Atherstone LocksLast time having taken one look at the barbed wire and smashed windows we passed straight through Atherstone like willocks. This time, in need of food we headed on in and found a rare high street packed full of independents. TheAtherstonere’s probably not much you couldn’t pick up there – other than a bottle of International Polwax. The town is famous for its Shrove Tuesday ball game dating back to the reign of Kong John. With only one rule – not to kill anyone; once shops are boarded up, the match starts at 3pm when a ball is thrown from Barclay’s Bank, there are no teams and no goals, the ball is decorated with red, white and blue ribbons which can be exchanged for money by anyone lucky enough to grab one.

After a hefty food haul, we moved off making a handy space for Gloria who we first knew as the lady whose left over electric credits we shamelessly drained at Aston Marina whilst still avoiding the moving aspect of narrowboating. We’ve met on several occasions since (always with a tinge of guilt about that electric) and are travelling a similar rspray foamoute for a while.

Moored out on our own last night, iAtherstonet was a bit odd this morning to hear clanking piling, then look out to see someone tugging their engineless boat round the corner and mooring nose to nose with us. Two ropes, we were away…

A couple of miles on we set up in sunshine so the solar panel could do its thing. The weather was hardly August but at least it was dry for most of the day so the boat got a bit of upkeep – the hatch turns drippy when condensation sets in so ivarnishn a bid to divert the water elsewhere a giant can of expandable foam got shot into the cavity…how exciting it will be to see water appear from another place  instead.

With Watling Street running nearby, home for tonight is reckoned by some to be the site of Boudicca’s last battle (google SFR), although quite a few other places seem to claim that fame too.