One of the reasons so many people choose narrowboat living, is to slow down. When we made our New Zealand return plans last year, and booked Areandare into Debdale Wharf for some bottom maintenance, little did we know what the future held. Having remained in the north-west throughout last winter to be close to Lisa, our next phase was moving south. Then lockdown hit …
Another unique situation was Kim coming to live with us. With hardly any notice or pre-planning for any of us as to how long she’d stay, we welcomed her with open arms. It’s been amazing to have her on board for so long. Now though, she has no idea when/if she’ll get back ‘home’ to Lagos.
So our previous ‘best laid’ plans are looking likely to change. However, nothing is confirmed. You never know what’s around the next corner.
Wheaton Aston to …
On Thursday I left Barry and Kim to move the boat, while I drove to Wheaton Aston. I knew there’s a handy car park there adjacent to the canal, so I’d packed a picnic and my laptop ready for another few hours of car sitting. I’m fortunate to have another new Ad-extra account build, so I spent the afternoon doing keyword research. It’s undeniably not the best way to work. Sat in a car. But I’d still rather deal with a slight inconvenience than be sat in a stuffy office locked into set working hours and having to ‘request’ time off. The very thought of ever going back to that makes me shudder.
Once they arrived, we enjoyed a perfectly calm and peaceful evening in sublime surroundings.
Car And Boat Hopping Foiled
Friday was to be my last car-and-boat-hopping day. We weren’t able to even start the journey till after 2 pm because of my work commitments but then reversed to Wheaton Aston to fill up with some of the cheapest diesel on the system. I helped Barry up the lock before jumping off with my laptop and snacks, ready for another wait.
I’d been sat in the car messaging a friend, when I had a text from Kim to say they hadn’t gone far, maybe a mile, when they hit a bit of a snag! You know that saying “Be careful what you wish for?” Well, it seemed my wish to not have to sit in the car for hours again waiting for them to catch up with me came true.
A tree had fallen and blocked the canal …
This cutting is packed with high trees leaning over the canal with evidence of other fallen obstacles. It looked like it was sheer good fortune that no boat was going past at the moment this fell. Looking at the size of the trunk, after three tree fellers had chainsawed it to clear the towpath, I reckon it would’ve taken a boat to the bottom without a second look. It’s a good job we were delayed! Phew 😌
More Grandsons Time
We’ve been at Lisa’s overnight again, leaving Kim to have some peace for her studying and writing. The boys went to Whitchurch for their first hair cut since lockdown began. I loved their long lockdown locks! we were rather taken aback that they each had to go in alone and wear a mask. Quite scary! They were so brave. But it would’ve been helpful if we’d been able to prepare them for this. We’d read that children under 11 years of age didn’t need to wear masks? It seems this is a fallacy 🙁
Whilst we were away the tree trunk has been cleared. Kim said it was like the M52 yesterday, as stranded boats resumed their journeys. A few hire boats were late being returned!
Barry Takes A Shot
Talking of dangerous places, this evening Kim and I heard shots reverberating along the canal. She joked that someone was killing Eve (we’re currently watching this series and loving it), and I replied I hope they haven’t shot Barry. Little did I know – he had been shot! When we pulled up at Autherley Stop Lock he told me he’d been hit on his thigh. And had the pellet to prove it! Crikey. That’s a bit close for comfort. Shooting birds while people are nearby? Surely that’s not legal?
Every time we’ve come past this services it’s been an embarrassment. Seriously CRT there’s something awry here. Enjoy your canal? With this as a view? We really support the Trust but this is not a one-off 😰. I’ll be tweeting it so I’m not just moaning as many boaters appear to do.
Four Weeks and Counting Covid-19 Symptom Study Stats
There ‘now over 4 million ‘citizen scientists’ signed up to the Symptom Study App which is fantastic. What’s not so reassuring is the number of weekly cases seems to have increased to 2,103. Check out this article for more information https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/data-update-july-16
The study team aren’t yet sure whether the number is just levelling off, or whether we’re starting to see an increase. It’s certainly not what we want to see with just four weeks and counting till our planned return to New Zealand …