Today, after saying goodbye to Barry and Pauline at Marple, David and I did a bit of shopping at Iceland, headed back to the boat and then set off for Furness Vale Marina. We had planned that I would stay there for a week or so doing maintenance chores before making my way by train or car down to the crowded part of England to visit friends and family while awaiting David’s return from NZ.
Alas, it was not to be. We arrived to find that we did not have a mooring with power which is a bit of a necessity to keep the batteries charged when we are away from the boat for any length of time. So, having got there, moored up like a pro (backwards into a very narrow space – but let’s face it, narrow makes it easier not harder, but don’t tell anyone that) we discovered the lack of electricity, and pondered the next move. A range of options were available, but David had the best and the one acted upon. So we came back to last night’s mooring outside Marple, but now we are facing the other way … A total of 6.5 hours boating for the day, which included the four lift or swing bridges each done twice, and an additional piece down to the junction that splits the route down to Bugsworth Basin and Whaley Bridge to wind (turn). I was ready to stop when we got to Furness Vale the first time, so an extra couple of hours’ boating was not my desired plan, but it did mean I didn’t have to get through the 4 lift or swing bridges on my own tomorrow. We did do the return journey faster than the outward one, and the sun shining on the water didn’t make it easier, but it certainly was beautiful.
In the morning, David is catching a train to London and then heading out to Heathrow and flying back to NZ for a fortnight to visit his mum. I will drop him (I am sure he could walk it faster) at the Marple junction where I am going to meet up with the genius Ed (Four Counties Marine) extolled herein before. Ed is going to fit a new thrust bearing and complete the work he started last week re the new alternator.
Our few days with Melanie and Pete (2d) and Barry and Pauline (4d) have been great. I am missing them and preparing to miss David.
The tragedy of MH17, my worst nightmare about air travel, is powerfully in my mind at the moment especially given David is about to fly. Our Dutch friends (both in NZ and the Netherlands) have been in our thoughts – I am sure, as with the Erebus crash way back in 1979, many Dutch people, as well as those of other nationalities, have someone they know or someone who knows someone who knows someone who was on that flight. Very difficult times.
What it made us aware of was the criticality of enjoying our time with friends and family as it comes along, making the best of it in a very positive way, so that opportunities for lovely moments and closeness are not squandered.
Now I need to go to bed – it has been a tiring day. Tomorrow I will sort through all the photos taken over the last few days – Barry and David took lots so I will find some to post separately when I have a few hours to spare … BTW, any photos featuring reflections will be Barry's, so keep an eye out for them.