Yesterday morning, at the crack of dawn, I disentangled the boat from the trees at Dimples Lane (a remarkably skilled parking job, I reckon, which bent my television aerial into such fantastic new shapes that all the programmes are now in welsh) and headed for Forton.
Forton isn’t actually on the canal, as such. It’s a village, about half a mile inland – although in terms of vertical, winding and impossible-to-traverse geography it’s probably closer to thirty-five miles. It’s also extremely quiet – just the ‘thwok’ of leather against willow and the occasional spontaneous round of polite applause from the village green broke the stillness. I assume somebody was playing cricket there.
The photograph above shows the church, or something. Either that or whoever owns the place collects gravestones.
Forton also has a village hall (which is larger than the rest of the village), a war memorial, a rather odd Woody the Woodpecker toy stuffed, somewhat pointlessly, into a bird box, and…er…that’s about it. It’s pretty much a typical Lancashire village really. To be honest, it could do with a shop.
I ambled back to the Mouse Boat through the suffocating heat, where I opened the Houdini hatch a bit too energetically and crushed the tip of the middle finger on my left hand. Well, when I say ‘crushed’, I more sort of burst it. The inside of my finger actually came out like some sort of external brain. It was all rather disturbing. I ended up in the hospital where a nurse shoehorned it back in with a special, blue, plastic instrument and then added six stitches to stop it exploding again.
My finger now constantly throbs.