Monday 23rd to Monday 30th May 2011

Happy Birthday to No.1 son David for Monday 30th, not that he will ever read this – it isn’t on Facebook.

This week has been half and half – first half cruising from Sluff Arm to Berko’ and second half sitting on the mud in one of those pounds that goes up over night and down in the day. It’s a bit like mooring on the Thames but with only one tide a day.

My little routine is to wait until the cupboards and drawers fly open and then walk to the lock and flush through 10 minutes of water. Then we’re OK for 24 hours before the procedure has to be repeated.

V was baking a sponge cake one day and not wanting two wedges stuck together with jam I asked her to wait while I refilled the canal. As it happened the glass cooker cover slammed down onto the kettle and cut off the gas to the oven. Brilliant safety feature.

Where’s yer boat, they asked as I approached the lock with my windy. Stuck on the mud, I replied, give us yer water!!

As you know we bumped into Les and Jaq on nb.Valerie and sampled some tasty sarnies on the way up. They’re somewhere up ahead of us now, having leapfrogged us during the week.

We’ve done a lot of bumping this week, bumped into this strange fella outside Tesco, a left-over from the Ricky Festival. You might recognise him from a certain boating magazine.

Then we bumped into Molly Brown (not literally, of course) with her two man crew heading for Ripon.

molly brown

Crumbs, what a journey they have before them and worse still they have to contend with the likes of narrowboats until they get onto the Trent.

Then there was Max and Lesley on nb.Hart of February, an earlier Sandhills Boat, moored at the Wendover Arm Canal Festival at Boxmoor.

And then we almost bumped into this little fella taking the sun on a branch sticking out of the water. He didn’t hang around when he saw me getting closer for a picture but dived off and swam like the clappers. Could this once have been someone’s pet terrapin?

Cor would you believe it, the model canal at Batchworth Lock, just up from Ricky Festival has been visited by the same boater we’ve been following. Look, you can see he’s left the gates open again.
model canal

A big thank-you goes to Mike and Jo who called in with a huge bakery-type sausage roll, all for me. There were other goodies too but I didn’t see them, my eyes were filled with the sausage roll, thank you, thank you.

Another big thank-you goes to Ter and Claire who stayed with us over the weekend, bringing the first mail for months and helping to weigh down the high side of the boat during low tide. One consequence of their visit is we now have our census form to complete and send off before 2021. The lady on the ‘phone said she was sending a special form for people like us but it’s all to do with houses unless we’re Irish Travellers or Gypsies. Perhaps we should declare “Water Gypsy”.
Oh dear, my head is hurting.

Finally, to cheer us up here’s a love letter on the ground paddle at Nash Mill. Love finds extraordinary places to leave its mark.

“I Rose Bacon love’s my husband Rob 4 eva and eternity till the day I take my last breath and beyond – RNR x”

And the reply “… I love you my presiouce cute gorgouse angel wife 4 life…. Rob UR husband”.