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Friday, May 11, 2012

The view from the galley

`Growing old aboard` was Jaq`s last blog post. I think growing old has now taken on a completely different meaning to when I lived aboard on my own. I used to think what will be will be take one day at a time and pity the poor bas...d that discovers my body when it all ends. Now I just want to be around for ever providing I can retain some Independence and not be a burden. Just 2 words, a ring and most of all the love of a good woman can change your outlook.
Ok so just me thinking aloud as I read through Jaq`s post.
She looked to be in her late seventies or very fit early eighties, with long white hair pulled up in a soft bun. Thins wisps escaped to curl around her face. She wore a blouse with a faded, small flowered print, and a pair of faded denim pedal pushers. Plain white sneakers graced a pair of small, agile feet. In her tanned, gnarled hands she held a small blue bowl half filled with berries.

Jaq has almost painted a picture with the use of some extra words. A talent learnt after 5 years of attending university whilst bringing up her 2 girls. Wonderful thing education it carries on till death, you never stop, however small, absorbing knowledge. Now while we cruise Jaq instructs beginning and advanced writing tutorials to students 5000miles away and I get a few tips on writing for free.

I would probably have wrote,

The old lady looked about seventy with long grey hair some hanging down the side of her face and wore white trainers and a blouse. Her wrinkled hands held a bowl with some berries in.

Anyway all the above just leaked out through my fingers as I read through Jaq`s blog and thought how happy my life is with Jaq.

Blog time.
At the moment we are on the Middlewich arm just killing time waiting for my dental appointment as I have a loose tooth. I found a dentist in Nantwich who was taking on NHS patients rather than seeking a private appointment. My reasoning being that as I have a fear of needles and my mouth being invaded by dental apparatus paying high fees for private treatment for a horrifying experience is stupid. Not sure how it will all go with regards to further appointments so we might poodle off to Chester after Wednesday`s appointment and do any follow ups on the way back.
We did go into Middlewich to go shopping and on the way out topped up the diesel and bought 2 bags of smokeless fuel. The diesel was 89p per litre by the way and the 2 bags of Taybrite £25($32.5). Now what is niggling me is the tax part of the transaction.

20%............£ 3.99 Now 20% of £21 = £4.20 so not quite sure what has happened here other than their till being wrongly programmed. What annoys me is why do we not get the reduced rate of 5% for fuel. If you look at the HMRC page section 7.1 and 7.1.4 lists solid fuel as being taxed at the reduced rate but when you refer to section 3.2 you find amongst the qualifying list houseboat and without referring you here there and everywhere us narrow boaters are not classed as houseboats. Still at least the diesel was only 89p, motorists are paying £1.45.

The wind is strong and once again surprise surprise it`s raining. Do we care? No. The wind genny is putting in between 5-11 amps, the rain at the very least is washing the roof but more importantly it seems the reservoirs are filling albeit a very small amount.
BW has by extending opening times of lock flights eased restrictions at Stoke Breune, Buckby, Calcutt and Braunston due they say to "improved reservoir holdings"

So here we are moored up without a care in the world with no schedule to follow. I am blogging and reading and Jaq is at this moment standing in the galley making a Blueberry pie and gazing out over the River Weaver. The picture below is her view.

 The river flows in from the left and cows graze on the lush Green grass in the field that runs down to it  from the towpath. The river then runs away from the canal into the Flashes. The top flash we can see is a lake of about 12 acres and was formed after subsidence occurred following heavy Salt mining. From here the R. Weaver passes through more flashes and widens as it flows through Winsford and Northwich and into the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey.

So just to finish this blog. If this is growing old aboard, long may it last. Good health and long life to you all afloat or land based.
Just about to hit `publish` and the boat is really being buffeted by the wind, so glad we are moored.


John Witts said...

Les, you own writing isn't half bad either!

Keep up the good work!


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Anonymous said...

What lovely things you write... how lucky I am to be married to you! I love you Biggs,
Your wifey

Les Biggs said...

Hi John
You are to kind, I do my best.

Les Biggs said...

Hello Wifey

Anonymous said...

I'm at a conference in Wenatchee and last night's keynote speech was on fractals. Amazing how much the trees in your latest picture resembled the tree fractals he showed--drawn by computer.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Kialynn,
It's funny you mention fractals. I see them all the time--especially in the branches of old oaks; I was explaining fractals to Les not too long ago. I've always found them fascinating. Did you see any Mandlebrot sets at the conference?
Love jaq

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Jaqueline! It has been so long since I've put words down to send your way. This morning I clicked on the link on your email and entered into your and Les' life for a moment. The picture book romance of love and contentment, spiced with travels aboard your narrow boat (which is beautifully unique in itself!), and meeting loads of people who grace the land... well, it puts a smile upon my face and I am filled with such happiness for you both. Just thought I would share that with you.
Continue your embrace of all your blessings!
I love you!

Les Biggs said...

Hi Kat,
Thanks for commenting. It's always lovely to hear from friends across the pond. Thank you for all your warmth, encouragement, and sweet blessings--may they all come back to you three fold.
Blessed Be,
Love jaq

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs