We left our mooring at Napton Junction this morning, amid skies threatening to actually be blue! Didn’t last long though. It seemed to take us forever to get around Napton Hill to the bottom of the locks, and even longer to fill with water, the tap there is so slow. We gave up when we were three quarters full and started up the locks. It was slow going after the first few as hotel boats Oak and Ash were ahead of us, with one boat between us and them. We weren’t sorry there was a boat between us as we’ve had come across the Martin Reed, the ex-vicar before - http://nb-windsong.blogspot.com/2009/07/name-and-shame.html . It wasn’t long before word started filtering back to us about another row he had got into with a couple of singles handers who were travelling together. Seems one of them ‘stole’ his lock, and it almost ended in fisticuffs, according to a family who were on the scene! I wonder how many people on the canals he has upset over the years. But, in all fairness, one of the single handers did turn the lock ahead of us, and then proceeded to get back on her boat when I walked up to the lock as if she expected me to do all the work for her, which I would have offered to do anyway. And, like a fool, I raised the paddles for her and let her out of the lock when it was empty. I should have just sat down on the lock beam and waited. I got a grudging muttered ‘thanks’ as she exited, but no eye contact. What’s the matter with people? It seems to happen more and more. I’m sure it’s just a reflection on society in general these days, but it’s very sad that everyone doesn’t chat and help each other out any more. Still at least the majority of people that you meet are still friendly.
We are moored now just above Marston Doles – we managed to keep dry today, but it has been raining on and off since we stopped.
4.6 miles and 9 locks