Friday, 19 July 2013

The Belle and the Bell

Thursday 18th Juy to Friday 19th July 2013

Another early start again to beat the heat, but rising through the first lock out of Shardlow, a kindly person had advised about a problem ahead with a rather large tree and an equally large branch which was in a precarious position – personal inspection and a look-see was advisable.

Sure enough – it could easily be seen where the branch was peeling itself away from the trunk and if it came down it would cause some havoc.

On the basis that we had been through the same place just the day before and that the breeze would have trouble blowing out the flame on a candle we proceeded.

Gently we went, taking the precaution of life and limb – Diane and Banjo were inside the boat – I am pretty sure she made the phone call to the insurance company to increase my life insurance payout – just in case !

Everything passed without incidence – we did make the comment to each other that if we had waited for CaRT to arrive and inspect, they would be sure to close the canal – later in the morning that is exactly what they did – closed until sometime on Friday.

We had observed on Wednesday a boat using that very same first lock up and the lady on board needed to use the bow thruster to get into the double-gated lock. We sniggered a bit about all of that, but as we found there are reasons why some people need to use the button.

It was this very same boat that we met and shared the next 4 double locks with on our cruising on Thursday.

Diane was on the boat and was chatting with Jo and it transpired that she has to steer the boat – only into the locks whilst Danny sets them and works the boat through.

With some medical problems she is not physically able to open and close lock gates and therefore must do the boat; she feels more comfortable with the button and Danny said that without it they simply wouldn’t be able to enjoy cruising – no longer will I make any comments about bow thrusters and the people that need to use them – they help people feel more confident and help them get out and enjoy the canals.

Danny did go onto say that Jo is improving with the steering – Well Done!!

The sun was getting hotter and we were both getting ready to moor up – so after Stenson Lock we were looking for the first available spot – which fortunately arrived just after bridge 20 – in we went and there we stayed – in the shade; in the cool of the day; out of the heat.

And here we stayed for another day.

Despite some railway marshalling yards nearby and the distant presence of the hum of the A50, it was quiet, peaceful and cool.

Diane was comfortable in her chair out on the towpath; the bell was nearby and a simple ring caused the neurotransponders in the brain to make my feet move toward the sound – the body followed as well –

“Yes dear, what would you like for me to fetch for you?”

“Coffee, croissants, water, foot massage, back rub - Your wish is, as usual, my command, oh queen of the boat”

Tomorrow we may head off, but for certain it will be for another shady spot where the bell works and the response is the same.


  1. I can beat that, we watched a chap take a wide beam out of a lock and he used his bow thruster....where was it going to go?

  2. Glad to see the bell is being put to good use! xxx

  3. Paul, this is part of my program to be completely understanding of others - of course, it won't mean that i will not call a stupid person an idiot when they behave like that.

  4. Dot, she has two bells now - i guess that means one for each hand.