Today the leaves started falling. We were travelling behind Watford Gap Service Area when the wind got up and the canal was covered with a carpet of leaves. Albert's prop cut a channel through what looked like vegetable soup.

Waiting for the Watford Flight (M1 in background)

We managed to get up early today and were probably the first down the Watford Flight. We only had to wait for two boats coming up. We got to Norton Junction at around eleven at waited to pair up, but no other boat arrived. The sun shone as we descended the flight and apart from a crew in front leaving a gate paddle up all went well. It is surprising how much water is lost from a paddle open only a couple of notches and how difficult it is to spot!

We had lunch at Whilton and then had a pleasant trip to Bugbrooke. It included spotting a Kingfisher near Brockhall. It's difficult to imagine spotting a such an illusive bird so close to one of the busiest stretches of motorway (M1) in the country.

We moored up near the Wharf just as the weather turned wintry- the clocks go back tonight. We decided that the Wharf looked inviting but were amazed to find that we were one of only five tables that were served all night (we left as they stopped serving). It was very quiet all night. Maggie had to resort to Strongbow tonight after her recent adventures with "real" cider.

Daisy has now developed a boating routine. She settles into sleep when we are travelling and takes her exercise when we stop. That's why at 10.30 at night she is practising here ball skills up and down the cabin. She is the female cat equivalent of Wayne Rooney - very fast, very skilled at ball control, but sometimes over exuberant. At the moment she has just collapsed on the rug in front of the fire - exhausted.

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