18 July 2008

Bitten by the bug

You know I’m easily pleased so you can imagine how buzzing I was this morning when a big, fat parcel from Amazon arrived for me. It included, amongst other things, two books on greyhounds: Iggies and Greyts, a small coffee table book of beautiful photos, and Greyhound Tales, Stories of Rescue, Compassion and Love. The latter will have to be read in small doses as it’s bound to make me blub. Every dog book makes me blub though. You should have seen me at the end of Marley and Me, tears streaming down my face. If you haven’t read it, beg, borrow or steal a copy because it is a simply wonderful, funny, touching and redemptive book.

However, I digress. Also in the parcel was a freshly minted GeoProjects map of the BCN. Oo-er, talk about hard core map porn! I’ve been drooling over it all day, thinking up wilder and wilder itineraries for next year. At the last count, we were doing Ryders Green locks about 26 times. I think I may have to curb my enthusiasm a tad.... But, to be honest with you, I am wrestling with a bit of a problem and that is: Do we just set off with a loose plan and go with the flow or do we commit to visiting every nook and cranny? The adventurer and competitor in me favours the latter but that brings with it its own concerns. Like, how do you know when you’ve got to the end of a particular spur or stub? Does it always end in a brick wall? Is there a boom across the canal to mark the end of navigation? Or do you just keep going until you realise you’re atop an underwater midden? And of course, an end doesn’t necessarily come with a convenient winding hole so I envisage plenty of reversing manoeuvres and stern-hauling...Just another half mile to go lads, heave ho!

In my researches, I’ve seen a mix of the ‘Get out and see the BCN, it’s amazing’ and the ‘The only safe place to moor is Gas Street’ schools of thought. The latter seems to consist of those who have only ever hurtled through on the main line and don’t know what they’re talking about and the former of those who have actually taken the trouble to go and explore for themselves and been well rewarded for their efforts. Well, I’ve heard enough and seen enough on my map to be thoroughly intrigued – and I want to see for myself exactly what’s what, what’s hot and what’s not. Then I can opine based on actual knowledge and experience not tenth-hand hearsay and outdated rumour. Cassandras of the waterways, take note.

By the way, I’m not the only one who’s got a taste for Brum. Adam of Debdale is another one badly bitten by the BCN bug and I’m looking forward to what he has to report when he ventures forth on his next big trip. Remember Adam, when you’re leaving Birmingham, don’t stop until you’re at least in Derbyshire, just to be on the safe side...


Adam said...

Good advice indeed (although I'm not sure the other debdale owners would be very impressed if we made off with the boat!)

Anonymous said...

Adam, beware, it's that sort of loose talk that made us leave our share and buy a whole boat of our own :-)
Sue, Indigo Dream

Adam said...

A whole boat is part of the long term plan. It just requires a more money and less work situation!