"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." ~Kahlil GibranWe've been steadily moving along with short periods of mooring up and chilling out--our life as it was pre-cancer. In Braunston several weeks back Les and I walked up to the local shop for a Saturday paper. On our way back to the boat we had the pleasure or running into Jim from NB Chertsey. He was out with the dog on a lovely sunny morning, while waiting for his wife Sarah to return from her work week in the city. Sarah writes one of my favorite boat blogs. Sorry we missed you Sarah, but we did enjoy our short chin-wag with Jim who looks no older than when we saw him last up on the Shroppie several years ago. I didn't have my camera so Bill remains semi-incognito for now.
|Andy and Tina of NB Ytene. Just looking at this picture makes me smile!|
Dinner, drinks and hours of hysterical laughter ensue every time we get together as we introduce them to yet another new game (the British Railroad Game this time, thanks to our friends Ken and Sue Deveson of NB Cleddau who introduced it to us). No one tells a story like Andy and Tina--no one. I nearly lost control of my bladder several times and laughed so hard tears poured from my eyes. Thanks mates, for bringing us the joy of your company.
|Sue and Colin next to their boat NB Carrie-Ann. Winnie the boat bunny is napping inside.|
|Marilyn of NB Waka Huia and her trusty old hiking boots.|
We called out, she turned and walked back to offer big hugs and an introduction to her grandson Olek who was visiting from Scotland. We spent several pleasant hours sitting alongside the towpath drinking wine and eating nibbles while catching up.
Les and I were mightily impressed with young Olek who is thoughtful, smart, and helpful. He also has excellent manners and can hold his own in a conversation with old farts like us. He reminded me of my grandsons Micheal and Matthew back in the States.
After all this jollity and frivolity we cruised back to Braunston where Les filled the boat with water and dumped the rubbish while I walked up the high street for a Saturday paper, checked on our Post Restante mail which has still not arrived after a month, and we turned and cruised...North!
We enjoyed the slightly windy afternoon, with sun coming and going behind fast moving clouds. We ate tuna sandwiches on fresh baked bread and drunk hot cups of herbal tea from the back of the boat as we carried on. Rain was forecast for later in the evening and all the next day, so boats were passing us at a fast pace attempting to make time before the rain began. We stopped at Hillmorton Chandlers to pick up some Owatrol and say hello to Richard--the shop owner and the only U.K. distributor of Airhead Marine Composting toilets. Richard was out so we missed saying hello.
NB Valerie was moored adjacent to some outdoor tables by the pub next to the chandlers. As we walked back to our boat, a man in a blue T-shirt approached and said, "You're Jaq and Les aren't you? " and he held out his hand. I was caught by surprise. I shook his hand as he introduced himself: "I'm Tony and this is my wife Julie." Well knock me over with a feather!
Tony and Julie have been corresponding with me for months about their new boat build and their desire to have an Airhead composting loo on board! They had traveled down to meet Richard and look at toilets only to find him out. We chatted about boaty things and then they said good bye and we were off again. It was wonderful to meet you both in person and we hope to cross paths on the cut when you are aboard your lovely new boat NB ChasBella. Thanks very much indeed for stopping to say hello. New friends are often people you haven't met yet.
We are moored up again in a quiet stretch of canal as rain beats a rhythm on the roof. A pot of fresh chicken noodle soup simmers on the stove and fresh baked bread waits on the counter for dinner. A container of homemade coconut yogurt will be finished and ready to make into parfaits with granola and fresh strawberries by 11 p.m.--just right for us night owls.