Wednesday, 17 May 2017

It was Friday, so it must have been Foxton

Anyway, as I said at the end of the last post, I was awake at quarter past very early. 

However, being awake early meant I could get up and do a bit of work – there was a Lessons Learned Workshop output to translate into suitably worded lessons, so dressing gown and socks on, gas under the kettle turned on for tea, and the webasto heating switched on, and away I went, beavering away at the laptop. Then excitement of excitements: I saw an otter swimming past the boat – I know it was an otter because:
a.    It looked friendly
b.    It was pretty big
c.     I wanted it to be an otter rather than a mink

However I didn’t have a chance to get a photo unfortunately, but I was able to wake David and tell him about it. Well, these things need to be shared and it was about 6am by then, so not early at all!

We had a slow start to boating that day – it was raining and there seemed to be no reason to get wet, especially as Neil and Neill didn’t leave Bude until about 11am and they had far further to travel than we did, some of it fast and some at about the same pace as us through Friday afternoon traffic …

I think this is my happy face. Hard to tell tho as my eyes are almost shut. I need to get better at selfies and practise the open eyes wide at the same time as smiling and selfie-ing. Three things at once are going to be difficult!

The trip up to wind (turn) at Saddington was a bit damp but quiet and peaceful – the wild flowers in the fields across the cut looked lovely – but I do struggle with the plethora of dandelions: we have them in our lawn at home and, to me, their seed heads mean 7 years of weeding, so over here I have to resist the impulse to strip them off and bury them in the rubbish …

The turn was accomplished without David even knowing it was happening as he was down in the boat doing house bitching or technology consultancy or a bit of both. However I was daydreaming as I approached the winding hole, looking at the boats moored a bit further on, and the bow of the boat was almost passed the winding hole before I realised. Note to self: stay alert, Marilyn. You may be travelling at 2.5 mph, but a 62 foot steel craft takes a fair bit of slowing down and stopping! But gently does it, no need to panic, no-one is watching and all is well.

And as we went past Debdale again, I managed not to hit Mick and Julia's boat, the lovely replica working boat known as Unknown Number 3.

So onwards to Foxton, which is usually bustling and busy. But this early in the season it was pretty empty. So finding a mooring was simple – fill with water and then reverse back behind the boat closest to it.

What wasn’t so simple was finding a conveniently located place for Neil and Neill to leave their car for the weekend. I knew where they could leave it, but I had forgotten how far it is from the junction back to the Black Horse Bridge – about a mile. But they are young so no worries. They were stuck in traffic though, so instead of the journey being about 4 or 5 hours, it was closer to 7 hours by the time they got to us. After checking the location of the place to park their car, and going to Foxton's little village shop, we of course had to wait to guide them back to the boat, and where better to wait than in a warm bar of a pub? The Black Horse was pretty good and had a decent chardonnay too. Points indeed!

No drinks for them there tho – there was plenty of wine on the boat (Central Otago Pinot Noir for them for a start, plus the obligatory chardonnay and moscato); all prep for dinner had been done and it was ready to be cooked. Given it was such a wet cool day, I had prepared comfort food: toad in the hole and mash, to be followed by raspberries and cream as a nod to summer. 

But I was really tired (an early start, you understand), and after the main course, I just HAD to sleep, so I retired to the saloon and fell asleep on the couch while the guys had dessert, did the dishes and constructed the bed for David and me on the dinette (with our new Duvalay mattress topper pads – very yummily comfortable) – when Neil and Neill come to stay, we give them our bed as Neill is 6’4”, and the dinette is less than 6’. As it is, he cannot stand up straight in the boat, except at the rear hatch when it’s open… How he copes, I don’t know frankly, but it’s unlikely to ever be a problem for a person like me with duck’s disease, now is it?

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