Fitting Into Boxes. 20th April

Cast Iron Roving Bridge

Some dog filming going on in the city today

Mick was away seriously early this morning, he arrived in Scarborough just after 10am and arrived at the house shortly before our lodgers left for work. He had an hour or so to wait before a plumber arrived to try to solve the boiler problem. The boiler was taken to bits, everything checked, lots of head scratching a valve in the airing cupboard was changed (possibly the third such valve this year!). Thankfully all was back working, but why the valve stops working is a mystery. Hopefully this will now have solved the problem, the boiler has a few good years left in it, but if the valves keep failing we may have no choice but to replace it. Fingers crossed.

Grand Central reflections

Back in Birmingham Tilly and I pottered on as normal. Tilly had some shore leave and when she came back I decided to head off for a walk. My main purpose was to find some more comfortable FFP2 Masks. We still wear masks in busy areas such as shops and trains and as very few people now wear them they may as well be more for our protection. The one’s we have now are actually for woodwork so the elastic goes over the back of your head, so they are not quite as user friendly as they could be.

Gas Street

I headed to Boots to see what they had, 5 for £10. That would do. I then had a look around a few shops before I got a touch twitchy about being amongst sooo many people. I decided to walk back to the boat via Gas Street Basin, entering from the north east side where two arms used to head off, I’ve not been this way before. You get quite a good view across the boats.

Worcester Bar

The bridge at Worcester Bar didn’t used to exist, it was just a wooden plank which could be swung across for access using a chain.

Back on board Tilly requested more shore leave, but as I opened up the back I could see another cat coming from the boat behind us. Maybe this was one of the cats that was running along our roof last night! Not wanting to have a towpath turf war Tilly was allowed in the pram cover but, luckily she hadn’t seen our neighbour!

An interesting darn. I do need a magnifying glass

My hygienist appointment went well, although I still can’t imagine why anybody would want to do the job. At least now it is no longer necessary for them to wear the full Darth Vader outfit to clean your teeth! I was asked if I’d like to book my six monthly appointments, this is when boaters don’t always fit into a box. Depending on stoppages I’m likely to come by train after panto has opened in Chipping Norton. So booking an appointment today would be risky. I know when it should be and that will do for now.

He’s tall

No sign of the other cat when I got back, so Tilly was allowed an hours shore leave before ding ding. I took the opportunity to hear how a meeting had gone for David today.

Boaters, Continuous Cruisers don’t fit into normal boxes. Banks find it hard, Doctors quite often need to be reminded that they can register people without an address, having to declare yourself homeless to be able to vote, etc are all things that need to be dealt with by boaters. The people who provide support that David is now entitled to would like him to fit into one of their boxes, for this it would be easier for them if he lived in a house, this however would not be so good for David’s mental health. Soon he will need to start moving his boat again, which will cause problems with the continuity of his care. To receive counselling over the next few months he would need to remain in an area, that area could be challenging to CC in.

Ooo flowers on my strawberry plants

Then there have been other boaters, those who have also put him in a box, the one of the overstayer/continuous moorer, just what you need when you are not well and the visibility of your illness is not obvious! David is going to seek advice from the Welfare Officer at C&RT and from the NBTA, there has to be a way round this. He has come so far and needs support to carry on going in the right direction. Surely the corners of a few boxes can be push to make them fit him and his situation?

On a lighter note, here is Brain Cant fitting into a box.

0 locks, 0 miles, 4 return tickets, 5 hours for the boiler, 7 hours on trains, 5 masks, 2 shore leaves, 1 t-shirt darned, 40 minutes cleaning, 0%,1 more pat on the back, 1 box needing to have the corners stretched.