Yes, it was a golden era, boat jobs finally done with, over 20 grand spent. It was time to have REAL FUN AFLOAT…!
We were lucky enough to have some very good friends on our pier. We all had so much in common, and so much time to have a laugh. There were 6 of us daft buggers, in hindsight it was a whirlwind year of constant hilarity.
First of all, our names:
- Heth the Feth (moi)
- Dave the Rope (my beloved one)
- Liz the Wiz
- Mark BEE (her beloved one)
- Mark the Spark
- Bin (his beloved one – she has a long name, so it got shortened somewhat)
- Oh, and Tony the Mop made a brief re-appearance while he had
his bum blackedhis boat’s bum blacked
We were also all very fortunate to be retired young, (below the golden age of 60), or have businesses that other people took care of. But still “common as muck” as Vera would say. No airs and graces with us renegades…
If the weather was nice, we’d all be out on the cut together in our boats sharing BBQ’s with exploding beef burgers, singed sausages, and charcoal chicken.
No matter what the weather, we went and
won lost the local pub quiz every week. Our team name? “The No Hopers.”
The team name that always won was called: “Nicky Nacky Noo” close friends of the quiz master we reckon it was rigged. Oh dear, it was so serious for them, they each had little notebooks to pass round so no-one from another team could lip read. And after they’d won the prize money, that was it, they all packed up and went home. How boring, they all talked dead posh too and only drank fizzy water. After several months of this, the rest of us plebs all got round to booing them big style. [I mean the whole pub, not just us twerps]
Always present and correct at the quiz were the “Parish Council,” it wasn’t their team name. But that’s what they all resembled, so it’s what we secretly called them. (Hats with netting on and Zimmer frames with tinsel were carted in). Perhaps that would be better phrased as the Zimmer frames and netted hats carried them in.
Then there was “Kenny Rogers” (spit image of him), but his real name wasn’t Kenny. However, one night Wiz called him Kenny by mistake, he had his back to us at the time and she blamed me! “Err, no, um, well it goes like this.” (Make up an excuse quick). I did, but it didn’t work!
Just a flavour of the several thousand totally daft stories I could tell, yet more potential for another best seller book…
Oh, and lets not forget the night some other friends joined us. My glasses ended up being worn by someone else who made their way to the toilet by following the walls. Meantime I fell backwards off my chair laughing at something else, it had nothing whatsoever to do with my glasses going walk about. So there I was sprawled on the floor with a crowd of people trying to help me up, including the landlord (hey, lets not get sued here).
After I’d been rescued, I realised my glasses were missing, so everyone ended up on their hands and knees doing a fingertip search. Then my friend who’d fumbled off with them suddenly re-appeared with arms a waving so she didn’t bump into anything. Ah! We were all so happy, even though she was walking in the wrong direction…
In August we went to stay with our son, his wife and our baby grandson in Germany. EXTRA EXTRA special, first time we’d seen them all since they were married in December 2010.
Then in November our house was sold. Boat paid off, we were free to move somewhere else, (more central) on the canal system. Other advantages:
- Further down south away from the abysmal weather.
- Cheaper mooring fees, hey, here at Mercia we don’t pay for the dead water at the side of us on a double mooring. A thousand quid less per year.
- They were supposed to be building a swimming pool and spa here, wow!
- Easy access to the Trent & Mersey, we were going to do the rivers too, we had it all worked out, or thought we did.
So in December 2011 we had TT craned out of the water at St Mary’s marina. She was slapped on the back of an extendable lorry, driven down to Mercia marina and plonked back in. Check out the state of the kitchen. Four grand it cost us to have her moved by road and that’s what greeted us once she was in the water again. (Yes, we’d strapped everything down) must’ve been one hell of a bang to move a fridge freezer. Looking on the bright side it was all cosmetic, but that was no consolation at the time…
But even so, tearing ourselves away from our friends at St Mary’s was was even more devastating. Over 40 people turned up to say goodbye. We were all in tears.
Mercia marina is beautiful and we’ve made good friends here too, but it’s not the same. In hindsight our golden era of life afloat had gone.
There’s more to it, but that’s all about 2012…