Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Darian dog's day!

Droitwich Spa Marina to Netherwich Basin, Droitwich
8 locks, 6 swing bridges, 4 miles
Today welcomed aboard two very special people in Monty’s life – his breeder (of the Darian Border Collie line) and her husband, Sheila and Chris.  Of course, today above all days we hoped he would be an especially good boy.  However, the first thing he did was get off his boat without being told, not once, but three times! Never has he done this before!  In his defence on each occasion it was when a fly swat was being used against invading wasps.  I gather his Mother, Folly, disappears when such implements of torture are wafted about, so maybe we can blame her?!  Mind it would have helped if he had come back on board at the first request instead of putting his bottom in the air in the attitude of ‘I want to play and you can chase me’!  I am glad to say that for the rest of the day he was quite a good boy and was very patient whilst we spent a couple of hours in the pub over lunch.

The trip was all plain sailing and was enjoyed by all of us – we really appreciated the day away from the chaos at home and also the chance to get to know Sheila and Chris a lot better.  The weather was kind – it only rained when we were in the pub garden under an awning.

Heading off with our guests

Sheila getting ready to push a gate - we do like to ensure our visitors don't get bored!

Chris gaifully employed
Do you think he was happy with his job?

We allow them some time to sit and admire the view.

The van in the background was collecting a party of very elderly folks after they had had a day out on the Pamela May (Trip boat).  On our way in the morning they were being off loaded from the van onto the boat and we had a rather longer wait than usual before we could open the swing bridge as wheel chairs and a lady in fine fettle, but making her way slowly with the aid of two sticks crossed.  We were told they were running behind and we were only too happy to wait.  On the return above we were assured that they had had a great day out which was wonderful to hear.  I do hope if I get to be that elderly that someone will take me out for a day occasionally.

Now some say that ladies can talk.....
.... well the two Chris' had a good go at putting the world to rights - I hope it is a safer place tonight?
still chatting!
Mind to be fair I think Sheila and I did our fair share as well - we were just not caught on camera!

And Monty - well as usual he did a lot of waiting very patiently at locks

His patience was rewarded as I walked with him from the last lock back to the marina - the towpath around here is worth walking if you can.  There are a lot of these on what is called the Wychaven Trail

 The answer is on the back

One a bit further along after the marina asks what sounds you can hear - the answer they have is bulrushes dancing in the breeze and birds singing.  Sadly all I could hear that day was traffic!  They are a welcome addition to a walk and I am sure have helped teach some youngsters (and maybe the not so young) a bit about this restored canal.

Then there is this sign - very useful for boaters you might think
However the reeds are so high it cannot be seen from the water!
Monty and I made it back to our berth, but where is our boat?

No we still cannot see her

Ah there she is...

Once we were safely moored and had a welcome cup of tea, Monty saw our guests safely off the premises.  Sheila and Chris can just be seen to the left of the building in the distance - that is our rather swish facility block.
Thank you to both of you for a grand day out.  The work in the house should be finished tomorrow and we can then start the big clean up - no pressure - it just has to be done for Saturday when the family are coming to stay!  7 of us for overnight and 11 for a BBQ at lunchtime!

Postscript 1: we have new neighbours at the marina with a boat name I am particularly enamoured with
Postscript 2:  There was a voicemail message when we got home from the man at Waterways World.  He is hoping to visit us in the next couple of weeks to review our pride and joy, so keep watching this space and as soon as we know which issue it will be in, details will be reported here.

Next trip: Sunday 18th August - same route, but with the family this time.

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