We aimed to get down Braunston Locks in the cool before the clouds cleared, but had to wait a while as the CRT guy let some water down – we noticed last night that the top pound was very low. Apparently they have to do this every morning in summer – 8am normally, 7.30 on a summer Saturday and 9 on Sundays. As we waited another boat joined us and we were soon on our way, meeting plenty coming up. The first pair was breasted up and we elegantly passed each other, no trouble. The second pair had followed their example but we met in the pound below the pub, on the bend by the moored boats – not such a good idea! We were soon down however, meeting the usual congestion at the bottom – this photo does not show the other 4 waiting their turn nor the two coming up beyond the hire boats!
We nabbed the one space outside the marina as we needed to go shopping and visit the chandlery. As we tied up we could hear the bells of All Saints ringing up (getting the bells ready to ring and call the faithful to worship), so Deb grabbed her purse and bag and rushed over the bridge and up the lane to join the ringers. You can’t pass up a chance to ring at the Cathedral of the Canals! The ringers are a friendly lot and I was delighted to be able to ring with them – 6 bells, and lovely to ring, unlike some! Here is the tower captain Peter on the right with one of the other ringers as they ring down (leaving the bells in a safe state once the ringing has finished for the day). Thanks to them all for the chance to join them.
The butcher opens for few hours on Sunday, so I was able to get some of their brilliant Braunston Bangers and some runner beans, then over to the supermarket for the paper, and back to Chuffed for a relaxing coffee with the papers while waiting for Dave to get back from the chandlery. I even managed to get a couple of blog posts uploaded from earlier in the week.
Dave got back with a new brass fender eyelet to replace the one that sheared off at some point while we were on the Soar – the water levels were so low we should have got the tyres out for mooring fenders but didn’t bother unfortunately. As the towpath was on the ‘right’ side Dave got the drill out to start prepping the area so we didn’t leave Braunston till after lunch, making for Flecknoe where we have moored several times before. Now we are on the main line it’s a lot busier than we have been used to! On the way we passed this tasteful example of graffiti, getting a bit obscured by undergrowth now …
Deb went off for a run towards Norton Junction as the shade came across the towpath, though it was still pretty hot – and was lucky to return unscathed. I passed a boat with the owners relaxing in the sun with their little dogs so I stopped for a chat, made a fuss of the dogs, as you do – but on my return, though I slowed to a walk to pass the dogs and wish the boaters good evening, one of the dogs took exception to my ankles and took a bite – luckily only out of my sock and not me – but it was a salutary warning to be very careful round other people's dogs on the towpath! It was probably my fault, in that I was maybe too close to the little dog who probably thought I was a threat, but I do think the owner could have asked if I was OK and maybe even apologised? Hmm. I’ll be more aware in future ….