Wednesday 26 December 2012

Christmas afloat

It was a strange experience being in this weather at Christmas.  No Carols by Candlelight on tv, no cicadas making racket, no flies buzzing....

Christmas Eve there was the boaters lunch in one of the marina huts. Luckily the large one was available as there were more in attendance than the usual afternoon tea.  A new attendee was Paul from nb Caxton who was ushered into the hut just an hour after arriving back from Australia. He managed well to stay awake for another couple of hours.  Lunch continued on beyond afternoon tea and before we knew it the sky was dark.  Ray from nb Ferndale returned from Heathrow with daughter Sam, also just arrived from Australia.  There was also a new couple and their visitors but I can't for the life of me recall their names.  I'll have to ask.

After such a big afternoon Mick was a bit "under the weather" and fell asleep early. Awake on my own I encountered my first bout of homesickness. It certainly doesn't help that we're living with a bit if chaos at the moment.  After years of renovating at home we'd been used to the house being spotless all the time.  Being surrounded by clutter feels awful.

This morning we thought we'd go for a walk but before we left we heard a boat engine start up. It was nb Winton's Folly about to head into Stone. We hopped on board and worked the Aston Lock for them, along with the "assistance" of a couple of very little boys walking along the towpath with their parents. They were very excited to see the boat.... and so were we.... to be out of the marina!  We've decided we will have to go cruising soon.  We got off the boat at the next bridge for the short walk back across the marina field.

Coming back in the gate of our pontoon we bumped into Roland and his wife, Bev from nb Klara. They came along with us to have a look at our boat and we enjoyed a good chat with them. More reassurance to hear yet another story of a few hiccups. Why on earth did we think we'd just get on board and cruise off into the sunset?  Well..... not quite but we definitely weren't prepared for those first few weeks.

When they left it was time to walk to the Three Crowns for our lunch.  We enjoyed the meal and not having to cook or clean up.  A good Christmas present!  It had been drizzling as we walked there but the weather had cleared in time for the walk back.  We had an amble around the marina before getting back on board for a quiet afternoon.  We did notice that the marina bistro was far from full, in fact there were only a handful of occupied tables.  We had originally thought to have Christmas lunch there but at almost double the price of the lovely lunch we had at the Three Crowns we're glad of our choice.  I think it was a 6 course meal at the bistro but our three courses was more than enough.  We couldn't even finish that.

Weather for Stone, UK
Currently : 5°C
Tue : Chance of rain, Max 7° Min 3°
Wed : Chance of rain, Max 7° Min 3°
Thu : Chance of rain, Max 6° Min 2°
Fri : Chance of rain, Max 12° Min 5°

Weather for Bendigo, Australia
Currently : 10°C
Tue : Clear, Max 29° Min 14°
Wed : Mostly sunny, Max 34° Min 12°
Thu : Clear, Max 29° Min 10°
Fri : Mostly sunny, Max 31° Min 12°

Photos :
1. Jean (nb Josephine), Diane (nb Ferndale), Rebecca (nb Ferndale visitor)
2. Gordon (nb Ewn Ha Cul), Paul & Elaine (nb Caxton) with Sam gazing at his favourite person, Andy, (nb Josephine)
3. 2 visitors, new attendee (name to come), Dot (nb Ewn Ha Cul)
4. Elly, Carol & Barry (nb Winton's Folly), Mick
5. Roland & Bev (nb Klara), new attendee (name to come)
6. Rebecca & Sam (nb Ferndale visiting sisters)
7. A trip out of the marina - lots of horn tooting as we headed out
8. A family of gongoozlers at Aston Lock
9. Barry and Carol (nb Winton's Folly)
10. The sun desperately trying to get through as we return to the marina


Jill, Matilda Rose said...

Don't they have any heating in there?

Unknown said...

The trouble is you see you didn't come far enough. When Winton turned I offered some help mooring. Barry got his new trousers dirty. He He!

Jodi Living Simply said...

Merry Christmas Elly and Mick. I spent 2 Christmas' in England and must say they didn't really feel like Christmas being cold. I had Christmas in July in the US once and got really homesick then as it was Christmas weather although not Christmas time but with all the food and celebration.

Elly and Mick said...

Jill, they do have heaters but you have to pay for using them. Usually we're all huddled in one of the smaller huts when the bistro is closed but it really was getting quite chilly by the time we vacated the large one on xmas eve!

Maffi, so we could have let him off the boat to slosh about in the mud at the lock!

Jodi, Merry Christmas to you too. Why on earth would they want to do Xmas in July in the US? They have the cold weather for roast dinners at the right time anyway! That's actually what it felt like to me, this Christmas.... Christmas in July. There was the decorations and the food but not the right weather.