Attics and Canals

What a busy time. After Guernsey we went to help Mum empty her attic. My family have farmed under Glastonbury Tor for 4 generations, and over 100 years. Over that time you can imagine that the attic contained a vast array of stuff. Some of it not examined for many years. We spent a few days passing everything down through the hatch and fortunately the weather was brilliant so we could take it straight outside to sort and dust before deciding whether it was to be taken to the charity shop, the dump, burnt or kept. Our work resulted in the local Hospice charity shop benefiting hugely with amongst other things some lovely, if not dated, crockery and piles of books. All those ‘useful’ half full pots of paint, the particularly useful box of broken glass, old carpets and other sundry, very old and unsafe, electrical items found the way to the tip and we had several large bonfires with boxes of items long since despatched. We did find some lovely things like my Grandmothers cheese making certificates, postcard collections, some precious photos and my mums childhood lead farm complete with a whole set of animals. The attic is now empty and hoovered.

Last Friday we then set off for Crick Boat Show and narrow boat festival.

ImageOne of our long held plans for retirement was to find ourselves a canal boat to travel all the navigable connected waterways, but the search continued some two years after we started looking. This year we were off to the show for all three days in our camper van to see what we could find. We had a splendid time setting up in the sun before the rain started and it did get a bit muddy. Good job we’d included the wellies. We looked at loads of gorgeous boats, at a range of different prices, enjoyed being entertained by Toyah Willcox, Sean Cannon and Murphy’s Marbles, Big O and Wilburys Tribute Show and were challenged by a very full and comprehensive beer list! Those readers concerned about our health will be reassured to know that they ran low on supplies before we got to try them all!!

Image

On Sunday, we went to view ‘Speedy Whippet’, a narrowboat built by Aqua Narrowboats. We loved the fit and feel and asked if they happened to have any second hand ones. Alex, the owners son, explained about ‘Eunoia’. Five years old, reverse lay out, cross bed, same sort of style and quality as the ‘Speedy Whippet’, for sale as the owners were having a new one built, bigger to accommodate more grandchildren. We spoke to Justin the owner of Aqua Narrowboats who confirmed everything Alex had said and then pointed out that the owners of ‘Eunoia’ were just over there – pointing to the land. We had a hasty introduction to Mel and Pete and found out that we lived a mere 13 miles apart. Mel gave us a good briefing on ‘Eunoia’ and described her, their travels and Aqua Narrowboats with much love, before we arranged to go and view her the next day. What a set of circumstances that all fitted together to make us feel that this was meant to be. 

Monday arrived eventually and we got off the camping field without needing to be towed (not sure that those later on in the day will have been so lucky) and made our way to Mercia Marina where we were greeted by Mel. ‘Eunoia’ was just as wonderful as we anticipated and we had great pleasure in agreeing to purchase her. Since then we’ve been welcomed by Mel and Pete as friends, shared dinner together, they’ve gifted us our first pot of Brasso (for all those portholes) and can’t wait to start enjoying the next part of our retirement.

Image‘Eunoia’, which means ‘beautiful thinking’, is the shortest English word to contain all five vowels.

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