The Shroppie

So, we are on our way to Worcester to buy a guitar. However whether we will actually get there is far from certain.

One of the things I have grown to enjoy about boating is the lack of need to plan, and the fact that most of the enjoyment is the journey rather than the destination. 

In my early boating years I was the type of person who, on picking up the boat, would already have calculated that given the daylight available could do the 4 counties ring plus the Caldon canal (both branches) in a week without breaking a. Sweat!

This trip felt a bit like a return to those days, and I am not sure if I will be able to keep up the pace, but on the other hand, I do like a challenge!

So…. The Shroppie. Everyone loves the Shropshire union Canal, but me, I am not so sure. 

But before I get to that let me talk for a moment about the feature on the canal printed in the latest issue of Waterways World. Whilst I would never accuse them of lazy journalism, I do wonder how much time they spent researching this article. Rather I suspect, they dusted off some copy printed in a previous edition. As eveidence, I present the following:

Barbridge – “with a pint or 2 from the couple of pubs vying for attention! – In fact there is only one pub at Barbridge now, The Barbridge inn. The other – The Jolly Tar I believe – was knocked down a couple of years ago! – in their defense, they do only show one pub on the map!

The Anchor – It mentions the quaint use of “Enamel Jugs” to serve the beer. Unless they have gone back to them, they had a hand pump on the bar when I visited last year.

It does feel a little like  they have dusted off some old copy for a feature on the Shropshire Union to save some time, but I may be wrong!

Anyway back to our trip, and my view of the SU canal. In my eyes it’s a bit dull, yes it does have some epic cuttings, but it was built to get from A to B in a straight line as fast as possible, and today it definitely still has that air about it. 

In this instance, we did infact want to get from A to B as fast as possible and in that it serve its purpose!  And it does feature may favorite sign on the whole canal network!

Good Job Mr Telford. For the canal – not the sign!

A Trip with a Purpose

It is said that every trip must have a purpose. Whilst, when it comes to narrowboating I would not always agree, in this case, our current trip does infact have a purpose.

To begin my story we need to go back a couple of months when, for no particular reason I decided to learn to play the bass guitar.

Rather than dive in and buy one I decided to see if I could borrow a bass so that I could give it a go. And sure enough, someone was kind enough to oblige.

The only issue was that it had too many strings! All the lessons I can find on line, bass, tabs etc are all for a normal 4 sting instrument, but the one I borrowed had 5!

Not a problem I thought, a 5 string Bass is just a 4 with an extra string (B if you are interested), so I can just ignore the 5th sting and use it like a normal bass. This was fine, but the probelem was learning an instrument is hard enough without having to negotiate unused strings. My so, solution was to remove the offending string!

Problem solved.

“So what does all this have to do with the purpose of a narrowboat trip” I hear you ask. Well let me tell you.

We had decided that this years big trip would be to Worcester. I also thought that if I am serious about learning to play the bass, I should at least learn on one with the correct number of strings.

As Worcester has a number of music shops, I thought I would combine the two decisions, and head to Worcester to buy a Guitar.

Hence the trip with a purpose.

So watch this space, and I will keep you up to date with how the trip and the Guitar playing go!