After my awful experience with the spider, I went out for the evening to the canal in Avoncliff, just outside of Bath. John was keen to show Simon and me his boat he had been building/renovating for the last 50 years and was now living on.
We went for a relaxing ride down the canal on a lovely summers evening. We would have gone further down the canal towards Bathampton, but a boat decided to come loose from where it was moored and block the whole of the canal. Despite jumping aboard the adrift vessel like Somali pirates, in a bid to try and move it back to where it was once moored, we couldn’t, so turned around and headed back.
While aboard HMS Watkins, we dined like kings, using the very latest disposable barbecue technology to (partly) cook burgers, sausages and kebabs.
Once we had eaten our fair share of cow and pig, we moored up and enjoyed a few drinks, while getting pestered by a local cat. We also discovered a dead badger which had been festering in canal waters just a short distance from John’s boat. It stunk like… well, what you would expect a dead badger to smell like that had been lying in the hot summers sun all day.
Being very brave, or stupid, John and Simon devised a lasso using just string and a Sainsbury’s bag to remove the dead animal from the waters. Having already eaten, we decided against putting it on the barbecue, so chucked it into nearby hedgerow… again, I was at a safe distance to prevent being splashed with dead badger juice.
A nice evening. I’m already looking forward to my next voyage, when hopefully we will get a bit closer to Bathampton and not encounter any more dead bodies.
After work on Friday I went to the canal, just outside of Bath. John has decided to become a water gypsy, and live on a houseboat on a canal in Avoncliff. Having put the boat together from what was basically a bare frame, the decor is a bit bare and maintenance is in order – a toilet, shower, kitchen and bed also needs installing.
The floating caravan
We went for a ride down the canal…
… saw some ducks
… before breaking down. The day ended there.
Many congratulations to my friend Mr. John Watkins. After a year without wheels he now has a new car. He can now come to Bath a lot more and leave afterwards, not having to sleep on an airbed on my floor.
We’ll also be able to make our trips to the cinema a lot more frequently. It’ll be like the good old days. Now all we need is for Dan to move back and for me to get my driving licence and a car to go with it.
Mr. Watkins brand new car. He is yet to chav it up with neon lights and “Boom Boom Speakers”
The first trip I took with Mr. Watkins and his new car was to The George pub. I know we have been there a lot lately but this time we didn’t have to get trains, buses and taxis driven by strange old men.
I went for a mascarpone dish that I have not tried before – very brave of me. I did have to ask for the parmesan cheese not to be used though (it is like dried vomit). The dish was very nice and makes a change from sausage & mash and “that chicken thing” I have had a few times.
Mr. Watkins at the bar getting excited about the prospect of ice cream
My meal was nice however it seemed to have an endless supply of peppers
A boat moored up outside The George. I would still quite like to live on one.
Prior to the pub I spent the afternoon in Victoria Park playing football with Simon. We asked some random group of people for a match and ended up playing a 5-a-side game.
I wasn’t that impressed with it. The players in both teams seemed to be working for themselves and not playing as a team and it showed. Missed chances, cringe worthy errors, players all over the place. I know I am a newbie to this footballing lark but even I knew something was wrong.
I did manage to score a goal which made me happy. Not bad for somebody who has only been playing for two weeks. Sean 1. Frank Lampard 0. :o)
The game disbanded as quickly as it was formed. Simon and I were happy to keep going but the other players wanted to drink, smoke and chase some drunk girls. That is why the national team is failing. No commitment from English players and too many distractions and of course, Sven.
The park was also taken over by masses of chav students. There were hundred of them, walking all over the pitch, standing in the goals and being total pricks when asked to move on. I was pleased to see PC Plod appear on the scene and tell the young pissheads to fuck off.
The Royal Victoria Park duckpond. Today without any ducks.
This pigeon wouldn’t fly off when I approached. I was tempted to kill it and make a pie.
Part of the “team” I played with. I didn’t want to get too close to take the photo. I think some of them were chavs.
Well it is now the final evening of the holiday, we are back outside the boat yard, the boat has been scrubbed clean (well cleanish) we are both packed to go back home tomorrow.
The last two days have certainly been better than Tuesday and Wednesday. We avoided any dirty city canals and were able to take the far cleaner and more scenic routes stopping and Penkridge last night. We’ll be off to the pub shortly for a couple of pints and dinner before returning to the boat for one final sleep aboard.
The last stretch of thr journey
An odd site seen today – a chair made out of straw
This will probably be the last blog entry on this special holiday page, until the next time I go away at least. When I am back in Bath however I will upload a gallery of images and even a few videos which were just too large to upload with the connection that I am using and bandwidth limitations.
Overall a very enjoyable experience and one I would recommend to anybody unless you are one of these holiday makers who likes to completely relax sitting for hours in the sun doing absolutely nothing – work is involved on boating holidays (although most of the time it is fun). Also if you are the type of holiday maker who likes to go to hot Spanish islands, drinking to 4am, taking pills and fighting then this probably isn’t for you although you may like to hang around with the yobs near Wolverhampton Top Lock.
Wednesday night – interesting couple of days, had to travel through Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Not the prettiest of canals to say the least.
Going through the city centres presented a lot of trouble, mainly because the boat kept getting stuck on debris dumped in the water. There were also masses of rubbish floating everything, pretty much disgusting.
This canal was not pleasant
The propeller tangled up in all this rubbish
This evening presented a task and a half, we were in Wolverhampton all prepared to moor up for the night but were strongly advised NOT to stay in the city centre, especially by the Top Lock, near to Molineux, Wolverhampton Wanderers football ground. This is a notorious trouble spot and a lot of night clubs are nearby.
Not a nice place to stay at night
We did loads of locks tonight
All the locks made us hungry, we just about held off going to a terrible place for food
We made the choice to travel 21 locks down to the outskirts of the city in a far more green and quieter area. I controlled the boat while my friend had the harder task of opening the locks. This took three hours and towards the end we were both very tired and it was becoming increasingly difficult to see!
We have made it now, are in a nice position and are ahead of schedule so therefore should be able to have a relaxing Thursday and Friday.
Lastly something I won’t focus too long on as I’m not happy about it, Leeds losing 2-1 to Cardiff City throwing away a 1-0 lead. Shame Leeds lost, especially to rivals like Cardiff. I think the only reasons for the goals were pure skill from the scorer and a somewhat dubious penalty so this time I don’t think the team have that much to feel bad about, especially as they apparently had a storming first half.
On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.
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