Welcome to the world of Narrowboating

To risk is to live!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Happy New Year

A happy 2013 to you all.

I am well on my way to having a great New Year thanks yet again to the kindness of friends. Yesterday, with the help of Stan and Colin – another moorer at Hunts Lock, I finally completed my three month journey back to my mooring! It was accomplished in the pouring rain but I rewarded the men with a bacon and egg butty on arrival.

It is hard to believe that it was all the way back on 1st October when I was last here on the mooring. It was a little nerve wracking to get off the boat and walk around. I had forgotten how lumpy and how much on a slope my particular mooring is. I stood on the precise spot where I had broken my leg and remembered how it had been.

Bonny is delighted to be back and has been busy re-acquainting herself with all the smells and sights and revelling in at last being able to spend time outside. So far she has been brilliantly behaved – even off the lead.

Meanwhile, my next door neighbour Fitzy told me that he was moving off the mooring as they are going to start living on their boat and are planning to moor in a more convenient place for them. His mooring is much flatter than mine and so that much safer. I asked him if I could move on to his mooring when his notice period was up (you have to give a month’s notice to quit a mooring) He came to see me today and said I could move on immediately! He even gave me some wood for free and sold me his very nice garden bench for a pittance and a bottle of wine! I have written to the moorings officer to tell her what is occurring but she won’t mind as she was concerned about the safety of my mooring anyway, and CaRT lives in fear and trembling that someone will sue them when hurt on one of their moorings.

Finally Harry – yet another of my lovely neighbours -  came along just as I was starting to move the boat forward on to Fitzy’s mooring. He dropped his shopping and not only moved the boat for me, but then moved my coal and other bits and pieces from my old mooring to the new. He said if I needed any other help, I was to call on him any time. Can you believe it? People are just so kind and helpful and I have really noticed that since I injured myself.

So I am sitting here on my new mooring – only a few feet from my old mooring but it still feels like a whole new start. There are less trees here and so my solar panel will work better, but the main advantage is that I can safely walk around the mooring and that is brilliant. It’s going to take a while for Bonny to get used to her garden having moved, but she will adjust. It has helped Neville too as his new boat Percy is longer than Waterlily and he has had to moor partially under trees. He is planning to move up a bit, now there is space and we will both work on the moorings officer to persuade her not to re-auction the remaining space as it is very lumpy and bumpy and someone else might fall on it!

Photos to follow when it finally stops raining – if it ever does!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Very Happy Christmas to my Readers


This is actually my neighbour Neville’s boat but I thought it made a nice Christmassy picture. Neville is actually selling Waterlily so if you are looking for a really nice boat – here you are and it’s on brokerage at Great Haywood!

I was due to go to my brother’s house for Christmas but my leg is not sufficiently mended to be able to drive to Sevenoaks. Instead I shall be endeavouring to be festive here at Fradley. I shall be having Christmas lunch with my lovely friends Graham and Jan, together with Bon’s partner, Bernie!

I shall be having a Boxing Day lunch with a more recent friend, but a good one - Stan. He is a boater, but also has a house at Fradley Junction. He was the man kind enough to take me to the hospital to have my cast removed and has been helping me ever since. He also enjoys visiting canal side pubs on a regular basis, so my social life has suddenly lurched into life!

My Christmas wish is to be able to, at last, return to my mooring before the New Year. I really miss the peace of fields rather than road and seeing my neighbours. My leg is improving every day and I am ready to practice pushing a wheel barrow. As soon as I can successfully transport rubbish and shopping, I will return. Meanwhile I have had my first little cruise, with Stan’s help. We took ‘Don’t Panic’ to Streethay to pump out and diesel up. I spent a sleepless night worrying about it, but for no good reason as it went fine. I reversed into a lock for the first time! I did all the manoeuvring and Stan did most of the steering as I couldn’t stay upright for the time required. I’m really glad to have been out on the boat again, as was Bonny who immediately took up her accustomed position on the roof.

I hope you all have a lovely and dry Christmas! I particularly wish that for my poor, flooded Devonian friends. I hope for you and for myself an accident free and hope filled 2013!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Another year passes…

It is my birthday today and so I have been spending a little time reflecting on the past year. It has been full of highs and lows; the highest high being my cruise in the summer, the highest bit of that was crossing the Pontcysllyte Aqueduct…

boat crossing pont

The low points include losing my job and breaking my leg…

disastrous end!

I think the most significant part of the year though is the changes it has brought about in me. I thought solitude and ploughing my own furrow was everything and that anybody who ‘invaded my space’ was to be resisted. I indulged in that solitude to the full on my cruise and absolutely loved it. I came back dreaming of finding a solitary mooring, away from all the stresses and strains of living alongside other people.

Then I broke my leg, and in one stroke was totally dependent on the kindness and care of others. And how my friends rose to the challenge!! Despite me pushing people away and being generally unsociable, they looked after me and enabled me to move back onto my boat and survive on it. This has changed me at a profound level. I feel that I can really trust people for the first time in my life. Now I am seeing my friend Jan every day when she helps walk Bon and it’s lovely. If for any reason she can’t stay for a cuppa afterwards, I miss her! If anyone had told me that I had to see someone every day, be accompanied to go shopping, laundry, walks etc. I would have said ‘just shoot me in the head! But now I’m just grateful every day that I am moored in a community of such lovely people.

Here is Jan walking her dog and mine…

jan the dog walker