Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Back on the rollercoaster Part 4 – Monday 9 June

In the morning we rang the guys at Aqua Boats at Mercia and agreed that we will get back to them on Thursday so they can check out the RCR assessment, and decide what to do – a smaller alternator, or perhaps a different cruising strategy with not so many days of doing minimal boating, whatever it turns out to be). That settled we had a pleasant day here at Barton Marina. Did more washing while the rain tipped down in the morning; David took the washing to the dryer in the laundry block (£4 – not as good value as at Mercia which was 50p), spent an hour hunting all over the boat for the 4 backup drives that David had put somewhere safe (in that way you do, safe and never to be found again). We found them eventually after we’d looked everywhere at least twice (remember the internal cabin is only 45 feet long - there's not that many places they could be!), and I decided to empty our wardrobes instead of just feeling under stacks of clothes – found them between jerseys in his cupboard. I won’t say he had a boy’s look, because I’d been through it once myself and not found them… 
We had showers, you’ll be pleased to read, then a walk to Barton Village to the Co-op and to explore the village – some lovely homes and some beautiful gardens. Lots of photos.
St James Church there is lovely. The treasurer turned up on his bike as we were about to leave – atheists can only take so much of the religiosity so 10 minutes was our fill. The treasurer obviously has a well-rehearsed spiel about the church. Apparently it was built in 1533 after Henry VII, who was hunting in the forest in the area, had triplets (well, either his wife or a mistress did) and he declared that he would educate them if they survived (must have been a mistress then, as his legitimate sons would have been educated as a matter of course, yes? Any info, anyone?). So one of them, John Taylor, who became Master of the Rolls (Database Manager perhaps?) to Henry VIII, had the church built. It was started as a Catholic establishment but changed to Protestant as the Reformation occurred. Don’t get me started … We had to cut the treasurer short or we would have been there for ages with a guided tour around the whole place, 1 metre at a time …
When we got back to the marina heading to the pub for a drink (I assumed that none of Sunday's patrons were still there), I heard people speaking with a distinct NZ twang, stopped and asked where they were from. Matamata - in that NZ way where there are only 2 degrees of separation rather than the obligatory six, I said we have friends there. Mentioned the names, the NZers knew them and said, 'Well, you only have one friend there - the other one has died'. Plunge into sadness - grief at the death, and sadness/shame that we have not been in touch enough to know of the death. A drink to our lost friend, and a decision to call the partner - will be done Tuesday evening.
We stayed another night at the marina and went to the lovely Thai restaurant here at Barton Marina – very yummy food.
Now we are about to get ready to go – David is dressing so I think that means he is tired of waiting for me to finish this … Strategy session on getting out in the wind – probably not too hard as it’ll all be in forward gear.
Off we go to Alrewas and points south-ish.

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