Talk about ‘up with thee lark’ off down ‘Jimmy Crow; flight by 07.05am, into the dark grey raining morning, tunnel light picking out strange characters staring out of the shadows of trees and bushes, as they peruse use down the flight. Well not really, just my imagination after getting 5 hours sleep on and off attending the BCNS Christmas do the night before, its sound like a good proposition to sleep on board Phoenix, if not somewhat on chilled side.
Our mission for today was simply annual re-fuelling of Phoenix, replenish our coal supply as our local supplier had ceased trading, and collect supplies for members from Hawne Basin while there, and while we where going through Gosty Tunnel, collect few logs that are in the undergrowth nicely drying out over the last two years for the stove in Phoenix.
Grey, turned to less grey, as vehicles passed above us in the cling mist come rain of the day, us smug with the Epping glowing, kettle steaming away, as we passed Valencia Wharf, with a half look through their curtains, as we crushed ice and brought the shards of life into their awaking.
Brades arrived quickly, “Argh – bottom pound’s empty”, 30 min’s latter saw us suitable refreshed with tea while we dealt with the slight hold up, Gower Branch , “blimey its ¾ inches of ice, may have to abandon thoughts of the trip to Hawne if the Main Line the same, we will be here all day & night.” 20 min’s latter saw us planning down the main line, Epping stove we load, frying pans sizzling, ovens looking after bacon, proper Yorkshire tea was in the pot as we plunged in to Netherton tunnel.
Netherton dispatched, bring on Gosty ‘I fear no one’ not even the Dracula’s painting!”
Coombeswood made us welcome, to see old friends as it turned out to be their Xmas luncheon, so nice to say hello to those you only occasional see and acknowledge on the system in passing bye.
Returning via our now out ice worn path, coming into the Crow saw our road ahead was set for us to be welcomed by Charlie (the dog and Phil), (not sure the physiotherapist would be happy), we let Phil take over at the helm whilst we ploughed up to the Pump House, and distributed of our cargo for the day,
House keeping suitable sorted boat was left ready for the next adventure at its safe mooring.
So…..there was I on my own to undertake our work party de-brief at a suitable establishment.
Whilst enjoying dinner and a convivial pint, know member of staff enquired ‘Aye it, yum alright mate’ me. Quick quip ‘sound, just looking for a door way to see out the night’…. But then while spoil the illusion, when you have a large jumbo bag, with a sleep bag, blanket roll on top, rucksack by your side, two jacket’s draped over the chair, unshaven, smell of wood smoke, and are total mental and physical knackered……I’m bloody happy, just want me bath, and 12 hours sleep will resolve the problems of the world, and as I dream …..Let’s bring on the next adventure.