Monday, April 27, 2009

It was quiet enough to start with!!

The weekend started off quiet enough but things soon changed with the arrival of my able assistant Abz. We stayed the evening at Saxilby and planned the weekend out down to the last detail. As usual we spent too much time enjoying ourselves and soon forgot all about the itinerary.

First thing in the morning there was the ‘Come on Granchie its gone six o’clock. Time to get up’ early morning call and Abz was raring to get on with the day. I did manage to hold out till eight before getting ready to leave and by nine the trip towards Lincoln had started. Dash the ships cat didn’t help in any way towards the smooth running of the program as he had other ideas and fancied a longer stay ashore but with help he was got back on board and the engine started which sent him off under the bed clothes to hide from the noise.

The actual movement between places must be a bit boring for an eight-year-old but Abz managed to keep herself amused by making the living area into a fair representation of a war zone. A skill that she has now perfected to the nth degree. (He said with a big grin)

We stopped at the BW facilities to get rid of the rubbish and after catching the cat again moved through the Brayford Pool and moored up in the middle of Lincoln to do a quick shop so that the making of cheese sauce could be undertaken later. The weather was so nice that we hung about people watching for an hour and Abz caught up with her phone calls home.

Stamp End Lock was more enjoyable than usual with my helper working the gates and snapping photos as we worked our way through the lock.

The opportunity was taken to check out the nameplate and we decided that we both didn’t like the effect of the colours changing to black so its back to the drawing board. I will either use the original as a template and paint it myself or get another one made and paint a white background in.

Chugging along it was soon evident that there was ‘something’ going on on the bank. In the car park on the south side there were marquees and a number of cyclists. During the next few kilometres we were seeing people on bikes every few minutes with the occasional walker amongst them and once or twice another marquee erected near the path.

A snack was called for as we moved and Abz decided that a cheeseball crisp and tomato ketchup sandwich was the thing to have. It must have been good for after a few minutes it was all gone.

On arrival at Washingborough we had a welcoming committee. Not really for us but the top of the mooring had a load of people waiting about. I turned the boat, moored up and we were quickly ashore to find out all the info on the reasons for the activity underway.

It was the official opening of the Water Rail Way path to Boston. The owner of the recently purchased ex-railway station was taking the time to explain to the passersby the plans to renovate the building. He was having problems with the planning people who, it seemed, would rather have the place in its original derelict state than have someone living in it and doing it up.

During the afternoon we took the time to walk a little of the path but would have been better off with bikes. The Saint John Ambulance team were at the mooring and quiet it might have been they were still needed at one time when a youngster had a bike accident and injured his arm. Abz felt very sorry for him but he was soon up and walking but still as white as a sheet.

Several boats came and went at the mooring and a number of rowing boats from the rowing club came passed. Abz spent a lot of time doing acrobatics on the handrails and unlike the cat never fell in the water once. Thank goodness for digital photography. It is nice to be able to let Abz use the camera without any thought to the photos being taken and the cost of getting them processed to find out what is in the camera.

The next day I was allowed a lie-in till 0715. I should think that this was because we watched a DVD last night and it finished later than we hoped. By 0830 we were underway with the cat again safely onboard and not happy at having its shore leave curtailed. Another sunny day and I almost but not quite got the shorts out but didn’t want to frighten the ducks.

We were making a straight run back to Saxilby as we had visitors coming in the afternoon.

During the trip through the Brayford it looked as though every vintage car in Lincoln had made an effort to get out in the fine weather and were holding a meeting at the pool. We later saw them as they passed us on the road to Gainsborough where the road and the canal run close by each other near Saxilby.

We hadn’t moored in Saxilby more than a few minutes when unusual engine noise could be heard from the roadway. It looked as though the farmers had the same idea as the vintage car owners. There were dozens of old tractors tuning into the pub carpark. One very chic lady had a pink Massey on which to ride.

Heidi and Syd had heard that I was thinking of painting the glass on the boat with Abz and kindly brought over a book and some paints for us to use. Heidi brought a food parcel to make sure that we had a snack for later and delicious the buns were too.

Shortly afterwards Ian and George arrived with the car for me to take Abz home. A couple of hours soon disappeared and with the visitors gone there just left the matter of returning Abz to Barton. Another weekend gone and we still haven’t made the salt dough but in three weeks it will be the first thing on the agenda.

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