Monday 8 August 2022

A bit of a complicated day.

 So we left the countryside south of Handsacre/Armitage area and jollied along towards the HS2 workings and eventually Fradley.  Nice and quiet journey through the trees although I'm not a massive fan of trees and I needed my fleece zipped up to the neck.

I took a few shots of the workings behind Woodend Cottage which frankly didn't look much different to when we last came through here last year when we were on the way to The Grand Union canal in May 2021.  I'm sure the construction team will say they have done masses, but it doesn't show.

Every year for the last 40 and a half years of my married life I have tried to remember to take a photo of my favourite view across the golden fields with olive green trees and hedges but so far have forgotten until its too late.  This year its all come early and I am in the wrong place..... again.

Reader these summer colours are my favourite in the farming calendar

Saw this boat, love the colour but I feel I would need a few more windows.

Sad sad sad... Woodend Cottage, fenced off and isolated.

WaL making the turn by the iconic Swan pub aka Mucky Duck.

A lovely lady volunteering on one of the Fradley locks advised me that Woodend Cottage was to have been demolished but not now, it was brought by compulsory purchase by HS2, the tenant has moved out but should she choose to can move back in two years when the access has been re-instated.  
Currently no vehicle access.  
The lovely lady also said all the decorative teapots have gone, she knows not where, maybe the HS2 managers are using them for tea breaks.  But I have vowed to search for new old ones to replace them in two years time and I ask other boating teapot lovers to look about themselves to do the same. 

We turned onto the Coventry Canal and moored up for 15 minutes to water up and dispose of rubbish.  During this short interval what felt like 150 boats arrived.  One lovely couple breasted up with us after we said we'd only be ten minutes... He said what chaos it is here or words to that effect whilst holding onto WaL, I replied have you seen the name of our boat.....?

They had offered to wheel our heavy rubbish to what turned out to be an over flowing rubbish point on their trolley however David heaved it all along, when we returned there was a fair amount of traffic passing by, queuing with hopeful faces.  What is it about Fradley?

We departed with grateful thanks ringing in our ears for the mooring space and crept along southwards on the Coventry canal past oodles of new housing with views of gigantic  modern storage ugly buildings, many occupied!

Many trees planted, who knows how many will survive this summer's drought, dead ones left in place for what I can only presume are for certain birds nesting.
The surrounding areas of Fradley are unrecognisable.

The run approaching the first of Fradley's locks.

David had planted my car in Whittington village, somewhere.  The idea was very fluid but we had half an arrangement to meet out "Boat Sharers" Amanda and David the following day  at Tamworth as their very own boat almost at completion is there at Norton Canes Boatyard.  However stuff happens and as we were approaching Whittington where the car was I said shall I hope off and drive to Hopwas (Our intended destination) and meet you?
Yes he said quite quickly.

Reader I was almost bundled off at the next bridge with a see you... look for the car near Co-Op.....

So after a ten minute walk and by some Google aided miracle, I found the car and went shopping in Tamworth's new-ish Ventura Retail park.  
Now Reader I have to tell you that I drive to London often, with two daughters living there we are up and down to the capital frequently but I have not experienced traffic such as there was lunch time on a Friday in that place ever.  Buses, lorries business people and shoppers brought the place to a standstill even though I only had a few hundred yards to go.

But when I managed to get back to Hopwas and The Lazy Otter pub, (I had always thought Hopwas was in the countryside however it's now only one field away from the outskirts of Tamworth's residential developments.

When I got back to the pub, I called David to see where he was, "Hang on I'm just trying to pull the boat in..."  We had arrived at exactly the same time.

I got changed and we headed out to the pub for lunch and who crept up behind me saying BOO!  none other than our own David Lewis who with Amanda had been showing friends their new boat NB Caxton now almost finished its refit but looking fantastic.

Here is NB Caxton, well here is half of her, a refit and a new livery completed at Tamworth.  She'll be out very soon with the owners our very own "Boat Sharers" The Lewis's, so wave as they pass you. 

Frequent Flyers to this blog may remember that NB Caxton's first owners were Joe and Lesley, who kept a blog and we became great friends with.  HERE

Then sold to Elaine and Paul, Paul kept a fabulous blog onboard Caxton from 2012 hereabouts  HERE  sadly both Paul and Elaine are no longer with us.

The next owners were George and Sue also blogged but I can't find that link now so here we come up to date with the gleaming and sparkling NB Caxton.  Fingers crossed that Amanda starts to blog herself......

They departed soon afterwards from the pub and we relaxed in the garden, in the sunshine awaiting our food when a lady approached as asked if I was Lisa?
It turns out that Angela is a blog reader and recognised me. she had temporarily mislaid her husband Dave so sat with us a wee time while she looked for him.

Angela and Lisa 

So at length, we  returned to WaL, other boats arriving and squashing in, we had been good children and moored up button to button to allow this.

Lunch had been scallops calamari and salad with a very nice sticky toffee pudding




  1. Lovely to read of your comings and goings, and lovely to read of the boat sharers again. I well remember the 3 David's on board Waka Huia at Alvechurch with 3 wonderful women - how lucky are those Davids? And cheese scones ...
    And here we are in winter, lots of rain and wind - while you've been droughting and overheating, we've been storming and flooding.

    1. Hello Marilyn, I'm very sorry to hear of you having storms and floods. Today I have overheated I think, when we moored up finally after too long but circumstances dictated, I had breakfast a 1pm then fell asleep and didn't really do much more. D says it was about 27C and set to go higher in the next couple of days. I think I'm a bit old for these temperatures.
      Lisa x

  2. How lovely to see nb Caxton looking so pristine. It must have been shortly after Elaine and Paul set sail on her that they kindly let us come and have a look when we were starting our search for a boatbuilder. Lovely people, sadly missed. Jennie previously of nb Tentatrice.

    1. Hello Jennie,
      I haven't actually seen the "new" NB Caxton yet but am inching to. I'll need sunglasses on as she is completely gleaming.
      Actually Caxton was the first boat us four (Lewis's and Wally's as we are known in some quarters) the first boat we viewed at our first ever trip to Crick Boat Show and we went onto be firm friends with the then owners.
      We all quite thought that Amanda and David would be the first to get one. But life takes an odd path and one day out of the blue my David came home and announced he was selling the cows and here we are.

      If you see Caxton out give them a shout.


    2. Hi Lisa, I am afraid we are no longer afloat - we had to sell Tentatrice last summer due to age and infirmity. Jennie

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