I moored up at Bulbourne, just above the Marsworth flight, nearly two weeks ago. It's a green and pleasant spot, with the short but delightful Wendover arm ahead and the bird paradise that is the Tring cutting.
The towpath is also a lane to some cottages and just as I was tying ropes, a man in a huge car pulled up, opened his window and said "how long are boats allowed to stay here?". I'd just that minute arrived so I said I wasn't certain, and he said "is it two weeks?". I thought it probably was and he nodded in a pointed manner and drove off. A couple of hours later, I saw his car come back and park at one of the cottages. Looks like he lived there and presumably passed the CRT mooring sign I now saw near his house, most days.
I really felt he'd taken one look at my boat with its wheelbarrow and bike and garden and decided I needed my card marking.
I'm leaving tomorrow but am booked into Bates's boatyard nearby in a couple of weeks time so won't be going far, which may annoy Mr Welcoming Committee somewhat!
In the same vein of paranoia, I came for a pint of cider to the Grand Junction Arms (canalside at Bulbourne) this evening with a view to having a meal here tomorrow with a visiting friend. I asked if they had anything vegan available. The nice barmaid didn't know but an in-charge-kind-of-person came out the kitchen to say they served neither vegan nor vegetarian meals. It was said in such an abrupt and unfriendly way!
There's probably no connection but neighbouring the pub are 3 pretty cottages, all with Ukip posters in the windows. I wonder if the famous Ukip tolerance of difference has spread around the village. It's strange. These lucky people live in a beautiful place in the countryside. Houses must cost a fortune here and there are mostly two cars in every driveway. I somehow doubt their lives are blighted by marauding foreigners, yet the capacity for hate and exclusion seems to be thriving.