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Thursday, 31 January 2019

A Trip to Stone, family stuff and GOODBYE JANUARY!!!!!!!!

Oh you're still with me then? - that's nice... I wouldn't blame you of course for skipping on to more 'boaty, boating blogs right now'... I probably would have prior to 14th January.  Since however, I find myself some kind of 'extreme EM-PATH'...with the unsettling ability to feel the pain (or imagine feeling the pain) of other people in their own - actual (or perceived/imagined by my brain) purgatory).

It's not nice but I think it might actually be a good thing.

Anyway  - I'll try not to harp on too much about the rawness and shock at how things are at the moment... instead we'll have an update on boaty stuff. 

BEFORE then, I just wanted to say another 'thank you' to the many folk who've either commented on here (I've lost the option to reply individually for some reason) and those who've emailed either by the contact form on the website or direct to me at NB ELLIS's account...  I truly do appreciate your understanding and sentiments.

You'll recall, initially, booking a car hire had for a week had seemed almost as cheap as the 3 days we actually needed...  well that was the case until I added the excess insurances etc.  Having "sucked it up" as our Canadian friends would say,  we though't we'd make best use of the car and planned a few trips before it's return.  Thanks to comments left on here, I NOW know it's best to buy and annual insurance policy to cover this and it will save us loads in the future... If I try and look who it was told me, I'll end up losing this posting so if it was YOU - (and I should remember because I feel like I know you already) THANKS for the info... I looked into it and found a policy for just over 40 quid...

On Friday, we came up with a plan.  The first part of it was our friend Sally (of 'Wine Wednesday fame') coming over from Harrogate for tea and a few drinks and staying the night... well I thought that was the plan but it turned out she'd stay over with Sheree (the tall fire-engine blonde one)... so as it was, we re-created a 'wine Wednesday' on Friday night in the Stanley Ferry. 

Andy is STILL doing dry January and is going to keep it up as long through the year as he can - For obvious reasons MY commitment to it, has at best, been somewhat flakey this last couple of weeks - I'd not totally abandoned it... in fact, the last few days I've been back to it... actually finding it reduces how maudlin i feel when the evening drags on.

ANYWAY - after we'd eaten and Sally and I had drank a few bottles of something a bit nicer than the house stuff  (which is awful but for a fiver on 'wine Wednesdays' is tolerable, we went our separate ways until morning. 

Somewhere along the line, we'd arranged rather than Sally getting the train back to Harrogate on Saturday morning, AS we'd planned to have a drive back up north to see Cliff, we'd go that way and give her a lift.  THAT way, we could have a nosey around Sall's new house that we'd not yet been to.

Once we dropped her off (btw, she's got a LOVELY BATH that we hope to be in at some point) we continued the journey to my dads.  Ahem, he was out!

It WOULD have been an idea to phone ahead first to say we were coming but tbh, when I called the other day and got the answer phone - the message on it being 'Mum' it set me off into a blubbering wreck for an hour or so... ergo, I figured we'd take a chance.

As it happened, I sent my niece a message and we took the opportunity to go and visit the house she and her boyfriend (the vicars son) have just bought and renovated.  Only thing was, I couldn't quite remember where it was... add to that the  fact the roads have changed since I were a lad, it did mean quite an interesting tour of the North Yorkshire back roads - with intermittent phone signals preventing any meaning full exchange of directional info... no matter, we got there in the end they met us there for the grand tour.  Mum would be pleased to see them settled in and the house will suit them well.

We left and then went back to my dad's - who it turned out had been food shopping.  We spent an hour or so there and then returned to the boat... which of course was freezing as the fire had gone out. Only one thing for it... re-light it, put the heating on (and engine) and have tea in the pub whilst it warmed up.

Sunday's plan was to head down to  Stone to visit our friends Eddie and Wendy - (the ones we traveled with a fair bit last year) and take a look at Aston Marina where they've been ensconced for the winter.  It was SO lovely to see them and despite a few wobbles when we talked about our recent losses (Ed's mam died recently too), they were a tonic yet again...  They'd invited us to stay for the night but (wanting a bath) we ended up in the Stone house hotel... which was OK and not very expensive... nice bathroom. 

We had a good look around the Marina facilities and made the decision there and then that we'll come there December thru February coming...  We LIKE moving around but what with all THIS years stoppage season putting the kibosh on many of our plans, we may as well sit out the worst 3 months of the weather with the luxury of shoreline ... battery charging when not moving and during the time the solar is doing nothing, is a bit of  a bind.

Spending a few months on Shoreline ALSO gives us the opportunity (if finances allow) for us to have a "holiday" somewhere warm in January...  January now being my least favorite month of the year for obvious reasons.

When Monday morning revealed her self, we got up bright and early and set off down to Wolverhampton .  Andy's folks now live there and he's got an Uncle who's pretty much on his last legs (physically)...  it had been my suggestion to go and see him whilst he would appreciate it, rather than wait until a funeral. It's/it'd always been one of 'mum's' things...  I can't count the number of times she'd said "I'd MUCH rather people come to see me when I'm alive than traipse out to my funeral"... and she meant it...

HENCE the visit to Andy's family...  His Uncle treated us all to lunch and it was nice for them all to be together... to create a memory rather than a regret.    I won't lie - it was a bit grueling for me... my brain kept wandering off and I did have to make a break for the loos in the pub to blub.  No matter - point is, it was the right thing to do and Andy feels good about it.

After dropping his Uncle off, we went back to his folks house for (in my case) a Gin and we set off back up north around half 3/4 o'clock. 

ONCE again, getting back to a freezing cold boat (36 hours with no-one on board) so i was another 'light fire, start engine, turn heating on' and head to the pub night...

Tuesday was a day of chores with the car before returning it yesterday morning... another 10 bags of coal, diesel and heavy shopping etc.  We should have enough coal on now to take us to early April - after which we'll use the heating for cold spells. 

I've also  began working through my list of "jobs"... first thing was a quick water filter change...

and today... in fact in about 30 mins when the engine cools down enough not to burn me,  I'm going to change the oil and filters - it already being just over 200 hours since I last did it. 

I think tomorrow, we'll pull anchor and depart Stanley Ferry - to resume out planned jaunt up to Slaithwaite on the Huddersfield Narrow.  First things first... time for another cup of tea and a bacon sarny. 

Until next time...

1 comment:

Ade said...

Nice 1 Mark a cup of tea and a bacon sarny can be just the ticket for a lot of things?