Thursday, 18 August 2016

Up the Cheshire Locks

We weren't sure exactly where we were going to stop today, but made an early start anyway. If we pressed on to Rode Heath, we reckoned we'd be boating for around four hours, so setting off between seven and half past seemed a good idea. As it turned out, it was a discouraging start but a good day and an excellent finish in the end.

The short pound between the bottom lock and the next one up was very low. In fact, when Sheila tried to boat out, the bow made it alongside the gate and then stopped, stuck on the cill already. I walked up to the lock above, which was empty, opened the bottom gates and drew half a top paddle. Gradually, the water level rose until Sanity Again was free and able to chug across the pound and into the lock.

I was a bit discouraged by this. It had taken us 45 minutes to do one lock of a possible 14 and the paddles were appallingly stiff. However, things began to look up from there on in. Another boat was coming up behind us and we soon settled into a companiable way of working. Most of these locks are duplicated, so the lockwheeler from the boat behind offered to close up our lock after Sheila had left, allowing me to walk on and set both locks of the next pair.

In this way we fairly flew up through Malkin's Bank and on towards Hassal Green. Lack of internet had prevented me from checking the weather forecast this morning, but the guy on the boat behind said that it was going to be very wet tomorrow and windy over the weekend. Today's weather was gorgeous so we decided to take advantage and slog on to Rode Heath.

We paused in one lock to get the washing machine started, a load which nicely finished before we stopped. Sheila encouraged my endeavours with thoughts of a meal at the Broughton Arms. This was very effective and we got here just after eleven, despite the delay at the start.

There was no name on the boat behind, so I had to ask our new friends as they passed us whilst we were mooring. It was that good old Aussie name Tumbarumba, one which I knew from a World Wide Words entry. Tumbarumba is both a place in Oz and the Oz name for what the grammarians call tmesis, that is, inserting one word, usually an expletive, in the middle of another, as in abso-bloody-lutely. There's even a little verse to explain the Australian usage:

“Howya bloody been, ya drongo, haven’t seen ya fer a week,
And yer mate was lookin’ for ya when ya come in from the creek.
‘E was lookin’ up at Ryan’s, and around at bloody Joe’s,
And even at the Royal, where ’e bloody NEVER goes”.
And the other bloke says “Seen ‘im? Owed ‘im half a bloody quid.
Forgot to give it back to him, but now I bloody did —
Could’ve used the thing me bloody self. Been off the bloody booze,
Up at Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos.”

The Integrated Adjective, or Tumba Bloody Rumba, by John O’Grady.

We'll sit tight here tomorrow and maybe over the weekend, depending on the weather.

No comments: