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

Friday, 29 July 2011

Thursday 28th July

Oh dear – a bad day :-( We had a real panic in the morning as we lost Millie. We were just about to leave at 10am when I realised that she wasn’t on board so I went and called her but nothing. I must have gone out and called her half a dozen times and Richard went looking for her but nothing. There was a spiky fence between us and some scrub land but we couldn’t get through. We had a very sombre lunch and as Richard got up he saw her appearing through the fence. She sauntered to the front of the boat and climbed on as if nothing was wrong. We shut her in the bedroom and cast off quickly before she disappeared again! While we were in Birmingham Millie hadn’t been allowed out so for 4 nights she had been confined to barracks – we are wondering if this was our punishment!! We went back down the canal towards Wordsley Junction and turned left. The guide book says that this part of the canal has “a precarious beauty about it as it winds past Primrose Hill and through the woodland above the Stour”. We were just enjoying it when there was an awful clunk and the propeller stopped turning. We drifted to the bank and tied up. Richard opened up the weedhatch and discovered a mass of sisal bound up with knotted cord. He managed to cut some of it away but just didn’t have a sharp enough knife. So it was a case of a call to River and Canal Rescue. The young engineer (barely out of nappies!) arrived after about three hours. He had had to leave his van about 600 yards along the canal and I thought he would arrive with a trolley loaded with tools but all he had was a bolt cutter and 4 pints of milk - the lady at the control centre had asked if there was anything we needed :-) He got down and fiddled around and then said that everything was free – he hadn’t even used the bolt cutters! Between Richard and the young man they pulled up masses of the sisal – it looked a bit like coarse hay in a hay net! When I asked him how he did it he just said that it was a knack! We decided to stay put for the night as it really was a lovely spot and Richard cooked a BBQ.

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