A recent canal trip with three other fossilised inebriates.
| Whilst philandering through Shakespeare's wondrous countryside at less than walking pace, with the sun bursting through the harlequined willows with softly waving dappled applause. With the slap of water softly caressing the bows and the counterpoint chink and gurgle of glasses being refilled, we gently bounced off the canal banks towards, who knows where. We certainly didn't. Every so often, a shout of encouragement from fellow bargees broke through the consciousness and met with a gentlemanly doff and although sometimes of a vitriolic nature, nothing broke our reverie, us four old buggers in a barge.
We were on a mission. The fact that after the first day we had all forgotten what the mission was, apart from the need to replenish ourselves with ale from canal side Inns, didn't really matter. The locks presented no problem, we just waited until some young blades came along and for a glass of something or other did all the pushing and pulling paraphernalia for us four old buggers in a barge.
Eventually, after a few days, we found ourselves in Stratford, still wondering about the mission. Was it the scroll I asked myself, but the thought was dispelled after an evening of somewhat lively wassailing in the White Swan (Dirty Duck to the locals). It was here that we replenished our essential vittles and even bought a little food. The exit from the Stratford dockage was somewhat fraught. Although by ricocheting off various moored vessels, creating a few quite uncalled shouts of abuse and screams of pain, we eventually left that most venerated town, us four old buggers in a barge.
The return to our place of launching was a replica of the aforesaid up voyage. The Inns visited on the up voyage were pleased to see us on the downward and although much mirth was apparent, for our progress, or lack of it, had been noted by the canal folk, we all arrived safely, albeit somewhat in need of liver transplants. Us four old buggers in a barge.