Friday, September 19, 2014

The Nays have it…

So that’s it then. A majority of the Scottish people have rejected this opportunity for independence from the rest of the UK. A bigger majority than was expected, as it turns out, but it still means that a massive 45% of the Scottish population are so dissatisfied with the Westminster government that they were prepared to make what was potentially a huge leap into the dark. And of the No votes, I’m sure that a large proportion of those too are equally unhappy, but were just not prepared to take the gamble.

Now starts the bickering and back-biting between the party leaders over who promised what, and by when. It could get messy. Wales and Northern Ireland will be looking on with interest, expecting their share of the constitutional change pie. And what of England? At least this result will force action on an issue that successive governments have chosen to ignore, that of the West Lothian Question.
It’s long been a bone of contention among English MPs that a Member for Blackburn, Lancs can’t vote on Scottish issues, but a Member representing Blackburn, West Lothian is able to vote on exclusively English issues.

The decision also will bring dismay to those separatists in Catalonia, Wallonia and Northern Italy who hoped that a Yes vote would give added clout to their own campaigns.

It’s not only the SNP who will be disappointed with the result. Flag designers and cartographers will be snapping their pencils in frustration…

We came up the Foxton Locks today, nearer lunchtime than breakfast as we waited for the rain to stop. It was damp and murky when I set off for my morning run, then it threw it down for five minutes while I had breakfast. Meg and I made it out for 40 minutes in a drier spell, but it was still drizzly till late morning. With only the locks to do today it hardly seemed worth getting wet, so we waited.

It was gone eleven by the time we cruised under Rainbow Bridge and moored outside Bridge 61. Two other boats were waiting to go up as I wandered off up the locks to find today’s lockie.

With boats going up and another waiting to come down it was likely to be an hour or so before we could start our ascent, so I helped a crew of nervous novices on a CanalTime hire boat as I walked back down.

When I got to the bottom I found Mags chatting to Angela off NB Lady Esther.IMG_1619
She’s the lady who crochets mooring pin covers out of old Sainsbury’s carrier bags (inset)…
Lady Emma, in the background, has very similar livery to Seyella.

At a quarter to one we followed on up the locks, making slower progress than normal behind a very cautious lady steerer on the preceding boat. Still, better that than careless.

The chambers in the lower staircase have been rebuilt around 1930, while those in the top half seem to date from the re-commissioning of the locks 20 years earlier.IMG_1621



The carrying company Fellows, Morton and Clayton wanted to run a fly-boat service and needed access to the locks during the night when the inclined plane wasn’t operating. So they were refurbished.

Near the top, looking out over a very murky LeicestershireIMG_1628

Out of the locks we topped up the water tank, turned around in the entrance to the Upper Arm, then reversed a few yards to moor up facing downhill again.

Meg has to have her customary “moor up, play ball” sessionIMG_1630

While Meg and I were out for a walk later we met up with Andrew and Pauline, NB Barbara Anne, who are moored in front of us. They are irregular blog readers, and they’ve only been able at get four days out (the drawback of farming) and have rushed their way here from Napton. They’ll be heading back tomorrow. Good to meet you both. Have a good trip back.

Locks 10, miles ½


KevinTOO said...

Lovely photos Geoff, Mags is looking really well :)

As for the result all I have to say is none of us in the UK voted for the current Government alliance and 'If Voting Changed Anything They'd Abolish it' oh how I agree with the author :)

One Thing After Another said...

Hi Geoff and Mags
Hope youre both well

Love the header picture at the top of your blog - really captures the spirit of bein on a narrowboat I think

KevinTOO said...

Happy Birthday Mags. Have a great day, you deserve it :)

Big Hugs from Kevin Too xx & Harry xx