Wednesday 3 May 2017

Butterflies and birds

Well after the wet, then lovely and warm, then cloudy, then a downpour, then sunny again and then finally cold Bank Holiday Monday.  Whoever could have have imagined that today would be clear blue skies and no boats anywhere?  Not me.

We started off heading for Kingswood Junction.  

Question;  When does a vintage hull awaiting restoration become a wreck and a hazard to shipping?

Now I hope you appreciate this shot below of what I believe to be ***Red Kites***
 as they are tricky little cherubs to photograph, I took about 40 shots and this was the best I could do to get all three.

I don't know what this embankment is called about half way to Kingswood, but today it looked fabulous with the birds singing.

David made the turn at the junction, all looked marvellous, I have only been here once, going the other direction in late October having just completed the Lapworth Flight and I didn't notice this house in front of the boat, I imagine it was a managers house as the view is right along the junction. 

I expect a lot of Boaters already know about these charming cottages all along the canal this way.  They are the Barrel Roofed Cottages and are charming some information   HERE 

 I am not sure why they were chosen but here is the first that we saw.  They are mostly in private hands now so I fear that ghastly changes may be made to them.

This cottage is right on the junction.

 Then not having seen a boat this morning, here is the first one, thirty seconds in front of us, going to take the first lock so we will have to wait for them and turn every one of the locks....

Lady driver, I was impressed, I was tempted, I was nagged  too....

This proved not to be the case, the charming couple on board wanted to stop for a coffee and to fetch something, I presume there is a shop hereabouts.

We took the lock which I have to say was a very clackerty rackerty mechanism and a hard wind up.  Such darling little locks though.

I did three locks I think then as the gates were so beautifully unbalanced and took more effort to open and close than the deadly Hatton doubles, so I did swap places.  

David jumped off in glee (He LOVES doing the locks)  before I could protest he had scarpered.  

I tried to remember how to drive the thing, which way to move the tiller, how to get the front out....

Now something happened four years ago when I was last in charge of the tiller, I don't like to think about the incident much, but a tree jumped me on a straight bit of canal and the result was a hefty insurance claim and the boat in dock for two weeks.....😳  
Its all over now and after much therapy, well.

So travelling at about one mile an hour was me on the most beautiful canal known to mankind with birds singing, butterflies fluttering, lambkins tumbling about in the sunny fields and sunshine coming through  the trees and a warm breeze on my face I set off. 

Last lock David did.

I really don't like the sight of water spurting through the walls 

Another unique feature of the Stratford Canal are the Split Bridges.  This was to allow the rope to pass through that was attached to the horse pulling the boat in the early days prior to steam engines. 

David working.

This is the M40, I am always so very smug at motorways being on the boat rather than in a car

Here's the next cottage, the facade beautifully kept at least.

My favourite, Aylesbury ducks.  I used to keep these as pets.  I must say I found it tricky to get the camera, switch on, take off sunglasses and replace with normal specks so I can read the dial, take photo and not crash the boat, hence ducks are not central.

Five locks later arrived at a nice stretch of mooring opposite a pub, two boats were there and although we had met two boats I think all day, we moored up close to one of them in a nice clearing in the sun.  

Had a nap and on waking seven boats had arrived!!  The last was a hire boat with about five children on board so us and another boat untied and squashed up to fit them in.  All bar one of the boats were facing the other direction.  Good. 

David made a rather nice crayfish, salmon and rocket salad with lemon dressing, followed by blackberry and apple surprise.

*** Kath has educated me that these are in fact Buzzards.  They still don't keep still very long in the air. 


  1. Sorry, your Kites are actually Buzzards. Kites have slimmer wings and a forked tail.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

  2. but it was a good effort Lisa! xx

  3. Glad you are enjoying the blackberries!