Boating is great. Boating in November is particularly great. The kids are back at school (poor loves), the Shinies are tucked away in marinas, the ice hasn't crept in yet and I have the canals to my selfish self - ah, bliss!
And it's warm! I wouldn't be human if I didn't enjoy the surprising warmth and the not-having-to-chop-wood-every-day-yet side of climate chaos, but it is all a bit worrying. Here's some out of focus blackberries and their flowers!
Of course, these early signs of global warming are nowt compared to the climate havoc already suffered in other countries but it's still sad to see flowers that will never fruit, eggs that can't be hatched, new buds that will soon be frost blasted. And here I am, burning diesel and moaning about the consequences - in fact, the families and Shinies are kinder to the environment than I am. Hey ho.
The empty canals meant I could take my time and dawdle at locks and admire the autumn colours.
A cyclist passed me with his little dog running alongside. He later came back past me, this time with the dog having a piggy-back in an ingenious bag on the cyclist's back! As they rode over a bridge I was passing under, they kindly stopped to let me take this photo. Sorry it's not clearer but the evening light was going and I had to focus on not widening the bridge.
When the man stopped, his dog looked down at the boat then leaned forwards to lick the back of his human's neck as though to say "ok, it's a boat, now get pedalling".