Saturday, 26 September 2015

OK, so I appreciate the architecture

After I posted yesterday morning, we breakfasted and embarked on a fasting day, with Lesley joining in. I was conscious all day of her likely hunger - why do I care? She is constantly totally beastly to me and she is lucky I feed her at all.  Now, having posted this, I will soon find out if she really reads the blog ... Keep your eyes peeled either for a vitriolic verbal attack or watch and listen for a loud splosh as she biffs me into the cut!

We took a walk into Coventry with Helen so we could all see the bombed cathedral - I was impressed with the efforts that had been made to keep the external structure as intact as possible - the workmanship in the original cathedral is amazing and the artistic talent of the builders as well as the people who designed it is wonderful to see. I did wonder if there had been a movement to demolish the whole thing after the war and am so very delighted that it has been preserved.

Look at the detail - we don't see that kind of workmanship anymore.

Four fabulously beautiful tourists - D&M flanked by the lovely Helen and Lesley

I did wish that the new cathedral wasn't there - I am sure Prince Charles, who has an eye for beauty in buildings, would agree with me, that it is an abomination of a building. Accordingly I have not posted a photo of it here - no point in rewarding badness, is there? OK, I have my armour on and shield up waiting for the brickbats and sharp missiles to arrive. Here endeth Rant 1.

We walked around with me wondering why (I know, I know, christians believe it ... Sorry, Dee) even though huge numbers of Coventry people were killed, and others lost their homes and livelihoods, the remaining population needed to be grateful to god, as noted on at least one huge plaque. Here endeth Rant 2.

I was impressed however with the sentiment (but not the symbol - end of mini-rant 3) of the Cross of Nails group who determined very shortly after the war that one should forgive enemies and build relationships as a path to reconciliation and peace.

When we returned to the boat we headed off back on our way to Hawkesbury, stopping for water as we left the basin. However, strangely, the water taps are after the basin, not in it. But no worries, water tank filled, we headed on our way. We agreed the basin is lovely, a good place to moor, and access to the city is simple. However we didn't really enjoy the canal. Adam and Adrian tell us (see comment on previous blog) that it is better/cleaner than when they did it back in 2009 or thereabouts. Actually, the canal itself is OK, although there's a bit much rubbish which indicates a poor sense of ownership of such a great resource. It's a significant portion of the towpath that disappoints - it's not cared for and parts of it are overgrown. It does seem to be used as a walkway, but has lots of rubbish discarded along it.
So someone explain this

and this (10 bags, I counted here) - it seems to be clear they are expected to be filled as they are attached by two handles -

and this, plus the rubbish on the ground ...
However the autumn leaves are starting to appear and they do look wonderful. This is a feature of the UK that is not so prevalent in NZ - I think all of our native trees are evergreen, so the only deciduous ones are those brought over by immigrants from the northern hemisphere in the 19th century. Autumn here is just wonderfully colourful.
Isn't this wonderful?

One thing I love is the contrast at this time of year. We are so lucky to be here.

Anyway, we got back to Hawkesbury and moored up on the North Oxford on, but not quite round, the bend. OK, OK, settle down!

Dinner for the fasting crew was a lovely (if I do say so myself) chicken, carrot and sugar snap pea stirfry with garlic, fresh ginger, soy and lemon juice, accompanied by a spinach salad with a honey and lemon dressing. After dinner, Lesley and I watched TV, but watching Mary Berry cooking garlic mushrooms on bruschetta was a bridge too far ...

This morning we had a reward brekkie - pikelets, fruit salad, bacon and yoghurt - and then a visit from Helen and Tony who had arrived at the junction last night when it was already dark - mad people! After a walk back to their boat for David to work out what in the chain of power wasn't working (starting at the powerpoint, moving to the cord to the transformer to the cord to the camera), we had tea and almond cookies, and then headed back to Waka Huia to head south. By the way, it was the camera.

A lovely cruise to our current location quite close to Brinklow. Lesley did some steering and managed well, in spite of quite a lot of detritus in the cut.

Lesley is steering. The tightness of both hands' grip and how she holds her mouth all increase skill level. She did say she had cramp and needed pain relief ... She used to be supremely confident when steering a hire boat, but says steering ours is a bit more nerve wracking - I cannot understand that!

We are moored up (using pins) in the sunshine, and even though a boat two in front of us took enough space on the armco for two boats - you know the ones I mean who moor in the middle of the available space - we are very pleased. The sun is shining beautifully, Lesley and David are watching the Samoa/Springboks match and barracking for Samoa - we are thinking of you, Joe! At the current moment, SA is winning, dammit - ODS is making horrible noises. However she tells me it's nothing to what she will be doing in the England/Wales game later ...


Lesley Bateman said...

Of course I read your blog, it is all going down as evidence in my libel case. Although in this case it doesn't really count as I was sitting opposite you as you typed it!

Marilyn McDonald said...

Talk about half truths, ODS - I read it out to you at the time! I am afraid you cannot sue me given you acquiesced to its publication in the first place!