04 July 2008

Au revoir, not adieu

We’ve just said goodbye to our boat guest of the last two weeks. Now that’s not something I ever thought I’d write! We don’t tend to have people to stay very often, not because there’s no room with the dogs but because I want to throttle them after about a day. For some reason, previous visitors just haven’t ‘got it’, fiddling and fidgeting around unable to enjoy the peace and solitude and annoying the hell out of me. But friend A was different. He loved the whole thing from start to finish, throwing himself into it with a will but able to relax and kick back and not have to constantly be ‘doing something’. He took my Captain Bligh moments in good part – ‘Push that, pull that, don’t stand there, get out of the way, why isn’t that bloody gate open?’ – and has even volunteered for a winter cruise to Llangollen.

In the course of the two mini-cruises, his helmsmanship went from the constantly diagonal to the mostly straight and he experienced a whole wealth of stuff for a first timer: narrow canals, broad canals, lock flights, double and treble staircases, beer, gorgeous views, brilliant vistas, beer, miserable gits, happy campers, more beer, near tragedy and final triumph as we got home in one piece and had yet more beer. We’ve also proved that it is possible to have three adults and one dog on a trad stern but it doesn’t leave you much room for drinking your coffee. Sometimes I’m very envious of those cruisers....think how many dogs we could have then?

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