We were pretty lucky with the snail of Friday-night/Bank Holiday Weekend traffic weaving along the A40 Westway/M40, and in less than two hours we were bouncing down the rutted track to Forge Farm and our mooring – seemingly a million miles from London…

The storm clouds deepened and darkened as we watched, a vivid light, a powerful sense of freedom, escape and adventure aboard our old boat.

The farm looked drenched, yet vibrant too, an intensity to the greens, and the verdant growth. Forge Farm proprietor Gregg was down by the water as we pulled up, packing a short section of decking with green matter he’d weeded from one of the small plots that surround his self build farm house.

It was great to talk to Gregg again, to slow down and catch up as he shared the Oxford Canal ‘village news’.

We bought half a dozen organic free-range eggs from him. He threw in a just-cut lettuce too, adding that as these were our first first half dozen eggs they were free!

The boat’s settled well into her new environment and reassuringly, after the turbulent and soaking weather these last two weeks, was dry as a bone. She’s survived the storms in great style.

I found myself feeling inordinately proud of our Eileen.

ps. wrestling a cover onto a duvet in the confined space of a narrow boat is an art in itself!

With the evening light fading fast we had a focused hour settling into the boat: whilst Claire got ready to go out for an evening meal, I deeply enjoyed lighting the ‘long cabin’ stove. It was a gently domestic time; after the rush and  stress of the working week, this was a reflective, calm and relaxed time together.

I delight in sorting out the stove, twisting paper, piling kindling, inserting fire-lighters and topping up with coal. The satisfaction I feel, seeing the first smoke snake out of the chimney is simple and profound.
Coal smoke mingling with the sweet ‘green’ of fresh mown grass – idyllic and evocative.
A glass of fizz, celebrating our achieving a night and day away!
Fun & fizz, the boat’s rapidly becoming ours, she’s starting to have a ‘new history’ that we’re creating, adding a new chapter to her already long and fascinating story.

We drove across the hill to the nearby village of Chacombe and ‘The George & Dragon’ for supper.

Twilight at The George’. Skittle players, braving the pouring rain, continued to play their match between beer garden and car park.

A lovely evening, good food, a bustling pub, great company and all the time in the world to enjoy ourselves.

Through the glass brightly…
A steak & ale pie for me, a lentil curry for Claire – both delicious!
Mmm…
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