Trying to Get Ahead of the Game – 1st August 2019

Today was about getting off to a good start by being the first at the top of the locked Crofton Locks. We had a great three generation family pair up with us who were most entertaining.

They had a 20 year old daughter who was training to be a physiotherapist but was also very keen on the circus. Unfortunately we didn’t get any photos of her demonstrating her gymnastics skills such as hand stands and the splits on the lock beams.

We did the first eleven locks with them and then they dropped off at Pewsey for lunch as tomorrow they return their rental boat.

Fraser was taking the opportunity with all the lock slaves around to try some new camera angles. He also hooked himself up to his phone to listen to the first day of the first Ashes test and was in seventh heaven. We had a long way to cruise today, so we took turns whilst someone did the washing and then switching around and the other person doing the vacuuming.

Just because you are on holiday on a boat doesn’t mean your household duties drop off. In fact, they double in volume. Besides keeping the inside of the boat clean and tidy there is also the outside of the boat to do the upkeep on. You have your kitchen to clean with constant hand washing of dishes as there is no dishwasher; the bathroom to keep clean along with the additional job of emptying the Pooh bucket every few days and cleaning them; the bedroom where you need to wash your linen every week and make up your bed and fold it away each day as it is a bit of a fold out master bed; let’s not forget the clothes washing; the lounge area where dusting and vacuuming seems to be constant.

So that is the inside. The outside includes keeping the roof clean after all the leaves decide to use your boat roof as target practice and the birds; watering the plants and trying to keep them alive; checking the weed hatch every morning before you head off and sometimes numerous times throughout the day; washing the windows and cleaning down the outside of the boat; locking up the boat every evening and moving items inside for security purposes. These are the items just off the top of our head. Then there is the constant planning and replanning of your trip which are influenced by a lot of different things.

It probably makes you wonder why on earth we enjoy it so much yet holidays are meant to be relaxing. It is one of those quirky human things where some people get addicted to certain things whilst others think that they are crazy.

We had very still waters today which created a lot of reflections from the bridges so tried to capture this in our video above.

Alton Barnes White Horse is a chalk hill figure of a white horse located on Milk Hill some 1,000 metres north of the village of Alton, Wiltshire, England. The horse is approximately 180 feet high and 160 feet long, and was cut in 1812 under the commission of local farmer Robert Pile. Pile instructed inn sign painter John Thorne to design and cut the horse, although Thorne conned Pile by leaving with his advance sum while employing local resident John Harvey to cut the horse instead. It is based on another white horse hill figure in Wiltshire, the Cherhill White Horse, and is the second-biggest of nine white horses in Wiltshire.

One of the county’s best-loved and most iconic white horses, it remains a tourist attraction and has been regularly maintained throughout time, with numerous groups or individuals scouring the horse throughout its life. More recently, the horse was illuminated by candles every winter solstice for over ten years, as well as in a lantern parade to celebrate the horse’s 200th birthday in 2012. The horse has also been transformed into a zebra on April Fools’ Day on two occasions.

We are now in the County of Wiltshire which is well known for being a bread basket area along with what they call Crop Circles.

The majority of reports of crop circles have appeared in and spread since the late 1970s as many circles began appearing throughout the English countryside. This phenomenon became widely known in the late 1980s, after the media started to report crop circles in Hampshire and Wiltshire.

In 1991, self-professed pranksters Doug Bower and Dave Chorley made headlines claiming it was they who started the phenomenon in 1978 with the use of simple tools consisting of a plank of wood, rope, and a baseball cap fitted with a loop of wire to help them walk in a straight line. To prove their case they made a circle in front of journalists; a “cereologist” (advocate of paranormal explanations of crop circles), Pat Delgado, examined the circle and declared it authentic before it was revealed that it was a hoax.

Inspired by Australian crop circle accounts from 1966, Bower and Chorley claimed to be responsible for all circles made prior to 1987, and for more than 200 crop circles in 1978–1991 (with 1000 other circles not being made by them). After their announcement, the two men demonstrated making a crop circle. According to Professor Richard Taylor, “the pictographs they created inspired a second wave of crop artists. Far from fizzling out, crop circles have evolved into an international phenomenon, with hundreds of sophisticated pictographs now appearing annually around the globe.” Courtesy of Wikipedia.

We ended up having a very long day of nine hours and 18 miles so we’re shattered by the time we moored up in Devizes. We did some grocery shopping and then after showers we collapsed into bed. We are pushing it very hard to Bath so that on the way back we can have time to investigate around the small towns we have been whizzing through so far.

Tomorrow is a huge day as we will be completing the Caen Hill Flight which means for us we have completed all seven wonders of the inland waterways of the UK. Tomorrow there will be more detail about what these seven wonders are.

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