I’m free again. That was the fifth ‘official’ quarantine I’ve done since the madness started. I’m not complaining, they’ve been mostly due to travel which is completely elective on my part. It’s a small price to pay in order to live the life I’ve tried to make for myself.
Life in the marina was relaxed and pleasant. It was actually a good transition from home to boat since I had power and water (and deliveries) right at hand. Now that I’m out on the cut it’s back to water rationing, planning shopping forays, and monitoring the solar/battery situation constantly. It’s not been as sunny as the panels would like, but the batteries (and hot water supply) should be fine if I move the boat every couple of days.
There is a woodland area near the marina with some trails through it. It has a very ‘old-world’ feel to it, like someone on horseback is about to trot by or a horse-cart loaded with hay is around the next bend. There are also some of the largest oak trees I’ve ever seen. And a lot of holly bushes, but I’ve no idea if they’re wild or not. They make going off the trail a bit dangerous!
The area around here is very beautiful, so rural and tranquil. However, as with much of Britain, the roads are narrow and the cars go fast. Most of the roads have been here for hundreds of years, from back when horses were the fastest mode of transport. The hedgerows often come right to the road’s edge as well, so it’s not great for walking. I’m getting better at looking in the right direction for oncoming traffic though, that has taken a bit. The neighbours are all very friendly and there’s the occasional stand selling produce. The local eggs are delicious.
As the quarantine came to an end I had a great (mostly socially-distanced) visit from Wendy, her daughter Kate, and granddaughter Emily. What a wonderful family! I’m planning on cruising up toward Chester in September so it’ll be closer for them to visit, hopefully I’ll get to see more of the family…
If you need further proof that life is returning to normal, I had my first pub visit with Phil and Ang at ‘our local’. So good. So cathartic. So full. And the best mushy peas ever.
I’ve been thinking about an addition to the boat for a while, and have finally managed to get it done. Thanks to help from Mick (my go-to guy for everything narrowboat), it’s mounted! Before anyone asks, no, I don’t play (much), I’m trying to resurrect my Royal Conservatory skills from a distant youth. The guitar is totally new but I’m starting to figure it out. I had one lesson before leaving the marina, from Steve off a boat several slips away. He’s a professional musician, check out his band, Nearly Dan (a Steely Dan cover band). they’re great!
On the last night at the marina, they hosted a BBQ for all the moorers. It was a great night, felt good to be doing something like that again after all the restrictions and lockdowns over here. Great turnout, lots of fun…
Returning to the boat and the canals has been a great reminder of what the world used to be like and will be again. We will all have stories for our grandkids about what these last many months have been like and the inconveniences we’ve experienced. Of course, our parents and grandparents would laugh at us, comparing these little things to what the war(s) or the Depression were like. It’s been bad, but not <that> bad (not forgetting of course the many people we’ve lost and the sacrifices so many have had to make). It’s not over yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. And my headlight is on and the throttle is pinned.