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Willington to Norton Junction (a Christmas update) 74 miles, 34 locks

Happy Christmas and a merry New Year from Richard and I!
I haven't updated the blog for a while, so I thought I'd do a quick summary of happenings to Christmas...

My little stall at the Stoke Bruerne Christmas Market

As Richard is now firmly ensconced in the realms of breadwinner for the winter, it was up to me to take part in the Stoke Bruerne Christmas Market this year on my own.  I had to take him to work, so that I could have the car and then collect him whilst someone else took care of the stall until my return!  

As always, the boys were impeccably behaved, lying down at the side of me, behind the stall

Saturday, I arrived at 6.30am, thinking I would be first to set up once it started to get light etc, not realising that proceedings didn't start until 12!  I had a big wait, so took the dogs for a long walk in the dark and had breakfast with Geraldine and Michael on the Cheese Boat.  Sunday, I went back to our boat for breakfast, before considering the final leg of the journey to Stoke Bruerne, later on!  
The weekend, overall was good, but next year, we will arrive by boat and open our butty boat for the market!

A few decorations to give the boat a bit of sparkle!  And Lister by the fire as always!

Christmas for us, will be quiet this year, as we like it, but with a twist!  The new boat has an oven with variable temperature control, so cooking may take a more elaborate turn over the festive period!  All mod cons on this boat!  

View from the old bridleway over the top of the tunnel towards Braunston

As this is the first year of properly 'winter continuous cruising', as opposed to paying for a winter mooring, or a marina, we have enjoyed a fair amount of walking with the dogs to move the car to different locations etc.  

The entrance (Braunston side) of the tunnel we have just walked over

This was a particularly lovely walk, taking us from Norton Junction (where we had left the car), over the top of the tunnel to Braunston, back to the boats for breakfast (around 5 miles).

View down the flight of locks to Braunston

Back at the boats, we moved them both breasted to outside the big pub there (no advert here!) to have a drink and breakfast ready for the locks later.  The second time this pub has ignored us, like we have a cloaking device!  We ordered drinks at the bar and were the first in for food, but were told our order would be taken at the table.  No, everyone else, as they arrived, had their orders taken and we blended in to the ether again!  So we had sausage sandwiches on the boat and carried on up the locks bemused!

Mooring at Norton Junction was serene and peaceful and not at all muddy surprisingly!

The lock flight at the junction has only just been opened after repairs, hence the reason why I didn't do the Christmas market from the boat (it was below the locks on the Grand Union canal), but we have had a really lovely mooring opposite my favourite fields.

The boys love this field, unusually not full of cattle, so we can walk around it (the farmer apparently is fine about this)

So that's us for Christmas!  I continue painting for my stock for next season, but we are considering travelling to Stoke Bruerne and opening up if the weather is nice before our first confirmed festival at Easter at Foxton Locks.  We will see....