Recently it became apparent from their blog, that their route plan would bring them through Wakefield and as such, a dialogue was opened. I make no secret of the fact I was desperate to get a good look on their boat and they very graciously invited us on to it for drinks yesterday afternoon.
That's one of the good things about boaters - like I mentioned in my most recent posting, 99/100 of them have a natural willingness to make new friends and inbuilt hospitality...Doug and James are no exception.
The plan was to meet them at the visitor moorings about 4.30 ... which did mean a bit of a dash home from work and clean up for me. Luckily, at the moment I'm in wood-working mode so it was "clean muck" if you follow.
On route, we noticed the traffic was going rather slowly and it wasn't until we got to the round-a-bout, that we noticed a bee keeper trying to 'gather' a swarm that had set up tempory home around a plastic bollard.
You may note from the next photo, the "photographer" getting a bit too close for comfort... rather him than me!
We parked at the Ruddy Duck and wandered down to the visitor moorings. Considering the boat is 5 years old now, the paint work is immaculate. You can tell they both care about it and it's a credit to them.
Once again I was able to have a good rummage around inside cupboards (to see how they are put together) complete with a glass of fiz in hand... which then progressed to wine and before long, I was feeling rather squiffy - THAT'S the problem of drinking on an empty head! ... ANDY however is still dry since doing "dry January" and carrying on.... the positive side to this being I could drink his share.
I took a photo of the saloon and galley - it would have seemed rude of me to ask them to get out of the way...
I remember reading the reviews at the time but never thought we'd end up on the boat!
Given the proximity of the pub, we trolled off to have an early tea (for the benefit of any non-northern readers, this is more commonly referred to as 'dinner')
I'm not sure if Andy and I will be able to go back in again for a while as the 'drinking contingent' were quite ... how shall I put it? ... raucous! When the bill came, James very kindly insisted on treating us - which was lovely as our funds are extremely limited at the moment whilst we try and cobble together the final balance due for the boat.
On route back for coffee, I snapped a couple of pics of the outside -
NOTE their friends boat behind them...
AS I'd had a fair few drinks by now, on passing their open side hatch, Doug was having a chat and I couldn't resist an opportunity for a look in another boat.
In hindsight, climbing through the hatch from the towpath wasn't such a good idea, as this morning I appear to have torn something in my left calf - THAT'LL teach me to go head first into someone's lounge.
Pauline and Neil were very accommodating of my intrusion and didn't seem to object TOO much to me taking photos inside their kitchen cupboards of the gas piping... ANDY was of course a little embarrassed again but after 10 years, has stopped apologising for me!
It really was a fun evening and lovely to be able to discuss boating (and non boating stuff) with a friendly, well informed bunch of people.
THIS morning however, at 5.30 when my alarm went off - boy did I feel rough! Never again... well, until next time...