Weekend of visitors...
Kaela and Colin had met us at our mooring the night before having parked in Hanbury wharf and cycled the six miles or so to where we were. Harry the golden retriever paid a visit as well. He is a beautiful dog but he did pong a bit as he had decided to swim most of the six miles, only stopping for a quick lie down in the muddy puddles to catch his breath. We had a great evening catching up with a pot of vegi chilli that Deb had made and a bottle of wine brought by K&C.
As we are a strictly two birth set up K&C had to bunk down on the lounge floor. Harry was barricaded in the kitchen but managed to keep C awake most of the night (well he had a lot of canal to clean off)
Saturdays weather was as forecast and soon developed into a beautiful autumn day. C has been a regular hirer in the past so we left him with a windlass, his bike and a smelly dog to set the locks for us. We had a gentle plod up through the locks and through the pounds at less than strolling pace.
K&C are kinda 'good life' wannabes. They have a well stocked allotment (as well stocked as the abysmal weather allowed) and have just completed a days foraging course. I still had the crab apples and elder berries to sort out, destined for winter jelly. I was still on the lookout for damsons though and he only ones I have seen were in someone's back garden or in the markets for about £3 per kg. On one of the lock approaches I could see a few high up in the trees but no more than a handful really. Once in the lock we managed to bend a few branches and get about half a kilo. On the way out of the lock though was a tree on the off side that had a much more bountiful crop. I steered the bough into the edge so Deb and K could do the picking and within a few moments the bowl was over flowing, a good 3 to 4 kg :-)
Harry soon got the idea that bridge holes made the towpath come closer and hopped off at every opportunity. Sadly as soon as he was off he decided that maybe the boat was the better option and made a desperate lunge in our direction. I didn't particularly want to mince the family pet up on its first visit to us so engaged neutral until Collins hand and Harry's neck scruff were reunited. Of course I abided by K's family rule (no.6 - the kids are not permitted to call harry stupid) and left it that he was 'challenged' by certain situations :-)
|Crew ready for lock duty|
|I spy damsons (wish we could have a week of this weather)|
|A rural stretch of reeds, I mean canal|
|A beautiful day on the ditch|
|"I am merely challenged by this situation - can you smell something?"|
|Sunday's dog was a bit more of a manageable size|