Trumpets, drums, and much clapping of hands... it's official... Canal & River Trust are the new guardians of our canals and rivers, with HRH Prince Charles at the helm as Patron of the new charity.
Since canals and rivers amble everywhere, launch events for the new charity were held all across the land. Martine and I were at the celebrations in Gloucester Docks. We heard the speeches and shook hands with lots of people, while the champers and balloons created a Mexican wave all across the usually still waters of the canals. It was a fabulous day with TV news and seemingly everyone talking about the canals!
The importance of this change of status for the canals is immense, and frankly intense. Britain's canals can't survive on their own - they need people to get involved and help, and the message of the Canal & River Trust is to join and become a 'Friend'.
Ho-hum, today I'm back from the adrenalin commotion of the launch, and I'm quietly in the bow of our narrowboat for lunch with the ducks. Since we've been moored in Alvechurch, 6 ducklings have been joining me and Martine every mealtime, for whatever culinary disaster we might rustle up. Today it's pickled beetroot butty again (still no fridge or cooker on the boat!) The ducklings squeak in delight over our stale bread crusts, and we squeak with their pleasure. The simplicity of moments like this are part of the reason canals are a national treasure, and so important for us to our best to help protect them.