This may sound fanciful but it seems narrowboat Netty has her own ideas about where to go and where to moor up. Two days ago we planned to return to a particular place which we had enjoyed in the summer, with wide grass verges. It would have been good for our little cat since the cyclepath veers away from the edge of the canal keeping the dog walkers and bikes at a distance. There are trees and owls and it is quiet. But no. Netty refused to get her nose anywhere the bank and complained it was far too shallow and muddy for her, even though the water levels are much higher than they were during our last visit.
So we continued, and found a different spot. We have been down among woods for a few weeks and now we have emerged into more open countryside. As we were mooring up, geese flew overhead calling to each other, a sound that pulls at my heart in ways I cannot explain. The swallows are leaving, taking the summer with them, and canada geese are bringing in the winter. The crows gather in the stubble fields and willow leaves drop like feathers into the water. Two russet foxes hunt in the fields at the water's edge. Too much time in the woods saps the light, saps my energy. Here it is open and bright, there is colour everywhere and even as the three inches of rain promised by the weather forecasters begins to fall, I feel awake and alert and alive.