You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Over the last couple of days we have been heading closer to the rendezvous point for the sofa builder. The company specialises in one’s that are designed to fit in the dimensions of a narrow boat and to be delivered in chunks that fit through the boat doors and put together in situ. We expected this at the time of departure in July having ordered it in June. Occasional contact has been made when we were near but there has been a lengthy delay in receiving materials. (Again “If a man says he’ll do something, then he will; there is no need to remind him every 3 months.” springs to mind. Today we were within striking distance of the Tame Otter at Hopwas.

It was sunny but for various reasons, we had a late start. The sun made me over estimate the temperature and I optimistically went out in a light fleece and no winter coat. My hair was damp after a shower in the morning so my Spring-like apparel did not last long. I was not alone in my optimism though. Out on the back deck area, there was a ladybird. It might be the one we have spotted (no pun intended) inside the boat a few times over the last few weeks.



A ladybird is spotted (pun intended).

The paintwork looked spotted too, with muddy drips. The water tank is at the front and Shane recently hosed down the bow well and washed the windows of the front doors, when we saw mud spattered there, possibly a passing mountain bike. The tow paths have been very muddy lately. It looks like we need to do a little clean up at the back too. Wet fenders dripping might be the cause here.

Moving along continues to bring new experiences, even when it is retracing our route. In the sun, people on their boats had their doors and windows open more , so one heard me point out an intricate ropework bow fender and popped his head out to say “so you like my ‘boat beard’ do you?”  There was evidence too of a boater who was using the towpath for an unusual outside exercise.

Al Fresco Punch

There really is not much space inside a narrowboat for a punch bag to swing. Ships are known to have room to swing a cat and to have real cats to catch rats. Mostly we see dogs on narrowbats but some have cats and today I saw a boat with a catflap in its door.

Somewhere scenic but not for exploring were the woods with signs saying “military firing range” an a red flag was up, though I didn’t hear any shots. We were hurrying through and all my pictures were blurred but can’t resist sharing the bemusing juxtaposition of a Danger Keep Out sign and a rope swing! Someone has a strong sense of adventure!

As we were mooring at the Tame Otter a woman greeted me as she came along  the towpath “how’s it going?”

” Fine, and you?”

“Could be better” she said. She asked if we had seen water. There was no tap nearby and her boat had broken down, so she could not travel the miles to get to a tap. We offered some to her (we have emergency stored bottles) but meantime she has bought a 5 litre bottle herself. We met her coming back from the shop to assure her we would help with anything she needed and we would leave our spare bottles outside if she needed to help herself later. She had bad luck coming up to water taps that were broken, and refused the use of one as it was private. I am well impressed at her boating alone in the winter, definitely an adventure. She has not had the boat long and it has broken down 3 times, but she is expecting someone to fix it in the morning. So both of us are moored up next to each other waiting for a man to come and do a job tomorrow. Here’s hoping!