Wow! That means we’re one third of the way through 2020. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Or maybe not.
After a full calendar month of living on a narrowboat in lockdown, I thought I’d reflect on the joys and sorrows to date. I don’t intend getting too deep, so don’t be afraid to read on …
- Watching the changes all around us as spring brings new beginnings. The leaves on the trees becoming a vibrant green; the dandelions flowering; ducklings suddenly appearing; farmer’s crops growing.
- Being still. Living on a narrowboat by necessity entails a lot of movement, though during the winter months we can, and do, stay in one place for up to 14 days. We’d been expecting to be moving every couple of days once I’d returned from Barbados on 16th March. Instead, we’ve travelled only a few miles from Nantwich to our bubble mooring, and up to Calveley Junction, for essential services. Otherwise, we’ve been still. I have to admit I’ve loved it. I don’t speak for Barry though …
- Having Kim on board – she’s stayed with us a number of times over the years, but never for this length of time. Over five weeks now. I’m mindful that her space is extremely restricted from what’s she’s accustomed to, and the temperature even on a fine day here is WAY lower than Lagos. For me, it’s sheer bliss to have her sharing our space.
- Time to bake – it’s many years since I’ve baked bread without the bread maker. It’s a struggle to find flour, and I’ve used up all the wholemeal strong flour I had in the cupboard, but the act of kneading is so therapeutic.
- Finally starting to learn the ukelele – thanks to free lessons, and not having to travel off the boat frequently, I’ve managed to make time to enjoy getting to know my uke. There’s a long way to go yet to feel that I’m any good at it, but it seems like I’ll be getting lots of time to continue …
- Not being able to see and hug my elder daughter Lisa, or her two boys. It’s tough. I know there’ll be thousands of grandma’s around the world in a similar situation.
- Missing planned trips – dad’s 100th birthday commemoration at the end of March, Lisa and Rob’s planned weekend in London (when we would’ve had the boys), and the ten-day holiday to Scotland that we’d be on now.
- Inability to see friends – we’d planned to meet up with Helen and Andy in June, having hardly seen them for many months. Sadly they haven’t even been able to get on board their boat for their usual six-months.
- Feeling fearful of getting COVID-19 – I veer from thinking we might as well just get it over with so we get antibodies, to freaking out that one of us could die.
- Feeling fearful that someone close to us will die from COVID-19 – of course, death is one of three certainties of life, along with change and taxes. But understandably this is different. To be fair it’s not even just the COVID-19 thing – for anyone close to us to get anything nasty would be awful right now.
An After Shot and In The News
We moved to Nantwich today to fill up with water, and do a grocery (and alcohol!) essential shop. Three swans were almost blocking the towpath when I walked along to go to town. Beautiful beasts, but they can be a bit bolshy when bothered. NOt that I bothered them, I just stopped to say hi …
Angie commented this morning that she’d like to see an ‘after shot’ of my hair braiding that Kim did on Wednesday evening. I got Barry to take a photo …
A few weeks ago we wrote a short piece for Waterways World about living in lockdown on a narrowboat, as did a fair few other boaters. It’s an interesting article, so if you get a chance check it out.
Things Are Slowly Changing
Nantwich felt busier than of late, but not excessively so. However, there were two lots of construction going on in the centre. Upgrading the paving stones, nothing major. But I guess white an opportune time to be doing that. A few more places were open – the fish and chip shop on the way in, and the hardware store, much to Barry’s delight. I also spotted a potential fresh fruit and veg delivery service to use in future.
This time we were able to shop and return to Areandare without delay, then head back to our bubble mooring. No need to stay overnight in Nantwich. The ‘new’ bike of Barry’s came in very handy as a carrier bag carrier! His smile doesn’t show the cold in his bones having waited outside Morrison’s for me, with our shopping from Aldi, when the heavens opened and drenched him wearing his jandals! Flip-flops for the English. Oh dear! He’s ever-optimistic bless him 😉
This evening Barry and the bubble boys have sat out in the rain watching a rainbow 🌈. Splendid. There’s another joy on Mayday to be thankful for. Though I wish the warmer weather would return!
Sharing Our Winding
I took a short video of Barry ‘winding’ the boat this afternoon – turning around to head back. He was disappointed last time I stopped the video before he’d completed the turn. Thankfully he completed the manoeuvre expertly as usual:
COVID-19 Symptom Tracker
You guessed it! Another day of reporting no symptoms to the tracker App. 2,820,620 people reporting today in the UK. I haven’t had a chance to watch Thursday’s webinar yet, but I aim to before publishing tomorrow evening’s post.
What have your joys and sorrows of the lockdown been so far? Feel welcome to share in the comments below. My guess is that there’ll be many commonalities between us all.