Friday, 15 April 2016

Ducks, cyclists and a birthday

Hi, welcome back

Yesterday was David's birthday and we celebrated in style.

He started the day with a Breakfast Martini that Roger had made for him - gin, cointreau, lemon juice and marmalade.
I made him a birthday cake; cherry and almond with a layer of marzipan in the middle and complete with bunny girl candles (which I forgot to photograph).

We treated him to lunch in Chez Jules and then rounded the celebrations off with a light supper of tapas in The Blue Bell.  I'm not sure who enjoys their food more, but both Roger and David managed tapas and then a strawberry and marshmallow hanging kebab which was drizzled in chocolate sauce.

I was a bit confused when I opened the blinds this morning. There was a line of rubber ducks and ducklings right outside the kitchen window.  Opening the other blinds revealed a stall set up by CRT & the local police to "educate" cyclists into slowing down and giving priority to pedestrians. The police were also fitting free identity trackers into any bicycles that didn't already have them.

Nice idea, but I'd have been a bit more impressed if they hadn't stuck their flag pole right outside our cratch making it awkward for me to get Chico in and out!

It didn't bother us too much as today was the day were parting company with David and we were helping him up the staircase lock.  As a single-hander he manages normal locks with ease, but the staircase is a different matter as it's so deep.  I drove and Roger and David worked the paddles and gates.

There was a bit of excitement at the locks as we walked back down later. A private boat had gone into the top lock without checking that the other two were empty and had started letting the water out into full locks. Obviously the water had nowhere to go and overflowed flooding the whole area. The woman realised something was wrong and ran down to start emptying the middle lock without closing the top paddles which only made everything worse. I tried to tell the steerer what was happening but he was oblivious and didn't want to know.  Luckily a CRT guy arrived and spotted what they were doing and took charge. The sad thing is that there are large notice boards at both ends of the locks with very clear instruction of how to operate them. They just hadn't bothered to read them.

We've now said our fairwells to David who's going off cruising on his own for a while as we're going into the dry-dock tomorrow for blacking. We'll be meeting him again in a few weeks in Birmingham as he's coming on our Big Summer Adventure with us.  More about that later.

Hopefully there'll be a reasonable internet signal in the dock so I can show you how blacking is done as we do it.  If not I'll see you back here next week for a catch up.

Bye for now, take care

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