I got a bit of a ‘ticking off’ yesterday for not keeping our blog and whereabouts up to date and feel suitably chastised! I do believe I’ve a legitimate defence though, in that until today I’d only spent three days on board Areandare in the last three weeks. So I’m thinking you’ll all understand how challenging it can be?
I shall endeavour to do better Doug, honestly …
A Chance meeting
Returning to Barry in Stoke-on-Trent after spending five delightful days with my gorgeous grandsons whilst celebrating my eldest daughter’s birthday last Tuesday, we were en route to Barlaston when Doug and James from NB Chance suddenly appeared behind us.
What a wonderful surprise for us all – we’ve been in touch on and off for more than four years, but not managed to synchronise journeys and meet in person.
Doug had thought we were still up on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, due to my current blogging slackness and posting our adventures and Barry’s photos retrospectively.
Sadly they’d already arranged a meet up yesterday evening with friends, but we decided to continue to Stone so we could have a bit of a get-together.
After a slight mooring mix-up that I shan’t bore you with, they walked down to see if we were still around and we ended up having a very memorable couple of hours on board Areandare, polishing off a fair few glasses of home brew Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon. Having not been around for a while, nibble supplies were in short supply, but I managed to rustle up a few nuts and cheese and crackers to soak up a bit of the alcohol consumption.
It’s James’ birthday today and the second anniversary of their marriage. Passing us on their way south this morning, unbeknownst to Doug I’d already written a card for them with a photo of Castlefield Basin in Manchester, where they’d recently been staying for Manchester Pride (we loved our visit there in 2009 aboard Northern Pride).
Towpath trading in Stone
Barry had set up The Home Brew Boat banner and put his greetings cards out on display – and had a sale within minutes of doing so which was fab. Doug saw the cards and was just about to buy the one I’d intuitively chosen for James’ birthday.
Barry took a lovely shot of the three of us before they left, but that won’t be handed over to me for a few days!
Our next moves
I’ve got five days now to play catch up on a number of projects before I’m back with mum and dad Friday to Monday next week. By then we’ll be in Wolverhampton, making our way to our next trading festival at Netherton where we’re excited to be joining Helen and Andy and ‘Wild Side‘ once again.
For now, we’ll stick around Stone until Tuesday, and see what else transpires here …
We’re a little distance away now from where this post’s pictures were taken – but I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.
In fact today, Wednesday 27th August, Barry’s aboard Areandare near the northern entrance of the Harecastle Tunnel, while I’m with my eldest daughter in Malpas, Cheshire for a week, celebrating her birthday.
Hudddersfield Narrow Canal
For anyone yet to visit the Huddersfield Narrow and Broad Canals, I hope these next two posts go some way to persuading you of the merit of making the effort to journey to this waterway, it’s definitely worth doing.
The pub above, was well as an unusual name, came to the attention of the world media on 23 September 2007, when a man walked into the pub and ordered a pint of beer a few minutes after he had murdered his son and attacked his daughter with a knife (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaithwaite)! We decided not to go in for a drink, the interior wasn’t nearly as promising as the outside.
I didn’t achieve my lofty aim of getting the blog up to date before we left Areandare for our recent holiday. I couldn’t prioritise it as much as other things. Apologies.
I do however have a couple of draft posts I’d begun, with amazing photos from our journey along the Huddersfield Narrow, Standedge Tunnel and Huddersfield Broad, that I’ll make time to polish and post in the next week or so …
I’m conscious of a life-long tendency to take on too much and feel the smothering pressure of overwhelm – I’m learning more ways to let go of what hinders my balance, like a true Libran. Being a professional Life Coach helps with this you won’t be surprised to hear!
I’m okay now with letting a couple of my ‘to-do’ plates stop, or fall, rather than feel I’m spending my life going from one to another, spinning them constantly but never really getting anywhere.
It doesn’t always work, I still experience that “Oh my goodness how will I ever fit it all in” feeling. And at times like that I don’t blog or do other things that aren’t vital.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, here we are, back on board after an eventful holiday.
Cornwall was magnificent as usual – though admittedly it’s far more commercialised than I fondly remember from my last trip to the end of the earth in the late 1990s. I chose not to take photos of the theme-park-like buildings that have taken over at Land’s End, preferring the sign post (though now you have to pay to have your photo take next to it!) and view of the Atlantic Ocean. It reminds me of Cape Reinga, at the tip of the North Island of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
We all (six adults and two children) squeezed into a chalet owned by the daughter of a friend of mine. Jo and I were best buddies when I lived in Germany from 1981 to 1985, we became pregnant at the same time, and gave birth within four days of each other early in 1983. She lives in Phillack, Hayle, not far from St Ives, so it’s been a long time since we’ve caught up.
Of course Barry managed to sample a fair few local ales, it would be rude not to – including this one in a pub of the same name, a short walk from the holiday home …
On the downside, if you look closely at the photograph above, you may notice a small redness above Barry’s left eye? This picture was taken on the Monday. By Thursday this was spreading and he had a pounding headache. We were at Land’s End and he stayed in the car for half the day, unable to face getting out into the wind and rain (just as we went on holiday the weather went from sweltering hot to changeable!).
That evening, he went to the emergency NHS walk-in centre in Redruth and was diagnosed with a viral sinusitis …
In the meantime, I got to tick something off my bucket list and saw an amazing production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘, at Minack Theatre with my eldest daughter Lisa. What was even more incredible was that we arrived early enough to get a good place in the queue and scored front row seats!
While Barry rested, and hoped the antibiotics would begin to work, we all tried to carry on holidaying.
In the nick of time
Forty eight hours after starting his antibiotics for supposed sinusitis, Barry was no better. In fact he was getting worse. I’d been so caught up with spending time with my delightful grandchildren that I hadn’t investigated other possibilities for his redness and pain.
Fortunately Barry had! And he realised that rather than sinusitis, he could have Shingles.
So we returned to the NHS walk-in centre on Saturday evening and he was right – shingles of the optic nerve – what could be worse for a photographer? Fortunately we’re pretty sure he’s not one of the 40% who suffer corneal damage, despite the delay in diagnosis. Phew! But he was pretty miserable and it spoilt the break for him.
For someone who rarely takes any drugs, he was soon put on a cocktail of pills and potions. It did the trick however, and halted further progress of the nasty Herpes Zosta virus. We’ll certainly recognise it if we’re ever unfortunate to come across it again!
Feeling a little better once he’d been put on the right medication, we stopped for a couple of hours at Tintagel Castle on our way to Exeter to spend a night with my younger sister to break the long journey back to the boat .
Reputed to be the birthplace of King Arthur, it’s an English Heritage property so we were happy as places are few and far between on the canals and we’ve not been getting our money’s worth from our membership!
Thank you Jim!
We’d heard a lot about house sitting in New Zealand, most people get someone to do it for them when they go on holiday. Friends of ours even spent a year ‘sitting’ in houses in NZ and Australia and having a marvellous time visiting different places.
While we were in Cornwall, the lovely Jim and his partner Hilary, boat-sat for us.
Jim’s far better at keeping his blog up to date than me, and he wrote a few pots about his time on board. It was fabulous to know that she was in such good hands. Thank you so much Jim and Hilary!
Barry’s on the mend now, though has only one day left of his Acycolvir so I’m hoping it won’t try and sneak it’s way back in once that’s gone. Getting to the NHS walk-in centre with a hire car is sure simpler than finding a GP on foot when you’re living on a narrowboat!
I deduced that he got stressed just thinking about leaving Areandare and taking a ‘holiday’. Don’t worry everyone, he’s fine now …
I published post a few weeks ago about the very emotional day out we had visiting my father’s birthplace, and unexpectedly my great-grandfather, great-grandmother and uncle’s grave – single, not plural, I haven’t made a mistake (click here if you didn’t read it).
At that time, I didn’t have access to Barry’s views of the town or outlying areas we spent time in.
So forgive me for indulging, but once again I feel they’re worth sharing.
More of the Huddersfield Broad Canal
Huddersfield Town, Salendine Nook and Lindley
From Marple to High Lane – to Cornwall!
Tonight (Thursday) we’ve moved from Marple to High Lane, nearer to the Enterprise Car Hire Hazel Grove office. We’ve used them a number of times in the past, as they provide such a helpful ‘pick up and drop off’ service to narrowboaters. We just need to phone them tomorrow with a suitable postcode.
Jim will be with us on Saturday morning, and then we’ll drive to my mum and dad’s for my turn on the four sister’s ‘rota’ of respite care for mum. On Monday, we’re heading down to Hayle, in Cornwall, for seven days of R and R!