My Funny Valentine

It is a good job we weren’t hoping for a romantic day with roses, presents and a special day trip. For one thing, our canal travels are a special trip with new surprises round many a corner. Fortunately we are reasonably adaptable as plans often get altered along the way. We have spent a while longer in Derbyshire/Staffordshire than expected for instance.

First thing this morning Shane had an appointment at the hospital. This time it was with the doctor who was unavailable last time but appears to be head of the team. Though the results are not back from the lab yet, he is confident that this is cancerous and needs further scanning, removing, a bit of skin grafting and possible radiotherapy. The good news is the doctor is positive about the final prognosis and Shane likes his manner and trusts in him.

After a discussion about our possible options for what might happen over the course of his treatment, we turned our minds back to the immediate plans for the coming day and week, before the next appointment. We left the boat together but went our separate ways as I went to buy groceries and Shane went to buy wood for the shelf edging, so that items are not thrown off by any bumps or rolls. Boat shelving does not stay level.

At the supermarket checkout, while scanning my items, the till operator turned round to a colleague and said ” You are the handsomest one in here, hands down, no doubt about it at all !” He didn’t respond. Unrequited love or casual banter? I don’t know if this is her usual workplace chat or a special Valentine’s declaration. It is two years before a girl can propose after all. Funnily enough Shane had a leap year exchange at his appointment when the doctor said the consultants would check their diaries but probably one check might take place on the 28th and the next procedure on the 29th. Shane said he thought it would probably be the first of March.

I was back at the boat before Shane and I realised that I may never have opened the boat with my key. Shane’s key is always to hand in his pocket, so when we are out together,  he usually opens the door. Often I go shopping on my own, but Shane is in the boat and so it is not locked. The few occasions I may have come in might have been when we use the tandem and I open up while Shane holds the tandem ( or vice versa) but usually using Shane’s key.  I can’t remember if I have used my back door key, rather than borrowing Shane’s. I realised I might be doing more letting myself in, during the coming weeks.




Key to the door on Valentine’s Day

This might be the only heart reference for today. More time in this vicinity is a certainty. It is fortunate that we are in a good place for reaching the hospital for appointments and reaching facilities for the boat. We were moored nearer the hospital than our flat in Edinburgh is to the the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, and he has received excellent prompt treatment so far, so we are not tempted to move back. The Meadows has lovely displays of Spring flowers and I am looking forward to seeing a golden host in this park next month.


Daffodil shoots at Shobnall Park -a small hint of a Spring display to come

When the sun peeped out we set off. The wind was initially swinging us across and pinning us to the other bank but all was fine once underway. It was a short trip for charging batteries and turning round to go and get water, also it was practice for me to do some more manoeuvring practice. The winding spot was opposite a small marina and we thought we might ask there if there were any spaces for mooring as it is the nearest to the hospital and could be a place to stay charged up and have water etc available. We turned slowly but surely then had to reverse to moor up  which turned out to be trickier than we expected but made it eventually. I found my way to the entrance on foot, which as usual was more circuitous than by water, and the office was closed. A friendly resident offered some information, so we can phone another day and at least I know one of the people there is welcoming!

We set off for the water point, back past the park where we had been moored, through the lock, Benny and I had worked on Saturday, but this time Shane worked it and I drove through. Shane went to the front to help guide / spot for me ahead of the water point as we would be turning and  reversing in to the water point. Then in stead he waved and pointed signalling to moor up in stead. I guessed someone must be on the watering point so we would have to wait. Another issue if you are handling a boat alone is that, steering from the back, you find out later what is ahead. Once we came in to the side, I could see the boat on the watering point. This time the mooring was smooth.

We waited a while and tried charging by running the engine disengaged from the propeller and it didn’t take long. By the time the other boat moved off, we had decided to stay moored here and get water tomorrow as we are in no hurry and are fully charged. We didn’t manage to achieve our objectives as planned but it has all worked out fine and I continued to learn more about running the boat. I now have the app with the control screen on my phone too. While we were waiting we had seen a lovely rainbow. A symbol of hope is always welcome.

Rainbow ahead
The view of the boat at the watering point next to the bridge ( across the canal in the left) from Bartimaeus
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