I’m Looking Through You

We have enjoyed Droitwich and its many artistic exhibits about its relationship with salt. This tiled piece shows the canal too, with a barge named Success on it.

Droitwich ceramic, tile and stone mosaic

Having decided to make our way towards Worcester, I had forgotten how immediately we would both be in action as we went through the lock in the park with a footbridge over it. It is a bit of a fiddle with getting back and forth but I was in luck that a passing chap offered to help with opening gates. Although it is a double lock , the gates do not open fully so you have to open both sides as far as you can for a boat to squeeze through. Still Shane had to cast off and I had it ready to go and he was still untangling ropes. A boy on a bike had stopped to let me open the bridge. I offered to let him over since the boat had not yet started moving, but he said he was in no hurry at all and I should take all the time I needed. When at last I had closed it, he waved and wished me a good journey and said “see you again” cheerily. I would be very happy to meet him again! 

I was also happy to meet again the man who had helped me with a hard flight in Birmingham. He wasn’t on duty today, just likes to help.

Perhaps because it is mild, or because it is the weekend, we saw a few more boats out and about and people on the towpath. Now that the boats have engines, you don’t expect to see horses, except in the fields, but today some ponies came past us. 

A busy lock for many users.

I waited for them to pass in case the noise of the lock operation was frightening, but I should have remembered that dropping the paddles is not as noisy as raising them, so would probably have been no problem. The lady walking her dog also decided to sit and wait, holding her dog closely, until they were safely past.

I worked the staircase locks that I had driven through last time and was glad of instructions beside them, and then once I was hot we swapped over and Shane did the ones I had disliked before with side ponds and sticks to prop the gates open. Shane used these but one still closed on to the boat, while I was driving through. 

We had a short tunnel ahead and had discussed before that going through a tunnel without a light was an issue but, since the tandem has a powerful headlight, that could be made to work. I decided that holding the frame, taking a photo and spinning the wheel all sounded a bit of a challenge so I volunteered to drive through the tunnel. Shane had a trial run of setting it all up, then as I was lining up to go in I thought I would like a shot of the approach. Luckily the entrance was quite a wide target. I could see all the way through easily, but that is less obvious in the photo.


Shane ready to operate the improvised light, but also blocking the light at the end of the tunnel.

We have tested that it is possible but for a long tunnel it would be very tiring and I am still not sure whether it lights up the ceiling well, but it would be permissable.