Of course there is no such thing as “Typical Easter Weather” because Easter Sunday can be as early as March 22nd and as late as April 25th. When you consider that British weather is changeable anyway, with March and April being two of the more volatile months (the others being the other ten!), it’s hardly surprising that the Easter weekend weather is hard to predict.
There appears to be a move to fix the date of Easter because, in essence, it makes commercial sense to have it in late April. For centuries now, Easter has been defined as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the spring equinox. This might seem unnecessarily complicated in this day and age but it comes as a result of mankind trying to figure out and mark the passing of time with cultures and religions disputing and compromising their beliefs. However, no matter what our beliefs are, we have always liked to mark mid winter, midsummer and both the equinoxes. We like the phases of the moon and the fact that we get thirteen full ones every year.
I quite like the idea that we have a special weekend whose date changes every year. I like the thought that it has roots in ancient Roman, Hebrew and Egyptian calendars and I am amused by the thought that we would benefit by fixing the date in late April. I am amused because I believe that it would make little difference commercially, adding nothing to GDP or whatever other spurious measures the bean counters dream up next. There are are only four facts to consider:
1. In Britain the weather is likely to be shit at any time.
2. Weekend weather is more likely to be shit than weekday weather.
3. Bank holiday weekends are more succeptible to shit weather than any other weekends.
4. Despite the weather, British people still go out to enjoy themselves on bank holidays!
Anyway, I’m writing this after travelling from Market Bosworth to Stoke Golding this morning where we moored up just as the rain came on. We’ve watched boat after boat crewed by people wrapped up against the elements but determined not to let the weather spoil their “enjoyment”. It’s now raining heavily and the wind is so fierce that there are actually small waves breaking on the surface of the Ashby canal.
Happy Easter everyone!
It’s two years since we bought Caxton and it’s two Easters since we took possession of her/him/it albeit that Easter was in April in 2014.
We moved on board on Thursday afternoon and after dining at the Marina we retired to the warmth and comfort afforded by our beloved narrowboat. Friday morning brought blue skies and a fresh north westerly breeze so we were up and out for just after eight o’clock. Turning right from the marina we looked back and saw that a boat had broken free of its mooring acouple of hundred yards away outside the pub and was blocking the canal, luckily we were heading in the opposite direction and were therefore untroubled by the blockage.
Our journey was very quiet in terms of moving boats which was a good thing because the Ashby is very shallow and on the couple of occasions when we met oncoming craft, Caxton struggled with the lack of water underneath once we had moved away from the centre of the channel.
We had a lovely cruise and pulled up at Market Bosworth three and a half hours after our departure. With Caxton secured, we had a light lunch before walking up to town to do a bit of shopping. We returned to our floating home and waited for our visitors Brett, Kerry, Liam and Chloe to arrive. They managed to find us by three o’clock and we then spent a couple of hours catching up and generally having a good laugh with them.
All too soon it was time for them to leave, by which time the sun was starting to head for the horizon and the temperature was beginning to drop so we said our goodbyes and closed Caxton up for the evening.
The weather has turned so we’ve escaped the clutches of the marina and headed north on the Ashby canal. We walked to the boat (how convenient is that?) this morning with enough bits and pieces to see us through the weekend and after tending to the fire which has been lit since Wednesday, I started the engine and then we went to visit Joe and Lesley on nb Yarwood. We said our goodbyes before reversing out on to the Ashby canal. We stopped for a few minutes and had a chat with Jim on nb Billie before getting underway under an emerging spring sun.
We had no real plans but by the time we had reached Stoke Golding, I had a trip to Market Bosworth in mind. It was a bright but cool day punctuated by warm spells when the sun poked its head through the clouds.
We passed one or two boats before we reached Market Bosworth where we turned and moored below bridge 42. After a leisurely walk up the hill to town, we treated ourselves to lunch in the Red Lion.
When we returned to Caxton, we stoked the fire up and then settled down for the evening listening to music and waiting for the sun to disappear over the horizon.
We’re back on board at the beginning of a new cruising season and it feels like we’re home again.
It was misty and chilly when we set off from the Lime Kilns this morning. Visibility wasn’t great either as we navigated our way around the outskirts of Hinckley but as and when we met other boats, it was always on nice straight stretches. When we reached the Barge moorings near bridge 21, we had to stop to let a boat sort itself out after getting grounded and then wrapping something around its prop. The sun was doing a good job of burning the mist off and by the time we passed Dadlington, the skies were blue and the temperature was rising. The Ashby canal is shallow in many places between Sutton Cheney and Market Bosworth and we foundered a couple of times as we passed the steady stream of boats heading south. We didn’t lose any time and we were soon pulling into the marina where we reversed Caxton on to its home pontoon. After lunch it was simply a case of carrying out the usual chores before loading a couple of bags into the car and heading for home. The first bank holiday monday of the year has been a cracker, lets hope it’s a sign of things to come.
With the Easter weekend finally upon us, we took up residence on Caxton on Wednesday evening in preparation for our weekend break. While I worked on Thursday, Sue worked her magic cleaning Caxton thoroughly so that when I returned, our her boat gleamed in the early April sunshine. All of my regular chores had been done for me so all that was left was to untie and escape!
We edged out on to the Ashby just after four o’clock and headed in a southerly direction on what was to prove to be a pleasant sunny afternoon. It was lovely to be back out on the water again, in the fresh air and watching the wildlife in action. We saw a couple of water voles, a moorhen on its nest and a swan starting to build a nest before we pulled up at “duck bend” near Stoke Golding. Once tied up, we sat down to dinner, home made lasagne for me and home made spinach and ricotta cannelloni for Sue, she does love her “meat free Maundys”!
The day began with the sun coming out, which was a great start. If you’ve read Sue’s post you will already know that it didn’t end so well. We wandered up to town around midday and already crowds were gathering in the streets. We walked around the Farmers market before making our way to the old forge where a blacksmith was giving a demonstration. The church bells were ringing out as we passed by and made our way to the parish field and then the country park where there were a number of stalls selling craft items both modern and medieval. Our walk eventually took us to the new cemetery from where we could see Ambion hill in the distance. Distant cannon fire signalled the start of King Richard’s final journey but since there was another two hours before the cortège was due in the town, we decided to visit the Dixie Arms for some lunch.
On arrival, we were greeted by the landlady who eagerly showed us the cellar bar that they have there. This is a great pub with a fabulous restaurant run by a hard working couple who deserve to do well. Their hog roast and real ales were certainly pulling in the punters when we visited and of course we sampled both food and drink there. We spent an hour in the company of some visitors from as far afield as Bolton and Pembrokeshire and with Sue already having engaged with some Canadians earlier in the day, it felt good to be part of something that had grabbed the interest of people far and wide. When we left the pub, we were impressed by the sheer number of people who were now packing the streets.
We made our way to Shenton lane where we took up position and waited for the funeral procession to pass by. At 3pm an air ambulance passed overhead, 530 years too late of course!
Eventually the hearse containing Richard’s coffin arrived, escorted by Police motorcycles and with a police helicopter hovering above. We followed it into the marketplace where a short service was held before the cortège continued on its way to Leicester.
With the show over, the crowds began to disperse and we too headed back down the hill towards the marina.
Below are just a few photos taken around Market Bosworth.
The sun is shining on Market Bosworth today and we are getting ready to walk into town. As George said today is the day of King Richards funeral cortege so there are many celebrations going on which should be great fun……but he did fail to mention what he is most looking forward to so I will tell you. The landlady of ” The Dixie Arms ” told us that she will be opening the bar in the cellar and that the staff will be dressed as serving wenches, of course it will upset him if they all turn out to be men. We will be putting our drunken post on this evening unless we are too drunk of course.
Market Bosworth is preparing for tomorrow’s funeral cortege when the mortal remains of King Richard III will pass through the town from where he was slain in 1485 to his final resting place in Leicester. Estimates vary but the local businesses are expecting up to 10,000 visitors, which seems like a lot but this event is unprecedented so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Regardless of the final visitor tally, the weather looks favourable, the monthly farmers market is on, medieval re-enactments are planned, there are at least two hog roasts and the pubs are stocked with real ales, some of them brewed for the occasion. The battlefield line is in steam this weekend so all in all it promises to be a good day out.
Post with pictures tomorrow.
The gale force winds continued throughout the night, keeping Sue awake until 3am, although she claims that my snoring didn’t help either! We had a late start as a result but once showered and dressed, we were heading up the hill to Market Bosworth where we planned to have lunch. Before we popped into the Dixie Arms, we spotted the current copy of the local community magazine, Aspect featuring a picture of boats, including Caxton, in the marina on its front cover.
We had a lovely lunch, then did a bit of shopping in the butcher shop and at the Co-op before returning to Caxton. The wind had dropped but as the sun sank, so did the air temperature and we were glad to get back to the boat.
We’re never that bothered about “seeing the New Year in” and this year was no exception. We turned in at about 11pm last night and didn’t stir until 7am this morning. After a late breakfast, we got the walking boots on and took a walk along the towpath to inspect the state of the ice. I also sent a round robin email to other moorers at Bosworth marina to check on the ice there too. We had a good walk and used the time to make some “Happy New Year” calls since there was no mobile service on board Caxton. On returning to the boat, I read replies from Ned, Jane and Trevor who all reported that the marina was free from ice.
Well it was two o’clock and we had stayed 22 hours on a one hour mooring so with no excuse to overstay any longer, we untied and set off for Market Bosworth. We had seen a few boats on the move so despite the fact that there were still sheets of ice floating around, we were confident that our trip home would take less than ninety minutes. The journey was easy despite it being a blustery one. Our entry into the marina was difficult with the wind blowing left to right. We traversed the open space at full speed with Caxton leaning at about twenty degrees from normal but soon our home berth was visible. With a bit of judicious work of the throttle and bow thruster, we were soon at ninety degrees to the wind which nullified its effect, allowing us to glide alongside our pontoon and tie up.
So that was that, our Christmas cruise was over, although we intend to remain on board until Sunday before returning home prior to me going back to work on Monday.