Winter's a comin in. The stoppage season has begun and, as "Hazel" has to be in Stalybridge at the end of November and lock 1W is shut for the whole month, she has to go now. It was Friday 28th October that we towed her up the 7 locks to the Heritage Boatyard where we're still not supposed to tie up.
I invited lots of people for the trip up the locks expecting most people not to show up. Nearly everyone did come so it was a bit hectic looking after so many newcomers on the locks, which is why I didn't get round to taking any pictures.
The prickly Pyracanthas in the front garden needed some severe pruning and we had a pile more from last year to deal with and it's Samhain, the pagan festival to celebrate the departure of the Sun. What better excuse for a good fire.
We worked hard on the Saturday, Tony, Aaron and me, cutting back the flesh ripping bushes and dragging the resulting brash down on to the slip, then loading it on to "Forget me Not".
Sunday afternoon we worked "Forget me Not" down the locks again to tie abreast of "Lilith" at Portland Basin.
At 4 PM on Monday 31st, me, Aaron and Tony took the boat up to a spot on the Peak Forest where there's a big area of Himalayan Balsam. We worked hard in the gathering darkness to get the brash unloaded and built into a bonfire. Pyracanthus is vicious stuff. I got some special thick gloves for handling it but it stabbed right through them.
With the bonfire built I went off to fetch Em and people started to turn up. I donned my wizard's hat and returned to the scene to ignite the fire with my magic shaft.
Charlotte took these pictures. It was a really enjoyable evening with cake and nice people.
This is "Forget me Not"s back cabin in the early morning.
A new tree will be planted on the site of the fire, a sort of phoenix tree, growing from the ashes.