The Albatross and Fairies. 21st May

Black Jack Lock to Cowley Lock

P1030939smP1030943smLast night we crossed over the canal and climbed the steep hill to The Old Orchard which had been recommended to us last year by Joa who moors nearby. I believe she had suggested that it was the only pub within the M25 where you couldn’t see a street light. As we passed by last year we looked up at the pub and didn’t believe that this was possible, but last night we could understand the claim.



P1030945smP1030949smP1030955smWe’d booked our table online which always makes me slightly nervous, but yes we were known about and directed to our table which was waiting for us. This was certainly a busy pub, parking for around sixty cars, numerous tables which were swiftly being turned for the next booking and people being turned away at the door. The menu was varied, I opted for Sea Bass with asparagus, saffron potatoes and a spinach cream sauce and Mick opted for the far simpler Steak Burger, both were very nice indeed. A choice of beers both local and Mancunian and a log fire. A very good recommendation, thank you Joa.

P1030976smP1030968smThe waitress was relieved that we were had decided to finish our beer outside watching the sun go down as the next people had arrived for our table. Outside a dark band of cloud was overhead, the lake below and trees as far as the eye could see. A fantastic view that got even better as the setting sun suddenly shone below the clouds. Even the staff came out to have a look, we really could have been in another country.

P1030980smBreakfast was an improvement to the last one we’d had. Thank you Naughty Cal for your recommended sausages a great improvement on Quorn ones.

P1030987smP1030992smThe sun was back out this morning and we soon lost our extra layers as the day warmed up. Boats were on the move and we managed to swap with two coming out of Black Jacks Lock and then swap with another as we came out below. The air soon became full of fairies, it was snowing the fluffy seeds from the willow trees that lined the pounds above and below Wide Water Lock. There were so many horizontally flying past that it made our noses itch and the surface of the water was getting covered with them.

P1040012smGongoozlers greeted us at Denham Deep Lock who filmed our whole journey down and this lock lives up to it’s name. After Uxbridge Lock we swung Oleanna into Denham Yacht Station and waited our turn. The diesel was 68p litre well worth filling the tank as ever here. As we left another boat was pulling in.

We decided to stop on the 24hour moorings opposite for some lunch before carrying on. So once moored up we retired inside for a cuppa and a bit of sustenance before the last lock this afternoon. A load of washing had finished and we toyed with putting the airier out on the well deck, but decided to leave it inside as it would only get in the way.

After lunch I came out into the well deck and was confronted with an absolute mess. What on earth had happened?

P1040030smP1040025smHad someone maliciously splattered white paint over Oleanna? She was covered with splatters of thin white stuff which extended half way down her. I called Mick over, we’d heard nothing whilst inside. Examining the white spatter as a scenes of crime police officer would I noticed that there was no angle to them that would suggest that they had been propelled from the towpath. It had definitely all come from above hitting both sides of the bow, covering the well deck, spreading half way up the length of Oleanna, but none on the bow or cratch window, not a dot! Only one thing it could be bird pooh! From a very big bird, an Albatross! Being poohed on by a bird is supposed to be lucky. Oleanna is extremely lucky!!!

P1040039smWe pootled our way on to Cowley Lock with me washing off as much of the white as I could as we went. The Uxbridge Boys (who we encountered in 2015) were at their home mooring. The mile of moored boats brought us to the services above the last lock before Paddington. We pulled in and dealt with the yellow water tank right in front of drinkers sat outside the pub, they didn’t seem to notice what we were doing. Once down the lock we spotted a 7 day mooring alongside the park the right size for Oleanna so pulled in.

With mooring up complete, trip computer co-ordinates noted and turned off Tilly was allowed shore leave for the rest of the afternoon. Today this meant annoying the local squirrels and birds, being chased by a black dog up a tree, loosing a collar and having passers-by worried that she was stuck in a tree! Firstly I went up the tree to taunt the dog and see how long it would keep barking for, stupid thing! I really didn’t need any assistance and my experiment was thwarted when she came and grabbed rescued me! Secondly the couple who were trying to stroke me whilst I was out of reach were also stupid and I climb trees as often as they are available, so needed no help what-so-ever! Thirdly, my collar just dropped off my neck,I had nothing to do with it, at all! Anyway it was looking decidedly tatty!

Tilly now has a new collar on with tag and bell, Mick is threatening on buying a tracker to add to her collar, at least then we’ll be able to find it when she looses one!

DSCF7114sm5 locks, 5.41 miles, 1 Braunston Banger, 1 Turkey sausage, 7245 bezillion fairies, 1 wave to NB Beatrix, 10 minutes of water lowering a boat, 0 floating dry dock, 71 litres at 68p, 2.7 gallons of accurately jettisoned bird shit, 1 blue brush kept busy, 37 drinkers unaware, 1 port side rinsed, 1 fantastic park, 9 trees, 1 stupid woofer, 2 stupider people, 1 cat without a collar,  1 last name tag, 1 slice of birthday cake for Mick, 0 for me!

3 thoughts on “The Albatross and Fairies. 21st May

  1. Xxduh_its_ gracexX

    It looks like a cormorant to me, they do tend to 'empty' themselves as they take off. It happened to us once, unfortunately we had the side hatch open……….!!Kath (nb Herbie)

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