The slow journey continues. The Canal & River Trust office rang again to mention that we’d come to the end of our term at Braunston, we hadn’t actually, I’ve been careful not to overstay the 14 day notices, but it nonetheless made me determined that on the first day of my Summer holiday we’d drive from London and spend time moving the boat.

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The descent, from the 21st century to the 18th century.
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Time to move on. After filling the diesel tank I turned over the engine. She roared into life, with her normal gout of grey smoke, at first asking. We then undertook a tricky manoeuvre, reversing around the blind bend in front of Midland Chandlers to enable the boat to turn onto the ‘puddle banks’ at the Braunston Turn. Being a sunny Saturday in July the canal was choc-a-bloc with boats… none of whom seemed to understand why I was asking a narrow boat to do what narrow boats just don’t do, ie. go backwards. Some stood and stared whilst others blithely moved forward with their boats thinking I’d be able, in some miraculous way, to suddenly take control of the bow as Eileen slithered across the water.
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Still, a combination of bursts of revs, manic arm-waving and muttered oaths, finally achieved the turn. We took Eileen beneath the double bridge that marks the turn, and for a while at least re-traced our steps west across the elevated Braunston Puddle Banks… Here’s Joe looking across to the old junction house and our route ahead.
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A backward glance to the Braunston Turn…
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…and the junction before Bridge 95.
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Fin & Joe on the cabin top looking ahead to Bridge 95 and the embankment…
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It’s the nature of this year’s destination-free journey that we inevitably end up with a walk. No matter where we leave the boat, there’s always that plod back on foot back to retrieve the car… Here’s Joe putting his best foot forward. His destination is the Braunston spire in the distance. On a fine Summer’s morning there’s no hardship in a walk, we spent our time butterfly (mainly Meadow Browns, Small Tortoiseshell’s and Large White’s) and dragonfly spotting amongst the Meadowsweet and Great Willowherb that swamped the towpath…
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The image that went some way towards capturing the essence of our day as Fin’s feather floats on the glassy canal.
Oh, and if you wandered what the ‘Pink Floyd’ reference was in the title to this post, well it was prompted by this remnant wall of a bridge we’d spotted as we walked…

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