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Monday, April 18, 2016

Three Years is a Long Time!!

"Good friends are like stars; you don't always see them, but you know they are always there." ~Christy Evans, author

   Les and I left Braunston on Tuesday last. We cruised contentedly out to the moorings by Onley prison--about three miles north of Braunston--and found a lovely, quiet spot to set up house for a few days. We had arranged to meet Sue and Vic of NB No Problem as they cruised down from Barby after a week with family. 
   Imagine our delight when NB Oakfield came through the bridge hole to moor up in front of us and No Problem came around a curve in the opposite direction at nearly the same moment! We hadn't visited with Keith and Ann since late 2012 when we were all moored at Rugby. We hadn't seen Sue and Vic since we dined together at Windsor in July 2013. 
   As both boats went to moor up a cow fell in the canal from the farmer's field on the off side, another boat came through the bridge behind us and pulled over to attempt a cow rescue, and before you could say "Moo, Moo buckaroo" a crowd of boaters were working to save the calf which had ideas of its own; I could see it thinking, "Geez a bovine just wants to have a little drink--a little bath--a little privacy from the herd, but NOOoo! Everybody and their cousins' sisters' friends show up-oh and their dogs. I'm outta' here," and off it swam for a shallow spot where it heaved itself back to dry land.
Cow in the cut! © NB Oakfield, 2016
Should we stay or should we go now!
  We had a delightful catch-up on board NB Valerie with coffee, tea and cake all around. The next afternoon Sue and I went for a hike with the dogs and we walked for an hour; the longest I've been out without crutches since July! It was grand moving along the muddy footpath and across the grassy fields.

   On Sunday we all enjoyed Sue and Vic's hospitality with one of his legendary roast dinners aboard No Problem. The custard on the pud was Maffi cruising along to moor up amongst us to join in the fun.
The crew left to right: Vic, Maffi, Ann, Keith, Jaq, and Les.

Mauve sunsets...
   Les and I took a walk later Sunday evening through the farmers field which is in the process of being made over into a 600 berth marina which will sit nut-to-butt with the back side of Onley prison, where I can imagine a very tall fence and security lighting will eventually be in place. All of these plans will ruin what is now a really lovely mooring place, with farm fields full of animals, quiet and the bucolic peace of the countryside. 
...and frost licked fields in the early morning sunshine; mist hovers above the cut as the day unfolds near Onley.

Four boats filled with friends!

   We spotted nearly 100 rabbits tearing back and forth across the fields from one side to the other. It was truly comical to watch them hopping around but not really getting very far. I wonder where they will all go when the fields are turned into watery berths with boats moored up.
   Les and I walked back from the spot where the old canal used to follow the contours of the land--before it was straightened to cut off time and save money back in the day. We laughed at the lambs--one was white with black knee patches; another sheep had two black twins which watched us curiously until Les said, "Mint sauce"; the lambs turned and scarpered off quickly. Their mama didn't raise any fools!
   This morning we all gathered at Keith and Ann's boat for coffee, tea, cake, and conversation which didn't touch on toilets once--a rare thing in a group of boaters! 
Goodbye from Oakfield, goodbye from Millie M, goodbye from No Problem, Goodbye from Valerie; goodbye from us goodbye!
   Before we knew it, noon was knocking and it was time for us to get moving. We wanted to get through the Hillmorton lock flight, fill up with water, dump our rubbish, get some coal, diesel and propane, and settle in somewhere quiet for a few days. 

  Ahhhhh yes, we are back to boating again on our terms; a few days here with friends, a handful of days there in the countryside quiet, a day moored up near town for any bits and bobs, and then off again to see what we have missed for the last three years. We haven't been this far north in all that time! Bliss!


Anonymous said...

Yea ... back to good times, good health, good travel ... and well yeah I know there are a few glitches in there ... but yea on the walking. And the partying,
Karen in Pullman

Jennifer said...

Will be joining you soon. Off on the long journey from'Van Dieman's Land' to Manchester tomorrow. Takes us nearly 2 days to get there, but gee it's worth it. xxxxJennifer and Peter nb. Mactra's Filia so happy to see you both well and blooming. !!!

steve and Angela said...

Great that you are finally back to boating 'on your terms', have a fantastic time. Looking forward to reading all about your travels
Steve and Angela

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Jennifer! It wouldbe superb if our boats actually cruised the same length of canal and we met up with one anther this summer! Take good care and we will hope to see you and Peter soon! xxx

Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Karen,
Yes life is returing to normale as they say in Italy. We are so very lucky ot a part of this wonderful community on the cut. It means each time we cruise around a curve or though a birdge hoe we have the potential to met up with friends--some we've met and other whose blogs we have followed so we feel like we know them. xxx

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs