You don’t need to hear the Captain’s voice at this time of year to know what he’s thinking: it’s When can I run away to sea? Really that’s shorthand for pining to be being back afloat, on the boat, on canals and rivers.
Last week fortune smiled – and the carrying out of one land-based obligation allowed for some boat-time…
While Cheshire Mum and Techno Son-in-law flew off to Switzerland to ride trains up, down and round mountains (someone’s choice of birthday treat) life for the Cheshire One had to continue as usual. Two long school days (0830 -1700) and one shorter one (0830 -1515) mixed with some dry spells and even one rather sunny day provided opportunity for some useful boat jobs. There was some external washing and polishing of the cabin sides and roof.
Needing to turn the boat round so as to access the second side for a wash and polish required a little cruise on Thursday – past Bailey’s Trading Post, past the yard of Braidbar Boats, past some new construction – and some destruction (this presumably prior to reconstruction).
Back in Macclesfield on Friday the Cheshire One limped out of school. The very spot on the playground had to be viewed to see where knee skin had been left… Friday night’s swimming lesson was abandoned but for musicians the show must go on. Saturday morning’s 0815 clarinet lesson was followed by Wind Band rehearsal at 0900.
– though all looked still and relatively sane. This was at Hare Hill, a National Trust garden not far north of Macclesfield. Ever in contact Techno Son-in-Law had messaged from Switzerland: Look out for skunk cabbage (sometimes known as American skunk cabbage). There they were, great fat yellow stalks in clumps around the pond). Drifts of narcissi formed creamy carpets under the trees while exuberant splashes of white and pink rhododendrons, some low, some very high, caught the eye… Prominent in the walled garden is a pair of wire sculptures, both featuring a horse, in tribute to the last owner’s twin brother who had died in a riding accident.
The Hare Hill visit had been the Cheshire One’s choice; so too was Sunday’s activity, steering practice…
At the boat the (now rather elderly) pink fishing net was repaired, poles and life rings were transferred back onto the roof, ropes were untied – and the practice cruise begun. The need to rehearse casting off procedure was quickly apparent: how often does the Captain forget to reconnect the horn! There was a turning round and a half hour trip south to Lyme View for lunch at The Miner’s Arms at Adlington. At the shouting end (Don’t you just love this boat name?) the Cheshire One refreshed her skills (and didn’t bump into anything).
So all is set now: the rehearsing is done – come sometime next week Cleddau should be cruising south again, passing Lyme View, and at Kidsgrove turning north, downhill via the Cheshire Locks, heading for Liverpool…