Time with Friends – Expected and Unexpected Surprises

Whilst out of the water last week, the adorable Helen and Andy from Wandering Bark/Captain Ahab’s Watery Tales, visited us for dinner. They’d spent the whole of February holidaying and adoring New Zealand, so it was wonderful to catch up and hear about all their adventures. Some of which involved people we knew there (thank you so much for spoiling them as much as they deserve Ray, Anna and Andy).

Taking a group selfie – but it’s the wrong way around? How on earth does that happen?

Whilst in the Boat Club Bar, the barman asked “Is your Index Number 46575?” It was the number of our first boat Northern Pride which was a little disconcerting. I wondered if we had a stalker. Then the lovely lady next to me began talking, and I realised the couple were the owners of Guelrose. A boat we’d shared a day or two with on the Kennet and Avon in early August 2010. We’d blogged about the serendipity (have a read). Having never met Jenny and Mike previously of course we wouldn’t recognise them. But they did us fortunately.

We had, however, seen their boat moored at the marina and commented about our fond memories with Jon and Chloe and their young children. Here’s a short excerpt from the story:

Jon and his family are on the boat for a week, though it’s owned by his parents who also keep a blog (click here to read it). Having been around boats all his life, Jon was a mine of useful information as he and Barry chatted, and he loves the Kennet and Avon which is reassuring to hear after all the negativity we’ve been given about it previously! 

As we tied up waiting for Fobney lock, I noticed their boat number (I know ours off by heart as I have to give it every time I pay for diesel) – there’s was 46576, one number after ours which is 46575! How likely is that to happen?! They may have been built side-by-side in 1989.”

Jon and Chloe also featured in our following blog , along with a delightful photo of Jon and Ruby who’s quite grown up now. Jenny proudly showed us a few recent snaps of her.

A couple of memories stand out. One was of Jon poling his way out of a rather shallow section – and proceeding to keep hold of the pole a little too long! The other was of their optimistic and positive attitude. A number of fellow boaters had attempted to put us off the Kennet and Avon, but Jon had encouraged us as had Mike in a comment.

Funnily enough, Helen and Andy are boating the K & A for the first time this summer – have a read of the ‘old’ blog lovely people and don’t let anyone put you off! It’s a fine waterway full of unique features and sublime scenery.

And who knows who you may meet!

A Blast from Our Past

The following day, Sunday 10th March, we’d arranged to meet people at the Radford Bank Inn just outside of Stafford.

Following mum’s death last May, I’d spent a couple of weeks trawling through paperwork and attempting to contact everyone she new to inform them. Mum’s best friend at Birmingham University in the early 1950s, was another intelligent and unusual woman of the time (few women ventured to University at that time) called Nancy. Nancy went on to have three daughters, mum four. Growing up we often met up as families. After Nancy died a few years ago, mum was bereft. She told me her and her dear friend had ‘plotted’ to travel together once their respective husbands had died. I seem to recall to South Africa. But I could be wrong.

With Nancy and Peter both gone, I had no contact with Helen, Dorcas or Nicola. However … sifting through the correspondences over many years, I came across a funeral invitation for Peter and took a chance. I phoned the number and it was Roger. Nancy’s husband.

Long story short, Dorcas and Roger’s son recently moved near the canal in Halesowen and they were planning a trip to see them for a few days. We all grasped the opportunity and met up for lunch. My older sister came up also from Lichfield.

It was so wonderful to see you again Dorcas, and meet Roger and the boys.

Sandra, Dorcas and Katherine

Crazy Times Making the Most of Every Day

We have so much going on at the moment it’s untrue. Today, as I type this, it’s Friday. The day of Paul’s funeral. We will be there to pay our deepest respects.

Let’s all keep seeing the joys in life – and making time for friends. New and old. Expected and serendipitous.

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