Life, photos but not the universe

Back from the watery depths

Usually very shallow really but I’ll call it artistic licence.

The nice things about travelling in a long, thin boat on a long thin waterway, with an apparently inexhaustible supply of wine and and a barrel* of beer, enough sausage and bacon and necessary accompaniments for an army, lots of warmth (inside the boat as long as everyone remembers to shut the front door) and good company are, well, obvious aren’t they.  The less enjoyable things are usually outside – rain, icy winds, mud, blocked locks, dredgers, idiots, greedy and aggressive swans, plastic bags, trouser zips, wire, shopping trolleys**, all that sort of stuff.

One of the less enjoyable things, however, is sometimes the toilets.  (Are sometimes?)  Usually they’re very efficient and very easy to keep in good order and not particularly smelly.  On this occasion we had been told that a slight problem had been investigated at the boatyard and was probably fixed.  But the afternoon we left, we had a call from Tom (who’s in charge of this kind of emergency) to say the problem wasn’t identifiable without a week’s work (probably a leaking tank, so needed complete dismantling of most of the boat’s interior) and the plan was to avoid using the main loo if possible until winter when the winter works will be done.  A lot of the syndicate don’t take anyone with them so keeping to the little loo isn’t a big deal.  Impossible for five people working their way through all that booze though.  So we agreed to minimise use of the main loo and pump out more often and live in hope.

Alas, hope evaporated on the second day as a small wet and smelly patch appeared on the floor of OUR BEDROOM!  Then it grew and multiplied.  I will say nothing of the upheaval of carpet tiles and mopping and scrubbing with perfumed disinfectant stuff.  And all that.  In the end we threw out the tiles and pumped out all the loos and put down newspaper.  It all subsided and dried out gradually and after hasty phone calls to Tom and other concerned people it was agreed that the next couple, due to follow us, would abandon their week so that dismantlement and repairs could start as soon as we returned.  What amazes me is that anyone thought anyone else would be prepared to live with the smell even if the leak could be avoided. WTF?  I mean if it happened in your home you’d have it done before anyone could say “Eeww”!  In a holiday cottage you’d demand compensation and a free week.  On a hire boat you’d expect an alternative boat provided the next day (though I’m not sure you’d get one – I have vague memories of a temporary cassette toilet being installed on one occasion).  We came back a day early and would probably have come back sooner if it had been possible.

Never mind.  There are compensations – the first night

The morning after

And the (active) crew, photographed by the galley slave and discussing shore leave with the Captain (on the right)

A bit of a no-brainer really, as the only civilisation within walking distance was the Wolseley Arms which is known to serve very nice food.  Where else would you go?

We went.  It was all very nice.

*Yes, really, a whole pin (36 pints) for 4/5 people for a week.  And we also brought, between us, 14 bottles of wine.  Sadly, we forgot the rum.

**Some of these are things we often find wrapped round the propellor which have to be removed with pliers and saws and sharp knives and a naked arm plunged into the weed hatch.

October 27, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Trouser zips? Trouser zips??%$#@?? Blimey! Things have changed since I ventured forth. Yards and yards of fishing line, yes, often and on some stretches rather too much weed.But trouser zips? Never.

    Comment by dinahmow | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  2. I’ve often wondered what happened to errant shopping trolleys that take to the water. Obviously they’re in league with the pirate swans to broadside (backside?) all shipping for raiding parties. They probably had the rum.

    Shame about the loo, poo!

    Comment by Zig | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  3. Now I’m REALLY sold on a winter week on the waterways.

    Comment by Rog | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  4. Oh, but the photos don’t even hint of the smell. So well done!
    Bit odd that they’d send you out knowing the problem existed–even odder that they didn’t protect their property and do something. But seems there was a good time despite the malfunction. For sure there were with all that beer and wine! LOL

    Comment by Mel | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  5. I’m slightly dispirited by ‘usually …. not particularly smelly’. I’d rather not at all smelly, really. Gorgeous scenery though, and you arrived home just as the weather turned nasty, so well done.

    Comment by Z | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  6. Sorry I forgot to say the pink sky is gorgeous.

    Comment by Rog | October 27, 2012 | Reply

  7. Your adventures sound more rural than ours, Dinahmow. I”ll enlarge a little in the next post : )

    It’s a sad life for a sunken shopping trolley Zig, I suppose we shouldn’t begrudge them the rum.

    I knew you’d like it Rog. Do join us some time : )

    Thing is it’s our property Mel. The boatyard wanted to delay till winter maintenance so that people wouldn’t miss their holidays. There is a plan, one day, for the share management company to have a boat of their own available for occasions when a shared boat is in trouble but they can’t afford one yet!

    Well ‘usually’ is nearly all the time except when no pump out stations are nearby Z. Some planning is needed but it’s nearly always possible to keep it all as fresh as a daisy.

    Thank you Rog. All that pink and a barrel of beer – who needs loos?

    Comment by Mig | October 30, 2012 | Reply

  8. well, I am slow.. trying to play catch up with what everyones been up to..
    It would seem you had a lovely time, even if you forgot the rum…*wink*

    Comment by ☼Illuminary☼ | November 13, 2012 | Reply

  9. It’s on my list now Illuminary – just as well since next time we’re out it’ll be February.

    Comment by Mig | November 13, 2012 | Reply

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