When the young men on the hire boat boat arrived at the lock too late last night, they settled gently for the night a few hundred metres away, and set about making dinner over a few quiet drinks, and eating it over a few drinks, cleaning up over a few drinks, and that is when the party started. They weren’t causing intrusion or disruption, but in the still of night it was clear they were still enjoying themselves in the wee small hours of the morning.
When the cows wandered over towards their boat just after six they probably wouldn’t have known, nor for that matter would we, were it not for their dog becoming just as excited and expressive as they had been themselves too few hours earlier.
While this may have caused a little angst for its master and his mates, for us it was a convenient alarm, enabling us to get underway at precisely the time the locks opened. A mere couple of hours later despite our usual efforts to prolong this last little journey, with the sky and the weather telling us quite clearly that it may be time to do something else, our five hundredth and sixty-fourth and final lock of the season loomed out of the chill.
Precisely one cup of coffee later, the scrubbing began.