Saturday, 10 May 2014

Special Delivery and is there honey still for tea....?

Pump out was top of the list of priorities today.  There was a high wind too, but after David had called the marina several miles ahead of us to check and the lady in the office had said "It should reach you, but there are three boats moored up abreast on the jetty...." We decided that with our luck,  he should reverse back the 300 yes around a bend in the wind to Honeystreet Wharf after 10am to get it done there as we knew it would fit. We ended up in the middle of the canal though!

This seems normal here to totally block the canal for servicing the boat.

Leaving Honeystreet today, after 24hrs, but  not many boats there joined us in departing....

Last nights mooring at Honeystreet.
We had hooked up with another boat called NB Pedal, this is an acronym; P promises,  E excuses,  D delays  A and  L lies, after their experiences having it built as a sail away last year, but that's a whole other story.  So Tony and Patsy wanted to do the Caen Flight and when we said we were going to do it too, it was quickly decided to do it together to save on woman power.

So with a couple of days to spare we separately decided to rendezvous at Devizes in a day or so.  The leg from Honeystreet to there was very nice even  I have to say.  Sunny, no locks, (that I can remember anyway) Just a couple of swing bridges that turned out to be pretty user friendly.  We passed by the village of Bishops Canning with its especially tall tower but it was a bit far from the canal to do a quick flit there.  So we carried on. 

The run into Devizes was a bit dull, heavily wooded with steep banks made looking into peoples gardens and kitchens too difficult.  As we came around the corner into the wharf there were loads of moorings on a firm wooden edge with rings.  The best moorings so far on this canal.  

NB Pedal was already there and had gone off exploring the town.  David and I did the same after a bite to eat.  I went to M&S food, partially to buy stuff but also to use their wifi, I saw I had 29 messages but was unable to load them so we decided to go into Costa to have an overpriced coffee and to use their wifi…. no better.  David had the brainwave to go to a phone shop, this was a wizardy wheeze and there was one on the same street.  Now the chaps in there told me that the O2 mast was done in the Devizes area and had been so for four weeks.  There was another customer in the shop having the same problems as me plus the shop assistant himself.  Furthermore he told that all week they had had O2 customers in.  Now my husband is the Mother of All Cynics and disbelieved him.  After some fiddling pressing and humphing he managed to get the phone working.  HURRAH! I had 3G and everything, which I hadn’t had in almost a week.  He did stress like all Fairy Godmothers that it could be lost at anytime, but I was pleased.
Back to the boat for a Special Delivery.

First of the swing bridges.
All action shot of the swing bridge being operated.
Here he comes...
Amanda has driven from Norfolk after an SOS to come do the Caen Flight with me.  I have to say Reader that she is a Lock Lover and LEAPT at the chance to come to such a special canal place.  Aren’t I lucky?  Sadly her husband has to work so has stayed at home but for us supper was Salmon with asparagus and new potatoes.

Best Boating Buddy arrived.

The next morning....

was one of those Wiltshire Usuals, meaning we woke to rain and thus it continued, all day and into the evening.  We three discussed options for the day.  The flight was out, as, well,  it was raining and I refused point blank.  There was talk of going to the Canal Museum on the wharf, then Amanda had a peach of an idea.  We would go out for the day, yes yes out for the day IN HER CAR!!  The excitement was palpable.  
Coats on, hair brushed and looking as smart as we could manage,  off to the parked car.  Reader you may remember that in the post; HERE
“Rivers Rain and no water”.  The Lewis’s car was a minefield when we borrowed it.  Weeks later we had hoped that the annoying features of flat tyres would be fixed but oh no.  50 metres down the quite lane and Amanda says the wheel isn’t right!  NO indeed, it was so low it didn’t register on the dial.  Marvellous.  Finally tyres checked, masses of hot air later we set off again. 

We drove to Marlborough which Reader may remember that I had a close encounter of the happy shopping kind in Marlborough.  So we arrived in driving rain and parked at the bargain price of £2 for 2 hours.  Anyone who thinks differently should take a trip to the South Coast…..  Us girls decided that we should “Do” one side of the attractive High Street then cross over and “Do” the other side.  Clearly we didn’t want to miss anything.  David found his newspaper of the day and retired to a coffee house.  Amanda thoroughly enjoyed her time and spent hundreds.  I was most restrained.

As lunchtime approached we joined him in Polly’s Tearooms, I have to say one of the best things about the K&A, (And Marlborough isn’t even on the canal). Lunch was High Tea.  Finger sandwiches, two bridge rolls, bite sized pastries, mini chocolate eclairs, mini pavlovas, huge scones with name and clotted cream.

Before, seen the size of those scones?
And afterwards....  those chocolate squares went home too.
After lunch we finish Marlborough and pootled to Avebury.  One of the seven Wonders of the World, or should be.

Avebury Henge is built in a circle with the present day village in the centre.  There are huge ditches with the stones (That survive) in circles and the road cutting it from north to south and east to west.
HERE The National Trust has taken over Avebury Manor  which is historic in its own right.

Not a brilliant set of pictures as you really need to be in a helicopter to get the complete idea.
Huge ditches
Huge ditches and some smaller stones.
One of the larger stones

A road that crosses Avebury Henge
Not many of these zonking stones survive
NT Museum barn at the site
Dovecote at Avebury Manor
Selfie in the rain with a Stone behind.

Still raining of course but we drove home but as we approached Bishops Canning we popped to see that church after all.

For a tiny village it does have a huge spire.
Home, still raining, to a supper of asparagus with lemon chive dressing and mozzarella, then cheese biscuits.  That's what having a High tea at lunchtime does for you.


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