Thursday, 4 August 2011

Organised Chaos

Boating is a strange old existence!  You can cruise around the waterways for years on end and never, or rarely, see again boaters you have previously met.  Just by chance, somewhere and at some point every year so far, we have seen Ian and Alison on n/b “Nobby”  Here they are this year then on The Shroppie, like us, at Brewood.  Sad, sad news from them though – Bandit, their Springer spaniel and ‘love-at-first-sight’ where Maggie was concerned, developed arthritis of the spine and had to be put to sleep.  He was only the same age as Maggie.  Such a shame.  Katy, their other dog, is absolutely gorgeous and I’m glad to report – fit and fine.

The Arrival of The Claytons

DAY 1  Tuesday 2nd August – mid afternoon.  Phone call:-

“We’re in Brewood.  Where are you?”

Not there!  We’re a couple of miles away.”

John had previously cycled to a place where they could park the car and then walk across the fields to where the boat was moored but they needed to receive directions.

“OK”, says John.  “Go over the roundabout and pass “The Admiral Rodney” on your left.  Go over two crossroads ………..oh, you’re breaking up.  Can you hear me?  No?  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  I’ve lost you!”

5 minutes later:-   “Where are you now?” 

“Bridge 11.  We’ve made it!  I can see the canal and a man on a boat with a white hat.”

“Well I can’t because we’re near bridge 7!  Oh no, you’re breaking up again.  You n..d to go l..t, par. the .ar and then .alk along the ..idle .ath to mee. us.  What?  Sorry?  Can’t hear you.”  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

3 minutes later:-  “Right.  OK.  Can you see the pylons?  We should have met up by now!”

EVENTUALLY meet up we did with a mile to walk to the boat.  Mick’s bad knee and heavy bags to carry had not been considered AND they still had to book into the hotel!  A plan was hatched as follows:-                       

  • All to carry on walking to the boat, Mick hobbling and John carrying the bags.
  • COLD BEERS  John and Mick to cycle to retrieve the car and then go to book a reservation at the hotel in Brewood.
  • John and Mick to cycle 3 miles back to the boat resisting the temptation to call into “The Bridge Inn”.  COLD BEERS
  • Lots of food, lots of drink. lots of sunshine and lots of chat.
  • Mick and Lynn to cycle back to the hotel at the end of the evening leaving us with all four dogs.  NIGHTCAP

Mick & Lynn 008 (800x600)


The Claytons came for the evening and ……………… were coming back the next day too!




All went to plan …………… well, sort of!  Lynn had not ridden a bike for 40 years!!Mick & Lynn 006 (800x600)

“Oh,” agree the other three, “It’s easy.  You never forget Mick & Lynn 003 (800x600)how to ride a bike!”

And, for 2 miles she did really well.  The things you do in the name of Friendship!

Then, being confronted with increasing darkness, no lights, a narrowing tow path and a very muddy patch ……………. whoops!  A nasty encounter with bramble bushes!



BUT …… They’re bred tough in Liverpool!  She was only worried about the bike and rode it all the way back to the boat the following morning but with firm instructions that the boat be moved to the very convenient moorings at Bridge 14 by Brewood.

(By the way, I have confirmation that gel saddles are not all they’re cracked up to be!)

Four dogs on a small boat bed?      John Brewood 006 (800x600)Mick & Lynn 011 (800x600)


   Time for one human at least to give up and evacuate! 




DAY 2  We all piled in the car and went for a day out to Stourport.  We had a pub lunch, a wander around and a ‘nose’ at the new property developments taking place by the basin.  All very nice.

DAY 3  The poached eggs for breakfast at the hotel apparently arrived much more speedily AND it was only a 5 minute civilised walk from the hotel to the boat.  The rain began to fall and our ‘fair-weather’ friends (anything but!) departed.

A really good time was had by all. 

1 comment:

  1. It looks quite civilised!!!
    Arm healed up now
    It was soooooo lovely to see you. See you again soon xxxxx