Day Eleven – A Walk Up Hurleston Locks

One of the things I suspect may have helped people panic less in the past week, was the gift of gorgeous blue-sky sunny days. I swear that’s one of the reasons people in Gisborne, where Barry comes from, seem so much happier and have a more positive outlook on life than most people here in UK (imho and experience of course). They have sunshine around 80% of the year.

Unfortunately the last couple of days there’s been a change. Back to ‘normal’ UK weather. The clouds are back with a vengeance. And there’s a chilly bite in the breeze. We’d even stopped having our fire on during the day last week, a couple of nights were even fire-free! Not so now. At 11am the fire was already glowing. However there was still enough blue sky this morning to make a sailor a pair of trousers, as my dear friend Therese used to say! So we took our chance to walk …

Checking Out Hurleston Locks

You may recall Barry and I were one of the last boats to descend Hurleston Locks on Sunday 3rd November 2019? They closed to all boat traffic on 4th November, in order to repair the bottom lock as its wall has been slowly collapsing. Some boats, especially historic ones, have either got stuck in the lock chamber or just not been able to go up the lock.

Hopefully you’ll be able to watch this time-lapse video of the repairs to February 2020 that CRT posted on their Facebook page (I don’t think you can on IOS?). It’s amazing, a taste of the amount of work that’s been done over four months:

As the flight opened on Friday 27th March, we thought we’d take our allowed ‘daily exercise’ there, a short distance from our mooring, and see for ourselves how it’s looking …

The image on the left was Sunday 22nd March, the two on the right today, Sunday 29th March.

Last week I couldn’t get over this bridge …

We heard there was an awful lot of traffic at this junction on Friday, some escaping having been on the canal for months, others I imagine heading out to isolate somewhere quiet.

This must be the camera and solar panel to charge it, that took the slow-mo film

One lock wall has been completely re-built and replaced – a massive task, costing over £1 million. But well worth it to keep this much-used waterway open to boats.

UK Family Catch-up

At lunchtime we hosted a group Skype call with my family around the UK. We had people on the call from Southampton, Exeter, Lichfield, Malpas, and us near Nantwich. Awesome! We were supposed to be together today in Droitwich – instead we ‘met’ virtually and plan to do so weekly if possible.

Returning to Areandare after our walk – a bit precarious on the ‘Shroppie Shelf’ at the front!

It’s tough this isolation and staying at home, but it’s the only way to flatten the curve. So I’m determined to look for the positives. One of which is keeping in touch more with family.

Barry and I have done our daily check-in to the UK-wide COVID-19 Symptom Checker – no symptoms. Hoorah! It looks as though this APP is being used in USA as well. Over 1.5 million people in UK have downloaded the App. Awesome. However, that’s only 2% of the population. Hopefully more will in the days and weeks and months to come.

Keep well everyone, and please continue commenting below if the mood takes you. It’s heart-warming to hear from readers at the best of times – now it’s even lovelier …

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