Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Excuses, demons, the Naval Patrol and a touch of cross-stitch.

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions left unfulfilled", someone once said. I must be well on the way, I had intended that once we got back to Armadillo we would be off on our travels and the blog would burgeon with posts of amazing interest but.......
To be honest there was hardly any signal at Wigrams Turn and, having moved a couple of miles to Flecknoe I've been unable, or unwilling, to clamber on the roof to erect my patent dongle support, actually a yard of dowelling with the dongle covered by an old pill bottle, so have had no signal at all. Today it is not raining (Hooray), merely blowing a hoolie so our onward move to Braunston is on hold, but the roof is dry so up I went.

We left the marina on a misty autumn morning and were soon passing Lower Shuckburgh, the name Shuckburgh means a burial mound haunted by demons, or so I was once told. There are numerous legends of supernatural black dogs around Britain and Black Shuck is a common name for many of them, especially in East Anglia, they are generally a bad omen. There again  "Scucca" is an Old English term meaning demon, so you pays yer money and makes yer choice. Could the demon be a shaggy black dog the size of a calf with blazing red, or green, eyes? Burgh may be a corruption of "bury" or "barrow", another term for a tumulus or burial mound.
Perhaps its neat little Victorian Gothic church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, keeps the demons at bay.

The trees are turning into their autumn colours along the cut. It didn't take long before we were in the shadow of  Bush Hill,

which hides the village of Flecknoe from the canal. By the time we had moored next to the green barn at Flecknoe Fields Farm the clouds were starting to build.

We only intended to stay here for a day but rain and wind are not good travelling companions on the back of a narrowboat so we are still enjoying the quiet of the countryside.

Jill is heavily involved with her latest cross-stitch, a fantasy of a narrowboat and I am in trouble for publishing a photo' before it's finished.
We've finally had to give in and light the fire full time so we need to find a coal boat, missing Gosty Hill this year.
A thought has just crossed what passes for my mind: when I was part of the naval patrol in Plymouth in the 1970's we called an accident with the patrol wagon "Black dogging", from the normal excuse offered, "I swerved to avoid a black dog and collided with ............."  Could it be that we were haunted by Black Shuck or one of Dartmoor's Wisht Hounds? Such black dogs invariably ended with someone in front of the Commander charged with negligent performance of duty so perhaps their reputation for bringing bad luck is merited.

Watch this space............

1 comment:

jampot55 said...

we're also on our way to Braunston - currently just at the Welford Arm on Leicester section of GU (so a bit further away than you I think).
I keep looking at that same cross stitch picture and thinking of adding it to my pile of x-stitch to do! I have started on some christmas decs on plastic canvas!
We have had fire in full time for a week or so now - although it's a bit warm during the daytime!!
take care,
Janice and Dai, NB Jandai