Day 45, Northampton to Whiston Lock
Yes indeed, touch wood, it has not yet rained, and although the official word had not come through from the EA that the Nene (in particular, Doddington Lock) was passable again, enough filtered through on the grapevine to persuade our doughty heroes that this was in fact the case, and they set off late this morning.
Northampton, I hear, is a bit of a hidden gem, or at least Not Nearly as Bad as Expected, with plenty of shops and nice buildings, and the mooring down by the new flats opposite the Carlsberg works, although visually uninspiring, was quiet and convenient. Best of all though was the Malt Shovel pub, which I persuaded Jim he should investigate after wiring him some funds. Thirteen handpumps, including Belgian fruit beer. So at least next time I brave the Nene - which will I imaging be in the opposite direction - I will have the thought of that to sustain me. Well, not the Belgian fruit beer, perhaps, but one of the other twelve.
I am looking forward to reading the Duckies' blog and seeing what they made of the Nene locks. Apparently (and this does ring a vague bell) it says in the book that narrowboats shouldn't share locks on the Nene because they're theoretically not wide enough - although in practice they clearly are, with a foot and a half to spare. When we first came up we were completely unaware of this stricture and merrily shared with all and sundry, to considerable mutual advantage and with no ill effects. So although the book gave James a bit of a turn yesterday, and I had to reassure Jim that yes, we really had shared before, many, many times, they've been going through together today. Well, would you really want to do all that twice (or rather, four times, as you have to do it twice anyway) unless you really really had to?
So we leave them happily in the middle of nowhere, wondering what I was doing with a spirit level when Jim rang... The thought of me doing things to the house in his absence makes him quite nervous.