We went to Lancaster, Carol and me. The sun was shining, but the afternoon was chilly, which made the sky shimmer like a pond full of crystals overhead.
Our first port of call was the old corner shop at Galgate, where we stocked up on brown bread and bacon. There’s nothing so grand as a proper pan-fried bacon butty – a rare occurrence nowadays as my hob is generally occupied by cats. I ate my butty in the bows for added boating ambience.
Earlier in the day, at Potters Brook (there’s no possessive apostrophe in Potters Brook, so please don’t send me letters of complaint) we saw the umbrella above parading along. I just remembered that bit. Apologies for the lack of chronological continuity.
We went for a stroll to the best-kept bridge in Britain (or something like that) at the Glasson turn-off. Then we returned to the boat for another bacon butty.
After which we headed to Lancaster with every intention of mooring up outside the Water Witch pub for the night. It took us all week to get there.
Unfortunately, almost the entire wharf was taken up by a twelve-foot, badly parked yoghurt pot, so we were forced to turn back.
The winding hole outside the student accommodation turned out to be extremely shallow and full of plants. It was more like a tropical water garden than anything remotely practical. We found ourselves grounded over and over again, watched intently from the rear of the pub by an ensemble of non-socially distanced drinkers. It took us hours to wrestle ourselves free from the weeds.
There was nowhere to moor near Lancaster. Presumably there’s a breach somewhere. Every time we pulled over to within six feet of the towpath the boat would hit some underwater sill and tilt at an angle of forty-five degrees. This might explain why the banks that were crowded from end to end with boats a fortnight ago, now lay empty and forlorn despite the fine weather.
To add to our struggles, a carpet of duck weed had been working its way south from Hest Bank. There have been a lot of complaints about this on the various canal-related websites. The CaRT are blaming the plague. Everybody else is blaming the CaRT.
I thought it looked pleasant. It doesn’t bother us narrowboaters. It only ruins the engines of badly-parked yoghurt pots.
We spent the night back at Galgate, talking until two about the decline of the British film industry and why the BBC should be made to go commercial. Then we crept away, back to Potters Brook, at first light (around ten-ish), forgetting to stock up first on tobacco at the last remaining store for hundreds of miles.