It seems to me that boating holidays have ample possibilities for fun, frolics and humorous mishaps. Two of my favourite books are based on just such scenarios. 'Three Men in a Boat', written by Jerome K Jerome and first published in 1889, is a classic comedy. More recently I have enjoyed 'Narrow Dog to Carcassone' by Terry Darlington (2006). I was rather reminded of these tales as I was walking home from work. I came across a narrowboat positioned horizontally across the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, apparently grounded on something and listing rather dangerously. The male occupant was trying frantically to push it away from the bank with a long pole, whilst shouting rather hysterically at the hapless lady at the tiller! Meanwhile, an ever-increasing queue of bemused boaters was lining up behind.
As predicted some time ago, from this week the Canal is shut along a large stretch through the Yorkshire/Lancashire border because of the low levels of water in the reservoirs that feed it. (This despite the fact that it has rained A LOT since early July). In consequence the holiday boats that usually potter along westwards from Skipton are now pottering eastwards - through Saltaire. In fact, I have never seen as many boats at one time on the local stretch of canal as there were yesterday - I counted 16! I look forward to many more amusing scenes to enliven my walks!