Messing about in boats

“Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING – absolute nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: ‘messing – about – in – boats….’


So said Ratty to Mole in the Wind in the Willows, and that’s what we spent doing today. On Wednesday, me and Ginge will have been married for four years and what better way to celebrate than on the canal? The canal running was the inspiration for the trip (I’ve said  before, I’m not bloody obsessed) because without it, we never would have known about the Foulridge tunnel and we would never have spotted Tigerlily, the hire boat that we borrowed for the day. We ran this section as our first canal/camping adventure at the end of May; it was grey and miserable on the Saturday, and grey, miserable and wet on the Sunday. Luckily, we were blessed with better weather today.

Blue skies were very welcome

It was strange being on the other side of the fence for once, normally it’s me peering at people and saying hello as I plod past them, but today we were the object of people’s greetings and curiosity. It also made a change for there just to be two of us on a boat (we’ve been on narrowboats two years previously, but they’ve been more, ahem, party boats. On one trip, we ended up split into a girls’ boat and a boys boat, and I snuck onto the boys because I will not be defined by gender stereotypes. And the girls’ boat was like a scary floating hen do) and not incurring the wrath of canal dwellers as  a drunken ship of fools passes their moorings.

One mile of darkness...

...being dripped on by stalactites...

...but there was light at the end of the tunnel.

We navigated our way through the mile long tunnel, had a picnic in the sunshine, knitted, listened to Test Match Special, stopped for an ice cream, acquired two head injuries (I’d have to have some kind of helmet if we lived on a boat, I’m short but clumsy) and no one fell in.

Not a bad spot for a picnic

Dinner guests (I always imagine swans to be hollow, but have never tapped one to be sure)

I’ve also had three days knee rest and will be ringing a Twitter recommended physio tomorrow – thank you all for your wise words on my last post.