Thursday, September 20, 2007

Leicester, Locks – and Laundry!

You know those feelings as you come home from a holiday – "Will the house be OK?" and "Hope nothing has gone wrong" get mixed up with "Looking forward to getting home again". Just the same for us, as we returned to Whilton Locks and found Zindagi safe and secure. The wind turbine and solar panel had kept the batteries well topped up and we were ready to move south to Weedon, do some shopping, fill up our water tank and turn around again to meet up with Johnny and Sue at Norton Junction.
The plan was to take a trip together up the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal, another favourite of ours as it slips quietly through the countryside. Our theory is that not so many people travel along this section as there are fewer pubs along its length. Fewer shops, too, so some careful shopping was needed!

Some real attractions, though, including the Watford flight of 'staircase' locks (just near Watford Gap service station on the M1), 3 tunnels and the famous Foxton Locks with two staircases, one above the other. In between, on the 'summit section', just beautiful country and simple brick bridges, some with busy roads over them and others practically out of use.

Johnny had been boating before, some years ago, and soon found that he really enjoyed being 'at the helm'.

Sue had to start from scratch, getting her head round how locks work and getting involved with working them – not to mention helping Val with the normal run of 'household' tasks! Great to have such a willing crew, and really good to be able to spend some fairly relaxed time together!

The enjoyment was slightly marred by our washing machine breaking down, closely followed by the microwave. They are both under guarantee, so repair should be fairly painless. The washing machine man is due to come tomorrow (Friday) morning. The immediate challenge was to find a launderette on this sparsely populated canal – conveniently located at the bottom of Foxton Locks!

We cruised northwards until we reached the edge of Leicester, then turned around and came back! Just below Foxton Locks, we passed some British Waterways guys driving in new sheet piling at the canal side, and then came back up this famous flight, over the top section and back down here to Norton Junction again.

The weather has been dry for the most part, sometimes a little cool, but with some really hot sunny days as well – not at all bad for mid to late September!

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Just caught up with all yur comings and goings. Sorry to hear about the washing machine and microwave but glad everything else is going well.
Have you been following my blog. I have done some more chapters on "my story"

Hugs Barbara