Friday, October 19, 2007

Still waiting . . . not much longer !

We are still 'stuck' here in Blisworth, but we are glad that we chose to stop here and neither further on nor further back. There are obvious reasons:– Blisworth has a Post Office and general store, it is not so canal-tourist-conscious as nearby Stoke Bruerne and we thought it was probably a bit more accessible for the washing machine engineer!

Less obvious are the good bus connections to Northampton and Towcester, a very helpful boatyard and (best surprise of all) good fellowship at a lively Baptist chapel in the village.

Not expecting to be here so long, we had not reckoned on having to fill up with water and diesel, nor on needing to do another 'launderette wash', but all of these have proved possible at the boatyard – though the wash was more of a personal favour by the lady in charge – many thanks!

The bus took Dave into Northampton to replace our defunct microwave, and we used it again on Thursday to go to Towcester for a bit of supermarket shopping.

We visited the Baptist chapel here and were made very welcome, at both the Sunday morning meeting and the Tuesday night Bible study. Three different sets of people have offered us the use of their washing machine! As they have said (and we agree) 'we hope your washing machine is fixed soon, but we won't be too sorry if it isn't, so you will be with us a bit longer!' Even if we DO move on soon, we shall probably see them all before too long when we head north again.

In the meanwhile, going on waiting for the engineer, we have continued to enjoy this village, with its enormous canalside mill (now flats),

the Royal Oak pub (good Sunday lunch) and its characteristic ironstone and sandstone houses.

Any hope of getting to London by the 20th or so has obviously evaporated! If Shireen needs her urgently, Val could always hop on a train. Seems like we may be most useful AFTER the baby has been born, in any case. Shireen seems very relaxed about it!

GREAT NEWS! We have now been told that we will be getting a replacement washing machine delivered on Tuesday morning, so we hope to move on later that day or Wednesday, trying to cover the distance to London as fast as we can! As far as we can see, it is about 70 miles and 77 locks to 'Bull's Bridge' at Southall on the edge of London, then about another 13 miles (0 locks) in to Paddington Basin. 160 'lock-miles' – should take about 8 days or so, maybe less if we can chug along all day, every day!

In the last few days, the weather has changed and we have been glad of our little woodburning stove and the central heating system. It has been nice and snug in the boat but getting more wintry outside – just the opportunity to share with you some of the beauty of the canal on a misty autumn morning!
Sue of 'No Problem' has passed on a way to get the British Waterways map to work, so that is operational again. Thanks, Sue! See her blog as well!

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