Thursday, 13 October 2011

My knight in shining armour on his shiny steed

Oh the joy as we pulled into the first of the 24 locks (that are the Aston and Farmers flights into Central Birmingham) and I saw this from the side hatches. It was Richard's (NB Indigo Dream) trusty steed. The mad impetuous fool had come up from Surrey via Marylebone and Snowhill; flying over the horizon (well, down the towpath) at 10.15. He'd also stopped off at Indigo Dream and solved a few problems at work before setting off to rescue us - goodness knows what time he got up! Aren't folks grand?
We cleared the first two locks before stopping for a coffee brew (the crews of Indigo Dream and Greygal will do anything for proper coffee and hot chicken - although I understand Lynx has upgraded to legs of lamb which is unfortunate for us OAPs - but we skipped the hot chicken as there were no hounds today (at home with mummy Sue).
The first of only 2 boats we passed coming down today
The second boat turned the lock on Richard but, hey ho, the sun is shining for the first time in ages and these flights are lovely
I was forbidden to do anything but pootle about with the dogs, although I must admit it was nice to wander around with my camera, looking for different angles and little niches - only trouble is that I knocked the camera onto the wrong button and they were all out of focus so had to be deleted. All those artistic gems down the pan digital.
Richard and G quickly eased into the old efficient locking swing (developed during the BCN challenge, which they did to raise money for Greyhoundhomer, a small branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust). With the two of them bossing me about I had no chance - although one gate just happened to blow open in the wind whilst I was in the vicinity. Slight delay at this one whilst G does the obligatory firtle down the weed hatch.
In no time at all Richard is setting the last lock in the Aston flight
Whilst MR leaves the penultimate lock
The last of this flight
Then I'm told, gently but firmly, to get back on the boat - humph! a precious 6 minutes short of the hour I'd been promised. So, sadly, no pics of the Farmers flight as, being under buildings, you can't take pics from inside the boat. G tried to demolish one of the buildings when he failed to make the turn - not that he hit it hard, but you probably heard on the news yesterday that an office block had an emergency evacuation due to a very localised earthquake.

Up we pop then; into the sunshine of Cambrian wharf
Just in time for some lunch before My Knight in Shining Armour rode off on his trusty steed into the sunset (well, the 3.15pm from Snowhill).
Thank you Richard  ( and Sue and hounds for lending him to us for the day).
Thank you also to Sue and Dave on NB Beefur who sent a message last night saying they would come up from Stourbridge and lockwheel us up the flights today.
So many people have helped us - thank you all.


  1. Lovely post, so sorry that I couldn't have been a better friend and helped you out!!

  2. Hi Both
    Ain't folk grand! Hope all goes well with the anniversary and the hospital. Look forward to seeing you soon.

  3. Lesley, I promise not to remind you more than once a week! Joking apart, you didn't need it on top of the drive to Essex today and I'd only have had to feed you! xx
    Geoff and Mags, folk are indeed; people have been truly amazing. Only 2 weeks 'til hospital and, hopefully, I'll be allowed to get back to my normal life. Looking forward to Saturday (it's a boaters' wedding - the ones that kept us in water during last winter's ice age)