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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Leaving Chester


I've decided to try to blog a bit every day more like other boaters do, in order to keep folks across the Pond apprised of where we are going. They have canal maps and want to follow us. Occasionally I will do a longer blog with more pictures. I have some retroactive blogs to do from Llangollen as well as Chester. Time gets away from me now that I am semi-retired. Our days are timeless now; full and satisfying!

We are moored up at Bridge 135 near the Chester Zoo...after a visit of nearly five days to take in the sights and sounds of Chester with our friends Scooby and Rita Talbot. We un-moored this morning in a delicate rain, cruised through the staircase locks doing the Chester shuffle--this time with one boat coming up and another going down alongside us.

The couple traveling down with us were boat owners on holiday. The Missus told me she had to do all the locks because she couldn't steer the boat and she was tired out. Les was doing the locks and orchestrating the shuffle from above. I was piloting our craft.

His nibs as I shall call the bloke on the other boat next to me was a miserable sod. When I asked if they lived aboard he said, "No we don't," and turned away to deter further conversation. He seemed quite unhappy to be sharing a lock with a woman at the tiller of a boat. His poor wife didn't look like she was enjoying much holiday. As someone I knew a long time ago used to say, "You've got the same old drawers (knickers) to be glad in!!"

I negotiated the tight turn under the bridge and out onto the water point below the locks in grand style and we tied up to empty the rubbish bags, the toilet cassettes and take on water. Les hooked up the water hose and forgot to turn it on--again!! This is the fourth time he has done it--which makes us laugh like lunatics, as we think of how long we've sat patiently waiting for the endless tank to fill. I'm on to him now, and while he took the cassettes away I checked the water point and turned it on.

We had what was left of last night's supper for lunch--Southwester Potato, Chile, Cheese soup (yes Lisa Conger--your delicious recipe!!), and then got underway again with Les steering. I stayed below to put on a load of washing and gave the interior of the boat a good once over.

Scooby and Rita shoved off Tuesday for Middlewhich. We traveled together from Calverly to Chester and had almost a week of lovely visits and dinners, back and forth from boat to boat. It was wonderful enjoying female companionship which I have missed--especially with Rita who is Canadian.

We had North American ex-pat moments when we two were the only ones at the table who knew the lingo and lines! Scooby has a fast mind and a delightful sense of humor. Both are great cooks. I could get into bed with Rita's Guinness Chocolate cake! Thanks for a chance to get to know you both better...

We are moored up now in the quiet of the countryside. The wind sways through the trees, which sigh and flutter; reeds bend and the large umbels of Cow Parsley and water Hemlock bob in the breeze. Life slows down and time is a liquid jewel, trickling slowly as Dear Sir and I travel the water road together, arms around each other, our laughter floating on the moist, sweet air.

2 comments:

Neil Corbett said...

No doubt she 'couldn't steer the boat' because her husband told her she couldn't! I have spoken to so many women who tell of husbands nagging and even shouting and putting them off. I get quite evangelistic about it at times.
Kath (nb Herbie)

Les and Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Kath,
That was certainly what she inferred from her look at her husband and the tone of her words. He was busy trying to look manly behind the tiller and clearly knew less than I do about steering a boat. I really appreciate Les' insistence that I learn to do everything inside and out so we can be a good team aboard.
Jaq

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs