Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Kindness of Strangers

Dog and Doublet with Millers Daughter in the distance
The Metro free paper runs daily columns of thank-yous to the many unnamed strangers who have rushed to the aid of those in distress. Sadly you are more likely to encounter the exact opposite in the tabloids. Our perception of the world is coloured by the frightening and more newsworthy stories of mindless acts of death and destruction.

So this is our news of the last 24 hrs, where we, reached our target for the night: The Dog and Doublet.

First, there was the young lad (he was about 8). He lived at the lock keepers cottage at the first lock going up the Curdworth flight. He met us with his windlass in hand. He struggled like mad to wind up the paddles for us, but youth and enthusiasm saw them raised.
     "Don't you get bored doing this?" First Mate asked.
     "No, I've always got spare sherbert to keep me going."

We told him of the inimitable Rob the Lock from Stoke and how he had carved a career out of helping out weary boaters. We will get him some sherbert lemons for the return and check to see if he's got his business cards printed. He seemed very taken with the idea.

Second, at our last lock of the day (the third), a light and alarm came on the engine panel. Alternator 1. Hmmmm. Whilst First Made did the paddles (with no help this time) Captain found the remains of the fan belt. A still anonymous stranger enjoying a half outside the pub came to our aid. He drove the Captain to Halfords in Tamworth and subsequently to 2 further car shops to find a replacement. He would take nothing in the way of a reward for his kindness.

We are now fixed up thanks to him but he'd disappeared by the time we got to The Dog and Doublet for dinner and so couldn't even buy him a drink. And yes the Trip Advisor reviews were largely accurate about the 80s decor and general scruffiness but the pub was full of people eating and the food was wholesome. The lemon sponge was microwaved to perfection and delicious. Microwaving is a culinary art which many more pretentious establishments get wrong. It should be recognised as such.

Anyway, we love a wallpaper border.

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