Can’t You Hear Me Knocking

When we had moored up last night, there was a boat moored a little behind us, also electric. It had picked the spot Shane favoured with the best sun on the roof. I was inside when I heard a voice. Shane was sitting outside and the man from that boat had walked up to introduce himself, Nigel, and I came out to join them. Shane was hoping to eat outside before sunset and enjoy the last of the warmth, so I excused myself to rustle up a swift meal and left them to discuss solar panels and hybrid engines. We made it just in time and were also treated to a brief sight of a green woodpecker perched on a post. We heard it and looked over then it flew off. I don’t mean we heard it knocking on the post, like people might expect of a woodpecker, it was it’s very distinctive, and carrying, hooping call. We so often hear it but see nothing.

This morning I was late to waken. Apart from bird cries, now that the weather is warmer there are more boats about and as they pass, as we weren’t tightly moored, the boat moves and the fenders knock against the side of our bedroom wall. Shane was up but I had snoozed on but when I rose I hadn’t heard knocking but could hear the banging of a mooring mallet on a spike. This is a less common morning noise. I poked my head out the front and saw Shane with the hammer in his hand knocking the spike in. I asked if the spike had come loose and he said the other boat had left and he had moved Bartimaeus back into the spot with maximum sunshine. Being a day of sunshine and no hurry we had no other plans to move the boat, but I hadn’t realised we were actually going to go backwards.

I had poetry to think about and Shane had an electrical problem he wished to resolve. He called me occasionally to help poke a wire through to the cupboard where was crouched, or to hold the second probe in the voltmeter. I scored a point when he was puzzled that he was getting no reading on it when measuring something he had plugged into the mains. I asked if the inverter was switched on, and no, it wasn’t. It always works better switched on.

He spent all morning and a good part of the afternoon on rewiring tasks. It was taking all his attention. In fact, he had to focus so hard on it that he needed two pairs of glasses.

Shane really focussing on dismantling a charger socket.

In the late morning I heard call from outside. People are reluctant to step aboard uninvited so you don’t usually get a knock on the door. In any case our door was open so a voice was all that was needed. It was a fisherman who had noticed we were adrift. I came out and he and I pulled on the middle rope until the bow was close enough for me to get on and lift the spike and rope out of the water. When you are a lone boat at the side, people are reluctant to slow down and we could hear that the engine notes did not always change. A boat was approaching just then and was a case in point. Shane had arrived and hurried to hammer the spike in before we were pulled out again. They had been wondering why we were across the water and I explained it’s what happens when a boat passes too fast.

For lunch we decided to enjoy the nice weather and cycle to the cafe we had visited yesterday by the Daventry reservoir. We passed the fisherman and thanked him again for his help.. The path was excellent and it was a lovely day to cycle. A canal and river trust employee passed us and she said to us it was the best way to travel. The tandem brought a smile to a few faces and a few chats with others at the cafe. We popped into Daventry to shop and could hear a busker singing Chasing Cars, in the pedestrianised shopping area. I made a dash back in as I had remembered we were well through the Pimm’s and it wouldn’t do to run out on a day like this. He was singing “You fill up my senses” when I came out triumphant with the bottle so I had that looping round my head on the way home.

Shane was still tinkering in the afternoon and I took up my knitting. Then he declared it Pimm’s o’clock and we sat outside with our drinks. I took some time to stroll down the towpath and heard and saw lots of little birds, a robin, chiffchaffs, long tailed tits and wrens. It was a great day to have all the time in the world to listen to the birds. The field beyond the hedge had all the time in the world too as there were the more dandelion clocks than I have seen in a while.

Dandelion clocks, no ticking

It was another evening to sit outside for dinner and for a change I had planned ahead what I was making having soaked some lentils overnight. It was a warm enough evening that it didn’t even go cold while I searched for the phone stand and we faffed about knocking up a suitable propping arrangement for a photo. Shane will start enjoying himself once he starts eating.

Al fresco dining, starting any minute now

We heard some plopping and sploshing and saw a fish jumping well clear of the water. A boat chugged past with its tunnel light on. It wasn’t dark yet and it had a while before he hits a tunnel. We chose to have a short stroll after dinner before we lost all the light.

It’s a wrap. Sunset over wrapped hay bales
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