We drove down from Edinburgh yesterday to join Bartimaeus.  We rented a “car” to carry the tandem and all the other things we thought we should bring.  Although the back was very full, it was reassuring to know that the space it filled was smaller than the cabin of the boat.

We were both a little frazzled in the evening, but managed to stow most of our belongings in places that are good enough for now.  This morning we had to take the car “back” to the car hire company.  I had chosen a convenient nearby location at Bromsgrove.  Fortunately I checked the email version of the rental agreement, and noticed that the return location was Redditch.  So first thing this morning we set off for Redditch with only the tandem in the back of the car.

The journey down used 50 litres of diesel.  I wonder how long it will take us to use another 50 litres on the boat.  The instrumentation on the boat shows us that our 200 litre tank is half full just now, but today’s domestic requirements are being entirely met by solar power.

The 12 mile ride home was enjoyable, and the rain that kept threatening was no more than a few spits.  Rob, Ian and Caroline from Ortomarine came along to resolve one or two minor issues.  Top of my list was hot water and the microwave.  It turns out both of them work much better when they are switched on!

Once we were left to ourselves, we decided that setting off along the canal was too much like hard work.  So the plan is to spend a final night in Droitwich Spa Marina before heading off in the general direction of Waitrose and beyond tomorrow morning.

NB Bartimaeus