Weekending Sunday 8th July 2012

After all the excitement of family meetings we’re off to the country, away from Gloucester docks before the gulls turn our boat completely white.

But first we called on Derek and Sheila on nb.Clarence for coffee and to muse over next year’s plans.
As sometimes happens, while the girls talk about social arrangements like where to spend Christmas the boys talk about salt water crossings between canals.

Talking of which, there’s a boat on the G&S with a notice in the window “Interested in doing the Severn? – Tfn: nnnnnnn”. What a good idea, why don’t we do more of that.

But for now it was back down to Saul to meet up with John and Beth, friends from the 70’s.
You can only do so much nattering in the boat so we took a chance with the weather and walked to the Severn, along the old Stroudwater Canal to Framilode. Sticky underfoot in places where the sun hasn’t reached but a pleasant walk, bordering on the humid.

Conversation topics included aches and pains, things we did in the 70s and what the kids have got up to since we last shared news. Who cares if the body is packing up as long as the memory is still working.

Saw some familiar faces during the week – like us, Terry and Pam (Roosters’ Rest) cruise up and down the cut making the most of the summer before it turns hot and dry.
Roosters Rest

I’ve noticed a pattern to the mooring wardens’ activities on this stretch of canal. Boat checks just after 8am followed by Gotcha Squad the following morning.
It’s a bit unnerving seeing the Virago descend from nowhere, whop a notice on a boat and zoom off again.

There’s no time to make a dash for it, they appear out of the morning mist before the sun has dried the cobwebs. The mooring warden’s job is done, today is the day of reckoning.

It wasn’t us, I hasten to say, the guy in front got it this time.

Funny old weather isn’t it. Can’t get up any enthusiasm to start a project and whatever we do involves going outside with a 90% chance of getting wet. This weather I would happily change our cruiser stern for a trad, at least I could get on and finish an overdue oil change.

V and I have competitions to see who can find an accurate weather forecasting website for mobile phones.
I favour Yourweather because they are so clever that they can grade the rain by light, moderate or heavy. It’s becoming uncannily accurate (almost 50% of the time!).

I don’t know if you’re like me but there’s one sound on the canal that fills me with dread – the sound of strimmers. Long grass after rain and strimmers mean one thing, a day washing the side of the boat. Well not any more, all that is in the past, they’ve got clever and found a way to strim without stress – use a board.

It’s the first time I’ve seen it, one man holds a sheet of ply between the strimmer and the boat and the grass stays where it belongs – off the boat paintwork.

Full marks to this team. Now all we have to do is make sure they do it when we aren’t watching.

We’re used to the cockerel crowing at Saul but there were some strange bird noises on the offside this morning.

I counted seven of them but there may be more. Might have been the flooded fields that brought them out onto the pathway. Some people think they’re fowl but they’d make a change from sausages and burgers.