Aargh! I miss doing a blog post … and before I know it weeks have gone by without my "daily" updates. So - a bit of catching up to do. When I last wrote we had just arrived at Stoke Bruerne; now we are on our way up the Aylesbury Arm having winded at the end this morning. Alison picked us up and delivered us to Milton Keynes where we borrowed Ben's car. In this we drove to Enslow to retrieve our car, which we drove back to Stoke Bruerne, returning Ben's car to MK on the way. From Stoke Bruerne we then drove home to do gardening jobs etc. I watched the cracking British Grand Prix on the telly (and wished I'd been at Silverstone, as I was for last year's race. I haven't told you about that, have I? I will some time).
On Tuesday 16th July we drove back to the boat via Cranfield where we had tea with Ally, Ben, Josiah, Micah and Amelia, their lodger. The next day saw us move down Stoke Bruerne Locks as soon as they were open; we continued to Wolverton where we tied up by the flats. I cycled back to Stoke Bruerne to get the car. On the Thursday we took part in a tenth wedding anniversary celebration for Ally and Ben. They dropped Josiah off with us and drove to Kew Gardens while the three of us went there by train. Four trains, actually. This was a fun journey which Josiah loved. We just missed seeing a steam train at Willesden Junction - we got to the platform as the brown carriages were trundling through but didn't see the loco itself. (This is boring - sorry! There'll be canal stuff soon.) We spent the next few days driving to and from Cranfield to spend more time with the grandchildren, moving the boat to Great Linford at some point. On Sunday we walked along the former railway line to Newport Pagnell, where we went to the Baptist Church. Just as we were leaving the boat Waterway Routes
On Monday 22nd July we moved on to Campbell Park - more bike and car shuffling. Now we were boating properly again: the next day, in hot weather, we continued to Leighton Buzzard where we had a towpath barbecue. Later on we noticed a group of hi-vis-wearing men on the bridge closing the road.
Jan went up to investigate. Uh-oh: they were going to resurface the road. All night. With much noise. We moved on to get away from it, actually stopping just below Church Lock. It was a relief to cruise in the relative cool of the evening.
The weather was continuing to heat up; in the morning we got up at 0610 and were joined in the lock by Christine and co. on Ketura
Christine gave Jan a hat with a stiff brim and a neck flap which she was very pleased with.
At Marsworth Junction we turned right onto the Aylesbury Arm, new waters for us. At the bottom of the staircase pair we stopped for lunch, then decided to carry on so as not to have to do too much in the forecast heat of Thursday. It was a joy to be back to narrow locks, although they seem to be wider than most at about eight feet. Perhaps for this reason it seems impossible to step across an open bottom gate to a closed one - and vice versa - enforcing a walk round via the top gate. Another curiosity is the amount of water pouring over the top gate of most of the locks on the upper section of the arm.
This was handy for us going down the locks, as each was full, but surely a considerable drain on the main line.