The definition of the title word is to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. It is old English slang and I thank boater Mike Wall on NB Independence for bringing it to my attention. I also found coddiwomple on a list of 25 Words Every Traveler Should Know and I found nearly all those words resonated for me.
I am pleased to report that NB Valerie passed the Boat Safety Certificate exam with five stars and flying colors. Every system on this boat easily meets or exceeds the current craft safety standards. The examiner was mightily impressed by the cleanliness of the engine bay and my oven/grill!
I am also pleased to say that my new mattress is an absolute dream. I no longer wake up feeling as though I have spent the night on a torture rack in the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition. The process of its unpacking and settling in was almost life-like and rather odd for an inanimate object. The mattress came rolled tightly in thick plastic and a long cardboard box. As soon as I slit the plastic and un-rolled the mattress onto the foundation, it began breathing by which I mean it was out-gassing with a synthetic stench that smelled like a combination of vinegar and old potato chip cooking oil. As the fumes wafted outward (I kept the stern hatch open for two days), the foam mattress also began to breathing in, taking in air and plumping up. It is now so tall I have to hoik myself up in it, like a small child trying to clamber aboard mom and dad's bed.
My sleep is physically restful but it seems tragically odd to lie down at night on a mattress Les and I have never shared. I had a horrible nightmare last night in which Les and I appeared at a doctor's surgery for an appointment for him. He was wasted, gaunt and exhausted. The nurse asked us to follow her. I gathered all our bags and we and trudged along a sidewalk down the street to some restaurant the size of a coat room where we were ordered to wait until Les' name was called. Les laid down on a banquette and I sat nearby reading the paper. Suddenly I realized it had gone from daylight to dark outside and our name had never been called. I put down the paper, turned to Les--and he was gone! Panic rose in my throat, my heart hammered like thunder ans I tore through the tiny establishment even going into the men's bathroom. No one had seen Les and no one cared. I was stricken with grief, awash in terror; a stranger in a foreign land who had lost her ill husband! How could I have misplaced him? What kind of wife was I? How could I have allowed myself to become distracted by reading the newspaper? Why didn't I hear Les get up and leave?
I came awake suddenly, chest heaving, heart pounding with tears pouring down my face, breathing in gasps, my mind asking me how I could possibly enjoy a decent night's sleep on a new mattress when I had been so negligent as to have lost my husband.
It was 6:15 AM. I rose and checked the status of my batteries as Les always did first thing each morning. The refrigerator was running and the batteries were at 12.40 watts (50% charged). It is exceedingly dark and overcast here, and it has rained, and yet by 9:00 AM the new solar panels have charged the batteries right up to 13.00! Our old system could not do this, requiring me to run the engine to charge the batteries up again on an overcast day. This is brilliant and means one less worry for me. I can leave the boat now for more than 24 hours and I no longer have to return right away to run the engine and charge the batteries. The new solar panels will keep on top of it for me. I can also run the Ebspacher boiler heater (this heats the radiators throughout the inside of the boat and provides hot water for washing, as opposed to running the engine to get hot water and starting a fire in in the wood stove for heat), wash a load of laundry, or vacuum without having to let the engine run while I do it.
I am in Braunston now, having cruised back here to meet up with my friend Ray Oakfield (NB Stronghold). He is a jack of all trades and a dark horse this one! Among all the knowledge he has gathered (plays classical guitar and piano, is an excellent cook, and a very proficient boater), Ray can splice rope and he is an encyclopedia of knot tying. I fixed dinner for us (Shish Kebobs using my mother's old recipe which I hadn't tasted in nearly fifty years!), steamed green beans with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and raspberries, toasted three cheese bread, and Peach Lazy Pie with cream). Ray brought the wine, and we had a nice evening catching up. Yesterday morning Ray came over and spliced my new mooring ropes, creating loops on one end and he sealed the other ends with heat sealed sleeving which is a tube of plastic that shrinks tight when heated. All the new mooring lines are in place now and I feel much better knowing the old, badly frayed rope is gone. We parted ways yesterday as Ray is headed for the South Oxford and the Thames. See you perhaps next year then...
I opted to stay on in Braunston through Sunday as the weather has taken a cool, extremely windy turn with rain and thunder showers forecast and indeed it is blowing a hooley out there. I want to get my Satruday paper with the telly magazine up in the village, before I go and I think today I will attempt to make those yummy Stilton Cheese Puffs Ray is famous for sharing around. He used Nigel Slater's recipe and they are divine. I don't like blue cheese so I managed to find some White Stilton at Tesco in Southam of all places and I am keen to try this recipe.
I want to say hello to Angela formerly on NB Lady Ester. When she and her husband lived aboard they used to follow our blog. They sold their boat as Angela was struggling with a very bad knee. They were in Braunston yesterday, shopping for mooring lines for their new boat NB Annie. Angela has had knee replacement surgery and they are going to be back on the cut again. She stopped by to introduce herself and she told I was her role model. She had no idea how I managed to cope with having two knee surgeries in one year while living on a boat and caring for Les, and I inspired her. Thank you Angela, for taking the time to stop in and for your very kind and generous words. Welcome back to the cut!