Sunday, 17 May 2015

Not uneventful!

Buttercups and daisies and dandelion heads 
… as we walk on the meadow canal-side at Hemel on Wednesday after my hospital appointment.

My physio session had gone well and I’m now able to nearly make a fist of my left hand but I have to concentrate very hard on making it happen, but so far both the physio (occupational hand therapist) and myself are pleased with the results.

Unfortunately my next plan didn’t work out so well.  I suffer from excess earwax (yes I know, you don’t really want to know that) but I do! Since September last year I’ve been trying to find a GP or walk-in centre who would syringe them for me but to no avail.  The surgeries would not do it because they don’t know my background or they no longer offer the service anyway, and the walk-in centres don’t offer the service because they’re not GP surgeries.  For the past four days I’ve had no hearing in my right ear what-so-ever so I was gutted when I went into the Hemel Urgent Care Centre and was once again told that the service was not available from them; she did ask the nurse from the GP practice also based there if they could help.  No, they don’t know anything about me so would not do it.

Alternatives - go private - £60 a throw plus even if I could get a quick appointment it would also mean hiring a car etc. Other alternative would be go to my own GP surgery - a round trip of 390 miles taking about 4 hours each way!  No contest, I rang the surgery, spoke to the practice nurse and got an appointment for tomorrow afternoon and we hired a car from Enterprise.

Thursday’s weather forecast was for rain so we'd had no intention of moving Still Rockin’ anywhere so this plan was working for me.

We’re still registered with the surgery in Wales where we lived prior to becoming live-aboard boaters and we love this part of the journey into Meirionnydd in the county of Gwynedd
Looking down along the valley as we climb the steep road over the Bwlch (gap in Welsh) and then down the other side into Dolgellau. We arrived with an hour to spare and spent the time walking the Mawddach Trail.  The procedure took just 20 minutes and then we were on our way home stopping off for a meal with at our son’s house and arriving back just before 10pm having left at 8:30am.  A long day but so well worth it for me.

Friday - an early start as George had to return the hire car by 8am.
A good start it was too - we’re stuck on the silt because the water is down about 5 inches! It took some pushing and pulling and toing and froing to get us off.
Fisheries lock - what idiot would leave a plastic boat moored there so close to the lock - we got through missing him by inches. I said that I’d walk on to the next lock after closing the gates so that George didn’t have to ‘hover’ near that cruiser.

The pound (stretch of water between two locks) between Boxmoor Top Lock and Winkwell is always a bit shallow and in the distance on the corner by the railway bridge I could see a narrowboat which appeared to be having problems, one minute it was in the middle, next across the canal and then it looked as if it was being moored up, so I decided to continue to walk so that I could let George know if there were any problems.

There was! The boat in question was free of its pins except for the stern and the boat was across the canal.  I suggested to George that he stays back in the middle so that he didn’t get stranded in the silt whilst I tried to re-tie the boat.  
I needed a hammer and was going to ask George to throw ours when I spied one on the roof of the nb, so I undid the back mooring rope from its pin and pulled the stern up the towpath so that the length would come in and then hammered the pin in and secured it.  I then went to the front to pick up the rope which was hanging in the water but there was no pin on the end of it.  
Fortunately there was two pins on the middle rope and that took me a good ten minutes to undo all the knots, twists and turns wrapped around them and the strange middle tie ‘capston’ on the roof.  I secured the front and then the middle ropes and that was that - I wonder if the owner noticed the difference when he/she returned, or even if the pins stayed in that long!
To be honest I didn’t much care! George was able to pass safely by and I walked on under the railway bridge where yet another wide- beam was coming towards me and I informed them that George was on his way round the corner and they would be passing each other under the bridge!
It’s all very green! Looking over the fence from Winkwell bottom lock to the lake beyond as I wait for George to pass the other boat.  The lock was against us so I let George know to hold back until it was ready because the flow from the River Bulbourne was quite strong this morning.

No problems at the swing bridge but we could see that there was someone coming down the next lock.  Yay! the first thing 'going our way' today!!

Wow, it’s Raymond and Nuffield on their way to Rickmansworth Festival this weekend. One of the guys happily informed me that the next few locks would be in our favour - it’s just a shame we were only going up one more!!

As I said at the beginning - it was not an uneventful day but it was enjoyable - and just after 10am we were moored up at this fantastic mooring at Pix Farm above Winkwell top lock, and we don’t have to be back at Hemel until Monday next week - brill!

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