Wednesday, 2 November 2016

First Frost

We didn’t have either the central heater or the stove on yesterday which meant that by 9pm it was starting to get slightly cold inside the cabin.  We sleep under a 4.5 lightweight Tog (duvet) all year and I usually only wear shorts. So when we went to bed at 10pm my feet were slightly cold. However that didn’t prevent Jan placing her feet on my legs whilst simultaneously stating “You’re lovely and warm……. why are you always warm?”.  You would think that after almost 45 years of marriage she would know I’m hot stuff!

We awoke at 6am to see (and feel) our first winter frost.  I ventured out along the gunwale holding the frost covered cabin hand rail to fit the stove flue.  Despite the stove being on the lowest setting (1) it didn’t take long for the 2 year old diesel to start warming up the interior of the boat

IMG_1052Neighbours all still in bed?

We decided to start cruising at 10am but the roof was still covered in frost and this little sook didn’t want to go back along the gunwale to remove the flue so we crossed to the opposite bank where I disembarked and removed the flue whilst Waiouru was slowly moving.  The flue was actually rather hot and I ended up juggling it between my hands whilst simultaneously reboarding the boat.

As you can see in the above photo, it was a lovely day, and actually quite warm if you were in the sunshine.

There is a military rifle range near Hopwas Wood and today is the first time we have passed the area when the range has been in use.  If you look at this next photo you can see the red flag in the centre of the photo.

IMG_1053

Whilst I can understand the logic of flying red warning flags around the perimeter of a range as a very young soldier I couldn’t understand why the red flags at the firing point and butts (targets) were raised when no firing was occurring and then lowered when firing was occurring.  A crusty old sergeant explained this was a practice dating back to when soldiesr wore a red coat.  They were taught not to shoot when they saw red in front of them (the rank in front fired a volley and then crouched or laydown to reload.  It seemed plausible but I wasn’t convinced.

We stopped for lunch at the Tame Otter in Hopwas.  It’s part of the Vintage Inn chain of pubs.  Jan chose the fish bun and I opted for the hamburger.  Neither of us was impressed.  Perhaps we should have gone to the Red Lion on the opposite bank!

IMG_1054

Tame Otter, Hopwas

We finished the day moored adjacent to the Ventura Retail Park at Tamworth.

Brian (nb Harnser) has almost solved my earlier query regarding the water being discharged into the canal just south of Fradley Junction.  He left a comment on that post quoting CRT

“South Staffordshire Water will be removing the pump testing discharge apparatus from the canal towpath. The towpath will remain open with banks men on site to assist users through the works.” 

I’d like to know if this is potable (ie, drinking) water or the stuff that has been treated after coming out the opposite end?

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