This week we have done … Gailey to Penkridge, turn around, back to Gailey and currently at Cross Green.
Oh boy - its getting colder outside and forecast to get worser for the weekend and into beginning of next week! Gotta get the thermals out. Not inside though - plenty warm enough in here. The fire is kept in all the while now and during the day we burn a mixture of wood and house coal, then to keep it in overnight have to pile it up with smokeless coal. Wood is free, picked up as we travel about --- Dai always manages to find some lying on the towpath or thereabouts; house coal not too bad at around £6 for 20 kg (and it seems to last ages) although it smokes like crazy when a new lot goes on; and …. Of course …. Smokeless has now increased to winter prices so last lot we bought was about £12 a bag.
Had to replace the water pump this week so gone for a different brand - Jabasco which seems to be the one most recommended as we have asked around. I was dreading it as most technical jobs on the boat seem to get Dai cussing …. But no, it went like a dream ! And yes, the water pump is working too - so, a result and hoping this pump lasts longer than the other one which we only had new last March because the one installed when we first had the boat had broken.
Penkridge is quite a nice village - a great butcher and baker; quite a big Co-op; woolshop; couple of banks; and a outdoor/indoor market on Weds and again on Saturday. Usual array of clothing, footwear, stuff like black bags, dodgy wash powder, unheard of cosmetics. Couple of fruit/veg stalls; cheese; bacon; big van with chappie shouting such as “10lbs mince for only £1”, etc. etc. I did buy some (supposedly) thermal socks in anticipation of the freeze this week and a box of Christmas cards for a pound!
Nothing at Gailey except a Viking hireboat base (now closed for winter) and then just down the dual carriageway a garage; huge pub, 2 garden centres and a funny little shop selling bags of potatoes, carrots, onions, coal and logs - but they also had milk thank goodness! One garden centre more a plant nursery and the other one, one of these huge places which, ok, sell a few plants, but a huge selection of expensive kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, outdoor clothing, wellies, pet foods/gear, etc etc. you know the sort of place. Loads of Christmas decs, trees, lights - but we did miss Santa as he isn’t arriving until next weekend ! I did get rather a nice little plant arrangement as the basil we have had since the summer finally gave up the ghost! It had served us well, especially as it was only £1.50 from Morrisons. I missed having a bit of living greenery so hopefully this will last a few months.
Since last blog we have done … 11 miles and 12 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 876 miles and 848 locks
3 hours ago