Friday 18th April
Cassio Bridge Lock to Hunton Bridge
We had a strange day – I woke up at 6.30am with a thunderous migraine – the notion of driving up to the boat was quickly rejected. I took some magic migraine tablets (from the GP) and went back to bed. Four hours later I got up, feeling much better, but now Richard was busy in the garden so I popped out to do a food shop for the boat. By the time we got ourselves, the food and five greyhounds co-ordinated it was gone 2pm – so much for the early start!
Yes, FIVE greyhounds, hardly unusual by Indigo Dream standards but enough to attract a fair bit of attention from the towpath 🙂 This weekend we welcomed the Beanz clan – Henry, Archie and Herbie, who are staying with us for almost a month! They’re all experienced Indigo Dreamers and love cruising. Ollie and Ty completed the crew, though by the end of the weekend we really regretted bringing Ty along – he was so very miserable 😦
We got to the boat around 4pm and set off nearer 4.30pm – we were fortunate to share the first lock with a boat that was just setting off for the water point above Cassio Bridge lock. As we were waiting for the lock to fill, I got chatting with a granddad walking the towpath with his granddaughter (aged 5-ish). He was from Llanelli – small world. I invited them on board for a trip up the lock – granddad enjoyed it immensely, I think the little girl was just glad to be out of the house – apparently it’s full of chattering relatives after a family wedding!
At the next lock, we joined a single-hander on nb Mary – he was heading up the canal to meet some friends and was on a tight schedule. He was a pleasant enough locking partner – he worked hard at the locks and took Richard’s reminders to close locks gates behind him in good part – I don’t think he bothers when he’s by himself!
We flew up the locks, but by the time we got past Lady Capel’s Lock I was cold and weary so we ditched the idea of getting to Apsley and started thinking about a place to moor for the night. The nearest pub was at Hunton Bridge so that became our new target. We came up the Hunton Bridge locks and had just made the decision to moor above the bridge. The road peels away from the canal here so we’d hoped it would be quieter, however that put us closer to the railway line.
But there was an obstruction between us and our mooring – a CRT working boat had come loose from its moorings and was wedged across the canal. I nosed Indigo Dream up to it and gave it a gentle shove in to the bank, where Richard was able, eventually, to re-tie it. In the meantime, I went through the bridge and got Indigo Dream moored up. Our locking companion moved on – he really was on a schedule!
By the time we got tied up, walked and fed the hounds it was gone 8pm – I was too tired for the pub so I scraped together a risotto from the boat’s limited larder (we’d run out of pasta – how could that happen?!).
We settled in for the night, not realising what a performance it would be to get the hounds settled. Ollie and Archie both wanted to be with us in the front cabin – the easy answer is to let one have the end-of-bed floor nest and for one to be up on the bed with us. But they’re both bed monsters, so we daren’t let either of them up with us – I’d soon be on the floor and Richard perched halfway up the wall with a comfy greyhound stretched out in-between 🙂
My concern might have been displaced – I would probably have got more sleep if I had just lain on the floor and given my place to Archie! He paced and fretted and kept bothering Ollie for the favoured end-of-bed position. This wasn’t on, Ollie’s senior, so I made Archie a bed in the narrow floor space down the side of the bed – but he slipped in the night and couldn’t get up on the slippery laminate floor – cue more whining until I got up to help him. I locked him in the back cabin, where there are at least twice as many dog beds as dogs, but no, he whined at the door because he couldn’t get close to us. So, I had to move the phlegmatic Henry Beanz from the bathroom corridor (his favourite bed) to make a new comfy bed for Archie. Once he was on the floor near to my pillow he finally settled. In all fairness, it’s not to do with the comfort of our bed, Ollie and Archie don’t stay on our bed for any length of time after we get up, they just want to be close to us and our front cabin only has room for one devoted hound (after all, who’d lie on a nest of duvets when they could have the whole sofa in the back cabin?). Oh dear, this drama could run and run….