Tuesday 30th June
Just as we were setting off for our rummage around Market Harborough, we were standing in the basin chatting to the Manager, when Martin Reed, the ex-vicar who owns the two hotel boats, nbs Oak and Ash, was also just about to set off out of the basin. He realized that his little dog (a Jack Russell, we think) wasn’t on the boat. He was very angry, and reversed hard back to his mooring. He then proceeded to jump of the boat, pick up his dog and give it a few resounding thumps. “Not very charitable, for a ex-vicar” we thought. Someone else thought the same, a large chap and a lady walking a black Labrador. He was braver than us though, and started to have a go at Martin Reed, who hopped back on his boat, and then revved the engine very hard and soaked the chap and his lady, and kept on doing it!. The chap was was furious, and rightly so! Martin then steered his boats across the basin towards the water point, pulling faces, and gesticulating all the time, like a five year old might! The basin Manager, a nice lady, shouted across to Martin that he would not be welcome in the basin again. He then stopped at the water point! How stupid was that? The chap with the Labrador took some persuading not to go round and punch his lights out. We weren’t quick enough to get any photos as it all happened very quickly. So beware, fellow bloggers, don’t get on the wrong side of Martin Reed and his boats! Perhaps that’s why he’s an ex-vicar!
We walked into Market Harborough to have a look around, and another horrible thing happened. We had been looking for a pet shop of some sort down one of the streets, and when we returned to the main street a lady was lying in the middle of the road, on a crossing, with an ambulance in attendance. It looked like she had been hit by a small tanker lorry. She was obviously quite badly injured as the air-ambulance was called. The traffic was all stopped and then diverted around the town centre. As you can imagine it was bedlam. We carried on with our shopping and looking around, had a coffee, tramped around a bit more until it was too hot to carry on, and decided to go back to the boat. The traffic was still snarled up, no buses were getting through, so we walked back to the basin. It was by now unbearably hot, the boat was like an oven, and we, stupidly, moved from a nice shady mooring just outside the basin entrance, into the basin where there was no shade at all. But we wanted the free electric that came with the £5.50 a night fee! I did a load of washing, and then we just sat and got hotter and hotter, and grumpier and grumpier! No telly signal, no satellite signal, couldn’t even tune the radio in! We were glad to go to bed, and were able to leave the front doors open for some air. We’ve come to the conclusion that a steel box is not the place to live when the temperatures are in the C30’s!
Wednesday 1st July
We returned to Foxton to meet up with Ali and Neil who were bringing us a replacement Maker’s plate for the stern, as the other had been buggered up in the stamping. We arrived at about midday and immediately repaired to ‘Bridge 61’ for a glass or three of their lovely cold draught cider. Ali and Neil duly arrived and we had another one! We then did the tourist bit and wandered around, looking at the remains of the inclined plane, had an ice-cream and then Sam from Foxton Boat Services arrived to do our 50 engine hours service. Poor Sam, down our engine hole, in the blistering heat!
We ate in the Foxton Locks pub again – thought we’d give them another chance, and the Fish pie was very good. We met up again with the family from Water Impulse, and had a drink with them this time. Elaine, Rod and daughter Pip! (coincidence or what?). Pip is hoping to join the RAF as an Intelligence Officer, is already an Air Training Cadet, and has a boyfriend who is an RAF Police Dog Handler at Brize Norton. It was lovely to chat to them again, and good luck with your application, Pip, let us know how things pan out – you have our email address, and we hope to meet up with you all again in the future.
Thursday 2nd July
We were up and about early this morning, wanting to get Up Foxton Locks before it got too hot, so we were ready and waiting, and second in the queue, when they opened at 8 o’clock.
Working up Foxton Locks
We were at the top by 9.15 and, after watering up, enjoyed the full all-day breakfast from the cafe at the top. We carried on, intending to do a couple of hours and then moor up before Husbands Bosworth tunnel, to avoid the worst of the heat. Unfortunately, we didn’t find anywhere suitable so we had to go through the tunnel before we found a spot with some shade.
Rog is now doing some fishing as I sit in our sweat-box typing this!