(19th, 20th & 21st Nov 2011) Dawn and I had been invited to a 50th birthday party from Sally off our moorings. It was being held at Weston village hall so, to save either of us driving I suggested that I took Darley up to Weston on the Saturday morning and we could stop on her overnight and bring her back on the Sunday, jobs a goodun! I loaded the car up with clothes, food and dog and headed off up the mooring at about 10.30am. With everything loaded I lit the range and headed down to Haywood junction to wind then off I went passing Haywood marina, then as I approached Hoo Mill lock the bottom gates opened as a boat came out leaving the lock ready for me to slip straight in After locking up Hoo Mill and creeping past all the moored boats above, I was out in open cut and hammered off through Pasturefields and Ingestry finally holding in on the lock landings for Weston lock at about 11.45am. As I came under Brinepit bridge and up the steps to the lock their was a boat going uphill as well and just waiting for the lock to fill. As it filled I stood chatting to the couple off it who were interested in Darley as he helped out with the Camden Community boat Tarporley. I spent the next 5 minutes educating him in the recognition of Grand Unions and the difference between Tarporley, A large Northwich and Darley, a large Woolwich. After they had left, I closed the top gate for them then turned the lock. With bottom gates opened I headed Bck down under the bridge to bring Darley up. Another boat was approaching the lock landings as I pulled into the lock, almost stopping Darley in the tail of the loack, then slipping her ahead on tickover and jumped off to work the lock. I drew the ground and gate paddle then sat on the balance beam to wait for the lock to level. As Darley was still in ahead on tickover, as the water levelled, Darley started to nudge the top gate open. By this time the woman off the boat below had walked up to the lock and stood close by and started talking about Darley and how nice it was etc. etc. I
dropped wound both paddles down just as Darley’s engine ‘ole was approaching the top gate and stepped onto the counter and put her in astern. With this done I turned and stepped off the counter onto the lockside copings ready to close the top gate behind me, I did not even notice the 40mm step in the surface of the sandstone block as I was still talking to this woman but I certainly felt it. I stepped with the edge of my boot just on the edge of the step which caused my ankle to crank over followed by a loud crack as I followed through ending up in a heap on the lockside and in severe pain. The woman was most concerned asking if I was alright and should she stop the boat. All I wanted to do was wee myself and swear, but I did not, I managed to get up and hobbled back onto the back end as she said she would close the top gate for me. I only had another 15 minutes to go so I carried on until I approached Touchwood, Monarch & Grimsby tied outside the Saracens Head. As there was no room, I dropped through Weston upon and tied up on the pilings. The guy I had been talking to at Weston lock had also moored outside the Saracens head pub and he walked down and shouted for me to throw him my middle rope and helped me to moor up. When once ties up, I struggled into the engine ‘ole and stopped the ‘cement mixer’ then just sat on the back end boards. Already my ankle had begun to swell, then Si came walking through the bridge ‘ole to me and said “we’ll fetch you back later if any of them move” “If I can manage” I replied as I hobbled to the back end. He asked what I done and I told him I had fell at Weston lock and sprained my ankle. He invited me back to Browny’s boat as they were just about to have coffee and bacon sandwiches. It took me about 5 minutes to hobble the 100 yards to the boat. With coffee drunk and sandwich eaten I hobbled back to Darley and Si came with me as he had breasted Trent Bridge up leaving me space to put Darley. We reversed back through the bridge and moored next to their boats, I went into the back cabin to put my foot up. I phoned Dawn to let her know I was here and what had happened. She turned up at about 7.00pm with a walking stick for me and boy was I grateful. Suitably washed and changed I hobbled a little better with the aid of my stick to Dawn’s car which she drove us all down to the Woolpack pub on the village green for a couple of warm up drinks before we went to the party where we got seated on a table with a couple of other couples off the mooring and Tery and Tina who I bought Darley off. Drinks, hog roast and a chat saw the evening pass until it was time to leave and we then popped back to the Woolpack pub for the last couple of drinks to end the night off. Grimsby
Fun at The Woolpack.
Viv drove Dawn’s car, as she only drinks orange, and took us all back to the boats where we were soon in bed and with the pain suitably anesthetised by Guinness, I was soon off to sleep. Next morning my ankle had begun to go black and the swelling had increased even more, but after Dawn had cooked Sausage sandwiches for everybody we were soon off up to Sandon lock and the winding hole for our return journey. About 2½ hours later we were tied up back at our mooring and returning home. Without the benefit of ‘anaesthetic’ I did not have a very comfortable night and kept waking. When The alarm went off at 7.00am I tried to get out of bed but struggled to put any weight on my foot at all so Dawn said “I’m taking you up the hospital.” She got up and got dressed then assisted me to get dressed, assisting with jeans and socks etc. then bundled me into her car and took me off to Stafford A & E. I can only say that all the staff concerned at the hospital could not do enough for me being most helpful and within 1½ hours I was getting back into the car and on my way home absolutely plastered! An X ray revealed that I had fracture my Tibia with a clean break through just above my ankle.
My temporary leg plaster
Six weeks in plaster was the prognosis which means I will be in plaster for Christmas boo hoo and no boating for the short term. And so it is that I am now confined to barracks unable to do the most simplest of things for myself until I go back next Monday and have a walking plaster fitted. Still should give me plenty of opportunity to update my blog regularly and of cause I must make sure that I Don’t bang it about!