In the final post of this mini-series on travelling inland by old boat, the family arrives. After a couple of days solo-savouring what Autumn had to offer, it was time to share, and I felt refreshed and ready to share.
Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!
The boat is brought alive by the energy of the kids, it’s a transformation that’s as total as the change that takes place when the engine fires and animates the silent, slumbering boat.
The kids noisily fill ever corner. They race and chat and play and image a world of buses & cars & boats. They stare at the water. They eat for England They’re excited and engaged and as enthusiastic as puppies. They’re boys in open country.
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
As we planned to have an evening meal in the village pub we decided against moving the boat that first afternoon, and used it instead as our base for exploring. While Claire rested, we shambled off in search of an adventure or two. We collected stones in the clay fields and shards of clay pigeon from the margins; we watched the expresses and local trains pass the village and spotted field mushrooms and fungi in abundance.
Next mooring we readied the boat for the return leg. Joe boiled up water to wash the breakfast pots in a couple of Kelly Kettles. He’s really got the hang of the process now, from breaking the small twigs to feed the fire, to damping down the embers once the job’s done… he takes a pride in his work and satisfaction from a job well done.
It was a good trip.