Saturday, 18 February 2012

Trials and tribulations ...

After crossing over to the water point and filling the tank, George set off to set the Graham Palmer Lock and I took the helm for all for all of 30 seconds!  It sounded as if there was something metal wrapped around the propellor! I sounded the horn and George returned to the boat.
 He removed the deck and lifted the weed hatch after stripping off at least 3 layers of warm clothing in a very chilly wind ... someone had lost their umbrella in a strong wind and it had ended up round our prop!

If you're squeamish, don't look at the picture below!

Whilst George was head first down the weed hatch I watched a farmer check his mole traps in the neighbouring field; he took this dead mole out and hung it on the fence.  When I asked him why he did that he said it was as a warning for other moles!!!
 Although it was wonderfully clear when we set off at half past two there were dark clouds ahead!
But looking back was fine!
 The first spring lambs I've seen this year
 You can see for miles and miles along here
This adolescent swan had been dodging our bow for a while, spitting at the boat, after a while he'd had enough and crossed the bow to climb out onto the towpath, he then proceeded to run past us flapping his wings and still spitting feathers!
 Leaving Perry Aqueduct behind us ...
 Those dark clouds still threaten as we approach Rednal Basin ...
... it used to be a swing bridge giving access to the basin beyond, but it certainly won't be swinging again and the basin is very overgrown.
 It's still a lovely view behind us though ...
 ... as we negotiate the sharp bends.
 The sun's rays bouncing off the rail bridge ...
... and the view from under the narrow Heath House turnover bridge (takes the towpath from one side of the canal to the other)
 Especially in today's light the scenery around the Montgomery is stupendous
 into the sun!
There are quite a few small woods and copses along the canal too
 Corbett's Bridge 75 ...
 ... and dead straight ahead ...
... towards bridge 76 and the Queen's Head Hotel on the right
 For the moment we've tied up against this building and George has walked ahead to see if there is anywhere better where we may get decent TV and internet signals.
 Up at street level are what were probably once canal warehouses
To conserve water and the bank sides on the Montgomery the speed limit is 3mph; the posts on the right are markers to check your speed - it takes 10 seconds to pass each post at 3mph and 15 seconds at 2 miles per hour.

George returned from his recce re mooring elsewhere and I could see that he was not happy, he walked straight past the boat and I could see mud on his jacket and his jeans ... what has happened?  
Over to him ...

On my way to recce, I came across two geese swimming peacefully on the water; as I walked past they climbed out of the water and ran towards me with their heads low, hissing and spitting.  I turned around as they were pecking my calves and fell over backwards.....into a puddle!  I fought gallantly to keep them at bay, bearing in mind I was now at their level, and on they came tugging at my trouser legs as I clambered back up.  I rose to my full intimidating height and shouted at them and on they came drunk with success, pecking at my knees.....I lost patience and yelled at them, rushing forward, pushing them towards the water, they backed off and retreated (they knew when they were beaten).  I limped back to the boat telling them I would be back tomorrow and they had better not be there....we shall see!

(me again now) ...  And after all that he decided that we should just move back one boat length and all will be fine ... and it is! We've got internet and satellite TV... 
and a washing machine full of muddy clothes!


  1. Carol,
    You have now confirmed my desire to purchase a walking stick as I'm rather partial to well cooked goose!
    nb Waiouru

    1. Hi Tom, George took a swing at one of them today with his arm not the windlass that was in his other hand although I know he was very tempted!

  2. I have always been amazed at the efficiency of mole traps to kill. They have all smooth edges and what feels like weak springs but I have never pulled a mole out alive. It is traditional to hang the dead moles from the fence; it showed the landowner what a good job you were doing.

    1. The farmers around here have their work cut out we've seen hundreds of mole hills!

  3. I told you it was good, but forgot to mention the geese!!

    1. Keeping it a secret made it all the more interesting ... for George anyway!!