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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.
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1. Jim and Helen come calling.
2. The Grandchildren.
3. All aboard for the Santa cruise.
4. Our Christmas Dinner (with the clock).
5. The magic of our little Christmas together.
6. Seeing in the New Year in quiet solitude.
At the end of November, Dave, an old friend from my RAF days together with his other half Alison came to visit. We hadn't seen each other for over fourteen years. It was great to catch up and share experiences of our foray into 'civilian' life, especially their sailing adventures on the high seas.
The first weekend of December saw my niece Debbie and her other half Graham came for Sunday lunch and brought with them a clock that I had left in their safe-keeping not long after we'd moved onto the boat. It had stood on a mantelpiece under a glass dome in my childhood home up until Mum died some twenty years ago and had never worked since. However, and to our surprise, the clock began to chime as soon as Deb's brought it onboard even while it was still in the box she had brought it in. It has kept perfect time and chimed on the hour and half-hour ever since. Not bad for an 1871 pendulum movement on a boat!. That clock has brought back very fond memories of my childhood and is a comforting reminder of the past. Welcome home.
The following week our great friends Helen and Jim then came for our pre-christmas lunch get-together, which has become an annual tradition and a pilgrimage on their part as they travel from their home near Nantwich every year, regardless of where we are, to meet up with us. It also gives us the opportunity to decide where we'll meet up to spend a few months of the coming year cruising together. We've decided to rendezvous at Copredy on the Oxford canal and
Make our way onto the upper reaches of the Thames before heading down to London. A trip we're looking forward too for a number of reasons, not least because it's where we started out from when we left Lechlade.
Then To Ginny's surprise our daughter Emma and son Craig brought their families to Gloucester Quays for the weekend prior to Christmas, staying in a hotel not far from where I had moored the boat in the docks. The twelve of us (four adults and six kids) then spent the weekend enjoying a 'Santa Cruise' (courtesy of the Waterways Museum), shopping, eating out and sight-seeing. It was sad to see them leave on the Sunday, but what a great reunion and one that brought a great deal of happiness to us all as proud parents and grandparents. Magic!
And to end a month of family and friends coming to visit, the last weekend saw our good friends Martin and Brenda appear over the horizon to meet up with us at Frampton-on-Severn where they stayed at The Bell overnight. As usual they came bearing cakes and all things high in calories offset by a box of clementines (the healthy option). We also had a fantastic evening meal at The Bell which came to just shy of ?100 and on asking for the bill we were told the manager had generously waived it as we were the 100th cover over Christmas. The food was truly excellent. I had the best Hock of Ham I've tasted since living in Germany some twenty-five years ago.
So that brought us to a quiet year's end.
5th Jan 2013, 15:47
Only a passing glimpse of a little sunshine.
It has rained on and off for most of the day here, I dare say it has most everywhere else too. Tomorrow is supposed to be even worse with heavy rain forecast day and night. I hope those who have been flooded-out in recent months are managing to cope with the continued uncertainty of will-it-won't-it happen again.
Now I know how Noah must have felt. At least his weather forecast enabled him to plan ahead with certainty.
27th Dec 2012, 19:54
1/2. Remembering Mum and Dad at this special time.
3. Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine.
25th Dec 2012, 10:09
As evening descends feathered friends seek to roost for the night.
17th Dec 2012, 17:45
16th Dec 2012, 19:03
There's always something to admire about water, however it appears to us.
15th Dec 2012, 23:53
1. Tuesday's last light.
2. Wednesday's foggy start to the day.
3. A cold-soaked landscape.
4. Round the bend!
5. Comfortably settled.
The surface of the canal slowly solidified into ice overnight on Tuesday, but with the OAT hovering around two degrees celsius since, the ice has melted away.
At dawn yesterday we were woken by the diesel fired central heating system automatically starting up. This was caused by the froststat in the bedroom sensing the temperature had fallen below five degrees C. That's what comes of sleeping with a window open. The central heating system guards against the temperature within the most vulnerable area of the boat dropping to zero. It's the first time it has fired up in over two years. We still slept with a window open again last night. Hardy folks us.
Up forward in the saloon, the wood-burner keeps the temperature at about twenty degrees C and a kettle hot for our first cuppa of the day. Just the job.
It's now late Wednesday night, zero degrees C outside and the ice is back. But if the weather forecast is anything to go by, it'll be gone by midday tomorrow.
13th Dec 2012, 01:19
Where three weeks ago a narrowboat swung gently against Quedgeley Wharf, the only clue left of its now submerged presence is the tiller bar and a gas bottle just visible below the surface where it sank.
I've added the second more recent photo showing a marker buoy over the 'wreck'.
10th Dec 2012, 17:53