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

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Monday 1st August

I didn’t have a very good night feeling sick again but this morning it seems to have passed – I need to eat something as I only had a couple of pieces of toast yesterday – but I just don’t know what I fancy :-( We left the Severn and started up the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. We got to one narrow lock and when Richard opened the gates there was a Mummy swan and her five cygnets in the lock. They all started to swim out so I took the boat in but when I turned round there was only four babies which meant that one was still in the lock! I quickly reversed and it came out squeaking!! I had visions of squashed cygnet and one very upset mother. We had sixteen locks to do today and one flight, the Offerton, was very short of water. I rang British Waterways to let them know and within minutes a couple of men appeared – this has to be a record!! At one of the locks Millie leapt ashore and disappeared into the undergrowth, I thought she had just gone for a wee so we took the boat through the lock and tied up the other side. Of course there was no sign of Millie! She didn’t come when I called her but Richard spotted her disappearing under a bush and grabbed her by the tail! Please don’t tell the RSPCA! I don’t mean to upset my readers who are hire boaters but, oh dear, we have seen some bad ones today. Worcester has a large number of hire boat companies which makes it worse! The first lot tried to drain the Worcester & Birmingham Canal into the Severn, the second lot shut some lock gates right in front of a boat that was going in – I assume thinking that as they were at the lock first they should drain it and go in and the third lot had only had their boat for half an hour and just didn’t have a clue loo
king at their fourth lock as if it was a space craft!! It’s very worrying that hire companies don’t give their hirers good instructions; Richard says that they are usually given a booklet which no one reads until the first evening!! We are more than happy to help, if asked, but the majority of people struggle on. The picture on the right is the view from where I am typing :-)

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