Day 5, Saturday 19th June

Moored up mid-afternoon about two miles from Atherstone Bottom Lock (so we have the flight of 11 to look forward to tomorrow morning…). Atherstone is in Warwickshire but we didn’t notice any glaring county boundary signs here, or for Staffordshire either.
A day of structures and domestics: The Coventry Canal wends and weaves its way roughly south eastwards; it largely follows the contours, hence today there have been two locks only (at Glascote, Tamworth). For the first time since setting out the boat was being taken uphill: it’s been 25 locks downhill since departure from Lyme View. This is Warwickshire Coalfield country so there are old wharves remaining from pithead days and some scarred strange looking land shapes. Mainly the canal is a green corridor crossed by brick-built bridges often skewed at an angle, which, particularly in a sharp wind (like today), can make smooth navigation through them “interesting”.  A new pet hate: boaters who moor on bends, close to bridges, so they can polish up their brasses or paintwork, oblivious to the near collisions of other boats trying to pass by… As to structures, apart from the canal line and the landscape, housing deserves a mention: some of the ugliest extensions, the fanciest conservatories, often adorned by gardens full of knick knacks (not gnomes more tribes of figurines.) One garden adornment, however, in a lovely large garden, was particularly unusual: an East German border post…!
Domestically I had to engage with the washing machine instruction booklet several times. I’d thought a shorter synthetics wash would be kinder to the boat batteries but then had to work out how to drain out the water and then to spin separately. Still, clean wind-blown socks are now available for tomorrow!  A further “wifly / wifely” duty was carried out in the application of black stove paint to the Morso stove. Yesterday I commented on sunhats and rainhats: today I was glad to discover in the deep pocket of my winter windproof my thermal-lined fleece hat. Will the sunscreen (ever) be needed again?!

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