Friday 12 July 2013


As you get under way from Autherley Junction to cruise to Gailey, you encounter a typical novice boater's nightmare – the canal equivalent of one of Scotland's "narrow road with passing places".

It's where the canal-makers had to make a cutting in the rock, and decided the trauma for future boaters was as nothing compared to the trauma for the navvies and / or their paymasters. So these narrows are where this happens…

All negotiated without mishap. At least there was a passing place.

Now "narrows" is also an apt description of what's been happening to my best beloved's waistline under the influence of some revised eating patterns. (I think it's also going to apply to our income / outgoings differential as trousers and skirts go beyond the point where they can be taken in and have to be replaced.) So it was highly fortuitous to come across Dave on NB Anon today, who had made her windlass holster. Extra holes, he said, come free!

The holster now sits securely with no danger of it's ending up round her ankles!

The last time we saw Dave he had talked about the butty he was having made for their other business – speciality home-made chocolates to sell on the towpath. After all, you can't manufacture chocolates in the same space as you do leather-work. The butty was there, duly attached to the front of the boat, and the business is up and running.

While we were chatting with Dave, two traditional boats passed, and we found ourselves following them all the way to Gailey. They weren't travelling as fast as I had anticipated when I gaily (ho-ho!) waved them through. So we had an extremely leisurely and enjoyable trip as time expanded to compensate for all the narrowing going on elsewhere.


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