as we headed for Hawkesbury Junction and they continued on down to Rugby. We have just enjoyed bacon with bubble and squeak, haven’t had that for ages!

Monday, 21 November 2011

All Oaks Wood.

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On my walk through All Oaks Wood I found there were quite a variety of toadstools flourishing in these warm damp weather conditions.

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I find them fascinating and here is a selection for you to peruse and maybe put names to.

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Don’t know what this woodland plant is either, but the Marigolds were growing in a roadside cottage garden.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Whose daring do?


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Something came aboard and left a message on both of our gunnels overnight. The top picture shows the size of them on the three inch wide gunnel. Unfortunately there were no footprints left behind to give us any sort of clue as to who the culprits were. Perhaps there are some budding Chris Packhams’ out there who can identify the creature responsible.

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Walking towards Easenhall I found these two delightful little dragons on the corner of a Lodge Cottage at the entrance to a big house.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

About turn!

Our batteries are just over two years old and are beginning to fail, we have turned around and heading north again to get some new ones fitted.

IMG_0034 nb Harnsers cat     IMG_0041

Having lit the Squirrel on the cold evenings, we have now got it going permanently until the Spring now. As October and November have been pleasantly warm and sometimes sunny we have saved on using our wood and coal. We will be cruising a little less during the winter months and staying longer wherever we moor our blogs will not be quite so frequent, sorry.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


IMG_0025a Rugby There had been a bit of heavy pruning going on in the park next to the canal when we arrived. You can see the Willow trees holding up their bare arms to the sky. As Friday was as dull as ditchwater we busied ourselves within the boat for most of the day.

IMG_0025b over the railbridge Saturday was much brighter and so we decided to walk into Rugby to browse around the shops and have a snack somewhere. The bridge which we walk over spans many railway lines busy with passenger and freight trains. Once we hit the outskirts there is a lovely park well laid out with flower beds, trees and a children’s play area catering for all ages.

IMG_0025d Rugby entreThe clock tower stands in the town centre and to the left of it is where the markets are held on the pedestrian streets. We made our way up to Joto’s Toy shop for a look around. There are not many of these old fashioned toy shops around now. The people who run it are very knowledgeable about what they stock and will offer their help when needed. Then on to Wilkinson’s to buy a couple of ceramic non stick ovenproof dishes as mine had cracked.

IMG_0025c Rugby Industrial HeritageWe like the plaque depicting Rugby’s Industrial Heritage. Needless to say the whole place was alive with Saturday shoppers everywhere. So we made our way to Wetherspoons for a snack and a rest before the long walk back. On Sunday we did a trolley run down the path to Tesco’s for all the bargains. Now we are stocked up to the gunnels with three for two deals! En route we passed a couple of chaps in the new housing estate doing their car maintenance. It was hard not to notice how the sun highlighted their bum cleavages as they bent over their cars, not nice! It is not often that we have a Sunday roast aboard, but I made an exception with chicken, stuffing,  green vegetables and roast spuds, very enjoyable. The new dishes worked a treat and are so easy to clean afterwards too.

Monday again and the workmen will be back on the building site making a noise. They have been on site for more than a year now. We look forward to their completion as Oakfield is just blanketed in their dust blowing over.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


IMG_0001 HawksburyWe turned left leaving the Greyhound behind as we passed through Sutton Stop Lock and onto the Oxford Canal.

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The Stop Lock is just under twelve inches deep and it’s purpose was twofold in the past. It prevented water escaping from the Oxford  Canal into the Coventry Canal and while the boats were passing through they would be charged their canal tolls.

IMG_0017 Jo Keith    IMG_0018

We heard ‘Hadar’ coming before it stuck it’s nose around the corner and pulled over to let Jo and Keith pass chatting as they did so. Then it was on past the large  electricity station with it’s pylons striding out in all directions under the wintry skies. I rather like these and hope that they will remain as features in the landscape long into the future.

IMG_0020 B11I liked the dark branches of this half clothed Willow as it spread itself half way over Bridge 11. Having had to pass mooring spots which we found too shallow we spotted a 60’ strip of metal and clamped ourselves to it. We were just short of Newbold by the railway bridge which was rather noisy, but we managed to sleep well anyway as we were very tired.

IMG_0022 Newbold TunnelOn Wednesday we set off along through the colourfully lit Newbold Tunnel and saw Maffi and Molly striding along the towpath. So we pulled over to moor up for a natter over tea and cake, it was lovely to see him on the move again.