Friday, 20 February 2009

I'm free!

After two nights locked in the marina, I'm so glad to be out roaming the canals again. I didn't realise how claustrophobic some marinas can be but within 10 minutes of getting in (via a lock), I was tugging at padlocked doors, meeting No Entry signs and pressing my face between the bars of portcullis-type gates. All those empty boats at night... Later, the kind boat engineer lent me a key to be able to come and go and I kept having to go on long walks. I don't think I'd get on very well in prison.

It seems to suit coots very well though. I don't see many of these on the canal so it was good to see two lording it up in their own private waterway.
I traipsed around nearby housing and whoever makes the portcullis gates must be doing a roaring trade. The most ordinary houses had electric gates, high fencing, CCTV, burglar alarms. Made me long to break in and see what they had that was so precious!
It made me understand why so many people ask me " don't you get scared?" I guess it must seem very vulnerable to them, but it's funny because I feel safer out by myself in the countryside than in the spooky marina. It also helps having nothing worth nicking I suppose. Everything I love and prize most in the world is living in various other parts of the country.

Something interesting about the marina though (Hatherton) - it's a disused arm of the canal, where there are these two ancient locks that tail off into overgrown brambly jungles but with the water still feeding the main canal.
Now they're used for craning boats out the water for blacking etc, so a boat goes up through the first lock, where the side wall has been removed and the crane lifts the boat onto a trailer. Thought that was clever.

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