It’s only the stinky toilet that made me pleased that today was our last day on the canal. It’s really become quite breath-taking. But otherwise, it’s been such fun. So much busier than I expected, and challenging, and a bit fraught now and then – but there’s been achievement too, and satisfaction, and pride.
Also, simple enjoyment at this leisurely way to traverse the pretty English countryside, up close with the birds and the trees and the farmland, all under a big, big sky. And the pubs! With the towns and villages, though, not so much: as with trains, canal boats use the tradesmen’s entrance, and not only have we seen the back sides and industrial bits, there’s been a dismaying amount of litter on the water. While I’m at it, I am also disappointed that the system isn’t greener: having diligently sorted our rubbish during the week, we then had no choice but to dump all the bags into the same bin. No recycling at all! Poor.
But that’s the only complaint. Everything else was brilliant, and it was quite sad to get to our last lock, and then to the Kate boatyard, where James showed masterful control in making a tight 90-degree turn into the mooring. It was a shame, then, that the Kate man tutted and came on board to reposition the boat further along, with insouciant ease.
He couldn’t fault my tidy rope, though.