Sunday, 9 October 2016

Driving for more socialising with family and friends

I wrote this a few days ago and time has slipped past - I noticed it going but was too slow to grab hold of it and get this finished.

So here I am down in Cornwall, sitting in bed while David and big Neil have taken Enzo for a walk and little Neill has gone to work at their Bude Bike Hire shop. And I should be doing some work, but if I don't get this published now, it'll never get done! So bear with me about it being behind hand.

I am currently sitting up in bed at Tony and Helen's house in Hedon, near Hull. David is beside me, naturally - he's listening to the news. I gather the UKIP president has resigned after 18 days in the job. That must be some kind of record, yes?

Tony and Helen are boating friends whom we met back in 2014 at Burton on Trent after reading each other's blogs. So yesterday we made our way over here for the afternoon, evening, night and morning. Tony took us on a historic walk around Hedon yesterday afternoon. Who knew that Hedon used to have a harbour? And that the town was a rotten borough and that it had about 200 years of extreme prosperity, and that there is a cross that was stored in a barn for a number of years and then erected in a garden. It's looking a bit worse for wear but who wouldn't after 400 years or so?

Tony and Helen have volunteered for work for the Year of Culture in Hull next year, and Tony already does guided walks around Hedon when they aren't on the boat. He's very knowledgeable and extremely interesting. He was disconcerted though when David confessed later that he had stopped listening to his informative discourse when Tony mentioned that the cries we could hear were from an old person in the nursing home in the garden of which the cross was now located. David started to count the cries ...

On the green. If I remember correctly Tony was discoursing on the buildings across the way, and the number of pubs there had been locally. He's very interested in beer, is our Tony. He took us to a boutique bar and was disappointed that David had a lager shandy and I had a lemonade ...

He looks like he's listening, but he's actually counting on his fingers

We were about to leave - no wonder Tony looks so happy! This photo is a dual selfie - David held the phone and I clicked the button. Team work!
Tony and Helen are planning a trip to NZ in a couple of years, so it will be lovely to be able to repay their hospitality.

We came to T&H from Huddersfield where we stayed a night with Mick and Alison whom we also met in 2014 when we were all on the Maccesfield Canal. They are getting a fair bit of approval from people over boating from the US. Their boat is called 3 No Trumps.

A lot of talk and laughter at their place too, and a lovely walk around bits of Huddersfield and the neighbouring/adjoining village of Linley. Some beautiful homes and buildings and green spaces. The building styles are very different from NZ (old or new they are mostly stone) but the topography is similar in that it is very hilly in parts of the north.
Mick, Alison and David - in the shade so not a good photo, sorry. We were out walking and I took the photo to allow myself time to regain my breath after a big uphill walk.
Mick and Alison are also planning a trip to NZ in a couple of years, so it will be lovely to be able to repay their hospitality too.

We drove to Huddersfield on Monday from Debdale Wharf Marina where Waka Huia is up on the hard. We went to visit the boat - it is looking happy enough among the others residing there. We didn't go inside it as it was going to be too much of as faff to take off the tonneau cover to undo the padlock. We have arranged some more work to be done on the boat but the boat yard is so busy it will have to wait until we finish boating next year. We have booked a slot to have the bottom grit sprayed, zinc coated and two pot epoxy blacked. They are going to do above the rubbing strakes up to the gunnels as well. Yay!! And hopefully before we come back in May next year, we will have two half hatch portholes fitted in the saloon replacing the non-opening ones. A bit of airflow would be useful, we thought, especially if the summer is as warm as last year's.

We took the opportunity while at Debdale to go and visit Mick and Julia who we met boating back in 1994 at Norton Junction. Julia wrote us up in her log as Australians - bloody cheek! We soon disabused her, I tell you. After our first meeting there we joined up at the pub and then went back to their boat to sample their home made fruit wine. Peach and rhubarb were the varieties on offer, I seem to remember. Yummy and strong ... A stumble back to our boat and then we boated together for a couple of days.

We lost touch with M&J and then found them again on our last day of boating in 2014 (read about it here

So on Monday we headed, getting lost on the first attempt, to where Mick and Julia moor their boat. They were there in the lovely sunshine to do a bit of work on Unknown No 3 (named after something to do with the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and registered in Eastwood ...) Cups of tea, much laughter and arrangements to meet up again today. Julia is making dinner - salmon steaks marinated in sweet thai chilli sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and coriander - our fave!
David made the salad, I made the marinade for the salmon, Julia did the potatoes and Mick was in charge of music.

But let's go back further - on Saturday, our son Tim brought his boys down to Leatherhead in Surrey to see us and Molly. Tim hasn't seen Molly for a number of years - I think the last time was on his birthday one year when they still lived in Beckham, and they left there in 2008.

It was wonderful to see the lovely grandsons - we took them up to Boxhill and even though it was raining on our way, it cleared up while we picnicked in the two vehicles with an umbrella perched between them so food could be passed back and forth. A bit of a food fight ensued with mandarin peel being aimed between vehicles - I swear that Tim started it, but Olek and I were happy to carry on...

We then repaired to Gordon and Sharon's for the rest of the afternoon, and Gordon took/led us all to Michael Jordan's which sells motorhomes and caravans. Karol excitedly checked out the ones I should see ('OK, Grammy, you want an automatic and a bed that is always made up, yes? And a good sized stove?) I am sure we still looked at pretty much all of them, but it was lovely to be infected by his enthusiasm.

Saying goodbye to the grandsons wasn't as heart-wrenching as it usually is because we'll be seeing them again on 12 Oct. I won't be able to be quite so upbeat on 30 October though, as then it'll be a wait until May next year to see them again.

We spent the night at Gordon and Sharon's - too much wine but a lovely evening. It is so lovely having cousins.
Gordon and Sharon's dogs keeping watch - you never know, there might be a cat, a mouse, a squirrel who needs seeing off the property ...
On Sunday we drove to Banbury and had lunch on-board nb Oakfield with the lovely Ann and Keith - we met them on the Thames last year. I had read Ann's blog, so of course when they were struggling to moor up in a shallow bit above Day's Lock, I felt like I already knew them and invited them to breast up alongside. An evening of drinking and eating on the bank ensued ... You can read about it here:
Ann and Keith walked us back to the boat in the Morrison's carpark in Banbury.

From Banbury (without investigating the Canal Fair) it was on to overnight in Market Harborough. I was shattered so had a little lie down that resulted in my sleeping from 5pm to 7,30pm then getting in to bed a sleeping almost through the night - is it age or what? Maybe it was a left over from the previous night's over-indulgence - or a combination of both!

OK, all caught up now. And today (well, it was today when I first wrote it) we are heading back to Desborough to spend a couple of nights catching up with Mick and Julia. The Enterprise Hire car is lovely - a Vauxhall Insignia, diesel, lovely to drive. Good thing as there are still a few hundred miles to be traversed over the next 10 days: Stroud, Bude, St John's Town of Dalry (Scotland), London ...


Jo Jones said...

Keep up the posts is lovely to read all about your adventures and top work on salad duty David!

Jo Jones said...

Keep up the posts is lovely to read all about your adventures and top work on salad duty David!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, golly gosh, you have been busy no wonder you needed a lie down after all that driving around! I wonder how many miles you will have covered by the end of your trip? Insignias are great and very comfy, we have had new ones on a couple of occasions. Great to see you and to read the fascinating account of your adventures over here so far. Ann and Keith xx