Yesterday we arrived back at the boat after ten days in a cottage near Warminster, Wiltshire. It was a beautiful cottage, well equipped and decorated, and there were free range hens outside the window, and sometimes free range sheep as well. The cottage belonged to our friend of nearly forty years, Alex, and his wife Roz. It was great to see them again and to share two delicious family meals.
We had three other sets of friends to visit while we were there so it was a very social week. At the same time we were having a good look round Somerset and the Wiltshire and Dorset borders for somewhere that we might settle when we finish our travelling on the boat.
We had decided to move back to Croxley as soon as possible before moving past the Nash Mills lock closure scheduled for next Monday. Today is a wondrously bright and sunny day, warm enough for a fleece and no jacket, so off we headed. We couldn’t be bothered going down at least two locks to turn so we reversed back under the bridge and past Tesco to the turning point where the two waterways meet. It was a bit of a cack handed effort made more difficult by having to pass the Wakeman diesel boats that were fueling boats along the stretch. But we did it, Alan was steering and I was occasionally wielding the pole at the front so we didn’t quite come to blows, we watered at Batchworth and pottered on in the bright sunshine.
As I took a turn to walk I spotted a group of animals in the undergrowth between the canal towpath and the Ebury Way. The first I focused on was a muntjac deer, but the second at the back of the group was a fox, not threatening in any way but curling up for a midday sleep. I couldn’t see more than the similar goldy brown colourings of the others in between. We have seen a badger and a fox eating together in our back garden in the past so I might not have been hallucinating!
Our daughter had told us that the moorings below Cassio Lock were full but as we left Common Moor Lock a boat that had been left moored opposite the marina since the beginning of December passed us so we knew there would be at least one space. I left Alan to moor and walked back to the Aquadrome carpark for the car. I couldn’t see either deer or fox, but the area was now in shade so they might have moved to a sunnier spot.
The two sets of diesel boats passed each other just before Cassio Wharf obviously getting in all the business they can before the Nash Mills closure followed by the Cassiobury Park closure from 21 February to 11 March.
I see in the latest Canal Boat that Steve Hayward says that a blog is like a computer version of his column, but boring. If so I apologise to anyone who has made the mistake of reading this! Actually I won’t say anything back about SH’s column because I do invariably read it first and have enjoyed at least one of his books.
Today we did 2.79 Miles and 3 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2147.21 Miles, 1216 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels