Heavy rain in the morning and it had been raining for a while. Shane went to look at the sign at the last lock which told you if the rivers were navigable. Yesterday it had amber in one direction ( where we had come from – ) and red – Do not proceed – in the other. Today both directions were red light, so we were lucky to get through yesterday, in glorious weather.
It brightened after breakfast and Shane was keen to crack on with the first lock and having driven all of yesterday, was happy to let me drive. Although wind, a dark approach and a side wash, meant a bumpier first entrance, than I would have liked, I was happy to stick to driving. We did conclude that these locks were on the narrow side too, with little room to spare. It probably didn’t help to be trying to take a photo of the pikes and helmets commemorating the last battle of the English civil war, on the bridge ahead of it either.
Mid-morning, I had a successful shopping trip, for which I donned the pumpkin patterned face mask, for its only outing of the year.
The day was bright while driving and I was pleased to spot two kingfishers chasing each other. They were certainly making the best of the weather. The locking was hot work as Shane gradually peeled off layers and threw them into the boat for safe stowage. I kept my coat, scarf and gloves on all day, despite the sunshine, while he was walking along in a t-shirt for most of the afternoon ( the Narrowboat pirate one, but he didn’t bother completing his costume with an eye patch or hook – though he mangled his hand a little so he is now sporting a bloodied knuckle) .
We got through all the planned locks, before the earlier nightfall came. I got on with making a Halloween lantern with the traditional Scottish vegetable. I concocted a stew incorporating it’s innards and other seasonal veg with ghostly dumplings on the top.
Hubble bubble toil and trouble, fire* burn and cauldron bubble,
Hackit neep begin the brew, add chappit root of amber hue,
Bulbs to make your eyeballs weep, fungus floats and Welsh stalks steep….
* induction hob
The neep is now up the front with the inside lamp on red as a seasonal navigation light. I don’t expect anyone to come, seeking treats or any boats passing, but at least some of the dog walkers might be amused. I‘ll go and finish off the witch’s brew.