Douglas Diary Spring Holidays Day 11
Into Injun country
It is my long haired pet’s birthday today she is just about 500 years old by my reckoning. She is still going strong she looks after me and my bearded one very well. Considering (note the full stop) it is her birthday, my bearded one made her breakfast of a perfectly timed boiled egg and toast.
The first three hours of our journey today was indeed surprisingly sylvan, no obvious sign that we were getting into industrial territory bordered as we were by dense and ancient woodland. But this was because we had travelled no more than three miles in that time! We are on a summit level, between locks and on these occasions it can happen that there are extremely low water levels. Like today, my long kennel was making headway but at a very modest pace scraping along the bottom.
In this rural setting however we were pleased to see a grumble of fishermen (an appropriate and correct collective noun). Each man (only men apparently allowed) was positioned, spaced along the towpath exactly by maybe little more than the length of my long kennel apart. This was clearly a very orderly parade and each man was completely kitted out with his full paraphernalia and regalia. There with long rods extended, was each man looking directly ahead across the water as waiting patiently and loyally for our approach. Where upon, just as we drew nearly level to each as if by by some unheard command, the man each in his turn and in perfect sequence raised his long rod in salute. Holding his rod steady, almost at the vertical while we glided regally by. He would then resume his position as if nothing had happened. This, obviously well rehearsed, disciplined performance all completed without a move of the head or change of expression. Clearly under orders not to speak or exchange banter in deference to our passing..
I thought this all a fitting tribute to my long haired pet on her birthday, these obviously dedicated folk turning out to do this on a Sunday and all, very encouraging and in the rain too.
As the verdant landscape slowly gives up to mankind’s dereliction, a once prosperous centre of industry is now instead decayed and decorated with graffiti. See my photo today. Also as the shine and sparkle on the water morphs to a collage of plastic bottles, egg boxes and coconut shells it starts to rain quite seriously. Happily we arrived at Camp Hill. I will tell you of this safe haven tomorrow.