What a bright, sunny Boxing Day, a day made for walking. However, true to form, we saved our walk till the grey dregs of the day.
Alan spent the greater part of the morning photographing Ralph’s car collection, car by car, using his portable studio (a Christmas present). I’m not sure why: when I looked at them I thought they could be printed to make Ralph’s own little book but he says he didn’t process them to print quality.
It was good to be back on the boat after two nights at home. The ice on the canal seems even thicker. Apparently there will be rain in a couple of days and hopefully there will be some thaw.
We finally set off on our walk round 3.30 and went up past Ironbridge Lock and then round through the park. I was wearing the old pair of suede pull up boots that are much safer on the ice than my walking boots for some reason and using the Nordic walking poles pulled out of the loft. It feels as if the exercise is far more effective when using them so I might do so in future. I have been watching with interest people striding along the towpath using poles which they look as if they could well do without: now I understand why.
Just before we got back to the boat we met up with the South African who had been distributing log largesse the other day. He was taking his dogs for a walk and asked if we wanted to walk around the fishing lake: he is a member and key holder. He had a dead squirrel in a bag. One of his Jack Russells had killed it in the garden and it was frozen. He was going to give it back to the dog but not in a public area! We have walked past this lake for over thirty years and this was the first time we had passed through the gate. The lake was frozen over but it was possible to break the ice at the edge: the South African planned to fish through the hole the following day. There were traps all round the lake to catch crayfish and he was furious to discover one that had been pulled out of the water and full of dead frozen crayfish. He usually gives them to friends to eat and these had been wasted. He tipped them on the ground for foxes. As we went on the dog that had been running round with the squirrel in its jaws like a soft toy buried it in the ice. It might be there when it goes back tomorrow or a fox might find it. Then again, how does a fox defrost a squirrel?
Statistics so far:-
2141.60 Miles, 1209 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels