By ‘eck it were reet misty this morning, and wi’ a touch o’frost, too. Mist doesn’t actually photograph terribly well unless the horizons are vast, so most of these photeegraphs were taken on t’return trip, when t’weren’t so misty. 😉
Splendid stuff. Six miles and I only had to grunt at one jogger and one angler.
It wasn’t exactly properly early, either, so I was (happily) surprised to find that not even the dog-emptiers were about – would be happy to meet the dogs, not so the dog-poop-bag-droppers and hedgerow tossers.
It was quiet – except for the birds beginning to wake up and sing – and I had my thoughts all to myself. Even the ducks were unshaven and still in their pyjamas, reluctant to be bothered enough to fly away on my approach.
Part-way along the walk Austria is just visible on the horizon…
This is the picturesque little town of Slappenlederhosen bad Gezundheit, population three thousand, all expert in the Alpenhorn.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the alpenhorn is a labrophone, consisting of a straight several-meter-long wooden natural horn of conical bore, with a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece. It is used by mountain dwellers in the Swiss Alps, Austrian Alps, Bavarian Alps in Germany, French Alps – and in Slappenlederhosen bad Gezundheit in Cheshire.
Yes, I lost the plot while I was walking, too. Once lost I never bother to look for it. Rather like bad pennies (another small, picturesque town) it usually comes home to roost all by itself eventually.
Rain is forecast for tonight, but for the past week or whatever it has been non-precipitative enough to dry out the mud of the towpath. Most splendid indeed. There were a slightly worrying number of cow hoof prints on the towpath – something or some things bovine in nature escaped and stampeded this way or that way, methinks. So long as they’re not still about… the tracks are a tad fresh… meeting cows on a narrow towpath can be interesting.
There were a selection of locks on my route (I think that these have always been in place, they weren’t placed there especially for this morning’s walk).
Bunbury Staircase, which is followed immediately by the spectacularly numbnutty roadblock that is the loveliness of Anglo-Welsh Hireboats…
Anglo-Welsh own the canal. In 1066 King Cnut, who was Mr God of the time, gave them the right in perpetuity to ‘…and sod ye all other canal users, take thee whatever space thy wantesth and use it to parken thine own vessels howsoever thee liketh…’ and Anglo-Welsh have taken him at his word ever since. They quite often moor up in the Bunbury Winding Hole, if it will save them an erg of botheration (photographs available on request). You’d think that they owned the towpath here as well as the canal and ‘…any passinge peaysant thee carest to take to thineself as an slave…’. They certainly seem to think so. I’ve known their hire fleet to be triple moored thereabouts and care they gave not a one. It makes approaching the lock from below a bit of a guess-a-minute undertaking.
The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd don’t do a thing about it, but were a “civilian” to moor in any similar manner they’d be up in arms and ranting about ‘Licence terms and conditions’ – money changes hands, I believe, which is why A-W Ltd get a free pass from WWT Ltd to behave like inconsiderate twerpoids.
This lock – this ‘ere lock farther on – is amusing in that it has an eternal case of the belchies – the overflow bubbles and blows below the lock; always has, always will.
The hour of the day, the mist and the low sun even contrived to make the ugliest of bridges look splendid (a structure carrying the towpath over a weir that flows into the local brook).
In real life tis akin to walking across something slung up by builders while they dig out the foundations for a new city-centre McNasties. It works, but that’s all that may be said. It won’t last, it’s not built to last.
Mind you, neither am I.
The day was beginning to warm up a little towards the end of my return leg.*
*It should be noted that I do not have a separate “return leg”, I only have the usual two; one left, one right, with a foot at the end of each.
I can’t imagine how a return leg would work. Like an ordinary leg but in reverse?
Back aboard the Cardinal I am caffeined and breakfasted. I’m going to bake some bread later, because I feel like raging indigestion for dinner. The towpath is awash now with Sunday walkers. Sunday Walkers are like the Walkers in The Walking Dead, but with less life and vitality, less elegance and less social appeal than zombies. Most of them never look up, always tapping out something absolutely vital about “having a nice walk” on their “smart” portable telephones. This is truly The Wrong Apocalypse, I’ve had to take down my neck-height fishing-lines and even fill in my elephant traps.
Stoves were being re-awakened, or in some cases, lit afresh.
I’ve got an onion left over from the previous AhSDA dewiverwy. I think I’ll make it onion bread and then if it turns out to be like a house-brick I can blame it on being adventurous. If it works then I’ll have onion bread to dunk in my soup. I make the soup from people that I am not allowed to catch on the towpath.
The water level is dropping around here. The manifold stoppages and disastrous structural disconveniences mean that it must be managed more than is usual, the nearest source for this long long long pound being Hurleston. It’s down by two or three inches, any more and the trip from these far northern wastes back south could be… problematic.
We shall see.
If there’s a decent sunset tonight I might see if I feel like doing that walk all over again.
Especially since yes, I met no cows.
Cows? We don’t even have any bananas.
Chin-chin for the moment, chaps,
Ian H., & Cardinal W., Rotten Bounders, Spoiling The Canals & Interfering With Small Sheep.