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  • clivenmel

May 1st

Normal 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Well here we are � 1st May � two things to celebrate today, firstly it is eight months today since we set off on our adventure and secondly and far more importantly it is our great niece�s first birthday � Happy Birthday Ella!  (I can�t believe it�s a whole year since she was born!)   Clive woke up at some ungodly hour this morning and then decided he was wide awake so he got dressed � he left me sleeping and I finally woke up at 09.45!  Anyway, it was a lovely sunny morning and after breakfast I went off up the towpath to set the lock whilst Clive was untying the boat.   Just as we were leaving the second lock we noticed another boat in the first lock so we didn�t rush, they finally caught up with us at the first of the swing bridges and we leapfrogged these as we had done before.    At the swing bridge, whilst we were waiting for the other boat to catch up with us, I noticed all the cows in the field opposite had come up to the gate and were watching the boat.  I happen to like cows and once I had shut the bridge again I went over to the gate expecting the cows to immediately run away like they normally do but these didn�t � they were lovely and were all thrusting their noses at me and snuffling my hands then they all started licking me!  I must confess, I have never been licked by a cow before, they have really raspy tongues like cats do!  I figured they were after food so I pulled grass up to feed them, but in actual fact they weren�t interested in the grass at all, they just wanted to lick my hands!  Clive was patiently waiting for me so I had to say goodbye to my new friends and head back to the boat � first thing I did though was go and wash my hands, they were a bit gloopy!!!   We also said goodbye to the other boaters when we reached The Barge Inn, part way up the Seend Lock Flight, where they were mooring up.    I was heading off up the towpath opposite The Barge Inn to set the next lock when I found a windlass in the grass.  There were no boats nearby and no boaters either.  I picked it up and looked around but couldn�t imagine who it could belong to, there was only one boat moored in the pound and it was quite a long way further up the towpath so it couldn�t possibly be theirs I thought.  However I checked to see if there was anyone on board as I walked past, just in case, but it was empty.  Assuming that it was a holiday boater who had dropped it I took it with me up to the lock and opened the paddles.  Just as Clive had cruised into the lock a lady appeared, carrying a windlass.  I asked her if they were coming up the lock and she said �yes shortly but I am just looking for a lost windlass�!  She was delighted when I told her I had found it and I was very pleased to reunite it with its owner!  It turned out it was their boat I had walked past � they had been across the canal having a drink in The Barge!   We went up the rest of the flight together and through the swing bridges � we girls did all the hard work as usual whilst the boys relaxed on the boats having a good natter!  Who was it that said women gossip?  At one of the bridges Clive had spotted a bird on a telegraph wire just above the boat � I managed to get a few shots off in the hope that we could zoom in to identify it � Clive had his suspicions but it needed confirming.  Once we moored up this evening I downloaded the photographs and zoomed in and sure enough, he was right � the first Swallow!   Anyway we finally parted company at Sells Green, we pulled in to moor up and they were planning to go on a little further,  however we may catch up with them in the morning and possibly do the Caen Hill Flight with them � that would be great, right now I am trying not to think about it!   I realised after we had said goodbye that we had never actually introduced ourselves to each other so we only know them as the crew from Kindhearts.  That is the name of their boat � I jokingly asked where the Coronets were and she told me that the boat had evidently originally belonged to the producer or director of the Peter Sellars film Kindhearts and Coronets!  Amazing!   Once moored up we decided to go and sample the landlord�s best at The Three Magpies again as it is just a five minute walk up the road.  We were almost the only customers inside, except for a local guy who was a right character, turned out he was a Runrig fan, man after my own heart!   After our drink(s) we sauntered back to the boat and as we had a full tank of water we both had nice hot showers, lovely.   As it happens there is also a water point here so we can top up in the morning if necessary before we head off to that unmentionable flight of locks!   I forgot to mention, earlier this afternoon whilst Clive was waiting for us to open one of the bridges he heard a Cuckoo!  He called out to tell me to listen and sure enough I heard it too.  We had just been commenting, only the other day, that we hadn�t heard one yet!      

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