Today I’m leaving Barry – again!
I have no idea when I’ll be back on board Areandare, or when life will return to any sort of ‘normality’ again.
In the meantime, there’s plenty of supplies in the fridge, freezer and cupboards to delay any chance of scurvy, so long as the good captain cooks for himself and continues to eat his daily five portions!
We had a most enjoyable trip out this afternoon to the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire – I can’t believe I’ve never been there before. What an interesting place, fascinating history at every turn, and hardly any awful chain stores. Instead there’s an amazing array of local craftspeople. Barry visited a hardware store that took him right back to ‘Open All Hours’ – he even had the cheek to ask if he had any fork handles (four candles)! Poor shop keeper said he’s asked the same question at least once a day. There was other unusual shops like a book binder, and a furniture restoration shop filled with bits and bobs of wooden chairs and desks.
Sadly though, by the time we’d got to Ludlow after sorting ourselves out with shopping and turning the boat around ready to fill up with water again tomorrow (there’s nothing from Stourport to Kinver as far as we can discover or have experienced), we didn’t have enough time to do much more than have a wander and a pint in the timber-framed 17th century coaching Inn, The Feathers.
We’ve heard from Jim, who used to boat on ‘Starcross’, and he may be able and willing to head this way to give Barry a hand for couple of days. Marvellous news.
We’ve got 17 days to get to Stoke to get set up ready for the Etruria Canals Festival, which, according to Nick’s fabulous Canal Route Planner ‘CanalPlanAC‘, is 35 hours away from Kidderminster, where Barry will be aiming to cruise competently to tomorrow.
It’s a well known fact that the only constant is change, and I have no idea how the next few days and weeks will pan out. But I’m tremendously thankful we’ve arranged our lives to be flexible enough for me to be able to provide loving care to my dad, and mum, and keep them in their home, for a as long as possible. And when I can’t manage, there’s strategies in place through Social Services I can call on to come and rescue me!
So it’s a life on land for Sandra for a while, and a life on the water for Barry – with and without any assistance. I know he’ll be fine, lots of boaters do it solo. But it’s not nearly as much fun …