Friday, 12 June 2009

Swing Low, Sweet Carriot

Today has been a surreal day.

We passed through Stretton Stop and met our first swing bridge for ages.

Stretton Stop is the home of Rose Narrowboats, a hire fleet and they have their very own swing bridge to allow their staff to cross between the office and their boat shed and slipway.

When we arrived, the bridge was closed, so we duly stopped and inspected said bridge.

The swing bridge at Stretton is a simple affair, but it is adorned by misleading notices, painted in a bright red and white colour.

One end has lots of counterweights.

The instructions didn't seem very clear to me, so rather than make a fool of myself, I asked one of the yard workers.

"It's very easy", he said. "Just hold the handle and swing".

Open sesame and it really was easy.

Like all things, easy when you know how.

It doesn't say that on the sign, I protested to defend my blushes.

"No, we have all sorts of problems with boaters coming through", he said.

"They stand on it, try to find somewhere to apply a windlass, all sorts".

"It's because the sign doesn't actually say hold the handle and swing it open", I protested again.

"No, you're right", he said, "I've never really looked at it like that !"

I don't know if he was humouring me or agreeing with me.

At that moment, the first mate came along - a guinea pig.

How would you open this swing bridge, we both chimed ??

Like this, she said, taking the handle and swinging the bridge across - doh !

To add to the surrealism, my daughter sent me this photo.

She is at the house and has bought her rabbit, a carrot holder.

He is about 15 years old and will only eat a carrot if you stand and hold it for him.

I think it looks like a device for medieval torture of the private parts and told her so.

She wasn't impressed.. 

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