Conversations (and a massive Monkton Moment*)
but luckily the rain had stopped by the time Stoke Bruerne Bottom Lock was reached. In a smooth operation the locks were climbed, paired with the rather shorter Shufflepast whose crew of two adults, three children and a spaniel made the upward trip enjoyable and efficient. Both the 10 and the 13 year old boys proved themselves promising helmsmen
while their younger sister was an expert gate pusher and breakfast dish drier. The boats, though not tied together, moved smoothly as a pair between the locks, even managing the angled entrance into the Top Lock without mishap. Up the boats rose and as the Captain set off to look for a short term mooring there was Kathryn of nb Leo No 2,
just emerging from her lock side house, offering to put her kettle on.
Through an open window came the question “And when did you last go to Pembroke Dock?” Wow, a Monkton Moment* with a famous author! It was Terry Darlington himself, author of the three Narrow Dog** books, who had grown up in the street behind the Captain’s house and attended the same Grammar School as both Cleddau’s crew, albeit some years earlier…
you might have come across him at the recent Crick, Braunston and IWA Shows promoting his books. Now it never takes much to set Pembrokeshire tongues a-talking: Humbers and Freshwater West, Bentlass and Neyland, Stackpole and Angle, Bethany and St Patrick’s. Conclusion mutually reached: time for all to make another trip out west…
– and how he has grown over the last couple of weeks. Last time a mere boy swung from the trees, today a grown man! All through Blisworth there were signs of the coming weekend’s Blisworth Canal Festival, trade boats lined the banks
and bunting fluttered on buildings, boats and in hedge lines. Several miles further on, after a brush with the breeze at Gayton Junction, not a mile further on from the Grumpy Old Git sign, a mooring was found.
(Pleased to report no Grumpy Old Git on board here today!) Tomorrow: up Buckby Locks to Norton Junction.
** Terry Darlington titles: Narrow Dog to Carcassonne; Narrow Dog to Indian River; Narrow Dog to Wigan Pier