The two little ships and myself are on our own at the moment. I’m quietly boat-sitting while Janis has returned to Newark to see old friends and to take part in what I can only call a physical test of endurance; but more specifically a 12000 metre run with some obstacles thrown in as well.
I’ve just received a phone call from her to say that the event happened today in Nottingham, that she’s okay and happy, though somewhat disabled as a result. She is on her way back to Newark to stay the night, and lick her wounds no doubt, at the house of her friend Lorna.
All being well she should be back here on Monday. Me and the two ‘girls’ will be most pleased to see her. Both ‘Futurest’ and ‘Roots and Wings’ must be feeling very put out and frustrated to be so stationary for so long.
Statue to commemorate the founding of Rugby Football
Unusual Sculpture in Caldecott Park
I’ve been fine and quietly enjoying the rest, while the weather, though being quite chilly with temperatures just above the frost level during the night to remind us that winter is not that far away, has been quite remarkable during the daytime with plenty of sunshine to keep us cheered.
Having spent six days here now, I have managed to do quite a bit of sightseeing so I know the town and its surroundings fairly well. I have shopped briefly everyday at the nearby large 24 hour Tesco, have found a footpath that runs into town (as straight as a dye and directly as the crow flies, for a real cliché bonanza) and managed to explore the old Brownsover waterway that was the original course of North Oxford canal when it looped flamboyantly in the beginning and in true Brindley style around the north of the town.
The canal had many of these meanders at one time along its whole length but in order to compete with the railway, in the eighteen hundreds all the loops were taken out and the canal benefitted briefly by being straightened and thus shortened. However I was surprised to find that the Brownsover course was still there and in water mostly. The whole surface was covered in a light green weed but both the Mallards and the Moorhens were making the most of it and seemed to cherish the quiet and lack of Human infringement.
…… and overgrown towpath
Bridge 56 on the Brownsover Loop
Rugby’s ‘Green Man’
Unfortunately I have found the town, in spite of being host to one of the top public schools, to be fairly uninspiring and apart from the usual run of pedestrianised streets and arcades for many of the nationally known and used shops and pubs it seemed to have nothing more to offer me. There are numerous trading and industrial estates as well like many Midland towns but I found very little of historical interest including the buildings and churches.
I shall be glad to be on my way again.
Quite a strange thing happened this afternoon as I returned after doing my daily shopping. As I was climbing on board at the stern of ‘Futurest’, a short narrowboat came by. I couldn’t see any name but it was quite old with lots of roof clutter and it had a permanent port list. It looked a bit like an ancient ‘Springer’.
As it passed by the helmsman shouted across: “I enjoy reading your blog.”
I acknowledged and said thank you, as I usually do. It is comforting always, to know that people do actually read it as well as gain pleasure from it.
But then he followed it up with something I didn’t quite understand. He was by this time moving away from me and I’m not too certain as to whether I heard him correctly even over the rattling and noisy sound of his engine.
But what I thought he said was:
“And tell that crew member of yours to mind their own flippin’ business.”
I didn’t answer as I’ve no idea what he expected to hear. I certainly don’t know what he was on about, so all I could do was to try to look intelligent and smile at him with a big frown.