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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


The weather on Monday was not as bad as we had feared, the rain not arriving until late afternoon, allowing us to rediscover this charming village, which is full of black and white, thatched cottages. We also discovered that by crossing the extremely busy A38 we could easily walk to the National Memorial Arboretum, it is not shown on our 2006 Nicholson’s guide, as it was, I think, only opened in 2007. We didn’t go in as dogs are only allowed in a small area, but decided to go back on
Wednesday, sans Duggie.

Jacquie’s visit to Lichfield on Tuesday was a success, returning with her locks trimmed in a very satisfactory manner; that is until next week when she will for certain complain that she ‘can’t do a thing with it’.

N.B. Parsons Passage passed me on her way back to Barton Turn, making the most of the warm sunshine, after her extended weekend outing, Janet was at the helm whilst Peter did the locking, and I took the opportunity to take photos of the excellent sign writing on the boat, one side promotes Janet’s childrenswear shop, Ginger & Pickles and the other, the family butchers, both in Sherborne, Dorset, before bidding them a safe journey back to the West Country

I took advantage of the warmth to wash one side of SKYY and touch in the paint and blacking. I decided that what I needed was a small container to hold enough paint for touching up, rather than keep opening the big tin, an empty Marmite jar seemed ideal, so if anybody should see me dipping a small paint brush into said jar, do not be too concerned, it does contain paint.

In the evening Duggie and I walked along the towpath and over the raised sections under which the River Trent joins the canal for a short section before it leaves and tumbles over a weir. Sadly my photo doesn’t begin to convey what a beautiful spot this is.

The next morning, Wednesday, Duggie was left on board, but I promise he had a good walk first, when Jacquie and I set off again to the National Memorial Arboretum, It covers a very  substantial acreage, with section for every branch of the armed forces. The centre point is dedicated to all those who have died in service since the end of World War 2. Every name is carved into the white stone and the bronzes depict the full horror and suffering of armed conflict, sadly they are still carving the names of the 2011 casualties and there are plenty of un-inscribed panels for the casualties of future conflicts.

We found the area dedicated to The Royal Corps of Signals, featuring their symbol, the winged Mercury. Jacquie’s dad was in the Signals and was badly injured in the retreat from Dunkirk; fortunately he survived and enjoyed a full life, spending his last years as a Chelsea Pensioner. Whilst we were wandering around a powered hang glider circled overhead, its canopy splattered with poppies and promoting The Royal British Legion. Coffee, cake and back to the boat, just before the promised rain arrived, good timing.

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