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The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for June 12th, 2008

The Odyssey – Summer 2008 Day 7

Posted by indigodream on 12 June, 2008

Aylesbury Basin to Marsworth Junction

We spent the morning having a bobble round Aylesbury. We took Blue to the local veterinary hospital today to have is staples removed. They were very helpful at the hospital –the vet had a young assistant in with him and he was explaining the typical musculature of a racing greyhound to her. We listened in, fascinated. Apparently, racing greyhounds run through their backs and have large back muscles to give them full extension when running. He pointed out how Blue’s back muscles overhang his ribs and how Lou has a ‘table top’ back. The vet says they never lose this shape but we were proud that the dogs are looking so fit that he could actually still see the muscles! On the staples front the vet thought that Blue should keep them in for a bit longer so if they’re not bothering him then we’ll see our own vet when we get back next week.

Leaving Aylesbury behindAylesbury itself is a busy market town which carries an air of importance about it – as if it’s been a town of note in the past but has since faded. There are modern shopping malls and blocky redbrick offices but there are also pleasant town squares with fountains and grand statues – there’s a larger than life bronze of Disraeli, further on there’s a life-size statue of some earl or other flanked by two magnificent sleeping lions – think Trafalgar Square but about two thirds of the size! In between these fine sculptures was the shabbiest flea market that I’ve come across for a long while! The town has a particularly grand civic centre – in total contrast with the horrible block of the cinema behind it. We found out later that Aylesbury is the ‘county’ town of Buckinghamshire – hence this faded grandeur, and their pride in Disraeli who was, apparently, MP for Buckinghamshire. Sadly we don’t have any pictures as we didn’t take the camera with us!

Very Narrow bridges - check out the bricks knocked out by narrowboats going through!We moved back up the Aylesbury Arm today – I described that yesterday so today I’ll do a photo blog so that you can see what it’s like – check out the pictures dotted around and at the end of this section! I just need to add that there’s a very handy canalside Tesco on the left after lock 16.

Last night we moored at Marsworth Junction – there are visitor moorings opposite the turn into the Aylesbury Arm. Soon after we moored we noticed an exodus along the towpath and found out that everyone was off to see the Mikron Theatre in the local pub. The Mikron is a professional travelling theatre company that tours around the canal during the summer in an old narrowboat called the Tyseley. Its claim to fame, as far as I’m concerned, is that Mark Williams (often on telly and Arthur Weasley in the Harry potter films) started his career with them and is still a very good narrowboat driver! The play last night was ‘Debtonation’ – a modern morality tale about debt – thoroughly bad play but well performed by four very capable actors who were also talented musicians on a wide number of instruments. Regardless of the play, though, the whole idea of a travelling theatre on the canal is so evocative and the atmosphere was great. We took the greyhounds (the play was in the pub garden) and they had so much fuss – even from the actors (who couldn’t believe that we carry sheepskin mats with us). Little did the actors know that they’d have had a chorus of whining if the dogs didn’t have somewhere comfortable to lie in the pub!

And sheep shall safely......laze!It must be exhausting to be an actor with the Mikron. We assumed that they had a crew to help them but looking at the programme, it sounds as I they do all the boat driving, locks, setting up of scenery, acting, dismantling the whole thing and starting again the next day!

Practical Notes:

Do not eat in the White Lion – it looks thoroughly unclean!

HeronWild waterliliesYellow Irisisthroughthe whispering reedsLovely Scenery (1)Cascading rosesThe Red House - beautifully maintained lock house (formerly an Inn!)Lovely scenery (2)View towards the ChilternsBullrushes in flowerFlourishing plant life inside the lockThe imposing middle gate of the staircase lockA wild rose

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