Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some random recollections

Day 29, Clapton to Little Venice

I like Little Venice. I want to stay here forever. Sadly however the moorings are only fourteen days, so that puts paid to that. We got back here mid afternoon, and found another boat to tie up to. Only two deep this time, not three like on Saturday. We've met up with Megan and Dean from work, and I very daringly mentioned that on my way to ascertain the exact whereabouts of the tube station (it pays to check these things in advance, if you're me) I'd spotted a pub. Could I find it again? Much to everyone's surprise, yes. Was it any good? Again, yes - three real ales, nice stained and etched glass, and not packed. And, did they do food? Amazingly, not only yes, but Wednesday nights are steak nights, with steak and chips (and not at all bad at that) for £6.95. The Warwick Castle, it was, either in or just off Warwick Avenue. (Well, you surely don't expect me to remember exactly where).

So we didn't have a long journey today, but we did get to share a lock with a Town Class boat (Tarporley), which was nice. They were on their way to pick up a party of Brownies at the Canal Museum. We get to see all the trip boats, including the famous Waterbus, Milton, whose new RN and its problems were oft-cited as an alternative call on Compo's attentions when they were tarting on ours. This is always greeted with the cry of 'Waterboos' in a cod-Compo accent.

Having Vicky and Craig with us on Saturday obscured how downright impossible some of these bottom gates are, so I have developed a new talent, of shamelessly asking passers by for assistance. E.g. Me: You couldn't give me a hand with this gate could you? Innocent passer by: What do I have to do? Me: Er, push it...

And I fished a very nice and almost brand new broom out of the disused side of Old Ford Lock. Jim was rather disgusted, until I pointed out that it was only the aquatic equivalent of getting things out of skips. And it does scrub awfully well.

From this mooring we have a grandstand view of a coots' nest, built in a tyre which is being used as a fender by the houseboat opposite. The nest is mainly built out of rubbish, with the occasional leaf, but they don't seem to know when to stop. Whatever one of the pair finds, it insists that the other add it to the pile. Even the baby has joined in, dragging bits of plastic bag over. I don't think there'll be room for them in it soon. But isn't that just like us and our houses?

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