Over the last few days I have covered 7 miles and negotiated 37 locks. Normally a narrow boat would have a crew of at least two. One person to walk along the tow path and open and close the locks and the other guiding the boat, but being alone, I have had to keep getting on and off the boat, tying up each time I enter or leave a lock. I’ve got a procedure that works OK but it is much easier when there is someone else around to help – and there frequently is, either another boater or a canal volunteer. One guy told me he volunteered to help on one of the flights once a week for the exercise and fresh air.
Last weekend a friend visited me and we went to visit Warwick Castle. It has been turned onto a theme park. In my opinion the spirit of the place had been destroyed – the ghosts of the castle’s past had all been driven away by the gross commercialization of the place. I didn’t want to pay the £30 entry fee so I didn’t get the full experience but it seemed clear that the history of the castle was being presented at the level of a five year old child.
Tomorrow I head into the heart of Birmingham. The Canal guide says that it is not safe to moor at various places on the way into the centre of the city. This has disturbed me because my experience so far had been that everyone I’ve met on or around the canal has been friendly and welcoming.