Thursday, 29 May 2014

Tadpole Bridge

One thing I forgot to tell you about yesterday is the fantastic butchers in Lechlade.  Cutler & Bayliss are a traditional butchers, greengrocers & delicatessen who not only sell "real meat" but also sharpen knives. By "real meat" I mean cuts like shin of beef or breast of lamb, homemade sausages and steaks cut to your preference not already sliced or smothered in sauce or flavourings. It really puts me off when I walk into a "butchers" only to find that everything is pre-cut and pre-packaged. I want to be able to buy 3 sausages and 2 slices of belly pork rather than having to buy in the quantities they decide. I don't want everything on polystyrene trays and sweating in cling film either. Maybe it's because I'm old fashioned.  I took 3 knives to be sharpened and the butcher did them while we waited and only charged me 75p each.

The sun came out again shortly after I'd posted yesterday's blog and we moved from Lechlade to moor out in the countryside again.

Today there's been a lot of helicopter traffic overhead.  I think they were training flights out of Brize Norton.  This Chinook passed overhead several times carrying different cargoes.

After more heavy rain last night the river level was up a bit this morning and when we got to Grafton Lock the Lockie told us that they (EA) were managing the levels and letting water down-stream. The increase in flow was noticeable but still very manageable and certainly nothing to worry about.  He also told us that there had been an accident this morning at Radcot Lock and the police and ambulance had had to attend.  A young boy had been canoeing with his father. They'd been down the canoe race but then the boy had strayed too close to the weir stream with the result that he'd been forced over the weir and got stuck.

Unfortunately we don't know how he's doing, but he was unconscious when they took him away in the ambulance.  This is another good reason for keeping the Lockies whose real job titles should be Weir Keepers. Not only do they operate most of the locks but their main job is maintaining and regulating the weirs. Given the high flood levels this winter I'd have thought the EA would be eager to keep them in place but this seems not to be the case as many of them are either leaving voluntarily or being forced to go.  It's just another accident waiting to happen and will all blow up in EA's face. Once the Lockies leave they'll be very hard to replace and all their experience will be lost.

We're now moored at Tadpole Bridge, beside the Trout Inn.

We were the only boat here for about half an hour then another pulled in behind us and shortly afterwards another two arrived and breasted up with us.

We all had tables booked for dinner in the pub and had a really good night.  The pub is really a restaurant with beer rather than a real pub and the food was excellent, if a bit pricey. I'm not sure which way we're going tomorrow, maybe down stream to arrange an Asda delivery or maybe back upstream to Lechlade. We'll see how we feel in the morning.   It's a hard life but someone has to do it...............

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