What a Difference a Day Makes..

13 Nov

Cue for a song. Another one.

On reading my previous (miserable) post, a friend said “things can only get better” – think New Labour battle song – and I am happy to report that they did. More than one can say for the new labour years.

John responded to my distress call (waking up in tears just isn’t me) and pitched up with Joe (ex US marine with muscles and a thoroughly nice guy) around mid morning on Monday to put Hobo and me in a better place. Physically for Hobo and mentally for me. I think another day on the tilt and without the views I normally enjoy would have seen me rubbing poo in my hair, self-harming in some way or possibly picking a fight with one of the rare breeds that live hereabouts…002No of course I don’t mean the neighbours. BB is not like that.

I don’t care if what they both really wanted was a boat ride, it was well worth it.  A boat ride is always good, even though it was raining and, in this case, stage one in my recovery and gradual return to feeling like the old me.

We donned our wet weather gear and paced the riverbank in an attempt to work out where/how best to place Hobo, then retreated inside to have a meeting about it over coffee/beer. And a warm up/dry out.

With plan firmly established, we set about starting to get Hobo out of her corner. Instantly a neighbour appeared (he must have been hiding in the hedge he was there so quick) enquiring what we were up to and, once up to speed with our little plan, pitching in to help like boaters do.

First job – get the nasty plastic boat nice little cruiser out the way and hauled back as far as poss, which just happened to be under my old wonky willow, no harm intended. Then the neighbour loosed the ropes on the boat I’ve been living in the shadow of, Joe pushed Hobo’s stern out with the boathook and John reversed us out into the river.

And me?

Supervising of course. Not used to the luxury of an extra pair of hands but I could get to like it..

Plenty fending off and then, forward gear engaged and we are go. Already I feel better…untitled - Copy

To put Hobo where she needed to be we had to turn her, meaning at the very least a trip through the nearby lock to find enough width (just below the lock there’s a good place to spin her round).

Our American friend, already taken with the whole narrowboat thing, was loving going down the river on my home, loving having a go on the tiller and a very useful addition to the crew at the lock.

Once through, we parked on the other side and BB built some bacon sarnis. Nothing quite like it when out on the river, even if we were only half a mile away – still feels like the middle of nowhere and freedom.

The light misty rain became heavy drizzle and threatened to do worse so we did our turn and headed back to the mooring. The neighbour did that amazing appearing act again and helped with the ropes, I inched Hobo into the bank towards the spot we’d chosen, dropped off a crew member with a rope then backed her up till she was where we wanted her.

Result…001

She floats, is level and doors and drawers behaving properly. I can walk in a straight line and things have stopped jumping onto the floor.

I have views to river and land – even a jetty tailor made for rear entry/exit…001Bonus.

In fact I’d go as far to say that she is in a better spot to what she was originally.

OK, having done the risk assessment, front boarding is a little challenging…003Especially when carrying and even more so when the river comes up. Health and Safety would have a field day.

But John is on the case and promises to re-appear soon with wood, wire and the handsome hunk from NY State  (I promise to do pictures girls) to improve this. Easy enough he says, start from the highest point on the bank and build up to the level of the gunwale.

I am keen, given some dry daylight hours, to have a good old clean up, throw out and pretty up. Home sweet home.

So, as I write, I am a very happy boatbird once more and was busy clicking earlier as the sun went down…002And the moon got up…004It’s also good to be able to keep an eye on the coal mountain…001Transported from the yard where the coalie left it and neatly stacked. Saves me from hauling it, painfully, one bag at a time. Thanks again chaps.

This morning the sun shone into the boat and reflected rainbows, from the crystals that hang in the windows, all around the boat. I opened the side hatch to see the river right there and Hobo gently rolled as I moved about. Harmony, balance and my sanity restored.

My world, as it should be.

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