Monday, September 14, 2009

This is Slough, not Jerusalem - BW please note

Jesus rode into Jersulam on an ass and might have been quite pleased to have palm leaves scattered in his path. Herbie cruised into Slough and was not at all pleased to have rushes scattered in our path. BW, who I suppose mean well, sent a contractor down the Slough Arm to clear the banks for the canal festival. This he did very well, and we had somewhere nice to moor because of it. (more on his very unusual boat tomorrow).

Then he went and spoilt it all by returning up the canal unnecessarily cutting down bankside rushes with abandon and leaving huge rafts of them floating on the surface. This on the very day that boats would be arriving for the festival. Absolutely everyone arrived late and cursing BW for being so stupid. We had all had to stop umpteen times to clear the rushes from our propellors.

Then all over the weekend the trip boats taking people for rides had the same problem. Grrrrr!!!
Here's one in one of the few clear bits. The boat trips were the only thing at the festival that people had to pay for. Entry was free.

In spite of the rushes, everyone had a jolly time and there was a good turnout of local people in the sunshine and a lot of them were very interested in the boats. We did several guided tours over Herbie. People are generally amazed by the inside of a narrowboat if they've never been on one. Next year I'm going to erect an "answers to frequently asked questions" board.
No we don't live on it.
Yes it has a bed and a toilet
No its not cold in winter
Anything between 10 thousand and 120 thousand pounds
Yes you can come in and have a look
etc etc
Only six narrowboats showed up, plus the preserved working boat Roger and I think three trip boats supplied by community projects. We did our bit with our recycled plastic bag bunting seen here in the Friday night sunset.

On the Saturday evening the boaters and helpers gathered for a huge Indian meal with about ten times as much food as we could eat! That was good. Next year they also want to sort out the beer - there was no real ale - and it'll be just right.

On the field - ferret racing, dog agility displays, farm animals for the kids, fairground organs, a childrens entertainer, and best of all a superb birds of prey display, flying huge vultures and American and golden eagles - all rescue birds from failed zoo projects or previous incompetent owners. The guy gave a fascinating talk on each bird as her showed it and they all seemed to respond to him. Taking a picture of an eagle or a vulture as it flies at you is not easy and I got countless missed and blurred shots.

These were the best in flight photos I could manage. First a golden eagle
then a huge griffon vulture

Sunday was Grace's second birthday so we had a bank side tea party, which she liked and gave us a wink of acknowledgement to prove it.


VallyP said...

Geoff and Laura should have got married at the fesitval with a procession of boats to follow! That would have brought a few more ;-)

Sorry to hear about the reed cutter..dumb for a moment, but dumb by reputation forever.

Still, it looks as if it was a fun day out.

Anonymous said...

It looks like such a good day - wish we could have been there. Well done you for keeping the Slough Arm alive.
Sue, Indigo Dream