Treading Water

2012: Made us sit up and think

Before moving here, we were fully aware that settling into a new marina in winter wouldn’t be easy. Well prepared as the gales and rain set in, with no let up before the ICE set in then? No. At least the boat was nice and warm inside.

Meantime we made ourselves familiar with the village, and went to the “Cafe Quiz” here at the marina where we made some good friends. It was nice to be socialising with folks again, but none of our new found friends were on our pier, so we didn’t see them day to day.

Of the four main things I mentioned yesterday that drew us here, only one worked out as planned.

  • The weather was still abysmal.
  • The plans for a swimming pool and spa here fell through.
  • Our plans for going out on longer journeys exploring rivers were abandoned, torrential rain all spring / summer meant they were all in flood.
  • The mooring fees worked out right, but that wasn’t important in comparison.

In March our next door neighbours arrived to live aboard their boat. We became good friends, lots of silly nights out and meals aboard TT. (Even feasts cooked on their boat were ferried round here because of the space we have). We also explored further afield together and found other pubs. Taking it in turns to be the designated driver.

A river cruise was out of the question due to the floods, so we went out on the boat whenever the sun came out, which was rare. We just stayed around Willington, moored up and walked down the towpath to the pub!

We went out early to find a mooring spot for the Queen’s Jubilee, there were all sorts of events supposed to be taking place in and around the village. Even on the towpath where we were all moored up! But it was a complete washout with torrential rain, so nothing happened. We all just stayed inside our boats and watched the events in London on TV instead, (also a let down). Badly presented, and about 3 seconds of air time with the cameras on the canal boats. One of which we knew but couldn’t see it. The BBC took some stick from the whole country for their poor coverage in general.

We even had to wait out the weather for a few days before setting off back to the marina it was so bad.

Later in the year we went out and moored up early for the beer festival, that was a complete and utter washout too. We were gifted with an hour one evening so we went to watch a rock band in a marquee.

I felt sorry for those who’d hired a boat for a week or so that summer hoping to avoid the terrible conditions. We saw them going past us sometimes, determined to stay on the move without being able to see (driving blind in the murk). One of them got stuck across the canal sideways and bumped into our bow. Experienced boaters know when to stay put…

The only event that got lucky was the brilliant two day festival here at the marina. The weather forecast was awful (as usual). But it only rained a couple of times for an hour or so, meantime we all huddled in the marquees with drinks!

In August we jetted off to Germany to stay with Liam, Maddy and Ryan. All of a sudden we were thrust into a constant 30 degrees of sunshine! (Factor 50 sunscreen helped a lot). It was such a BIG contrast, a real shock to the system, and of course as usual we had a wonderful time.

When we arrived back in dreary Britain, it was a turning point for us both. Yet in hindsight neither of us realised it at the time. Denial or Dreaming? Never mind, we carried on as normal.

But disillusionment set in. I said nothing, Dave said nothing. At first. Then one night we sat down and both came out with the same sentence at the same time. “I can’t do winters in this country anymore.”  So we discussed it at length. The weather here ruled the waves for us, and we were totally scuppered by it.

Not long after that conversation we went to a travel agent, no good looking online, we didn’t know where we wanted or what we wanted (except for the sun). We sat down with the manager and discussed options.

Note: If you’re looking for something other than a package holiday for 2 weeks, it’s the best only way to go about it. We already knew that because of our time spent in the USA renting villa’s over the years.

This time was a little bit different though, we had no specific country in mind! After two hours of discussing options and price range, we settled for the appeal of Spain. Turned out to be our dream, but we didn’t know it then. So we booked January to March 2013 in Benidorm when it’s quiet. Dipping our toes in the water, we were at a crossroad in life. This was a serious turning point for us, but we hadn’t realised the enormity or meaning of it…

New Years eve was a cracker (excuse pun), the “marina crowd” descended on a ticket only knees up party at the Dragon Pub. (Backs onto the canal). What a great night we all had. Best “New Years knees up” we’ve had in years…!

Spain booked – we set off into the sunset in two weeks time…


Here & Now: Uh Oh, Dave tripped over the charger cable to my laptop a few minutes ago and it fell on the floor sideways. Screen still alight, there it sat. Poor thing, it only gets a dust and polish about once a year, and I know for a fact there’s 3 dead flies under the keyboard somewhere. Not to worry. thy al stll wok rite so let’s not make a fuss.

Me: “If it’s f*cked I’ll be wanting a new one, and you’ll be paying.. An 800 quid jobby with bells, whistles and an integrated tea maker will do.” [Only the best etc]

Dave: “Bugger off.” [Shortened version]

Now then, the irony here is that even though my laptop is a higher spec. If that happened to his well groomed laptop it would be a major disaster even if it was ok. I mean he’s still got the plastic cover on the lid (god forbid when it starts peeling off at the corners). And he puts the foam mat between lid and keys back on before closing it up. He hasn’t quite grasped the fact that they stay shiny underneath even when covered in a year old layer of sh*t. In fact come to think of it a bit of dust might do the same job as it wearing protective clothing.

Factoid of the day: Did you know that dropping a laptop on the floor from less than a metre high is quite acceptable to them? Beyond a metre it’s fatal.

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