Friday, Saturday 10th.11th August 2012
Friday night, while stopped at Yardley, your's truly pulled a silly stunt which caused us the loss of our sat finder. For those who don't know what that is, it's a small box which you plug into the co-ax between the dish and the receiver and it gives audible and visual signals to tell me when the dish is pointed at the satellite. While it is possible to align the dish without it, the job is much easier and the results more accurate with one.
So, it was onto the internet to see where I might get another one quickly. Ebay was out because delivery isn't possible, so the first port of call was Maplins. Yes, they list one. No, it's not in stock at any of their outlets! Back to the drawing board (internet). The next thought was that the chandlers might stock them. Yes, but it was a cheap thing, sold much more expensively than better ones available and would be a last resort. Finally I did what I probably should have done first, instead of looking at likely retailers, search for the item. Surprise, surprise! of all people I would never have thought that Screwfix list one, it's in stock and I can get a bus into Northampton to pick it up.
Saturday, we moved up to the services at the bottom of Stoke Bruern Locks, and while doing the necessary another boat came along and made a pair to go up, very nice. On the way down to MK we hadn't bothered to stop at Stoke Bruern, it's a fine canal village which makes the most of its canal heritage. There's a museum, trip boats, and several other tourist traps like good pubs, ice cream and tea shops. After a nice lunch in one of the pubs, The Navigation, I caught the bus into Northampton. This is a 2 hourly service, and I hoped to be able to get the 4.00 pm bus back or I'd be trapped until 6pm.
Getting off the bus I consulted my phone's sat nav which told me I had about 1.5 miles to walk, so off I went. Without the phone it would have been a lot more difficult to get where I wanted. After about half and hour I got to Screwfix and purchased my toy.
I had noticed that there were buses running along the road I'd walked so after looking at the timetable on one of the stops I thought it would be a better idea to catch one back onto town. That saved me a bit of time.
Walking to where the driver of the bus that brought from Stoke said I could get the return bus I couldn't find any of the stops on that road which mentioned the right number. It was now getting close to the time for the bus, so in desperation I jumped onto a bus heading for the main bus station.
As we pulled into the station, caught in the usual traffic jam as buses jostle for position, I spied the bus I wanted just in front of us on its way out. the driver of the bus I was on wouldn't let me off to chase it, so I now had a 2 hour wait for the next one. Oh joy.
I got back to the boat just before 7 pm and Cath got tea ready before settling down to watch the diving. Well done Tom Daly!