Saturday 13th August to Thursday 18th August 2016
There was the little matter of some important date to begin with. It seems that yet another year has ticked by since Diane made an honest man of me – 33 now and still counting.
We have long since giving away the idea of presents and new cards, although this year we even forgot to get out the old ones, but nothing changes as far as my love for her is concerned.
What did we do to celebrate?
The old fashioned way – we went out to see a movie and then for a meal.
We had a couple of free tickets in my wallet waiting to be used and thought seeing the new Star Trek movie would be nice, as well as having a late lunch at the nearby Frankie and Benny’s – so that was it for another year.
But wait, there is more – the final part of the special day was devoted to – wait for it…..
…..getting the first coat of topcoat onto the roof of the boat – good conditions meant that it was a priority.
|If it's not bad enough that the panting has to get done,|
there is always someone around wanting to get a picture
In between the going out bit and the painting bit we also managed to hand-back the house to Nikki and Phil – they had had a great couple of weeks away and happy that the house was being looked after, took their minds off that.
Two weeks had been enough for us sitting still, so almost at first light on Sunday morning we headed off southwards, stopping only at Batchworth lock for the essentials. We shared the locks after this with another boat – listening to them talk about their desire to be able to spend more time on their boat but not being able to because of other comittments made us both appreciate more the lifestyle that we have – they have the desire but simple cannot do it.
Eventually we moored up just above Denham Deep Lock, which is lovely and quiet (there is a distant hum of traffic on the busy A40.
The following morning disaster struck – as I was taking down the pram-hood covers at the back, one of the sides struck my face and whipped off my glasses – naturally it was the canal side of the boat and the specs met a watery end – with all of the weed around and the water being quite cold it was unlikely that they would be found.
Out came another pair – all be it a pair with old prescription lens’ – but I could see enough with them to steer the boat, couldn’t make any details of anyone more than 3 metres away, but other boats I could see well emough to miss.
Carry on we did then.
Diane went down to set the lock, I continued to ready the boat and set off.
I was just underway when a chap with a couple of dogs on the towpath slowed right down to say hello – he seemed as though he was determined to do just that, so naturally I replied and that was about that – he could have had two noses and three eyes for all I knew, such was my vision.
It wasn’t until we were through the lock and Diane had got back aboard that she related the story of this guy.
He was jogging along the towpath with his dogs, when another dog barked and engaged his two, which caused him to stop at the lock and have a bit of a chat with Diane.
He asked about where her boat was and she pointed me out a bit further up the canal, just pulling out.
She had recognised who he was, but didn’t think quick enough to get a selfie with him, and so it seems he wanted to say hello to me as well after chatting up Diane.
Who was he?
We film people value our privacy tremendously and so it is with great reluctance that I share the name of a fellow thespian (well the boat did the acting part) – Robert Lindsay – we have only ever seen him in My Family and the Hornblower series.
We filled with diesel at Denham Marina (58 ppl self declare) and then made it to Cowley Peachey to moor up – more famous people we know were waiting for us – Dot and Gordon on nb Ewn Ha Cul – the boat was there, they had nicked off again – something to do with a hospital visit.
Later on we found them and had a good chat; the following day we got some shopping in and Gordon and I did some taste testing at the establishment across from Aldi – the girls just left us there after they had finished shopping and we caught up with them on the towpath.
Again, it is lovely and peaceful here.
Wednesday proved to be a real scorcher and whilst I worked in relative comfort inside the boat, Diane busied herself with cleaning the front cratch area and the back deck – as well as making a dozen Welsh cakes and about the some number of flatbreads for afternoon tea with Dot and Gordon.
We did manage to find a bit of shade and that along with a very light coolish breeze took some of the edge off the heat – we sat out “enjoying” the very good conditions.
That was until we spotted a (irresponsible) dog owner walking about 50 metres in front of her dog, completely oblivious to it’s calling card.
I pulled her up on it and copped a mouthful, including the comment that she didn’t have anything to clear it up – no bloody excuse – and when she returned a few minutes later with an old container, to her credit she did clean it up, but not without more words, suggesting that she wouldn’t want to live with me – well I am quite happy in my current domestic relationship, thank you – and I think the dog would be more friendly anyway!
One of the pleasing things about English hot summer days is that after the sun has gone down, so does the heat (not like hot Australian summer nights) and sleep is definitely a lot easier.
14 Miles, 11 Locks
YTD: 496 Miles (799 km) , 322 Locks, 4 Tunnels, 14
Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges
Total: 4291 Miles (6906 km), 3021 Locks, 116 Tunnels, 59
170 Swing Bridges