Friday after Boxing Day, and Claire gave me a delightful late Christmas surprise – a chance to take a solo night away on the boat! After the usual trials and tribulations of the Festive Season I didn’t need asking twice! So Friday afternoon, under another gathering rain storm, I lit the stove, checked over the boat and settled in for an evening of silence, stillness and reading in the company of a warm stove, a slice of Xmas cake and a bottle of beer… bliss!

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The boat’s in good fettle, settled in well at Grimsbury Wharf, snug between other boats at the end of the Arm.

Looking out from the back cabin doors along the line of the Arm across the finely decorated rudder completed by Jez Barrington just before it became too damp and cold to paint outdoors… To my eye these silvery grey images somehow capture the severe, chill wind and gathering gloom of the late December afternoon.

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