Thursday, 9 February 2017

Too many goodbyes

Saturday 21st January to Thursday 9th February 2017

The flight back from Australia was relatively uneventful as it usually is – this time however I had to take the flight that stopped in Singapore on its way to Dubai rather than the 14hr straight through flight from Melbourne direct to Dubai – no great hardship.

Landing back in Birmingham to a rather chilly morning was a little bit of a shock to the system but infinitely better than it being hot and humid.

Train back to Rugby and then taxi to Barby Marina and I was back on board a little bit over 2 hours after landing.

The boat was naturally quite cold – having sat there for the last 7 weeks, but happily it was nice and dry.
After getting the diesel running again, the reflecs was lit and pretty soon the boat was starting to lose it’s chill – getting warm took a bit longer.

Before we left it, apart from the usual winterising that we do, we also had moved a great many things inside the boat; set the mattress on it’s side to air and there was a general upheaval of a great many things.
All-in-all it took a few hours to get it all back into shape and everything more or less in their correct places – by which time the boat was now warm.

That wasn’t half as bad as the fact that we had cleared the fridge out and anything else that was likely to go off, so there was very little in the way of food that could easily be made into something – but managed to scratch something together – also no milk or bread – that would be for tomorrow.

First morning back and the canal had frozen over, but the sun was out and very bright – the ice was starting to melt by late morning so I figured it was time to move along; with the knowledge of the marina staff, I untied Ferndale and gently eased her out through the ice – it is always difficult to manoeuvre around turns but after an hour we were out through the entrance and heading in a straight line northwards.

I didn’t want to go too far and so I moored just above the Hillmorton Locks and was able to do some much needed shopping up on the main road – just the basics really.

Next morning and the ice had cleared and I cleared off, heading down to Rugby to do a proper replenishment,

The time between then and now has been spent in Rugby and cruising up to Hawkesbury Junction, into Coventry and then back again, with non-cruising days in all locations – primarily to get everything going OK whilst I wait for Diane to return. By the time that this blog is published she will be on her way back.

She has been with her Mum and Dad in Queensland to see how they have been since she had last seen them before Xmas – she has noticed some changes even in that short time and her Dad has had some problems which will means loss of some past functions – most notably, not being able to drive anymore.

Diane had spent many hours on the cross-stitch and then having it framed
for their anniversary next year

A good day - able to be out and about

Still looking pretty good

Not sure about the selfies in the car - shouldn't you be driving

Swimming costume for the new season

Not so much the water-baby - just the water-babe
We are concerned about their general health and there are some specific problems that each has which are also of concern – we will just have to see how they progress over the next few months and the next year -  this will have big impact on our overall plans, but we were prepared for this type of thing coming along.

Trying out the new scooter to give more freedom..... least until it is nap time

Sneaking out for a coffee
It is worrying for them just as much as it is worrying for us – two very wonderful people in our lives who have done so very much for us when we were first starting out and we would like to be closer to them but equally we want to finish what we have started here – the time-frame will need to be shortened.

Having bad news such as this on the homefront has been of concern to us; the news of our dear friend Frank (as I had mentioned in the last blog); terrible news about Lauren (a second stroke for someone so young – just 30 years old); but the additional news that we have had of late with the passing of Les (nb Valerie) and now Fiona (nb Epihany) has been a blow to us.

We had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying Fiona’s company (with her husband John) a few years ago and given her medical history and recent health it was still a shock to hear of her passing.

We only spoke to Les (and Jacquie) in passing them outside Napton Marina last year, but we had followed their exploits with interest like so many others in the boating world and beyond.

We pass our deepest condolences to both John and Jacquie and wish the very best for  both for the future, whatever it may bring.

Sorry to end on such a sad note but most of what we have been doing for the past two months has been tinged with a great deal of sadness, but we also have to remain positive about things getting better for the rest of the time that we all have.

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