Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Phew, I'm a bit knackered after travelling today. Only a few miles but several locks, including a small staircase with the leakiest front gate that soaked the cratch + gas locker and somehow managed to sneak under the cratch cover and soak my wellies too. Being off the boat and watching it down in the staircase, I just felt powerless.
Then there was the Bratch locks which, if you haven't met them yet, look just like a three-lock staircase but are flight without a pound in-between, just six feet of filling space. The lock-keepers have shut up shop there now it's November, so I had to manage alone which was hard work, scurrying between opening bottom paddles and opening top ones to not flood the whole place out. With the bridges in between, you couldn't see what was happening in the lock below! Added to the stress was the fact that my dog and I couldn't just step off the boat on entering the lock (going up) as we normally do. There was no place to step off, so I had to shut the dog inside and climb the gunky ladder. I don't mind climbing, but the dog goes into mad-dog mode, scrabbling at doors and curtains and howling like a jackal. Sure enough, once I could let him out again, he'd ripped my lovely red velvet curtain at the front door and pulled loads of books off the shelf. Little sod.

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