We usually enjoy a short winter cruise down to Brentford after Christmas, taking in the fab Fox pub of course, or maybe up to Paddington or Camden but it looks like we'll have to give it a miss this time. BW have just published their stoppage programme for this winter and for a short time London will be out of bounds unless you're already there, in which case you'll be trapped!
Boats in central London will have no way of reaching the Thames or of going North for a few weeks because the Grand Union canal will be closed at Yiewsely, just south of Cowley for the last half of January and the first half of February, and the Regents Canal at Victoria park, on the East side of London will be closed for nearly three months whilst bank repairs are done.
If we go out on Herbie we'll have to go North, where we'll have a day or two's cruising before we meet a stoppage.
What I fail to understand is why they STILL have no plans to fix Ironbridge Lock in Cassiobury Park. Everyone who uses this lock knows that it's the slowest in the world to fill, and has been for some years. The leakage on the bottom gates is only marginally less that the pathetic amount of water let in by the top gate paddles. Half an hour to fill is quite normal here.
Can it be that BW likes you to take a long time here so all the gongoozlers can enjoy the spectacle, for it is the prime spot for gongoozling? I suppose not. I'm much more of a believer in cock up than in conspiracy.