Yesterday, as we set off, a man, as people often do, detected I wasn’t local and asked where I was from. My accent isn’t Edinburgh and many think Fochabers is a swear word, so I was just saying Morayshire and this guy said he often holidayed in Speybay, where he enjoys fishing. Then I dared say “Fochabers” and he knew the hotel there. It often hosts people who come to fish for salmon. He asked me when I was last there (Last time I was in Fochabers we stayed in that very hotel and our tandem was stored in “the fish house”) and that he was hoping to retire to Fochabers. How amazing to have that chance encounter.
Last night, after blogging, we went to look at the sunset and came past a beautiful boat with the Gaelic spelling of Taynuilt on it. A lady was sitting outside and we stopped to speak and she was surprised we knew about Taynuilt and I told her my aunt and uncle lived there, though they had both died many years ago. Still she did know who they were! We carried on chatting with her and her family and found they had lived in Norfolk as that’s where her husband was from and we said our son had just got a job in Norfolk and she asked further, what part, so we named the nearby town then her daughter said they been to the beach there recently and that her daughters had been to the residential activity centre, where Bryn is. We had seen from their boat that there was a Scottish connection, but didn’t expect an English one.
This morning we waved to them as we passed on our next leg. I found I was struggling with the wind a bit when waiting to get into locks and not steering as well or enjoying driving so much. Shane was happy to swap over. At one lock there was someone sitting with a guitar, and as I approached I was looking forward to hearing music while I worked, but in stead he put down the guitar and came over to admire the dragon on the boat and then went to chat to Shane about Bartimaeus, while I worked the lock. No music but it seemed we entertained him a little in stead.
We have stopped early as the next section didn’t have a pleasant looking mooring spot for a while and have escaped a shower of rain and have managed to fix the bow fender. I noticed that the chain was broken just on the last lock and it was no longer a useful cushion. We’ll see how long the repair lasts. Shane has done sterling work with pliers and a mallet but 20 tonnes of boat may just exert stronger forces.
We have a pleasant rural spot and there has been a heron around. Each time I try to photograph a heron, it is not great. Will keep trying. The early mooring will let me get on with my knitting. It’s a picture of the water of Leith and some of its wildlife and I am half way through a heron in it.