Monday 9 April.
Since last Thursday I appear to have been fast-forwarded to Monday. How did that happen? The weekend has simply flown by.
Let me tell you what we have been up to over the last few days: Friday we cruised to a rather splendid marina that goes by the name of Barton Turns Marina. This place enjoys a cinema, three restaurants, a couple of coffee shops, a delicatessen, a farm shop and several little boutique-shops. Of course, there are also boaters facilities and a self-service launderette. Apart from getting the laundry up to date (Tom does this job), my humans made very good use of the other facilities.
We spend Friday exploring the small town of Barton-Under-Needwood. Leigh loved the architecture of the 16C battlemented church which was built by Henry VIII’s private secretary, John Taylor.
The walk from the marina to the town, and back again, didn’t take too long (I guess it’s a mile at most, each way) but I particularly enjoyed the off lead stretch through a little wooded area. Barton is part of the national forest, which surprised me as it doesn’t appear to be a forestytypeofplace. However, I have since discovered the former ‘Forest of Needwood’ is just north of the village.
Saturday morning saw Leigh going for a run around the three lakes which are part of the marina grounds. Tom and I then joined her for a walk around the lakes, which was great fun; I met a few other canines, had a sniff, they reciprocated, then we went on our way. I am quite enjoying socialising nowadays – I must be getting older I guess. Yelp!
After doing a spot of shopping at the rather nice farm shop, bitsnpiecesshops, and small boutiques, Leigh arrived home with a shiny new pair of wellies. Her old Hunters had been leaking for a while – they’ve done a great job for the last eight years – so she has replaced them with smart Joules wellingtons. She’ll be too posh to puddle for a while I reckon!
My humans left me home-alone in the evening while they went for a drink at the Waterfront, then onto to the gorgeous Thai restaurant in the marina. They tell me the place is worth a visit – very good food and the building (and staff) are authentically decorated.
After a pump-out and fillingupofwateranddiesel, we set off on Sunday morning for a rather cold cruise to Willington. We passed a huge park, mainly grass but edged all round with gorgeous golden daffodils.
On arrival we decided to take a walk into the village. What a disappointment! There appears to be no heart to this little place. There are several pubs and a couple of shops but I felt the village had no atmosphere at all. Maybe it is partly down to the railway that divide the place?
I would say, the best thing about Willington are the many lovely moorings down at the canal – they enjoy pretty gardens and the sight of so many boats is comforting in a reminiscing sort of way.
On our journey from Barton to Willington we encountered several aqueducts, one being the 12-arch stone aqueduct that carries the canal over the river Dove. I had never head of the Dove; it’s good to learn new things isn’t it?
Woofs, Martha xx
P.S. I loved these three guys (possibly Indian Runner Ducks?) – see photo! Casually enjoying each other’s company canal-side today!