I was in the first lock, ready to go down on my own at about 9am when another boat came along.
Not only another boat, but a boat containing the Battersea Scouts, who very efficiently worked us down all 23 locks (including the ones by the Cape of Good Hope). Excellent teamwork, it sounds as if they do a boat trip every year or so, and a complete lifesaver. I'll still have the Stockton locks and others tomorrow, but I struck gold today. I then moored up in an attempt to help with a local plumbing problem, but we did manage beer & chips in the Cape pub before doing so. ;-)
I also got to pull a dog out of the canal - a couple were shouting & panicking, he leaning into the water, she hanging on to his legs... I leant in, grabbed the dog by the scruff of his neck, and pulled him out. I was more worried the people were drunk and likely to fall in themselves, but I think they just lost it a bit...
A Sign on the flight; it's like one of those ones they personalise at Lands End:
A couple more stops - Kate Boats for diesel (back up to 90p/l, and the 43l needed took just about all the cash I had on me as they weren't taking cards, then more excitingly by Bridge 43 to visit the Action 21 recycling warehouse, a marvellous place every town should have. They're next door to the council tip, and basically give people the option of despositing reuseable stuff there instead. I found what I was looking for - a pair of smallish decent speakers for a fiver, and a few books and a bag to put it all in for a pound on top of that... they also do bikes, furniture, bathroom fittings - I'd recommend anyone local, or passing, so see what they have (and take anything relevnat to them).
Speakers were connected up to a smallish 12v amp I 'happened' to have (I did, honest), and decent quality music out on the back deck... I do need to keep an ear on the volume, but it does sound great, and the back end of Leamington Spa didn't really feel as if it offered peace & quiet anyway.
On the way out to moor up close enough for local friends to visit (hopefully having sorted their plumbing), I spotted a ghastly looking pub (the Fusilier) and a 60s row of shops... these are mostly responsible for me having a mental picture of Leamington Spa being some sort of bland new town, as that's all I saw when I cycled through, and didn't investigate further. The impression also came from the number of punk/thash bands that seemed to come from the town a few years ago...
A hundred years or two - Next weekend I shall be celebrating a centenary, and a bicentenary
5 hours ago