Day 11 Sutton Cheyney to Ansty

Hours cruised –  6

Interesting people/idiots met – 1

Average depth of the water – not enough

Perfectly negotiated junctions – 2

Classic Album – Beach Boys – Pet sounds

It turns out that I use the phrase “It turns out” a lot in my writing so my aim today is not to say “It turns out” in today’s post. 

Did you notice, I have cunningly snuck it in 3 times already, so I can keep my averages up!

Late start today, as we decided to visit the Bosworth Field Battle site. Apparently, it’s where some king got beaten by some wannabe King, and turned the tide of British history. Fascinating! Also transpires (see what I did there – google synonym dictionary is your friend) that the battle was not where they thought it was but 100 yards away in a different field, but they have sorted that glaring inaccuracy in British history, so all is good! It was a good walk though.

Set off about 11:30, and the first 3 miles felt like we were going uphill – I really hate shallow canals! It was also at this point that today’s idiot showed up ( yes it was an idiot rather than an interesting person) and I have some thoughts on canal idiocy, but you will have to wait for that.

Today’s idiot was of the pulls out hurriedly when they see you coming variety. Sadly though, for them, within 200 yds of pulling out, they met someone at a bridge and ran aground! They subsequently did this again about 1/2 mile further on.

Fortunately, they used the excuse of stopping to ask directions as a good reason to pull over and let us past. Suspect they may have regretted their hasty move earlier!

It was about a mile further on where the incident happened that made me think about the concept of the canal idiot. Without going into detail, a situation arose that, while our action was utterly reasonable in our eyes, resulted in us being the canal idiot. (Or at least we would be if the other person involved was writing a blog similar to this one!)

This got me thinking as to the definition of “Idiot” on the canals. And I came up with the following.

An idiot is “someone who does things differently to you, and who by doing things differently prevents you from doing things the way you would normally do them”. One of the things I love about the canals is the wide variety of people who inhabit them, and that, in general, people with very different takes on life all share space, generally, amicably! With this new knowledge, I have decided to be more tolerant of Idiots. (Apart from those that jump out in front of you – Obviously!)

Anyway, back to the plot:

We made it back to Marsden junction (No 1 of the perfectly negotiated junctions – sadly, no one to see it though!) and headed on down the Coventry, the boat whipping along with the the engine merely ticking over, thanks to the fact that the canal actually had some water in it! 

On to Hawksbury junction (the second of our perfectly negotiated junctions). A tricky, tight U turn into a lock. This time with a pub full of people watching! Frankly, I am disappointed that we didn’t get a round of applause. Obviously these people were not afficionados of the boat handling art, but hey ho!

Through the he stop lock we were onto the Oxford, and on to Ansty and dinner at the Rose and Crown, a pub obviously  owned by an OCD Heath and Safety freak; I have never seen so many altogether advice notices in a menu, and highly specific warning signs (eg low beam, if you are over 5′ 8″ 1.73m tall, duck – I am surprised they had forgotten to take shoe type into consideration).

Target for tomorrow – Braunston, but looking at the map, not sure we will make it!

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