It was boat moving day, and therefore predictably gloomy, windswept and grizzled. At Stony Lane Bridge the currents caught us in their grip and rammed the boat, chimney-pot first, into the bridge’s arch, where a BMW being hotly pursued by the police just last week, went through the railings and took a nose dive into the cut.
Didn’t I mention that in the last post? Oh well…it looked like this.
What happened to the driver and his passenger nobody knows. They scarpered. The result of our own little accident has left a slight dent in my chimney pot.
We went to Lancaster, Jeanie McIntosh and me, ostensibly to find some new outlets for our Mouse Boat books before we go bankrupt, but in reality to behave like tourists and buy a cheese and onion pastie from Greggs.
We parked up in a secreted car park somewhere behind the castle, which I never knew was there. (The car park, that is. The castle’s fairly obvious.) As it turned out Lancaster Castle had its front gates open. This is something you don’t see that often. We had a quick look inside, but you’re not allowed to smoke anywhere on the premises at all, so I thought “Stuff that” and left again.
By way of a bit of education, Lancaster Castle is built over an earlier Roman fort, started life proper as a mott-and-bailey, was home to Henry IV and John-o-Gaunt (as written about in Shakespeare) and was used as the model for Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast and for Terry Pratchett’s Lancre Castle.
We also took a gander at the Priory behind the castle. I’ve always wanted to go inside the Priory, but until today I never have. Unfortunately, today was no different and I still haven’t. The door was locked. Sunday afternoon and the Priory was locked. Such is the modern world.
Some memorial outside had been the recipient of recent vandalism courtesy of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest. I didn’t read who the memorial was dedicated to. My specs were steamed up from wearing my plague mask.
We couldn’t find the car park again. It was hidden somewhere behind the ruins of the Roman bath house, but almost impossible to reach. We climbed Castle Hill again. We circled it three times. We went down. We went up. That hill is steep. We were totally knackered. We found it eventually, but because you have to pay by the minute it turned out to be quite an expensive stay. Next time we’ll probably take the boat, because it’s cheaper.