A short and slightly scary stay in Handsacre …

Since early October we’ve been successful in our choice of fourteen day moorings. Until this week …

Actually that’s not strictly accurate. The moorings, as always, are Barry’s choice. Not mine. So the ‘we’ is stretching the truth a little. Geography, especially of the UK Inland Waterways, is not one of my strengths.

Handsacre appeared to be the closest location to our Lichfield based Calendar Club shop, according to Barry. Sadly in practice it’s been the worst location so far for us. Nothing against the place. But …

The drive to and from the ‘Cathedral City’ is a circuitous route, involving navigating winding, narrow, country lanes. I dislike driving on the roads here in UK at the best of times. In dark wintry evenings, with idiotic speeding car and lorry drivers (some of whom I’m frequently aghast to find are female), it’s one of my nightmares. The majority of people here are constantly in such a ridiculous rush, and have the desperate urge to move from A to B as quickly as possible. Damn the speed limit or safety concerns. They’ll tail-gate you in their desperate desire to force you to go faster. Or attempt to overtake, so they can arrive a few minutes earlier. I find it terribly sad. If I get the chance I’ll pull over so they can head off into oblivion. Their headlights dazzle me in the rear-view mirror, so I turn it to one side – otherwise I’m blinded by their light and the road in front is far less visible. Sometimes I want to stop and ask them if they’d like to get in my boot! Thank goodness mum doesn’t drive anymore. It’s unpleasant and frightening. And it feels to me as though it’s getting worse.

Anyway, I’m digressing …

In addition to the precarious car journey, Barry was appalled to discover that a return bus ticket on the Arriva service is £6.20 return! It seems they have a monopoly on the route. In other places it’s been just £1 each way, or a maximum of £3.70 for a return trip. Double this for a similar journey we feel is outrageous! Worst of all, on Wednesday Barry waited for 45 minutes for a bus, as one timetabled just didn’t bother to turn up.

A crisp and clear morning close to The Crown in Handsacre today

Consequently Barry’s moved Areandare nine days early today from Handsacre back to Whittington. It’s been over 28 days since we were last there, so it’s fine for us to return. We shan’t be returning to Handsacre this winter …

A scarey noise in the night

I was woken abruptly last night by an intermittent, persistent, screeching alarm. Believing it to be the fire alarm with a low battery, in my half awake state I took it off the ceiling and removed the batteries. Still the high pitched wail continued. I walked to the back of the boat to the other fire alarm, but the noise dimmed. Eventually I realised it was the Carbon Monoxide monitor warning us that levels were higher than they should be. Phew! Lucky we have one.

Hastily we opened the side hatch and front door – Barry was now awake too (he’s a deep sleeper, I was woken first despite wearing ear plugs!). He reckons the fumes from the still smouldering fire had caused the commotion. There was howling wind and driving rain overnight, which made the fire’s fumes flow inside the boat instead of up the chimney.

First late-night opening

While Barry had a day of moving the boat, I manned (womanned surely?!) our shop. Today was our first late night opening on the run-up to Christmas. At the Three Spires Shopping Centre they’ve built an Ice Rink which opened today. By opening late on Thursday’s, till 23rd December, we can offer customer’s two free twenty minute ice skating sessions if they spend £20 or over from today. Not that we’re into gratuitous spending – Calendars and diaries however are on my ‘essential’ list of things to buy to help keep me (us!) organised, and for life to flow smoothly. It makes working in retail rather enjoyable when you’re sell something you believe in.

8 thoughts on “A short and slightly scary stay in Handsacre …

  1. Pingback: Be CO Safe on the Waterways this Summer | Adventures Aboard AreandAre

  2. Wow, thank goodness you had your carbon monoxide detector and you don’t sleep as heavily as Barry. Hope you have more joy in Whittington x

  3. Sorry to hear Barry’s been having trouble with the buses. Bus pricing schemes can sometimes seem illogical – but never as totally daft as the railways! Places like Hopwas and Whittington are within Arriva’s “Tamworth and Lichfield Zone” where the maximum fare is a Day Ticket at £4 for the whole zone. Despite being a similar distance from Lichfield, Handsacre is outside that zone and standard mileage rate fares will apply. I’m afraid £6.20 for a trip of 5 miles each way is not uncommon in rural areas, although if it’s any consolation, which it won’t be, that fare would have given him a day’s unlimited travel throughout the West Midlands.
    When does he qualify for his bus pass! :’)

    • Hi Jim, that makes sense now. Still outrageous! Barry has sparse time for anything currently, never mind travelling around the West Midlands on buses lol 😉

      Bus passes aren’t given now until pensionable age I believe? Which I’m guessing for Barry, who is 62 in December, would be in 2022? Such a shame it’s not at 60 years of age any longer 🙁

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