Tuesday 6 October 2015

An arm and a leg

Today we came up the Market Harborough arm of the Grand Union canal.

The Foxton basin attracts masses of visitors in the summer, because of the staircase locks and the old inclined plane boat lift, but today was not our day for venturing up this famous landmark.

We turned left to do the five miles down to the basin at Market Harborough,

tying up, like many others, just before the entrance to this terminus.

Most of the old buildings, the reasons for the the wharf's existence, have been replaced with houses, apartments, a restaurant and some business accommodation.

It's also home to some permanently-moored boats and a hire company. Nicholson's guide tells us this was the site of a famous Inland Waterways Association rally in 1950 which helped to kick-start a national interest in the canals.

So this leg of the journey would not have been complete without a visit. Anyway, we need to find a supermarket.

I was on my way out of Erin Mae to get these photos for the blog, and it was raining. So I unzipped just a small section of the hood over the stern and thought I must be careful, as I stepped out, not to miss my footing. But that was precisely what I did. I put my foot in the canal instead of on the bank, and fell awkwardly onto the towpath.

My weight came across the section of the dodger that I was stepping over, and the elastic connector tore the eyelet out of the fabric. I would have thought the torn bit was lighter than water, but apparently not – or else there was a current flowing somewhere to take it away. So now we have a dodgy dodger, flopping down with its upper edge unsupported, and unlikely to keep any rain out until it's mended.

As I fell, my leg smacked into the concrete edge of the canal. I don't often post pictures of myself on this blog, let alone snaps of bare thigh but, trusting your sensibilities will allow it, I thought I should present the evidence.

Bodies, with a little help from the first aid kit, generally mend themselves. PVC dodgers do not. Hopefully the chandlery at Debdale marina will have the wherewithal for us to effect a sturdy repair.


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