Saturday 21st June
When we arrived at Jannock we found that the pound between the locks must have been really low during the week. For the first time in 14 years there were things that had fallen off shelves and out of cupboards all over the floor. Luckily Jannock’s bike was strapped to the radiator rail so that had not fallen over and caused serious damage. Once it all had been restored we were glad to find nothing broken or leaking.
As we passed down through Wooton Rivers lock an ld gent on a pushbike crossed over the bridge and joined the towpath. He cycled along a bit, then stopped and went back. Parked his bike, then changed his mind and moved it a bit before parking it again further along. He then took a carrier bag from his handlebars, from it he took a second bag. From that he removed a box, opened it and took out another bag. From this 3rd bag he extracted a camera and took two photos of the roses painted on Jannock’s front and back. He stopped to consider for a moment and then put everything back into the first bag, hung it on the handlebars and pushed the bike a few yards down the towpath. He then stopped and the whole process was repeated again for another boat moored on the 24Hr moorings. Exhausting! Whatever happened to point and shoot? Bless!
As we travelled towards Devizes there were three pirate ships moored up with no obvious excuse for their fancy dress. We asked and were told it was a boat club treasure hunt. Har har me ‘earties, Oh, and they were celebrating England’s early bath in the World Cup. To err is human, to arr is Pirate (Dave TV).
Just past them was another boat in distress. It was a Springer Water Bug that’s outboard motor had ceased purring. The occupants were desperately trying to get it restarted as it floated about in the middle of the canal. One observer told us that if we struck it amidships, at just the right place, they could be spinning around for hours. We passed carefully enquiring which direction they we supposed to be heading. They were heading the other way to us so we asked the boat coming the other way if they would offer them a tow as the starter battery had all but given up the ghost as we went by.
We pulled over at Horton Chain bridge to sit out the heat under a shady tree. A cyclist stopped and asked how far it was to Trowbridge. We consulted the maps and showed her where she was. She’d caught a train from Bristol to Chippenham and then cycled to meet the canal at the Barge INN, Honeystreet via Avebury. She now wanted to get to Trowbridge to catch a train back home. She had no sun protection, sun glasses, hat nor sun-block. No drink, food or map. Her nose was burnt and she didn’t look great. A sit down in the shade, a large glass of water and the use of our loo soon got her colour back. We suggested a short cut using the road through Horton to cut out a large loop in the canal. Off she went and shortly afterwards we continued on our journey.
We moored at Horton bridge, just where our friendly cyclist should have rejoined the towpath, and moored up. Along came our cyclist again. “Hello” says I, “you found the towpath alright then?” Poor girl nearly fell off her bike. For a moment she thought she’d turned back by mistake and wasted an hour and a half. But then she realised that we were not in the same place we’d been before and the odd timing was because she’s been into the Bridge Inn for some food. Ho Ho Ho!
Do you remember the store cupboard challenge? I found a packet of the dessert that delight's angels, from Asda, that was two years out of date. It was fine. Up to the Bridge Inn after dinner for a couple of pints – Wadworth’s Swordfish has Pussers Rum in it – Yum. A very busy pub today, they ran out of plates they had served so much food. How can you spot a stressed chef? She came out of the kitchen, downed two Jaeger bombs before joining the rest of the staff in the garden for a drink.