|We had a lovely day on Sunday 28th July, thanks to Mike and Emma! It was lovely to see all the family. Rhys and Ash came back with us to the boat and we had three lovely days with them. On Monday 29th, we went down the top 6 locks of the Caen Hill flight, mooring at the top of the main flight and having a walk down so that Rhys and Ash could see it without having to actually go down it in the boat – much easier! We then turned the boat and went back up 3 locks and moored outside the Black Horse pub, where, after a quick shower, we had dinner. We stayed overnight and awoke to rainy weather on Tuesday, so we managed to dodge the rain – mostly – did the last 3 locks and moored at Devizes Wharf. They both had a turn at steering and working the locks and both enjoyed it, I think. We had a dog walk and dinner on board and watched a film. On Wednesday, we went in the other direction eastwards away from Devizes and stopped after a short cruise at the 24 hr moorings outside the Bridge Inn at Horton. Rhys went back for the car (using the bike with much protestation of how bad it was on his return!) then they took me to stock up the cupboards. He cooked us a wonderful curry and they wended their way home. It was great having them to stay!
We left the mooring at Horton on Thursday morning, and cruised to All Cannings, where we stayed for two days. There was an invasion of thunderflies – horrible tiny things that get in your hair and make you feel all itchy! We closed all the doors and windows and waited for them to dissipate.
We then moved to Pewsey Wharf for three nights where we did some varnishing of the back doors and had some lovely doggie walks, but generally just hung about waiting for the stretch of canal over the “summit” at Crofton to be opened. There is a problem with the pump so they have restricted passage to Tuesdays and Thursdays. We left Pewsey on Tuesday 6th August at 8.00 a.m and joined the queue at Wootton Rivers, eventually entering the first lock at about 10.45. All the boats are paired up but we were paired with a single hander, so it was still quite hard work! We arrived at Great Bedwyn at 5.45, nearly a 10 hour day with no lunch break!!! To make matters worse, the mooring situation was awful due to the number of boats travelling all at the same time, so we could only find a mooring which was shallow so a long way out from the bank. To make matter even worse, we moored in a torrential downpour! We had to use our long gangplank and it was only just long enough. It was at quite an angle going uphill, too. Sal coped very well but did slip off it – her claws were making it hard to grip. Tony got hold of her and hauled her into the boat – the water wasn’t deep so she was only in it to half way up her legs and was in no danger, but it was still a shock for her! Fortunately, it didn’t put her off, she still used it the next day quite happily!
I had an appointment on Wednesday 7th for my knee at Lymington Hospital but, unfortunately, it turned out to be a waste of time (and £33 train fare!). The consultant didn’t seem to take our lifestyle into account; even though my knee shows only a slight deterioration, with early signs of arthritis, it is impacting on our life and I am often in pain. I got the impression (from the evidence that the x-rays showed) that he thought I was making a fuss about nothing and didn’t appreciate how hard physically this lifestyle is. He advised me to lose weight, which of course is good advice, but not the only thing to be taken into account! I was very despondent when I got home and wrote him a letter and invited him to come and spend a day with us – don’t know if I’ll ever post it but at least I got it off my chest and put my “case” forward! The day was only saved from being a complete disaster by my friend Di who offered to pick me up from the station and take me to the hospital. It was lovely of her and even better as we managed to fit in a quick lunch to boot! I thoroughly enjoyed the train journey, too!
We moved from Great Bedwyn on Thursday, mooring in Hungerford. There is an interesting lock just outside Hungerford – it has a swing bridge over it that has to be swung open in order for the boat to enter the lock and swung back closed on leaving the lock.
The weather was horrible on Friday and Saturday, so we stayed put. I managed to get an appointment for a hair cut, and I made some fly screen/curtains for the back door to keep the dreaded waspies and other flying wee beasties out! Nasty little buggers!
We have moved to Kintbury today – 11th – but no sausage rolls this time from the village butcher, with it being a Sunday. 😢 We will move tomorrow to Newbury and find a good mooring so that Sarah can return and fit our back cover on Tuesday – could have done with it over the last couple of days but I’m sure we’ll get lots of good use out of it!!!! From there our plans are to just meander to Reading and await our visit from Liz and Pete who arrive on the 30th August for a few night’s stay.
I was looking back at the Facebook page of the dog rescue charity and found the photo album of Sally when she was up for adoption. She is a completely different dog now – it is heartbreaking to see her as she was – but to see her now is just magic! We thank our lucky stars each day that she has fitted in to boat life and our lives so well!