Thursday, 16 July 2015

Classical reverie

The main concern today was "would the pump out at Kinver be working?" as there was maybe 48 hours left in the toilet tank. I'm pleased to say that yes it was and it took just five minutes of the available six to empty the tank. I didn't bother even rigging our rinse hose, it just wasn't worth it for what would be one brief rinse at most. I was slightly out yesterday, by the way, it's a swingeing £16.75 for those six minutes of pumping. There is at least a pause button.

We needed to fill the water tank as well, so Sheila took care of that whilst I dealt with the opposite process, thus maintaining a safe distance between the foul and fresh water. We were all done by eight and set off again, Sheila steering and your interloc(k)utor locking. Having worked up Kinver to get to the service station, the first lock afterwards was Hyde.

Pearson's tells us that this used to be the site of a major iron works with 20 puddle furnaces, whatever they might have been. Now, all that's left is the delightful manager's house on the towpath side just beyond the lock landing. The rest is bosky woodland with nary a sign of the former industrial activity. As I waited for Sanity Again to arrive, I was reminded of Shelley's Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:

'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away."

It's one of my favourites.

On we went, chuggity chug along the last of the best of this canal, up Stewponey and through Stourton Junction, which I missed as I was getting the washing machine running, filling it with hot water from the calorifier with the aid of a two litre jug we keep for the purpose.

The locks come fairly steadily, Gothersley, Rocky and finally Greensforge. We'd thought of stopping below the lock, but it's both narrow and shaded, so worked up and found that the single length of visitor mooring at the top was on a bend and unusable for us. So we've come on to just beyond the long term moorings and tied on the towpath. It's quite sunny here and very quiet.

After lunch, I checked the prop, which proved to have a chunk of greenery and some plastic wound tightly round the shaft, thus explaining the tiller shake and slow progress of the final stretch. There's a lot of cut grass and weed floating about at the moment, the towpath having just had a hedge to edge cut.

Not sure where we'll stop tomorrow – top of The Bratch possibly.


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