As a general rule it’s the gents who steer the boats and the ladies who do the locks. Among most of the ladies of my acquaintance this is not because they’re incapable of steering the boat, it’s just that, like me, they prefer the more sociable and healthy task of working the locks. When a canal is busy, like the Oxford Canal was this week, you meet so many people sharing a chat, a laugh and more often than not a grumble with them.
Sue from Festina Lente, along with three complete strangers helped us through this lock. We’ll probably never meet those three ladies again but brief, intense connections like this are one of the things I most enjoy about boating.