School's out, and it's not often that I get to see my niece and nephew.
So when my sister and brother-in-law who live in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, arranged to meet me in Tamworth, approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes away, I relied on precise location from What 3 Words app.
The three random words were: cheek.noise.vibrates, which took them to the closest area at Fazeley Mill Marina. However, there was no parking for regular motorists, so they found alternate parking at Tesco Express in the town centre.
Motorists visiting a Narrowboat
Summertime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, and being surrounded by endless nature, I was enthused to stretch my legs from my boat to meet my family who were visiting the canal network for the first time, and I gave myself ample time to do some photography along the towpath.
Setting off from Drayton Brick Bridge where my husband @scubahead and I were moored, I headed (approximately 10 minutes) north, towards Drayton Turret Footbridge, a gothic-style unusual bridge with a pair of cylindrical stair turrets that skirt the canal, joined by a footbridge.
Still on schedule, I made a water stop and shuffled my Spotify playlist at the Drayton Turret Bridge.
Exploring the bridge, I entered from the right side of a set of spiral staircase, through the pointed arch doorway and a crenelated parapet. I crossed over the footbridge and exited on the other side where I captured these images.
There's also a swivel bridge below Drayton Turret Bridge, with a small parking area, which enables boaters with vehicles to park there. This would have been the ideal location for my family to park, but unfortunately there was no vacant spot.
Sitting next to the parking area, I discovered that there's a road to the side that leads to Drayton Bassett, a village and civil parish.
It's soothingly pleasant here, and staying on the towpath, I found this safe spot, where I eased my arms by placing my camera on a tripod, while keeping an eye on it.
Chilling, I received the call from my sister to say that they were in view of some boats, so we agreed that we would both walk along the canal to meet each other.
For first timers to the canals in the countrysides
It can be a skeptical feeling.
Motorists sometimes find themselves walking long distances if there's no available parking. Some areas where there's permanent mooring, you'll see rows of boats different lengths, designs, and colours, or you might not see any at all.
Endless fields, trails and towpaths, fleeting trains and cars in the distance, dogs running in your direction, and you hope that they are being friendly.
The reality hits you that you have unplugged from the hustle and bustle, and you're enveloped by nature...
Well, my sister and I had faith that we were walking in the right direction.
When you venture onto the paths of wildlife and water fowls, there's always something to make you smile. Such as this family of ducks lined along the towpath on the edge of the canal.
Aren't these little feathered ones just the cutest?
Apparently this has been their preferred spot for a few days. The mum is super protective and vigilant; she piercingly watches anyone entering the zone.
They seemed so calm and peaceful; Quietly, I snapped these photos without disturbing them, and carried on.
Continuing down the pathway trodding on freshly cut grass, I recalled seeing the River and Canal Trust mowing the grass and trimming hedges along the towpath.
There's so much pride in preserving this part of the English heritage.
Still smiling with thoughts of the little ducklings and family, I exchange pleasantries with some familiar boaters, and dog walkers. We marvelled at the pleasant cooler weather compared to the last scorching ones, and they wished me luck with capturing nice photos.
Something about reflections that always arose my curiosity. I love to see it. It's like multiplying the beauty of the colourful trademark paintings of narrowboats.
In a distance across fields of yellow grass, I have glimpses of people walking. Without my zoom lenses, I was unable to see if it was my family, but I had confidence that it was.
Indeed it was!
Reunited, as we're strolling back to our narrowboat Badger; another boater, shouted hello across the canals.
He said he saw my family walk by earlier, and almost asked if they were looking for "Badger" but he did not😄
My sister and I chatted, and my niece especially was happy to sit down and rest her legs as she quickly navigated her way around our tiny boat.😍
Thank you for reading my blog :)