…where nothing goes right?
It started at 06:15, with Meg restlessly pacing up and down, obviously in some discomfort. So it was on with boots, trousers and jacket followed by 15 minutes of following her, poo bag in hand, around a frosty field. Much relieved, we both came in.
I checked the time and realised that there was a chance to spot the International Space Station as it zoomed across the early dawn sky on one of it’s 16 orbits per day. So another 5 minutes was spent outside with my camera on an 8 second exposure…
…to catch a wavy worm as Tim Peake and his colleagues swept past at around 250 miles up and 17,000 mph.
I didn’t have time to set up the tripod…
Anyway, we weren’t going so far, so it was gone 11 by the time Meg had had another walk and I’d been shopping and we were ready to go.
Just around the corner was Millman Swing Bridge, part mechanised and always busy. I hopped off and jogged up to open it as Mags gently approached, ready to go through as soon as it was wide enough. Which never happened. I turned the key in the control panel, dashed from one end of the bridge to the other to close the manual traffic barriers, and pushed the button to open the hydraulically operated swinging section. And nothing happened. Apart from the large white light illuminating, which according to the instructions indicated a major fault and advised me to ring the C&RT emergency number.
I tried various buttons on the off-chance that it would spring to life to no avail, and with traffic building up either side I gave up and decided to re-open the barriers. Only they wouldn’t unlatch. So there we were, the bridge closed to both marine and wheeled vehicles, and a queue of impatient drivers forming on both approaches. So I went both ways to give them the good news, rang the emergency number, then spent the next 45 minutes trotting back and forth across the span to tell arriving drivers the situation. To be fair, most were pretty good about it, even appreciative of me telling them what was going on. But there were two or three grumpy ones…
I was glad to see Chris from C&RT arrive, he got the thing working again so we could release the barriers to let the cars go for a while, then tried to open it for us. The first attempt failed, so we cleared the traffic again, but the second worked. We were through that bridge like a rat up a drainpipe!
After thanking Chris, Mags took the boat up to the foot of Dobson’s two-rise staircase while Meg and I walked up to get it set. All went without a hitch until I realised that the top chamber wasn’t filling. Looking down I could see the lower of the two was overflowing, running over the bottom gate and out over the copings. I’d left a ground paddle, connecting the two chambers, part open. Doh! Elementary mistake, but I normally pride myself on my good lock-work.
Anyway we got out of the top and pulled onto the services just above. I got the hose out, connected it to the tap and turned it on before sorting out the rubbish and recycling for disposal. Then I noticed that there was nothing coming out of the tap. And us with an empty tank. I had a mooch around in the recently refurbished sanitary block and found another, unfortunately the one next to the elsan disposal. But it was the only one available so I gave it a good scrubbing with bleach before connecting up, affording us a slow trickle of water which took 1¾ hours to fill the tank!
It turns out that the contractors who had the job of refitting the block (and made a smart job of it…) failed to reconnect the outside water tap to the mains…
It was starting to get dark by the time we’d finished on the wharf, so we just pulled forward another 100 yards and tied up.
Now I find that the loo flush isn’t working… ah, just the contact breaker accidently turned off. Whew.
I took Meg for a quick walk as dusk fell, and we settled down in front of a roaring log fire for tea. And relax….
Just went to take Meg out for a pee and it’s snowing, quite heavily.
I’d left the side of the cratch cover open, so I’ve a load of snow to shovel out.
I think should have stayed in bed today…
Locks 2, miles just ½. But it took us nearly 4 hours!