Monday, 29 December 2008


I noted as we went up the Napton flight that three bollards had been installed on the offside of each lock. But these weren't the square, wooden bollards which have caused so much controversy; they were small metal ones, painted black and white, and looking much more like the sort of thing you'd expect to see. The Claydon flight had them too. We still didn't use them, of course, and I can't think of many occasions when you'd need a bollard when using a narrow lock. But at least they look better.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 9

It was very cold and frosty this morning, and we'd had to let the fire go out over night in order to clean out the stove, so the boat was pretty chilly. We were up early, showered and breakfasted, so the packing could begin. There was very little space outside the marina, so we left the boat where it was and brought the car along the lane instead. We were on our way shortly after 8.30, at the end of another enjoyable cruise.

But the excitement wasn't over yet. We'd arranged to go and say hello to Lesley and Joe of Caxton, so drove across to Foxton. The roadsigns were littered with places we'd be to only by water. Our route took us past North Kilworth Wharf, through Husbands Bosworth (we've been through the tunnel a few times, but never seen the town before), and into Theddingworth (which has given its name to one of Debdale's sister boats).
Caxton is moored on the Market Harborough Arm, and you can just see the boat (and Matilda Rose) in the distance in this photo taken from the top of the inclined plane.

We spent a very pleasant hour or so with Lesley and Joe. Inevitably, the topics of conversation included toilets. It was lovely to see them, and we hope we didn't disrupt their preparations for family visitors later in the morning.

It was still very cold when we left Caxton, and went for a quick walk up the locks. We'd already seen Zindagi go by, and they were waiting at the bottom of the locks. There was one boat going up the top half of the flight, and one coming down the bottom half, so they probably didn't have to wait long.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 8

Boxing Day dawned as the brightest, and coldest, day of the trip. The fire also proved to be more difficult to revive! Porridge for breakfast, then we slipped away from our mooring just after 8.30. it was a beautiful morning, with clear blue skies and lovely sunshine. We arrived at the top of the locks at Marston Doles at just after 10, and found ourselves following a hire boat down. The pound below the top lock was very short of water, and the boat was only just afloat. There were quite a few walkers on the tow path, and it reminded me of Boxing Day last year, when we did exactly the same trip. I even seem to have taken exactly the same photo!

We passed a couple of boats coming up, including one in the bottom lock. At the end of the flight, we stopped at the water point to fill the tank and visit the little shop. They had no fresh bread, but did have some part-baked rolls. Once the tank was full, we moved round the corner and moored up for lunch. We put the rolls in the oven, and filled them with turkey, cranberry, and onions. While we were there, we spotted Ten Bob Note coming towards us and Ernie pulled alongside for a chat.

After lunch, we set off again, turning left at Wigram's Turn onto the Grand Union. A boat was just leaving the top lock, so we had to turn it. Once it was ready, a boat arrived to share; then it turned out that the single boat ahead was waiting in the second lock for us, so we shared the next two locks with them. We recognised the boat, Prairie Crocus, as we'd met the Canadian owners at Braunston a couple of years ago, and noticed a few weeks ago that the boat was up for sale. Today, it was in the hands of its new owners, taking the boat to its new mooring at Knowle.

We ended the day moored up just before Bridge 21 and Stockton Top Marina, ready for our departure tomorrow. No doubt there'll be more leftover turkey to eat tonight.

11 miles, 12 locks. (77 miles, 40 locks)

Christmas lunch

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 7 (Christmas Day)

We were in a great mooring last night, very peaceful. The morning was brighter and colder than so far this trip. As it was Christmas Day, we treated ourselves to a cooked breakfast, and got under way at ten past nine. We were straight into the Claydon Locks, which is a favourite flight of ours. Somehow, it was looking particularly good in its bare winter state. There were quite a few dog walkers about, all looking cheerful and wishing us a Merry Christmas. The top two locks were in our favour, but the next three were empty. We wondered whether someone had been mooried in the long pound above the middle lock, and had set off before us,

We left the bottom lock at 10 o'clock, and went to the winding place just before the next bridge. It's not marked in the Pearson's guide, but is shown in the Nicholson (and we knew about it because we moored at the bottom of the Claydon locks on our trip last Christmas). Adrian made a great job of turning the boat. From the towpath, Debdale looked really long!

At 10.15, we were going back into the bottom lock, and by 11am, we were passing our mooring place. So we'd taken almost two hours to get absolutely nowhere. Which is ideal, really.

We carried on through Fenny Compton, heading for our traditional (see previous post) Christmas Day mooring spot, between bridges 130 and 129. There were no boats here yesterday, but there were already three moored up when we arrived at 1.30, and several (including hire boats from Kate and Rose) have been past since.

The famous Braunston turkey is in the oven, the roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips have just gone in, the brussells are ready and the pink bubbly is in the fridge. Even the Christmas pudding is already steaming. We are trying hard not to forget to cook the little sausages wrapped in bacon that will have to go under the grill as there's no room in the oven, and we also need to remember to get the home made cranberry sauce out. If it all works out OK, we may have to add a photo later!

We hope everyone is having as great a Christmas as we are! Merry Christmas!

8 miles, 10 locks (66 miles, 28 locks)

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 6

Christmas Eve dawned dry, and not as grey as forecast. We were up reasonably early, had scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, and set off at 8.30. There were very few boats on the move - I think we've only seen four or five all day. Of course, the first one was met at a bridge hole, with boats moored either side.

We stopped at the water point at the bottom of the Napton flight, and it was just as well we did, because the water point at the top was blocked by a load of moored boats. We set off up the locks at 10.45, and the whole lot took an hour and three-quarters. There were some BW boats at the bottom, and above the bottom lock. They've done some much needed work on the lock landings above the second lock, which until now had been falling forward into the water.

While we were in the fifth lock, a BW man arrived and started running some water down through the lock above, and the pound was very low. We met a couple of boats near the top, an OwnerShips and a Clifton Cruisers hire boat. Harnser was moored in its usual place near the Old Engine Arm.

Once on the summit we had soup and bread on the move, and the sun made a valiant effort to break through the cloud. A couple of times it almost succeeded. We passed our traditional (ie: last year, and tomorrow) Christmas Day mooring spot, and noted that there was no-one already there. We carried on, passing through Fenny Compton, and eventually moored (in the gathering gloom at just before 4.30) immediately before Bridge 144, at the top of the Claydon Locks. It's another very quiet, remote, and dark spot, but with a surprisingly strong 3G signal.

18 miles, 9 locks. (58 miles, 18 locks)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 5

I arrived at the boat at around 8pm last night. I got the 1903 train from Euston, and pulled into Rugby station 47 minutes later. I wish my commute to work was that quick. I got a taxi to Tesco, and Adrian met me with a torch so we could see our way along the muddy towpath. It turned out we had visitors on board too: a couple of Adrian's colleagues, Nicola and Alex, who'd been working at the Warwick office, had come over to Rugby to have a look at the boat. It was lovely to see them.

This morning, the boat was nice and warm -- the fire had stayed in, and was easy to get roaring again. After porridge, we prepared for the off, and had a chat to Dot from Gypsy Rover moored over on the park side. We slipped away just before nine, in grey drizzly conditions. We were soon at Hilmorton Locks, where we passed Hadar on the water point, and shouted greetings to Jo and Keith. The right hand lock was empty, so we went straight in. I then noticed that Hadar was heading out way, so lifted a paddle on the other lock. Eventually, we got to the stage where we were going up side by side.

Going up the locks gave us a great opportunity to chat to Jo and Keith, and it was nice to meet them having followed their blog for so long. Once at the top of the locks, we let Hadar pass us, as they were clearly going quicker than us.

We got to Braunston at around 12.30, and moored just before the turn. We walked up into the village, and (as the Gongoozler's Rest is closed for Christmas) went to the Old Plough for lunch -- very good baguettes with bacon (for me) and sausage and onion (for Adrian). Then it was along to the butcher to pick up our stuffed turkey breast. This must be one of the most famous turkey breasts around this Christmas, as everyone keeps asking us about it! It fitted in the fridge OK, and I think it will go in the oven, with space for veg.

We set off again just after 2pm, and carried on for almost an hour to a mooring spot we've used several times at Bridge 101. We've never stayed here facing in this direction, though! We know this mooring will be dark and quiet (neither of which could be said for the one in Rugby). A few boats have been past since we stopped, including Gosty Hill, the coal and diesel boat.

12 miles, 3 locks. (40 miles, 9 locks)

Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 4

Set off around 9am today. Lovely morning, very still. Stopped at Lime Farm Marina to buy 3 bags of coal. Nice little marina, with very friendly staff.

Had some excitement when approaching bridge 52. Fellow on the footpath warned me that there were two lads on the biridge with an air rifle firing at a floating can in the canal. They were facing the direction I was heading, so probably had no idea I was about to come under the bridge. Thought about sounding my horn to warn of my presence, but then thought that if they were planning to use me as target practice they'd have time to aim. As it happened, I passed under the bridge without incident. Quite disturbing really, as if they'd wanted to use me as target practice, there was very little I could do about it. Having stones thrown at you is bad enough, but being shot at...

As I was mooring at Brownsover, Rugby, the boat following said that they had been shot at, and had called the police.

Mooring at Rugby has been quite an experience today. I am now at my third mooring spot, and am finally happy! I had initially stopped before the water point thinking that the sides looked straight and not too bad condition. Sides may be straight, but the boat still ends up being about two feet from the bank. Not ideal...

So I decided to carry on under bridge 58 to see what spaces were there. When I was passed this way a few days ago, the tow path side had no boats at all. I was surprised to see that today the tow path side had 5 boats moored, with the only spaces being on the sharp bend to the right... I had little option but to moor up on the bend as I had to pop into Tesco. Around half the boat was on a straight edge - I'd tried to balance out the gap at the bow and stern to the edge, otherwise one end would be sticking way out into the cut. It was good enough to leave the boat for an hour or so, but again far from ideal.

As I got back from my exciting trip to Tesco, the boat moored behind me set off. I took the opportunity to move our boat back to what looked like a much straighter edge. Pleased I did, as about 90% of the boat is now moored along a straight edge.

Apart from picking up the turkey at Braunston tomorrow, all our Christmas food shopping is now done (if I've forgotten something we will just have to do without). Adam is due to arrive from London at around 8pm tonight.

5 miles, 0 locks (28 miles, 6 locks)

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 3

Pulled the pins around 8am. My challenge for the day was the Hillmorton 3. Worked through the top lock without too much trouble. There was another boat also heading down, and given they had a crew, were a lot quicker than I was. They kindly filled and then opened the top gates of the next two locks for me. Made the whole process a lot easier for me. Thanks guys.

View from the top lock looking along the visitor moorings:

Stopped for water at the bottom of the locks with just enough time for a warming cup of tea. Then passed Gypsy Rover moored at the Hillmorton visitor moorings:

Carried on through to Newbold, stopping at the 14 day visitor moorings for a break. Ten Bob Note was moored a couple of boats ahead. Nice walk down to the shops to get a paper, followed by lunch on board, before heading off again.

Am now moored near bridge 34, having winded at the Brinklow Arm (bridge 32). It's been a lovely bright day, with blue sky and plenty of sunshine. Ideal winter boating weather. Tonight's mooring:
10 miles, 3 locks (24 miles, 6 locks)

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 2

Some pictures of the marina yesterday:

And last night's mooring:

Set off around 9:20 after a leisurely breakfast. Wet start to the day with drizzly rain. Finally dried up around 11:30 as I approached Braunston. Decided to pop into Braunston village to get a few bits and peices from the Spar store there, so moored between bridges 89 & 90. Walk up the hill through the field was really muddy - I was amazed I'd made it to the top without ending face first in the mud!

Braunston lunchtime mooring:

After lunch I headed off towards Hillmorton. Afternoon was dry, with the sun trying to make an appearance. Very pleasant cruise. I'm now moored near bridge 75 along one of the few sections of Armco in the area.

9 miles, 0 locks (13 miles, 3 locks).

Friday, 19 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 1

It's Adrian here. My first posting to the Narrowboat Debdate blog. Not sure what is more daunting - tackling the Calcutt locks single handed, or posting my first entry!

The journey to Stockton Top Marina was very easy. I'd expected the roads to be busy, but ended up having one of the easiest journeys to the marina ever. I've never seen so many boats in the marina. Debdale was moored 5 deep from the side with another boat moored along side. This presented my first challenge of the day. Thankfully there was a willing helper at the marina who took control of the boat moored along side, allowing me to slip Debdale out of the marina.

I was welcomed on board by a Christmas candle decoration and card from co-owners Alison and Nigel. Very thoughtful, thank you.

Once loaded up I headed along to Calcutt locks. My first 25 minutes were spent on tick-over as a passed a flotilla of moored boats. Three boats had left the marina before me, bringing hope that I'd be able to share the locks with another boat. Turned out one of the boats was stopping at Calcutt Marina, leaving me the three locks to handle on my own.

I worked through the first lock without too many issues. While in the second lock waiting for the level to rise I went ahead to the next lock to set the paddles. As I was leaving the second lock I was thrilled to see a boat approach from the other direction to start their way down. The crew from the boat, Coldwater Morning, were really helpful... working the lock for me. Thanks guys!

Turned left onto the Oxford, and am moored before bridge 108. I'd hoped to get past bridge 104, but I was starting to get cold, so decided to call it a day.

I've had the Webasto on for a while to take the chill out the air, and am struggling to get the stove going. I've tried a few different approaches but am not having much luck. Our stove is a Puffin - does anyone have any helpful hints?

The connection here is not so good... so no pictures today.

4 miles, 3 locks.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Turkey, ordered.

We'll be on board Debdale for Christmas. Adrian's going up first, but I've got to work for a few more days, so he'll single-hand up the North Oxford, and I'll get the train to Rugby after work on the 22nd and get a taxi to the Tesco moorings. Today's achievement was to order our turkey from the butcher in Braunston, which we'll pick up as we go past the village on the 23rd. We're having a butterfly crown, which will come ready stuffed. I just hope it will fit in a) the fridge; and b) the oven. Incidentally, we found the easiest way to find the phone number was to google Braunston Butcher, and find a photo of the shop.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Amber Boats on test

There's a nice Christmassy feel to the front cover of the January issue of Canal Boat, which is out today. Inside is my review of Paris, the Amber Boat which won an award at the IWA. At £74,000, it's by far the cheapest boat I've tested for CB, and I was surprised by how good it was. It's not an aficionado's boat, but for anyone who just wants to get afloat cheaply it's worth a look.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Earnest in Ireland

As I happened to be staying in London last night, I went to a talk at the London Canal Museum by Neil Arlidge of the Tuesday Night Club. He was talking about the exploits of his narrowboat, Earnest, in Ireland over the past couple of years. During that time, Earnest has convered virtually all the connected waterways, including crossing many wide Loughs, tackling several tidal rivers, going to lots of dead ends, and travelling right into the centre of Dublin. All the details and hundreds of photos are on the TNC website.

Monday, 1 December 2008


I'm just back from Brinklow, where I've been doing a boat test. We were fortunate that there was bright sunshine and blue skies for most of out short trip out, so the photos will look good. It was very cold, though, and I was glad of my multiple layers, including thermals under my jeans, and ski socks. I'd forgotten quite how pretty this stretch of the North Oxford was. While some people regard "lock-free cruising" as the ideal, I think of it as rather boring. But in the winter sunshine, the canal was looking lovely (and there were even a couple of other moving boats).

At Brinklow marina, I surprised myself by doing a rather successful reverse onto the pontoon. The marina seems a pleasant place, (and will be even better when the trees they were planting today have grown to windbreak height), and is home to plenty of bloggers. I spotted both Khayamanzi and K2. We also waved at Graham from Matilda Rose, who was on the service point.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Lunchtime fix

I felt I needed a quick canal fix this lunchtime, so I went for a walk along part of the Grand Union Paddington Arm. From work, I got the tube to Westbourne Park, a station I've never used before. The Grand Union pub and a rather ornate bridge were indiations that I was in the right place. I walked along the towpath towards Ladbroke Grove. No moving boats today (I missed Epiphany by a couple of days!) but I was pleased to see a couple of huge barges next to a building site. It looks as though they've been used to transport materials to the development. Once I got to Ladbroke Grove, I walked down to the tube station, which turned out to be a bit further than expected. Then it was just two stops back to Wood Lane, and work.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Farmer's Bridge

Friday 14 November 2008. The most surprising thing on this evening was how few visiting boats were moored in Birmingham. There were three at the end of the Oozells Street Loop. And that was all. There were none on the main line, none at the top of Farmer's Bridge, none on the visitor moorings at Cambrian Wharf. The other side of the Broad Street Tunnel, there were none by Gas Street Basin, and none along by the Mailbox.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Knowle Locks

We broke out journey to Birmingham on Friday by having a walk at Knowle Locks. We came up the locks during our September cruise, and completed the flight so quickly (thanks to pairing up with a hire boat with a multitude of crew, and a bit of synchronised boating to get from one lock to the next), that we didn't really have time to look around. This time, we found a little car park by Bridge 73 and walked down the towpath to the locks. The pounds are very wide, and you can clearly see where the six old narrow locks used to be. The lock cottage, which is the same design as the ones at Stockton and Cape, is being renovated. Just above the locks is Stephen Goldsbrough Boats, although I understand that Stephen Goldsbrough himself no longer owns the business.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Owners' Meeting

Today we've been in Birmingham for the Debdale owners' meeting. We actually went up yesterday (via the Hatton Locks Cafe for lunch, and Knowle Locks for a walk), and stayed in Birmingham overnight. There's a Frankfurt Christmas Market in the city centre, and a huge Christmas tree at The Mailbox, built on a platform over part of the canal arm.

We could see Gas Street Basin from our hotel room.

We'd met most of the other owners at last year's meeting, but there were a couple of couple who were new to us. The big decision was next year's mooring: we decided to leave Stockton Top and move to Norbury Junction on the Shroppie.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Fiddlesticks Free on test

The December issue of Canal Boat is out, and contains my review of Fiddlesticks Free, by Cauldon Boat Builders based in Stoke on Trent. This was a quality boat, full of good ideas. And it was a lovely sunny day, in spite of a downpour just before we started.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

River Medway

Del and Al from Derwent 6 left a comment on the last post about Teston Lock saying it was their home town. I assume they're talking about Maidstone, which is just a few miles from where I grew up, and gives me an excuse to post a photo of the Medway as it goes past the Crown Court in Maidstone. It was a very dull, wet day, so the photo is rather dark.

The narrowboat said Tonbridge on the side, so I guess it's Medway-based, and hadn't done the tricky/exciting journey from the Thames estuary.

I remember times during my childhood when the river was in flood, that it often came up the top of the arches of the bridge, flooding the subway into town in the process. That's a lot of extra water!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Teston Lock, River Medway

We spent the weekend in Kent, mostly at a family wedding. There was time on Sunday, though, to visit Teston Lock on the River Medway. It's accompanied by an impressive weir; in fact the whole lock is rather imposing, being very large and having massive gates.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Weedon, Calcutt, and Little Venice

Sue from No Problem spotted Debdale at Weedon the other day, and I've taken the liberty of reposting her photo here. It's nice to know where Debdale is when we're not on board!

Yesterday was spent in the Calcutt area on the Grand Union, doing a boat test. It was a lovely sunny day (although very cold), but the towpath was much drier than it had been in August when we last did a test on that stretch of canal.

This morning, I was very early arriving in London for work so I stayed on the tube to Warwick Avenue, walked down to Little Venice, and had lunch in the sunshine. There were no moving boats about, but there were plenty moored down the Paddington Arm, including one called Iron Maiden and another with Ogden's Nut Gone Flake painted on the side. I'm sure another blogger spotted the same boat and mentioned it a while ago, but I can't remember who it was and (so far at least) a search has failed to find the post.

I got the tube to work from Paddington, which gave me the opportunity to try out the new Wood Lane station on the Hammersmith and City Line. It's right opposite work, and so avoids the schlep up from Shepherd's Bush to Television Centre. It's a very smart station. I wonder how long that will last!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Narrowboat Dreams

I've just finished Narrowboat Dreams, by Steve Haywood. It's perhaps an indication of how much I enjoyed it that I read the whole thing in three sessions: two train journeys and a post-night-shifts afternoon. It perhaps takes a little too long to get to the meat of the journey across the Pennines via the (then newly re-opened) Huddersfield Narrow and Rochdale canals, but even so it's very funny and is full of vividly described characters and places.

I was particularly keen to read it because I've already begun thinking about our three week trip on Debdale next year. At the owners' meeting in a few weeks time, we're hoping to move the boat to a base a bit further north. And depending how far north, the South Pennine Ring is a strong contender as a route (as long as we can fit through the Standedge Tunnel -- the satellite dish is a bit of a worry). But there's plenty of time to find out about that, and despite many of the problems Steve Haywood experienced along the route, the book has increased my appetite for a double Pennine crossing.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Epiphany and a new fender

Epiphany spotted Debdale in Braunston yesterday. I notice there's another OwnerShips boat, Adderbury, moored up behind: Braunston is a popular Wednesday night stop, as it's easy to get back to Stockton Top for Friday morning.

I've taken the liberty of pinching Epiphany's photo, as it shows that Debdale has had a smart black front fender fitted.

When we were on board in September, we found the front fender in a very sorry state, in spite of being new in the spring. One side was ripped open, and the insides had fallen out (as seen in the photo below, taken on the Edstone Aqueduct).

It's one of the penalties of OwnerShips boats being used so much that things like fenders wear out pretty quickly. So a few days before we were due back at base, we asked for a new fender to be ready to be fitted and suggested that the black ones might be a bit stronger (as well as suiting the colour scheme better). And thanks to Epiphany for confirming that the work has been done!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

September photos

I've uploaded almost a hundred photos from our September cruise to Flickr. The set is here.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


This unusual colour scheme was spotted moored at Copt Heath Wharf on the Grand Union, within spitting distance of the M42. Maybe they wanted the boat to look even longer than it actually was.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Lock 53

I like doing locks, but I was surprised what hard work they were on the Stratford Canal, particularly the ones below Kingswood Junction. They're slow to fill and empty, the paddle gear is stiff, and the gates are heavy. Lock 53 was particularly difficult, because the bridge is so close to the bottom gate that there's no room for a proper balance beam. Instead, there's a metal framework attached a right angles, which gives very little leverage and is very uncomfortable to put your back against. Still, who said holidays should be easy?

Friday, 10 October 2008

Family Affairs

This is Willow Tree Marina in west London, scene of the boat test that wasn't. Its claim to fame appears to be as the setting of the soap, Family Affairs, on Channel Five. Despite that, it appears to be quite a pleasant place, and its shape makes it feel much smaller than it actually is.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Malanne and Marmaduke

A bumper issue of Canal Boat for me this month, with my boat test of the Reading Marine built Malanne, and a story about John and Cathy on Marmaduke. This was actually written months ago, but was updated with the latest news just before publication.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Incredible Journey

I set out just before 8 this morning on a trip to west London for a boat test. I thought it would be over by lunchtime and I'd be back home by mid-afternoon. As it turned out, there was a last minute hitch, I ended up driving to Evesham, and didn't get home until gone 7 this evening, having driven 325 miles.

Still, my first port of call was very close to Bull's Bridge Junction, so as I was running early and I'd never been there before, I stopped off at the nearby Tesco to have a look. I took the obligatory photo of the junction bridge.

Andrew Denny of Granny Buttons posted a night-time version just the other day, and linked to an almost identical scene by Bruce of Sanity. I'm rather jealous, because Bruce's sky is bluer, his grass is greener, and his water is stiller. And, of course, Bruce had arrived by boat!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Matilda Rose

We saw nb Matilda Rose several times during our time on the Southern Stratford, but it wasn't until last night that I realised that it was the boat featured in the Contented Souls blog. With the boat and the blog having different names, I just hadn't put two and two together.

The first time we saw Jill and Graham was at Kingswood Junction, where Jill was poised with a camera and took some photos of us coming out of Lapworth Lock 21.

Graham and Jill have posted the photos on their own blog, but have kindly said I can re-post them here. Matilda Rose went past us a couple of locks further down, as we'd stopped for lunch, then we passed them later in the day and the following day, when they were still going south and we were heading back north.