The joys of life in the
Marina were brought to a sudden end beginning
with boat number one mooring Port side of us on the other side of the gangway.
They are friendly people with a well behaved dog but they choose to have the
main entrance onto their boat at the Bow. This means they walk past our boat
every time they step off theirs. And when they get visitors there are lots of
legs! I was coming to terms with the invasion when another blimmin’ Narrowboat
cut the mid morning ice to moor on the
other side of us!! This time the boat is
brand new, so new it does not have a name. The ‘skipper’ appears to have no
experience of boating and needed the New and Used brokerage to steer his new
purchase to its mooring. My initial surprise at seeing a boat in motion on the
ice actually became shock at it mooring alongside us. Talk about
claustrophobia! Other boatees live with neighbour’s a stones throw, if that,
away from them but the double whammy of being sandwiched within days has driven
We had to go for a walk for me to calm down, Chris was calm but I was fuming. After a 3 hour cool down period I went into the office to see what alternatives we had. There is an empty double berth for 2 but this, apparently, has been booked by a phantom Widebeam so not available for the taking. We have decided to take a mooring a couple of places ‘east’ of us and will be alongside a non residential Narrowboat with a gap Portside where our friends, WbTakeyTezey, are moored. It will be good to have a view of the water and a chance of checking out when the cleaners are at Shower Block Latrine!
That was written about four weeks ago. December is all gone and the Christmas decorations on AM were looking so last year that I was happy to take them down. We have settled into our new berth and are pleased 2013 has arrived. The final weeks of December, for us, are as follows.
December was memorably as wet and played into the year of the wettest drought. We did have a brief flash of the ‘Beast from the East’ which meant frozen surfaces and ice forming on the pond. Walking Della is a delight in the frosty conditions. She doesn’t seem bothered by the cold or the wet ground. She is getting used to wet and wearing her ‘raincoat’ if it is really necessary. Walking on frozen and frosty ground is the best for all of us as “A frosty ground gathers no mud” and walking along the towpath is what it is all about.
We commissioned the build of MV DolciBlue and we are excited. We visited Cole Craft, the Boat Builders, a couple of times in December, and we are gearing up for end January build start. I’m dreaming of taking the photo of flat sheets of steel before they are formed into the DolciBlue.
Christmas Day started with a Skype call with some of my lovely family in NZ. Skype is wonderful bringing families together from opposite ends of the world, even with my mobile (aka cell phone in NZ) ‘hotspot’ connection.
Christmas Day was an interesting experience. Chris was keen to do some volunteering and found The All Saints Church in
Burton-upon-Trent was looking for volunteers
to serve Xmas dinner to the Homeless and Family-less. Chris and I volunteered,
and Chris ‘helpfully’ let the Co-ordinator know that I liked playing uke and
singing so I agreed to sing with my uke an eclectic mix of Christmas
Della stayed with Heth and Dave from WbTakey-Tezey, while we were doing our Christmas service. We left Mercia Marina in our ‘boat –on-wheels’ and had to face the she-devil Sat Nav. Well we knew where we should be going but we succumbed to her instructions and she took us to somewhere remote which involved crossing a flooding road and being sprayed by an oncoming Range Rover. Sat Nav told us “You have arrived” and we told it what we thought of it and the Range Rover as well! We had a brief moment of panic and then with the help of the mobile phone we were able to find out how to get out of this mess! We found the Church and then drove back to Willington to pick up a Christmas Dinner guest. The Hall was busy with volunteers and guests who sat down to a huge 3 and more course Christmas meal. Dave and Heth were preparing a feast for us on Takey Tezey so we just served the others and then I ventured to my corner where I had a microphone set up. With the support of a couple of volunteers we started to sing carols. My uke sounded flat so we sang Acapela for a few songs. By the time Jingle Bells, the eighth song came around, the uke sounded like it was back in tune. I finished with “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and then we headed back to Marina-land and Della, and Christmas Dinner with our friends. A fun day with a feel good factor.
Two days later, we drove up to Buxton for a couple of nights. A brief land treat for us and a chance to catch up with a special friend who drove up from
We went for a drive to where we had taken
AM, a couple of months before. Great to see a few boats moored up and tempting
us with the dream to be continuous cruisers. One of the moored Narrow boats was called
AWATEA meaning ‘Bright pathway’. The name was written over a map of New
Zealand, an island drawn in the style of the game 'Battleships and Cruisers'. Bugsworth
So here ends the year of 2012.
A couple of helping hints
1) If you burn yourself, wrap the burn area with cling film / plastic wrap
2) If you get a cold, menthol tissues are a must
And a on a final note, just cos you thought you filled the water tank a couple of days ago in the dark doesn't mean it's full you fool. Yes, but, it's empty! I'm going to try brushing my teeth in flavoured water. I remember my grandparents saying they brushed their teeth using whiskey when travelling in the Continent in the 60's. The quality and not the lack of water was their concern.