Thursday 16 May 2013

Moles, mink and memories on the Monty

For many years, in my study at Moorlands College, I had a picture of the New Forest snake catcher, given to me by a student who thought they saw a similarity to their esteemed tutor. Modesty (believe it if you will) prevents me reproducing the picture here. Suffice it to say he bore more than a passing resemblance to this character we passed yesterday, as we meandered quietly back to Ellesmere.

Today, having come down Frankton locks onto the Montgomery canal, we found the fruits of another catcher's labours.

The mole catcher was clearly concerned to demonstrate that he's worth what they're paying him – so 16 moles and two mink hung from the barbed wire. For those who know, it was gruesomely reminiscent of Duncton Wood.

We were also catching today – catching up with our friends Roger and Mirjana, in whose boat Jireh we first experienced the Monty 8 or 9 years ago.

They helped us (and the lock keeper) as we dropped down the flight which includes a staircase,

passing this garden which incorporates the dry dock where Tom Rolt's boat Cressy was converted for leisure use in 1929.

R & M then came to lunch. Hope to see them tomorrow night for some music-making at Maesbury.


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