4th April-had Linda & David from NB Critical Point round for drinks last night, which was our 1st spontaneous "entertaining" of friends met and made along the cut. En route up through Hayward junction yesterday, Graham decided to have another change in our sign language communications system. We started off with him pointing in the direction he wanted me to point the boat, then changed it to which direction he wanted me to point the tiller (a much better system-as, in times of stress, you're less likely to inadvertently go the wrong way) he didn't, however, bother to inform me that he'd changed the system! Yesterday he surpassed himself-he pointed; Ipointed tiller in the same direction; he shouted, "other way". now I'm a pretty placid person so I enquired if we had changed the system back, "no he said, you're going backwards so I'm pointing in the direction I want the swan neck to point". I thought about this for a while & looked about for large white feathered creatures wondering how I was expected to catch & control them (as well as the boat) without getting bitten - it was all too much for me so I walked the dogs up the towpath & did a lock or 3. later in the day I discovered an article in Waterways World about reversing (which he had read) saying point the swans neck (curvy bit on tiller) in the direction you want to go. With time & patience all (usually) becomes clear...well, clearish. Failed to get through Stone today largely due to having another really good lunch in the Saracens Head at Weston fantastic food and glorious armchairs! By the time we came out we were 4th in a cue of boats all going up & the locks are deep, so did 1 more & called it a day at 4.30. Daren't get stuck in Stone 'cause of the cats. One more question I'd like answered why is it the heaviest lock gates are the ones that come open again?