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Canal boat riding
Bec and I caught the train to Rugby, where we met up with Aaron, Vanessa, Rodney, Jen, Deanna and her mum, as well as Mike who owns the boat. After a quick pint we went to the boat and had dinner. For those who haven't seen a canal boat before (I hadn't), it is very long and quite thin. Something like 15m long and a couple of metres wide. Less than a full-grown man's height. (Less than this full-grown man's height, anyway).
Through the next couple of days, we took the boat through (gradually) to Banbury. There was some beautiful scenery along the way, and the weather was nice although a little hot. Despite my best intentions and some sunscreen, I still got a little bit of colour to me. It was fun steering the boat, although a little difficult at times. I was also impressed with the way they deal with hills. Every so often, they have a lock, which consists of two gates. To go up, you open the bottom gate (which is obviously on the same side of the boat, otherwise you would be going down!) drive through and close the gate behind you. The space between the two gates then fills up with water, taking the boat with it. When it has reached the right level, you can then open the other gate and go through, happily on your merry way. I was quite impressed with the design. Apparently it was Victorian engineers who built it. Aren't Victorian engineers clever!
On the Saturday, we went to have lunch at a pub. We got to the pub around 2PM, and, with the 9 of us there, one of us asked for a table for lunch. The lady asked how many of us were there. When told 9, she replied "you're joking". This despite us standing there. In front of her. Anyway, after being stuffd around for 15 minutes, she then brought out a menu which was absolutely not what we wanted (the things we wanted were off), and, when she saw our faces, she told us that we didn't need to stay - she wouldn't be offended. I'm sure the dust settled some time after we had left the building...
The whole weekend, the food was very nice - both the pub meals and those Mike cooked. All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend.
From Banbury, we caught a train down to London, where the unseasonably hot weather continued. In London, we met up with Nana and Pa. During the week, we went to the Apple shop (Nana wanted to), and some department stores (if anyone is interested, Australia is the equivalent of Old Kent Road in the soccer world cup edition monopoly) as well as a day-trip to St Albans, where we saw a big, old church. And, of course, we did lots of eating. And tried to escape the weather.
Last weekend, I had a scout camp in Crai (near Brecon). The camp was in the paddock of some friends of Duke (one of the leaders) and they had some lovely views. Amongst other things, the scouts did some orienteering, made camp gadgets, had a scavenger hunt, went on a night hike (reflectives but no torches - we had to do it after midnight for it to be dark enough), did backwoods cooking and played games and did other camp stuff. Again, despite intentions, sunscreen and shade, I still got a little bit of colour to me. Not much, and certainly not burnt, but more than I like.
We packed up quickly and efficiently, and got back in time for me to get to cricket. I had very little effect on the game, apart from putting down what was an important catch. That's three from three now. I'm not happy about it. The batsman went on a spree, hitting a few sixes, including scoring 22 off and over. They scored 113 off their 13 overs and we fell about 30 runs short.
It is my considered opinion that cricket is a strange game. You are out there on the field with your team-mates, but there are sometimes long spells where you seem to be out there doing your thing by yourself. I was never tempted to play aeroplanes though...
I'm now back in the furnace that is my workplace - I got in on Tuesday morning and it was 29.5 degrees. It didn't get any cooler through the day.
Comment from Todd Fraser
Well with all your praise of Victorian engineers it makes me feel proud to be a Victorian.........and an engineer. Something tells me that I'm missing the point a little. Why would they bring engineers out from Victoria Australia to build their Locks??
Comment from Gillian
You don't play areoplanes while playing CRICKET. You do that on the football field...
I never played aeroplanes while playing either cricket OR football....
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.