Time to continue our narrowboat travels again. Leaving Hawkesbury junction is bitter sweet. We have loved the hustle and bustle and somewhere wide enough to get some work done on the boats but yearn for the peace and solitude again.
This weeks narrowboat move was relatively easy, no locks, sunshine and gorgeous countryside. We need to fill our water tank every 2 weeks as this is roughly how long our water lasts with running a washing machine and general use. Luckily this coincides with having to move every 2 weeks to comply with our ” continuous cruising ” licence conditions.
Fortunately, despite rain being predicted the sun shone and it was an enjoyable but busy move. So many boats on the water! Lots of people enjoying the school holidays and hiring narrowboats means that the increase in traffic is quite considerable. The sensible thing to do is just slow down and be patient when so many craft are on the water. There are few hard and fast rules so much is left to “boating etiquette” . On the roads whilst in the bubble of our car, road rage seems to be the norm but out in the open on the water with a slower pace we don’t shout and swear at each other, everyone smiles, says hello and you give way whenever possible. Ok so occasionally there is the odd grumpy idiot but you can’t avoid that anywhere!
I had my friend join us on the move, she is buying a narrowboat and needed a little practice to get the feel of steering and to learn a little of the etiquette I have mentioned. Steering a narrowboat involves a lever for forward and reverse. I still don’t really know what I’m doing in reverse! It seems to go wherever it likes, I’m sure there is a knack which I am yet to learn. The tiller arm pushes the rudder and must be pushed in the opposite direction to where you want to go. This is quite a strange way to steer at first but soon becomes second nature.
There is no driving test to sit, anyone can just jump on a boat and cruise away. It can be however a very dangerous activity , especially in and around locks and many die each year in boating related accidents. Just a couple of weeks ago I heard that an elderly lady with boating experience died in an accident in Atherstone. It can happen to anyone! It is easy to be complacent but with a few near misses myself, I know that it is vitally important to stay vigilant and go at the pace you need to go at. I never rush just because there is a queue at a lock, I don’t take advice barked at me from other boaters (usually men when they see a lone woman and assume you need advice! ) and I do things the way I feel comfortable and safe. I see a lot of holiday boaters drinking alcohol as they cruise and while I don’t object to this I wouldn’t do it myself. I trip over my own feet at the best of times and I just know I would end up hurt.
I thoroughly enjoy sharing this fantastic experience with my friends , it is such an enjoyable way of life . I feel honoured to be able to experience the natural surroundings and catch glimpses of wildlife along the way. We were delighted to find a herd of horses opposite the boat while we filled with water.
Drinking coffee and eating pastries, we watched the herd of horses run over to the waters edge. First the foals started to playfully splash at the water cooling themselves in the summer heat and then a few of the adults followed suit and also began to splash and paddle. Such a beautiful sight! I haven’t seen horses like this together since the stunning common ground near Stourbridge. Magical moments!
We continued on our way for a few miles and moored up near Brinklow, a little village just outside of Rugby. Just enough time for us to do some DIY on the boat and for me to complete some angel wings wall décor and finish a few crochet bunting sets before it is time to move again!
I made this Rainbow Bunting to adorn the side of the boat and I think it looks just great on our funky pallet wood exterior. I hope you like it too! It is really simple consisting of the classic, old favourite, granny triangles and some tassels joined with chain stitches and double crochet.I have written up the easy instructions here. If you can make a granny square you can make a granny triangle! The tassels are also really easy to make. I do love a tassel! I am adding them to everything at the moment.
The crochet bunting can be made using any yarn although cotton would be my favourite choice. It does hang nicely and is easy to wash . For this bunting however, I used Stylecraft Aran acrylic yarn. It is a great yarn to use for blankets too with a fabulous range of colours and washes beautifully. I have come across a few people that are a little bit snobbish about using acrylics but I love them, they have come on leaps and bounds since the scratchy stuff in the 70s. I think this bunting would look gorgeous with pom poms and beads instead of tassels too. The easy and free instructions for this bunting can be found here.
More free patterns can be found here