Laying The Ground. 18th May

Lockdown Mooring 4A

Tilly obliged in coming home this morning so we could have a walk up the locks together. We don’t like leaving her out with no-one home, just in case!

Moving things around in the compound

We’d been able to hear and see things going on at the top of the flight, a digger/crane in the compound that had been used whilst the bottom lock was being rebuilt. At the locks there was activity too. A couple of chaps seemed to be moving earth around, tidying up the edges of the towpath with a digger . Mick made sure they were aware of the leak at the lock. We suspect the brief for the lock may not have actually included repointing behind the gates, just rebuilding the chamber wall and making it wide enough for boat passage. We feel we’ve mentioned our concerns to enough people now, as I’m sure others have too.

Cleaning up the edges

The red van still has eggs for sale, but no duck eggs sadly. We looped back round onto the towpath, crossed over the lock and did a circuit round the reservoir. The work men at the bottom lock were raking finer stones around the lock, finishing off what has been left for a couple of months. Wonder if any of it will need to be dug up to sort the leak out?

Raking in finer material

An afternoon of painting again. The garden fence went on forever! Will I actually get them finished this week?

Nearly at the point of finer detail

Mick attracted my attention at one moment, ‘It’s them!’.

The Wheelie Shoppers were on the towpath, not the field, walking towards the junction. They didn’t dip down into the field but carried on. I grabbed my camera and followed at a distance.

It’s them!

Of course Tilly had to come and help, in fact her meowing arrival at my ankles may well help me in laying down the ground for my back story. The two of them, minus wheelie shopper, walked up the hump to the bridge. Each gave a glance over their shoulder towards me. My sight line was obstructed for a few moments during which time they vanished! But where to!?

I’m up here you numpty!

I walked up the mound, as if to cross the bridge whilst Tilly continued straight along on the level. Tilly confirmed that they weren’t hiding below, in fact she got quite upset about the whole thing and started shouting very loudly mimicking a duckling who gets stuck on the wrong side of a passing narrowboat from it’s mum. Panic had set in, so my attention had to turn to her, calling her up to the higher level to see where I was. This all helping very much with my back story, should I ever need one.

Where did they go?

The Wheelie Shoppers hadn’t actually vanished into thin air, I had a very good idea where they had gone. Opposite the end of the bridge there is a narrow path that leads through the sideways trees, I’d spotted this months ago. Straight ahead is what looks like a small branch blocking the way. They had either lifted this to pass, or the pathway takes a 90 degree turn which isn’t visible from the towpath. As I glanced through the sideways trees I could see them quietly moving away from the canal.

In There!

This morning whilst looking down to the boats below the reservoir, I got thinking. With the normal mooring rules coming back in next week, boats will start moving off. We are on a 48hr mooring, so will need to move on Monday whether we want to or not. Each boat will go in a different direction, at different speeds, with different aims and different destinations in mind. We’ve spent a couple of months in each others company, yet not been able to get to know each other, keeping our distance.

Visitors this morning

Some we just nod our heads, others we deliver veg boxes to, others we have little chats when we come across each other on the towpath or when passing. Social distancing will not be lifted for quite some time yet, so sadly we can’t get together to celebrate being able to move again, or celebrate the lifting of lockdown when it comes. We will all just drift off in our own directions after sharing the last two months together apart. I hope that our bows will cross again in the near future when we can take the opportunity to stop, stand closer have a drink and conversation together. These boats will always be our Lockdown Buddies.

So fluffy, no wonder Mum and Dad are so proud

0 locks, 0 miles, 1ce more round the reservoir, 2 to tidy, 1 to watch, 1 full lock, 1 leak leaking badly, 2 speeding boats, 8 feathery fluff balls, 14 fences, 0.5 fee, 0 shopper, 2 rucksacks, 2 secret pathways, 1 button webcam required, 1 back up story well and truly laid.

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