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

Sunday 21 August 2011

So it was Tardebigge today – the Grand Daddy of locks! 30 narrow locks in one flight. We left our mooring at 9.20am in quite nice weather. Cecilia went first and we followed. I have to say it was pretty uneventful though knackering even for me who was only steering and doing the odd lock here and there. Most of the locks were with Penny and Jim but had drained just enough for the gate not to open which meant opening the paddles to let in just a couple of inches more water. As we were second it meant that all the locks were against us but Richard and I soon got into the swing of things and had it down to a fine art! Most narrow locks have two lower gates so to speed things up Richard jumps from one to the other (I daren’t look) which is why he does the locks and I steer. We stopped at one lock for Richard to pick plums – they are slightly unripe but I’m hoping to make a plum crumble in a day or two’s time. About a third of the way down we swapped positions and we went first and then it started to rain – fortunately not too hard but enough to make it unpleasant. We got to the bottom lock at about 1.45pm which made our time just under 4.5 hours which is pretty good going. Boats coming the other way slow down progress but we were lucky not to have too many. We moored up just below the bottom lock and collapsed and had a nice quiet afternoon. We went to the pub across the canal for dinner as a) we had nothing really to eat except for macaroni cheese and b) the macaroni cheese chef (Jim) didn’t feel like cooking it! However the Queens Head served up an extremely good meal which we all enjoyed.

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