Try A Little Tenderness

I had no plan to travel today as I was expecting to feel grotty after the covid booster. I was pleased to wake up feeling much the same as I had gone to bed. I had some tenderness of the arm and stiffness in the neck. I wasn’t sure if that was a reaction to the jab or stiff shoulders from cycling for the first time in a while and sitting knitting a lot. 

Shane is used to cycling a lot but again hasn’t done for a while and was a bit tired too. Still he had itchy tiller  or cabin fever, or whatever and wanted to get out and about or travel. He settled for going to see if he could get his flu jab in Droitwich and doing a little shopping and I decided to stay in and knit; partly because I didn’t want to overstretch myself when I might deteriorate, and because I felt I needed to progress that cardigan now that its intended recipient was actually born. I was distracted of course by social media, including posts on the new mum’s page. I was particularly moved by a photo of her wife holding  baby Rose up, eyes closed and rubbing noses with her – something about that tender moment was very touching. Does a booster make you sentimental? Possibly, but babies certainly do.

Shane returned bearing still-warm pasties from a bakery.  I was wondering if I was getting a temperature as feeling hot, but he said it was because it was very hot in here and switched the heating off. After lunch, Shane had a virtual get together with retired colleagues.

I decided to stretch my legs. Still a little hot and mildly achy joints and muscles – again… post cycling or post COVID jab? I think a bit of both. 

I just took a stroll around the marina. I had seen some ducks and pied wagtails but they had evaded the camera. I heard some very loud twittering – well they have to compete with the M5 as background. I could see starlings, but not sure if there were many more birds than I could see. But without leaves, I am not sure where else they are hiding. The ones I could see were perched at the tips of branches.

Starlings on a stark tree.

Quite a few narrowboats boats are named after songs or musical references. Today I saw one that amused me named after an idea from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a boat that is the answer to life, the universe and everything. Our family has enjoyed the radio version, the book, the TV series and the film.


Boat Quote from Douglas Adam’s novel

Another literary reference was more boat related – a boat named after another boat, in a book,  The Tales of Para Handy (also a TV series) and it was a favourite of my father’s and all written in a Scottish west coast accent, as it was recounted by the skipper of the boat. It had a very small crew – I’ve been on holiday in narrow boats with more than double the crew – and he was fiercely proud of her.


The Vital Spark in Droitwich

I have read The Vital Spark and for some reason, a memory came to mind this evening of a chapter where they end up carrying a small girl about 3 years old, the Skipper guesses, that has been left behind at a port and they were to take her to reunite her with her family. None of the crew are used to dealing with passengers at all especially not children, but they are immediately taken with her and buy some sweets and try to entertain her. They find her choking on one of the sweets and one suggests the Skipper hit her on the back.


” Hut her yoursel’; I wudna’ hurt her for the world,’ I says, and Dougie said he wudna do it either, but he ran up for the Tar, that hasna’ much feelin’s, and The Tar saved her life.”

Tales of Para Handy, Wee Teeny.

I had a nice chat with a chap just along from Vital Spark who was very delighted with his new boat. he hasn’t yet taken her out of the marina. He was very enthused with his purchase, though there were a few problems to overcome and  his wife waved at me enthusiastically from inside. At the end of our short chat, he said to me, as though I was a long lost friend, “Keep in touch!” 

Shortly after I got back, and while Shane was still on his video chat, we were surprised by the arrival of a man bearing gifts – table supports and a large table top. I helped him get it aboard and told him he’d made our Christmas! We are delighted to get it as it means we have more flexibility for eating and seating with guests and for ourselves. Shane has been trying all the permutations  and storing it isn’t a problem – it doubles as the door to the tandem cupboard.

You can never tell what is going to make someone’s day! A new life, a new friend, a new boat, a new table or a sunset.


Sunset before the fireworks
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