Once we were ready to move off I waved goodbye to the bystanders and turned the starter key. Herbie's trusty BMC burst into life and at the same instant it started raining. People seemd strangely amused by this, but undaunted I directed my gaze down the canal and pulled away smartly from the bank. That's when the propellor picked up a plastic bag and an armful of weed. Herbie ground to an immediate halt causing some merriment to Geoff on Lady Elgar who cynically offerd me a tow (to which I stoically replied "NEVER!!").
Anyway, half an hour later we arrived at the Slough Canal Festival (in bright sunshine, I might add)and nudged Herbie into the bankside rushes. Lady Elgar arrived a little later and tied up in front. A pity Geoff had spent sometime washing his boat, because the rushes are so thick and high that the paintwork can't be seen from the bank.
Then followed a period of bunting erection culminating in the ceremonial hoisting of two large flags between the two boats. The Union flag I can understand, but quite why we are jointly sporting an Ostend flag is more mysterious. The best bit though was being passed by another boat. Herbie and Lady Elgar, in the usual fashion, slid back and forth as the undertow from the other boat took hold. The upshot was that the two flags graciously dipped onto the water surface as if in deference. Lovely!
The festival starts in the morning.