Market Harborough, 0 miles, 0 locks
I was feeling a bit blue this morning, but the weather was glorious and just for a change I'm in the right place: today is Market Harborough's Arts Fresco festival, where they close off the streets and give the whole town over to art and entertainment. It was packed, with loads of things going on all over the place, including a beach where the adults could supervise the kids' sandcastle making from the comfort of deck chairs, comedians, statues that came to life, a camera obscura, a séance, Punch and Judy, various weird street performers including a fantastic 8ft high waitress pushing an afternoon tea trolley, a bizarre 'underwater' dance thing that took place in a gigantic inflatable sea shell, brass band bell boys, some troublesome waiters who seemed mainly to insult people, and Transformers! (Well, maybe just huge robots—I'm not that well up on Transformers these days.) It was wonderful.
Things came to an end about 5pm and a little while later I found myself having a pint in the Red Cow, which is a very nice 'proper' pub right in the centre of town. When I'd finished, it was just after 6pm and everyone had gone. It was such a surprise. After the hustle and bustle of the day and all those people, it felt like I was completely alone. I wandered around for a bit, thinking that I might have dinner somewhere because I was famished, but nothing really caught my eye. Eventually I decided that I'd go back to the boat and get my e-book, then come back into town and have pizza. As it happened, the Union Inn were still serving food so I ended up in there, having sirloin steak with mushrooms, paté and cheddar cheese. It was delicious and I'm pleased I went there, but I was still home by 8:30pm and once again feeling flat. I don't know whether it's seeing my neighbours yesterday that's making me 'homesick' or whether it's just that there are some things that are better done with friends and today would have been one of them. Either way, it seems like the 'real world' is a long way away tonight.