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unassuming and tatty narrowboat cruises the "Longest Friendliest Village in England"

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Giggity Bridge

Posted by PentargonSpringer on June 16, 2017 at 5:05 PM


June 8th 2017 was a Thursday and the day the UK would go to the polls to return a government with  a  ticket to screw the proletariat senseless and run amok. ForThe Next Five Years. [Their plan back-fired spectacularly when youthful voters (from 18yo to 108) turned out in force  ...  especially the 'educated' ones ...  


It has ALWAYS been my habit to vote even if it takes some bother, having learned that in Ireland where I always took an active interest in politics. Men died so I could inherit the democratic right to declare from time to time that such and such was sound (or a gobshite!) ...  Ireland has Proportional Representation built into it's form of democracy, which allows the PEOPLE to tell the government what it may or may not do ...


The misfortunate UK voters are not considered intelligent enough to handle numbers so they get to put an x in one box, to ensure that the establishment should always rule. With my boat west of Wolverhampton and my vote in Essex, UK2017 was going to be a bother. A plan was hatched to take a coach from Wolverhampton via Birmingham to London on 7th, cast my vote on Jun8th, do some gardening at the stone frigate after that, and return to the boat some days later to descend towards Kidderminster or Stourbridge, where I would be within reach of the navigable Severn.


... Shit Happens ...

Just in case it ever happens to YOU, I should now explain that I had developed a tiny nick on my index finger somewhere between Rugely and Radford Bank early June. Maybe a bit of steel swarf in there but it was only a tiny thing and I could easily soak it in saline at home and show it to a doctor, if it got annoying.That was the plan


So during the 7th, I checked out the boat for a few days away. You know the drill, turn off switches, make sure it is well tied, stern gland is not dripping, the fridge is off and the door ajar, no food left to rot, hopper windows unlatched for some airflow.  This is not only good house-keeping but is the result of over 50yrs messing about on boats. "Ship-shape and Bristol fashion"


I bussed on the 255 from Giggety Wharf early on a fine June morning, leaving behind a fully dried out bilge and Pentargon reasonable in case I was away longer than expected. My bus ticket would give me a nice tour of the country on routes you don't often get to by car or rail or boat. I even got to see M6J6 (Gravelly Hill) and can confirm a canal does indeed run right under the famous https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravelly_Hill_Interchange" target="_blank">Spaghetti Junction.


Arriving at thehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_frigate" target="_blank"> stone frigate about 6pm that evening, with basis provisions for a day or two, on the morn I was down at our polling station early, wondering why said location is only 200meters from the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_frigate" target="_blank">house while a pint of milk is well over half a mile away. The finger was getting bothersome but I persisted in the saline soaking and did a bit on erm housekeeping, based on a decision that it would be a very good idea indeed to delay return in case ...

... Shit Happened ...

Trouble loomed and the finger was central. It was festering and getting worse by the minute so it  seemed sensible to take buses to Romford Queens A+E where D. later looked after me for the day. Opinion was strong antibiotics. I later walked back into town with D. who was bound for https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatwick_Airport" target="_blank">EGKK so we split at the station.

By Monday Jun12, it was clear the finger was in serious trouble so I presented at local doctor who prescribed even stronger anti-biotics ...the following morning the finger was very much worse and out of control so I biked up to Peartree and just caught 370 and 193 to A+E in Queen's Romford. (that was the last I saw of my beautiful new Strida but that is a story for another day)

Having spent most of Monday hanging around A+E, I found myself mid afternoon being ambulanced to a specialist hospital at Broomfield ... for immediate surgery of which ...

... I'll spare you the gory details ... 

Suffice to say, I am ... home  ... pro-tem ... Friday 16th June 2017 wondering where a missing week went and waiting for the clock so I can a stuff a night's supply of antibiotics down my neck ...

TBC. Sat Jun17 23.25 and "later" ... Oh! I almost forgot!

This is a boat blog. I can't leave the house unsupervised for at least "ten to twelve days".

And hope the bilge stays dry in the interim

TBC. Tue Jun 20 14.04 ...      At least the forecast is good for the next while ..

TBC Fri 23rd 10.13 and counting ... tried to get a message through to C&RT and may have succeeded ...

TBC Wed 5th Jul ... travelled to boat on a round ticket sleeping on board .. It has attracted one of those waterproof offender's envelopes ... boat was in ok shape ... so a little house-keeping and a night's sleep. I moved the boat a little way off Giggetty Wharf to give boaters a bit of room and change the scenery.

TBC Wed 18th I got very lucky with the hand injury ... apparently if the infection had gone any further it would have necessitaed removal of the hand. This is due warning. Canal water and environment is lethal. I am now finished an extraordinary cocktail of antibiotics which has totally annialhated every living organism in my body. The surgery wounds are healing but I have no feeling in my index finger and as a digit it is entirely decorative or would be if it was not swollen, raw and shedding dead skin  ...


... NEXT STOP STOURBRIDGE ...

Plans now have to be seriously modified. I have lost six weeks of my life because an agressive bacterium which I may have been harbouring in my body for months decided to turn nasty. But I got lucky and life goes on. I am back on board and looking with some trepidation at the route to Stourport Basin and the southern end of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal. This section had originally been alocated the two middle weeks of June and leaving the last week for the Severn descent.

Now I gotta work about twenty locks some in staircases and NONE suitable for solo transit with one working hand. No pressure then.

TBC (Wolverhampton Library Friday 28th July)

 


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