Monday, 14 March 2011

Of Locks, Rooks and Blackthorn

A frosty morning at Tesco

I feel very pleased with myself today. ‘Futurest’ and I are moored this evening close to a pub called ‘The Boat Inn’ adjacent to Birdingbury Wharf Bridge. The Inn is on the opposite side of the canal to where we are tied up on a forty eight hour mooring and though the lights are shining brightly inside the building and there are plenty of spotlights on the outside, sadly the car park is lacking the cars to match this enthusiasm.

Blackthorn Blossom

We’ve had a good day, arriving here at 6.30 pm, just about managing to tie up in the failing daylight. ‘JP2’ has never missed a steady beat for the full eight hours, which has enabled me to sing my full repertoire of Gilbert and Sullivan songs over and over again. The weather too has been wonderful with sunshine for most of the day in a pale blue sky with varied cloud formations. It has been very warm in the Sun but on occasions we have experienced quite a fresh breeze coming from a northerly direction. My fleece coat has been on and off continuously.

‘Futurest’ on the Stockton Flight

We began our odyssey yesterday when we left Kate Boats, but the weather was so wet and cold in the morning that after travelling only a mile, I decided to moor at Tesco’s wharf for the night. I needed some more provisions anyway and though the weather improved enormously in the afternoon it was too late to change plans by then.
But we’ve made up for loss of travelling yesterday by covering 9.1 miles today through twenty locks altogether, without help. So though I’m tired and should sleep well tonight, I’m feeling very pleased with my efforts.
Birdingbury Wharf is at the top of the Stockton Flight of locks and is surrounded by tall trees in thick copses. Rookeries are popular here and when we arrived we were treated to a noisy cawing fanfare by the occupants. Luckily they are now quiet; not that they would keep me awake for very long I’m sure.

'A noisy cawing fanfare'

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