Sunday, 24 April 2011


The second week of the Easter hols saw Mr T, myself, JT and TJ packing our  van with all our camping gear to experience 4 days and nights of a slower pace of life. My father now resides on his much loved narrow boat of 6 years, Falmouth. Last October half term we went to see him in and around the canals of Trowbridge and the surrounding area, this holiday we were making our way further north towards Warwickshire.
With communications throughout the previous 2 weeks we had determined that dad would be around the Southam area and we duly booked ourselves into a campsite nearby, about a 5 min walk from the canal towpath at Long Itchington. My sister and her family were joining us so we had our bookings made, awning borrowed (thanks Mrs D), our cat feed (thanks Claire), and a long range forecast of wall to wall sunshine – you can’t ask for more than that on an Easter break.
The boys were climbing the walls with excitement to see Crazy Grandad and Lyn, especially JT as he and Amber (my eldest niece) were booked in for the stay on the boat. If any of you have travelled or hired a narrow boat before, you will understand that 11 people on a boat at any one time is a squash and a squeeze, 11 people sleeping on the boat would be tantamount to World War III with disastrous consequences for all concerned. Hence why the rest of us retire to our various camping units and meet up the next day. JT and Amber become boat children very quickly, helping with the locks, barefoot from the moment they are onboard, washing becomes a thing reserved for when mothers get hold of them, generally enjoying the independence they crave from younger siblings and their parents!!! JT is very much enjoying word searches at the moment and we would very often arrive onboard to find them both heads down stuck into the current one within their book of hundreds!
Meanwhile at Camp Trewin & Houghton, the 3 remaining children would meet in the morning outside the awnings and take their pick of which van they would eat their rice cakes and butter in that morning. Breakfast then followed with a civilised air of slowness and then it was off to meet the my dad and his crew.
You are never short of some fantastic pubs along the canal waterways of England and we did sample a liquid refreshment at one along the way on our second day, where the children’s play area was well used and a frisbee was hurtled overhead before moving onto the mooring for that evening.
My training schedule looked like a big void for the week, I managed a run along the towpath from Long Itchington to Napton, around 5 miles and another 5 miles clocked on Saturday morning upon our return. This was nowhere near the volume that was on my Garmin, but hey, I am only a week behind and my pins needed a break as well!
Happy holidays mean happy families, already looking forward to our next boat excursion – so WATCH OUT DAD!!

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