I think that during the last week or so we confirmed that we would not be able to live aboard all year round - we do not cope well with confined spaces in bad weather. So we would be hopeless (literally) in winter here when the rain/cold/snow would probably have us feeling incarcerated.
However, enough of negativity.
David has taken up Sudoku; and in the manner of a boffin, he has worked out a strategy that will stand him in good stead whether he is doing easy ones or diabolical ones - so he says. Given his first attempts at the Easy ones took over an hour then reduced to 45 minutes and then 30 minutes, I think I am safe from his crowing for a while yet. He tells me he is now on to Medium ones ...
We had looked at the forecast and it was meant to be clear until about 8am, so thought we'd move off early to beat the rain. But, sod's law, as we moved off at about 6am, it started to persist down. Into the lock we went thinking 'yes, we can boat in the rain, after all it's only water', but when we got out the lock we decided that given the forecast for the next few days also had some of the wet stuff, we would have to do the two hours again. So discretion being the better part of valour, we winded at the Venetian marina and pulled over and moored up. Of course, I had already put on a load of washing, so the engine had to stay on till that was done and the batteries close enough to 100% again.
Not to worry - I was busy making bread (started before we moved off), baking cheese scones - Ed was coming and I always feed the tradies, eh Luke Nattrass? There was Tom Kha Gai in the fridge for lunch, so food was sorted.
At one point he had to go back to his van in the marina carpark and mentioned the dog was in the van. Of course Orla had to come back to visit. She is a six month old lurcher - I knew Mick and Julia would be jealous, so I sent a photo.
|She is rather cute, isn't she? Mel wasn't safe though, so when Ed and Lisa use the boat next week while we go down to have a few days in the motorhome, we will take Mel with us. Even though he has horns, Mel is not very good at defending himself.|
The sun came out in the afternoon but the wind came up very very briskly - a number of boats came through the lock and we got whacked several times throughout the afternoon - we were moored just back from the lock moorings, so it was inevitable really. And people were very apologetic. But let's face it, it is extremely hard to control what is essentially a 60 foot steel sail when going very slowly forwards.
Ed had told us that the first lock is one of the busiest on the whole system so I decreed that we'd leave really early in the morning. David thought I was joking, until I woke him at 6 - I did make him a cup of tea, but he was more than a trifle grumpy ...
And even though it was scheduled to be clear, it wasn't until we got to about Barbridge. So I force-fed him magnesium to lighten the mood (his) and make sure I didn't toss him overboard.
When we got to Nantwich waterpoint it was about 8.30am and it was empty, so no waiting. And because we hadn't used much water in the previous 36 hours (we are grubby), the tank topped up fast, rubbish got disposed of and the portable toilet emptied. David headed off to find the laundrette and came back very chirpy that the woman would do the washing and drying and call us when it was done - excellent service!! We usually do the washing on board, but given the rain and the inability for it to dry outside, we thought that living in among draped wet washing would only add to the depressive atmosphere and should therefore, for the sake of sanity and relationship, be avoided.
So off he went with the pillowcase full of whites and the coin bag. Happy as a pig in mud.
We scored an excellent mooring, right next to the path down to Marsh Lane (convenient for the walk into town), and tied up - that was entertaining in hindsight. As we moored, a boat of NZers came past - we had seen them as we left the waterpoint, then saw them as I held the boat further along the moorings as David went up to find a better spot, and then again as we pulled in (they had gone to the nearby winding hole and turned). While chatting to them I tied up the stern only to find that David needed the boat moved back a few feet so we weren't encroaching on the long term mooring spots. Stern untied, boat moved back, and the man (no longer my husband at this point but some stranger who had taken over his mind and body) started giving me a lecture on how to moor up the boat. Given we have been boating for the same length of time (27 years) and given I have had two more weeks' experience than him (holidays without him) I quickly dismissed the body/mind snatcher and cut short his lecture and went inside to make breakfast, with my parting shot being 'My bad. I didn't check that you were standing where you needed to tie up to. Shall check next time. OK? Now give over.'
I did win forgiveness for not listening to a lecture by preparing BLTs with an egg on the side. So calm was restored.
|Breakfast suitably smothered in cracked black pepper in case the man who came into the boat had turned back into my nice husband, not the grumpy old bugger mentioned above.|
|Mains: I had a mussamam (?) chicken curry and David had something with beef. We did have starters but I forgot to photograph them, sorry. I am going to find a recipe for the soup David had - it was a hot and sour soup, rather than with coconut milk.|
On Friday I went to the osteopath again - a second session to get my neck, back and right leg sorted. Grace is a lovely young woman - only a few weeks out of her (formal) training and already a good practitioner. She is also planning to do equine osteopathy - not that I am the horse's ass, mind you, in case you were thinking you could make that link.
Today we took a bus trip to Chester - it confirmed for me why I don't often travel by bus:
- the bus to Chester was about 20 minutes late arriving to pick us up
- the trip there took much longer than scheduled - lots of stops and lots of Saturday morning traffic - neither of those were a problem really
- the bus back was 30 minutes late leaving Chester
- the driver went like a bat out of hell, exceeding the speed limit for a large portion of the drive back - we know because we checked his speed on the Memory Map app we use on the boat. I am planning to dob him in as I did not enjoy being thrown around as he sped around corners. GGGRRR!!!
We then looked for somewhere to have lunch. We considered the Chester Grosvenor but looked at the prices, and went over to a popular-looking Italian place just across the road. Good value and the food was pretty good too.
|And I don't think we met the dress standard ...|
|Mocktails at the Italian place - I am sure they were about 30% sugar, but rather scrummy.|
Back on the bus, a calming cup of tea and now it is healthily chardonnay o'clock - David has already started on his alcoholic ginger beer so I am behind. Fear not, I shall catch up.
Dinner tonight is possibly going to be nibbles. They may be forfeited if we are full after the Gu puddings. As Garfield says 'Life is uncertain - Eat dessert first'. It is a very wise maxim, and we would be silly to ignore it!
And I realised that Friday was my 66.6th birthday - a devilish little number and two thirds of a century. Why do I not yet feel like I have grown up?