It’s July 1 already. Wow, the summer is going quickly. Or what summer we’ve had. The record-breaking heat wave that is sweeping across Europe hit here the other day. That’s right, one day only. The temperature got up to 30, I had to get the fan going, take off my jacket, and put on shorts! But at about 6 pm the temperature plummeted to about 15 and has pretty much stayed there or below ever since. I’m not complaining, just noting that if Climate Change is going to happen one day at a time, we’ve got nothing to worry about!
The last couple of days were nice easy cruises to reach the marina for my solar panel installation. Having said that, the turn onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal was an experience in itself, and my blood pressure was the highest it’s been for a while! It’s a blind junction with a boatyard and locks right there on both canals so it’s already a tight space. Boats coming down from the Middlewich can’t see under the bridge and around the corner to know if anyone is coming the other way
I <was> coming the other way, and had waited for three boats to pass through ahead of me. I also did the right thing; I walked up to the lock and told the crew of the boat coming down that I was waiting to go up, to leave the gates open when they exited. I said it at least three times. After they came out from under the bridge, I turned the very tight corner into the pretty confined space before the lock (see photo above). Someone had closed the gates and started filling the lock to come down! I honked my horn, waved and shouted and they just said “we were told to close them”! They didn’t stop but just continued poaching ‘my’ lock…
(I might be making too big a deal out of this but don’t have much else to write about)
I managed to pull myself out of their way, we had a short chat, blamed the hire-boat that had just gone through, and carried on with our day. That’s about as exciting as things get on ‘the cut’.
The Middlewich Branch is beautiful, I loved the day cruising along it. Very rural and quiet, almost nobody around. Even the towpath was just a grassy sward with no sign of an actual path (indicates nobody walks or cycles it). Part way along was this well-kept building, what looked like a cottage. It was quite confusing as there were no windows, until I reached the end and could read the sign. It said “Canal Stables”… so this was a spot that the horses that pulled the canal boats were stabled. It’s only about the third location like it that I’ve seen, not many seem to have survived. After a bit of research, I found that it was converted in 1999, not to everyone’s satisfaction but at least the building is still intact. Actually it was quite lovely, even without windows. And the boaters couldn’t gawk into their front room like many of the canal-side homes!
As it’s Canada Day I’ve done the best I can to announce it over here. It’s not a holiday of course, so the solar panel installation should begin soon…more on that in the coming days. In the meantime, Happy Canada Day everyone, I hope everyone back home feels the same pride that I do for our country, our people, and our place in the world.