I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th October

We are finally back on Mary H. We did cheat though and had a few days up to Devizes and back with firstly my son Robert and his partner Laura and then James, Richard’s son. I’m afraid I didn’t blog them as we had already done that bit!

We arrived back on Sunday afternoon and did the unpacking – I reckon I hate that bit as much as I hate the packing up! On Monday morning we did our Tesco run and then set off eastwards. It was a lovely day and the colours of trees lovely. As my knee is so much better I was able to do quite a few locks this time and I love this bit of the canal as there are lots of electric swing bridges which give me a sense of power stopping traffic!! Then disaster!! I fell into the canal! We had just got to Ufton swing bridge which I was going to operate. I went to the front of the boat to get off but got off before the boat was really slow enough and lost my balance – guess it was all to do with momentum! I think I went in headfirst. The canal seemed to be very deep just there and we realised afterwards that there had been a lock there once. I seemed to go down for ages and don’t remember hitting the bottom but all I could think about was, firstly, I’m going to die as the boat will hit my head and I’ll drown, secondly I’ve got my watch on and it will now be broken (it’s still going this morning) and thirdly I’ve got the key to the bridge in my hand and I mustn’t drop it! As I came up I was greeted by Richard laughing at me – I was not amused!! Fortunately he had seen me go in and had thrown the boat into reverse and stopped her. He threw me a rope and then dragged me and the boat backwards out of the cutting and to the bank where I managed to stand up and clamber out. I was soaked to the skin and very cold – my teeth had started to chatter in the water and I wasn’t in there for very long. At that point a cyclist came by and got off his bike to try and help but, just my luck, he was mentally challenged (Richard called him a simpleton) and he just thought it was hilarious. All I wanted was to get my wet clothes off outside the boat and get in the shower but he wouldn’t go away so I went and opened the bridge – dripping water everywhere – Richard went through and I got back on and I managed to get my clothes off and into a nice hot shower. When I got out of the shower I started to cry – guess it was the shock. I couldn’t get warm all evening and finally went to bed wrapped in a blanket under the duvet and took 2 sleeping pills!!

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