Monday, 24 June 2013

After the trauma of the attack on Finlay, we moved off the next day towards Hungerford.

At the 1st lock we came across Hireboaters in a Widebeam . One bloke at the helm, and another at the lock.  Maralyn and I thought that as they may be on their own, we would give a hand, as you do. As I turned from helping with a paddle,I noticed 2 heads in the saloon of the boat, and there were two large ladies sitting yacking away, drinking coffee.

Erm, Erm. !!!  Come on M, they have a crew, let them get on with it.

The bloke took the hint, and as the rain started, he went inside and got one of the women to come and help. A large lady appeared, bearing a strong resemblance to Tommy Cooper, and proceeded to light up her fag, and then went and had a look at the paddle mechanism. She then asked where the next lock was, and we told her that it was just around the corner, and that,infact, all 7 locks were walkable.

Away they went.

At the next lock, they were hovering about in the middle of the canal, and not on the lock mooring. No idea what they were doing, but our chum Jim of the jippy tummy, nipped onto the mooring so that he could make a dash for the loo. , the hirer at the lock shouted at him to “F**k Off. This is our lock”

Jim said that he had no intention of pinching locks, but if they didn’t want to use the lock mooring point, he did. !!!!

As M and I walked passed,the 2nd large lady, resembling Jabba the Hut, shouted that “ They are just plain ignorant, ignorant pigs”.

“Errr, excuse me madam, who are you talking about ?”

“Him, getting in front of us”

“ if you want the lock, you should be on the lock mooring point.  However, we are NOT pinching your lock”.

“ but we were waiting for the boat in front to leave the lock” says Weedy husband

“Why ?  he’s been gone about 2 mins. Just get onto the lock mooring point, if you want it.”

“ Oh, shut up, just shut up  and anyway we know you don’t like us hirers” Jabba says

“ what??? Don’t be so childish, we were once hirers, you great pair of numpties “

When Jim. Finally, made an appearance, and told him off for getting us into trouble. !!!!!

Is he bothered ??????
 Its very busy her at Hungerford.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

We are travelling quite hard now, to get away from the K & A, so Friday we arrived at Wootton Rivers, after leaving Cuckoos Nob J.

Finlay  and I, walked along  to look for a mooring, having to pass a liveaboard with all his rubbish etc out on the towpath. The next thing, something shot out of the boat and locked onto poor Finlay.  A Staffordshire Bull Terrier. !!!!   There is only one of this breed that I like and his name is Bones, and his master is bringing him up correctly.

It was just a matter of seconds, but it was truly awful , as there was nothing I could do to help Fin.  The owner of the dog managed to get her off, and he threw her back onto the boat.  He was very apologetic, however he received a telling off from me. And at the time we thought that no damage, as such had been done.

Further investigation showed that the dog had ripped into Finlays, back leg,had a small go at his back, and a scratch near his eye.

Moored up and went to see this moron. As you can guess “  I don’t have any money”, “. don’t  have any   money on my phone”.( when I asked if he could contact a vet for me). He said he could phone his bird, but that she didn’t have any money.  Eh ?   I thought he just said……………….   In the end, a lovely retired ex Royal Marine on a boat came to our  rescue and drove us 12 miles to the vet in Devizes. Where we parted with a sizeable sum for Finlays treatment. I was encouraged to phone the cops, which I did, as this dog has attacked before.  They were not interested. But at least its logged down.

As it turns out, this dog is normally tethered and MUZZLED. The thing is this towpath also has a campsite running alongside it, with small kids and dogs.

So we have a poor sad looking Finlay with an Elizabethan collar on.  That’s just GREAT on a nb NOT !!!!   So, I sacrificed one of my old T’shirts, and made him some leggings, to stop him licking at his bandage. He looks very amusing. Look.


The next day, we had even more fun with some hirers…….NOT.  more to follow.

 " This is NOT a good look, for a dog like what I am "

 Woe is me.

 Sheds for John Bates

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Well, Bath has been ticked off, not literally, but difficult mooring.  48 hrs and other boats have been there for twice that amount.   Didn't bother with Bristol, as too expensive to stop for 3/4 days. Hey ho.

We are now back at Devizes, and J on NB Barron has had The Trots, so a bit poorly, poor old Jock. !!!  The market here is awesome.  Great fruit, and really cheap.  We will be travelling quite fast now, as we want to get back  to  Oxford and the oxford canal. Have found this canal a bit tiresome, as have quite a few other boaters that have tried it for the first time.

Saw a great sight yesterday.  A young chap STILL wearing that awful fashion off trousers hanging off their backsides, but this one was spectacular. The waist band of his jeans was actually around his knees, and he did have co-ordinating blue under crackers on.  What a Prat.  Some old chap coming the other way, said in the somerset dialect " Oi am goin' to 'ave a pair loike that ", another bloke was annoyed that he hadn't got his mob phone with him, as it would have made a great photo.gave us a roight good laugh anyway. !

Moving tomorrow, so long as J is ok.

 yeah, yeah, you reckon ????

 This boat is sooooo pretty with all that lovely wood.  I think it looks like  a Hobbit's narrowboat. 

 Little slug having breakfast

 Great flight of locks

 I wonder if he is going to sell him  at the market ???

 And we saw Finlays Doggleganger again.  This is NOT Finlay

 Lovely Tithe Barn at Bradford on Avon

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

There was a man from Devizes,

With ‘nads  of different sizes,

One so small, so no use at all

The other so large, it won prizes. !!!!


Anyway, we really enjoyed Devizes, but Saturday, the weather was glorious and time to tackle Caen Hill.  The flight is 16 double locks one after the other, Great.  With random locks either side, so about 29 locks in all. We entered the first lock at 8.30am, and left the last one at 1pm.  Not bad going and NOT without happenings !!!!!

BIKES. The golden rule now is if there are bikes on the towpath, walk on the inside, and let them go onto the canal side.  If anyone is going in the canal,, let it be them.

Some are very good and let you know that they are there. Whether they have a bell on the bike or not. We like them.

 And then there  is The Numpty Cyclist. No hat, ipod in lugs, and racing along in his/her own little world, and woe betide anyone getting in their way.

Rule 1- get onto the inside but sort of still in the middle, after all it’s a tow-path NOT a cycle way.

Rule 2 -  Swing windlass, nonchalantly. Pretend you, also, are in your own world of admiring the scenery, talking to other towpath users , petting nice dogs etc.

Rule 3 – Be deaf( again only pretending). If a cylist announces his presence and intent,  fine and dandy but IF you hear them creeping up on you, Sing, swing the windlass, and then when they sweep past you, act surprised.  “ Oh my goodness, I had no idea you were there( fibbing again). Perhaps one should have a nice little tinkling bell on your bike???” etc.   any comments along these lines are good. Being slightly sarcastic is good also.

Rule 4- slightly naughty, but as they race past, pretend to have an attack of St Vitus Dance.  Jerk about a bit. Pretend you have been stung by an un-friendly wasp. This makes them jump, and I even made one skid a bit.,

We, apparently, are coming into the world of the Upper Middle class Numpty Cyclist.I had my first encounter on the Caen Hill Flight.

The UMCNC, will be wearing all the gear, black and freshly pressed clothes, helmet that matches the bike, and the bike will have a little red flashing light on the rear etc.Everything will be scrupulously clean.  Absolutely NO MUD or DUST n RUST.

As I walked along swinging my windlass, I noticed him on HIS side of the canal aka the wet side, coming TOWARDS me. His mouth was moving and he was looking at me. As he drew to pass me, I enquired as to what he was saying. “ Passing to your right, madam”.  Eh? “ oh, but isn’t that bloody obvious?  I have eyes in my head, and unlike the late great Marty Feldmann, they go in the same direction”.  Maralyn and I had a good titter, and then noticed that his little flashing red light, had stopped flashing. He had stopped. ! Cowards that we are, we didn’t fancy a heated convo in the middle of a towpath, so we hurried to do the lock, with the words “garble, garble  MADAM” ringing in my ears, in a rather sarcastic tone I thought.

So a nice cruise, pretty scenery and we came to a 48hr mooring, and it was filling up.  We left J&M+2, filling with water, and we went to get moored up.  A boat had just moored, and the bloke was doing a lovely job of neatly tying his rope on the front of his boat.

“ erm, erm, excuse me, but would you be kind enough to move up closer to this other boat, so that 2 more boats can get in, PLEASE”. He stared and then went to speak to the captain, his wife, and said “ We have to move”.”  What?” she screeched. Anyway with a surly face, and her old roll-up thrown onto the towpath,they moved up for us.  We said thankyou about 4 times, but only to be met with a cold & stony  silence. For gawds sake. !!!

I let Jim in on the secret, and as he arrive at the mooring, he went up to her and in his lilting Scottish burr, said thank you for moving for us. Can you believe it,  she smiled sweetly and batted her eyelashes. Flirty old jock, that he is. !!!!

Anyway,returning from dog walking, she was still sitting on the back of her boat, puffing away, and she smiled nicely. I smiled back, but not a toothy smile, you understand. 

However, by the time I was giving Mick a haircut on the towpath, we were conversing about blokes not wanting to pay a barber tyo do the job.   She had come down from her strop, but the old man hadn’t.  Poo to them.

Bradford on Avon – 2 nights here.  Wonderfully pretty and VERY VERY expensive. Full of twee little shops, but the buildings are stunning.   The high light was that last night a “ dosser” boat passed by.( these are the folk who live on their old tubs, usually pushing another old tub in front of them, full of tat,old bike wheels, random bits of wood etc, and a lot of them are very nice people.), and he had his 2nd tub strapped to the side of his 1st tub. As he passed by, he lost a pole off the top, tried to retrieve it, and got stuck in a load of brambles, at the same time that his lovely dog fell off the boat.  People on the other side were shouting that dog had fell off.  We went out to see what was going on and he said “ me dog has fell off the boat”.  When I looked , poor old pooch was hanging onto the side of the canal at the front of our boat.  Anyway, I yanked him out, and then Jim lifted him over the top of his boat, so that he could get back on with his master . Master had a face full of metal,but was so thankful that we had rescued his doggo.  I said to him “He needs some tlc, ”. And he replied “  Oh, I might let him on the sofa tonight”  Bet he did, too.


Today, Tuesday. Wet trip to Dundas Aqueduct –Moored up for 2 days and  where we can shout at all the hire boats to “ SLOW DOWN “   .

Top of Caen Hill Flight.

 Bottom of .......

 This doggy had had an op on his leg.

 Look what came out of J& M Poop tank. !!!!!  JOKE. ( its a dead eel)

 Hello , hope there isn't an old chap under that hat

 An old crooked man lived in an old crooked house...

 To prove that the captains sometimes do something  other than give orders

 This restaurant is so expensive, all we could do was press our grubby faces to the windows.   boooo.  I was hoping to go for my birthday

 Looks like it could be this place.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Just about to do a post, and........ bang.   we have had a shunt from the rear.  Hire boaters.   She was going too fast, and he was whining that he had slipped.  If he had slipped, why was he not up to his neck in canal. ??? Eh?

Well, we have had 3 lovely days here in Devizes, and tomorrow( sat) after a bacon butty, we will be going down the Caen Hill Flight of locks  16 + 7. I believe. Wetherspoons tonight for fish n chips and beer.

Yesterday, a couple came to the wharf opposite. He was about 18 and she could have been his mum.  they were all kitted up for a bit of expert canoeing.  except they were not experts. !!!   They had a racing canoe, fine and very thin and built for speed.  Instead of using the slipway, they decided to get in from the side of the wharf, and I think you may know where this is going. Well they managed to get their bottoms in, and then the wobble started.  Small at first, and then it grew and grew as they floated to the middle of the canal. Yep. over they went. came up spluttering about " ooh its really quite warm" to anyone who was listening. we were too bust giggling behind curtains.  Anyway it was only their pride that was dampened.  The boater next to us, shouted across to them "   can you just wait whilst I get my camera????"   the wet lady replied " hmph, well that not very nice is it ?". I suggested that they may find the slipway easier to get back into the boat, but was glared at and ignored.  So, they wobbled their way off up the canal, and looked like they were in for another dunking, but , sadly they managed to stay in the boat this time.   hey ho.  life can be un fair.

 Nice Pub. in the heart of crop circle country.

 Finlay find his doppleganger or should that be doggleganger

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Sunday, we were at Crofton and we visited the pumping station.There are some beautiful country walks around here, that take you over the hills and into the next valleys. Very Nice.

J&M+2, were moored behind us, and two elderly gents had just passed their boat.  Jim had been reading a Womans Own, that I had passed onto Maralyn.  Anyway, I was sitting/hiding in the cratch, and as they passed one old gent said to the other “  Did you see that?  He was reading a womans magazine. Do you suppose he was a queer? “

Monday we went on to Wooton Rivers = No Phone signal, No computer , no TV, AND there wasn’;t a child in sight in this village !!!!  However, it was a very pretty village, with some lovely properties.  Nice 24hr mooring and the weather is good.

Had a nice walk to a place called ……………………………….Cuckoos Knob.  Hee hee

Grow up !!!

Tuesday, ( today), and we are moored outside a pub. !!   Now the thing is, that the moorings are like river moorings on this canal, so it proves so  much easier to moor up at a pub, and obviously we will mozy over to try a pint later.

Still finding this a strange canal. The linear moorings at Pewsey and Honey Street, are quite a stretch, and even going through at tick-over speed( the slowest we can do), there are still people who shout to “slow down”. Can’;t go any slower, and perhaps they should shut up and put up.


However, tomorrow is Devizes for a few days. Scooby and Rita ( hello !!!), say we should do the brewery tour. That’s a given. !!!  hope there are some free samples.

 "There are mice, voles, moles, I can hear them"

 "come out"

 White Horse( NOT the pub) 

 Lovely walking here

 Mick admires an old boiler. !

 2 pot bellied pigs and a brown lab, please.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

 A Favourite author lives here. HE wrote " Fatherland"" Imperium" etc.  
 "Who let the cows out? who?who?"

 This bloke lost rudder steerage, so Canal Rescue came out with a large paddle to get him along the canal.

 Jim the Scot loses a penny at the lock !!!!!!! actually there was something in the water stopping us from closing the gate.  Oooo I am such a fibber.  He DID lose a penny at the lock. !!!

 The canal begins to have some pretty views.

 Sun, lets sun bathe.
Had an enjoyable(NOT) night at Kintbury, close to the railway, there was a train at midnight, 2am, zzzz 3.30am, 4am .  Yawn. >>>>>>>>>>
Wet journey to Hungerford, actioned another self pump out( this is saving us anywhere from £15 - £25 per poop out.). at the sanitary station.  Impressive. Quite a nice town, loads of antique shops.
Friday ,onto Great Bedwyn for 48 hours.  and now we start to see the first of the liveaboards with their wheel barrows on the top of boats.  Some are very nice, and some not. The not so nice ones, have multiple dogs that they let crap everywhere. 
Our morning walk, and Finlay came across 2 pot belly pigs on the driveway of a house .  They were intent on snuffling up their grub( which looked like bird seed), but it enabled Fin to have a bit of a wary sniff.  I found  a cricket pitch for Mick, and there is a game, sorry match at 1pm.  Then at 3pm-5pm, we are off to church, for tea and home made cakes. then this evening, we may wander to the pub, for a beer and some music.  Sat night = Jazz and Blues. YEAH, Man. ! COOOOL !
Boat jobs done and its sunny,with
a cool breeze.  hey ho.
   Oooooh and my chum Rita, has bought me some lovely flip flops. I am still wearing the ones that we bought together in Berkhampstead a few years ago, and they are a bit manky now.  What a nice friend. You had better come and see us at Christmas, then !!!!!!!  X
Had a chit chat with a skipper of  a trip boat, who has given us loads of ideas and things to do and see when we get to Devizes.  The big shire horses still deliver ale to the pubs here, and in the afternoons, one may go along to the stables to have a closer look at them.
Scooby has told us to do the brewery tour,  We didn't need much persuading for that. !