Sunday, 30 September 2012

Steve Judy and Valerie

Sunday 30th September, 2012 at The Cunning Man.
One of two "Stag" boats that had moored nearby for a night of revelry at The Cunning Man departed early. When M complimented them on how quiet and well behaved they had been, they did confess, rather shame-facedly, that they were still feeleing much the worse for wear!!
Knowing that another "Steam Special" was due, we walked the quarter-mile up the lane to the railway bridge. Only one other person appeared and, once again, we wondered if the excursion had been cancelled - but not so. Absolutely bang on time, the cloud of smoke and steam in the distance announced the arrival of the steam engine and to our delight we saw that it was "Tornado."

M waved  as it approached and was overjoyed when the driver leant right out of the cab and waved enthusiastically back and blew the locomotive's whistle.  She was still beaming with pleasure fifteen minutes later when we got back to MM!
This set the tone for a very happy day. We were expecting Steve and Judy (from M's choir) with their friend Valerie (who lives in Zurich), for a day trip. They duly arrived mid-morning and, after tea and biscuits, we set off eastwards in the direction of Reading.

Steve was a dab hand with a windlass at the locks and, as ever, we had several interested bystanders at each lock to help us with the gates.

M walked the towpath all the way down to Fobney lock. Just before the lock we winded (turned) and cruised back to The Cunning Man, where we moored up for a late lunch. Good thing that we had booked in advance, as it was packed. The food was excellent as ever and we waved the three of them off late in the afternoon. Everyone appeared to have had a great day and it was lovely for us to be able to get to know Valerie better.
Today: 4 miles, 2 locks and 3.8 hours.
Trip: 288 miles, 299 locks and 256.9 hours.

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