Sunday, 10 January 2016

Never-ending Xmas

Friday 25th December to Thursday 31st December 2015

Our plan was to spend Xmas Day in Apsley and, of course, along with that was Xmas evening and Xmas night – the weather reports indicating rain and not a day conducive to movement.

What I hadn’t planned on was also being awake quite so early on Xmas morning – the first cries of “Santa’s been, Santa’s been!!” came at a little after 3am – the second round was at 4:45am and finally the third and final lot at a little before 7am by which time I relented to stay awake and commence the day and excitement of a 50-something kid.
It was later that she told me that she had first woken at just on 1 am and thought better of waking me then – bloody good call dear!

Traditionally, I like to sleep in on Xmas morning – in the past it was to get the little kids going but now it is to get the big one going. Our son, Mitch, when we spoke to him later in the day, welcomed his mother to his world as an 8-year-old wanting to open presents early but with a father pretending to sleep-in.

Anyway, after I relented, Diane brought the Xmas stocking into bed – yes, there are still stockings done – so that she could find all of the goodies that she could taste before any hint of a proper breakfast – which, in the end, didn’t eventuate anyway.

After that it was getting up and into Xmas clothing to open presents and all of the phone calls – the beauty of Viber these days is that there is no need to worry about the time of the call – so one to Brisbane (Mooloolah); one to Melbourne; and one to Dallas.

After the excitement of the morning and controlling the big kid from playing with all of her “toys” we had a chance to relax a bit – nice and cosy in the boat but coldish and wet outside.

Lunch was an easy affair with not too much to worry about and not needing to eat too early – mid-afternoon was the time, to coincide with Lizzie’s TV appearance; and not a huge plate whereafter you would gladly snooze the rest of the day away – we managed to play a few games before settling down to watch Dr.Who and the Xmas Strictly Show –pretty much after that it was a bit more relaxing and unsurprisingly we were in bed at our normal early time – I say unsurprisingly, but it felt like I had woken up in the middle of the night before and not been allowed to get back to sleep.
As usual lunch was simply superb...

...including dessert

Our schedule dictated that we needed to move on Saturday – this time as far as Cassiobury Park, from where we thought we would venture up into Watford for a bit of a walk – did we miss something in our planning – something like Boxing Day Shopping madness – what were we thinking??
We still managed to buy a few things that we actually had needed to buy before high-tailing it back to the boat and safety.

The uncharacteristically mild weather for December was continuing in the London area, but elsewhere it seemed that the island was sinking, with the terrible flooding being experienced in so many areas north of where we were. We watched some you-tube stuff of different scenes and you can only feel so so sorry for the problems that so many are having at what should be a festive time for all.

Sunday and we were on the move again – not far – just a mile or so and a couple of locks.

The Watford family have a couple of days of Xmas gatherings – first at Nikki and Phil’s - an open day with them and Nikki’s family and then the following day with Maggie and Paddy and that side of the family.

We had a really great time on both days without eating or drinking too much at all.

After all of the festivities were finished we decided that we needed to start cruising again – going south yet again towards Uxbridge – the lure of cheap diesel is too much to resist and also we do enjoy that stretch of canal – between Watford and Uxbridge.
Xmas cruising - a bit warmer this year...

...but simply great of course

We were sort of under the impression that the marina only closed for a couple of days a year – that not being between Xmas and New Year – alas we were not correct, so it was a few days in Uxbridge which is not such a hard place to take and here it was that we spent a relatively quiet NYE – well… it was very quiet but not for us and as usual we did not make it to the witching hour – bed for us was about 10pm and thus another year has ended.

This will be our last blog for a while – I simply have found it difficult to keep it up to date over the last couple of months and have decided to have a break.
No doubt in the near future it will resume but for now I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to be bored silly with what we have been up to – we look forward to seeing many more places and many more people this coming year.

Our main cruising will be the Thames – this time with a Gold Licence – there will be a couple of breaks during the year as we take some time out to visit friends and family not in the UK.
So goodbye – just for now!!!
As a finale, we captured a shot of this fellow - a great way to end the year
3 Miles, 7 Locks
YTD: 890 Miles (1452 km) , 568 Locks, 14 Tunnels, 11 Lift Bridges, 16 Swing Bridges

Total: 3784 Miles (6090 km) , 2689 Locks, 112 Tunnels, 45 Lift Bridges, 167 Swing Bridges