It was another cold night and the gauge was showing minus eleven.... we even had a sprinkle of snow. Heavy snow was forecast and we had a fiftieth birthday party to go to, but should we leave Derwent6 in the cold. Well the decision was that Al would go down to the celebration and Del would stay on Derwent6. Al caught the bus at 10.30am and got the train up to Coventry and then down to Reading, as the trains to London were still all delayed due to the derailment on Friday. Del took our six bags of rubbish down to disposal point at Hillmorton Wharf. Suddenly Del could hear a large cracking noise and noises like someone was whipping a wire cable along the canal. It turned out to be a boat coming up the locks. The ice must have been at least three inches thick and he was carving his way through. It is a bit worrying to watch huge pointed bits of three inch thick ice heading towards the hull and then a crunch as they break up. He was obviously causing damage to a lot of hulls and props on the way. He was trying to get to Wigrams turn and we heard later he didn't make it...Bad Luck! Soon after that Del could hear a commotion going on in the field opposite. A Doberman dog was loose and chasing the sheep with it's jaws wide open. It looked like the Mum, daughter and son were chasing the dog and also spooking the sheep with no control at all. It ended up with one of the sheep parting from the flock and with no choice but to jump the barbwire fence and launch itself into the icy waters of the canal. It would have been solid ice had it not been for the idiot breaking it earlier. Paul came out on n.b Piston Broke with a pole and Del came up to help with a lasso rope...Yee Haa! The sheep looked at the two of us (Billy the Kid and Wild Bill Hickok) and decided to swim back to the other side into the safe arms of the daughter. The rest of the family pulled it out. It laid there in freezing temperatures with wet clothes on. "What shall we do" they asked. Well without a hair dryer "I would try to get it up to the farm where it can get warm" Del replied. The girl run up to the farm and two guys followed with a wheelbarrow and they took the poor sheep away. Lets hope the sheep survived and wasn't in lamb, and also their doberman dog doesn't get put down by the farmer.....we blame the owners... Just after this we started to get the flakes of snow falling and slowing building up on the frozen towpath.
Al on the other hand had got to her destination and was getting ready to go out. It was Joy's fiftieth birthday dinner which she was having at the place that she & Steve got married at. They all had some lovely food, and plenty of drinks and had a good laugh. Joy had a lovely time and you will hear more about her present from us later. The snow in Reading was bad as well and they just got back to Joy and Steve's in a taxi, but they had to walk a little way as the roads were too bad. Will Al get back to Derwent6 tomorrow? It's snowing hard now!!!!!