Saturday, 18 June 2016

Never on a Saturday

Memo to self: never tackle a long flight of locks on a sunny Saturday afternoon. And never, ever tackle a long flight of locks in company with a half-cut single-hander who progressively became an almost completely cut single-hander by the bottom of the flight. And managed to very nearly have a fist fight with another boater along the way.
Yes, it was quite an afternoon, descending the Audlem flight. Its fifteen locks usually take us less than two hours – after more than three we gave up and moored before No 12. Four left for tomorrow when our single handing compatriot will be far away. Hopefully.
Don't get me wrong, it's tough being a single hander so I was happy to help as we followed him down the locks. But he wasn't just slow, he was agonising.
...and waiting
After a few locks, one or two boats started appearing up the flight and our man was happy to wait – and wait – as they eased nearer, his elaborate semaphore signals asking them to leave gates open behind them for him to slip through. And while he waited, we waited by now a couple of locks behind him. It wasn't saving water (there was plenty of that pouring down the by-washes), it was saving effort. I was the one putting in the effort, walking up and down the flight trying to work out what was – or generally wasn't – happening.
To fill the slowly passing minutes, he seemed to be having a tipple or two so perhaps it was no surprise that by lock eight or nine he got into an altercation with a boat crew coming up. He thought they were wasting time! As two big blokes threatened to "throw you in the f***ing cut", yours truly played the peacekeeper from a safe distance.
But I did get a piece of chocolate tiffin
Well, it was all entertainment wasn't it, and I thought I was just going to be writing a cosy little blog about the cake stall by the top lock where we first encountered chocolate tiffin a couple of years ago. It's still there and the tiffin is as good as ever.
Tonight we're in Audlem, just across the border in Cheshire and we've seen our first Footballers' Wives motor – a disgustingly vulgar white Bentley off-roader. Yes, you heard it right, a Bentley 4x4. Whatever the point of that is, I really don't know.
And this is a Bentley 4x4. Why?

1 comment:

  1. All that for a bar of Tiffin.....and I thought it was Football you had to watch to get drunk! not a quiet amble down the cut :-)As for that there a Green Road wide enough for that beast? Anyway you now know what you have been missing over the past few months and have you now made a master plan for the route ahead or is it 'play it by ear' where ever the tiller might take you