We made it.
We started out early (9:00, early for us) and pushed on throughout the day. We were slightly rushed and stressed because we wanted to get to the marina in Milton Keynes before it closed. We had help from Phil again, and help with another lock staircase from volunteers, without which we would not have made it at all.
I have packed what we need to take home with us (mostly clothes that need laundering and electronic gadgets) and am sitting in the boat in the marina waiting for Jenny to return from charging the car we left here. That was stressful too; apparently the first three charging points she found were broken.
We are both SO looking forward to a nice long bath.
So that is Phase 1(a) of our journey completed. After a few days rest we start on Phase 1(b) which is the journey to Northampton. Phase 2 is to Peterborough (after a month or so rest) followed by Phase 3 which will take us down through the Fens to Cambridgeshire. Hopefully before the winter.
Next year we will have other plans. Neither of us yet knows what they are.