Boatwif Blog

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Crawling like tortoise…

Months of planning, weeks of boat preparation, hours of baking     and a stash of winter clothing – that’s what it takes to get to the start line for a Cleddau summer cruise. “When will you start?” so many have asked. You start when you are ready – and Monday saw an unexpected repair (fan replacement unit) of the Webasto central heating system, the washing and drying of the winter dust covers at Cheshire Mum’s house and the Captain’s attendance via...

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Just rehearsin’

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...

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When not waiting…

There seems to have been a lot of waiting around recently: waiting for trains, for buses, for officials, at clinics, for deliveries, for rain to stop, for grass to dry, for paint to dry      (yes, seriously, for paint to dry…),     for carpet layers to arrive… But during this last week the waiting game has been punctuated by two rather special (though non-boaty) events. On Easter Saturday in Bedford the Easter Story was played out in pedestrian areas, on the High...

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Retrospection and anticipation

There’s been a Grand Tour. The Cleddau crew’s recent ‘Grand Tour’ involved a fair mileage across England and out to West Wales. It was not so of course for the fine young men of wealthy backgrounds in the eighteenth century, who would tour the cultural sights of France and Italy to broaden their minds. This isn’t to say that the minds of the Cleddau crew weren’t broadened during their recent Away Days. First though, it was to Worcestershire, where the...

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Ones and Twos

It was half term. The year is moving fast. Numbers seem to be in the air… The Cheshire One was in residence in Beds for a few days. She was delivered by train, there was one car trip to Cambridge, two slow Park and Ride bus journeys to and from the city for a museum visit,   one lunch time concert in a Bedford church , one beach pool swimming session, before mid-week the car was pointed north to Cheshire. “We’ll need...

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Afloat at the turn of the year

Ask the Captain where he’d prefer to be – and the guaranteed response will be “On my boat…!” Late November sunshine in California boosts the mood; glimpses of the storm-ravaged coastline in West Wales in December stir the soul; celebratory Christmas music, food and decor provide joy and cheer – but the time comes when the Captain yearns to pick up a boat rope, to start Cleddau’s engine – and to get moving on a little cruise… There’d been certain...

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Drop of brandy, anyone?

Have you groped in the back of the cupboard over these last few days for a bottle of something special for that post-prandial drink or /and a glass suitable for said post-prandial drink…? Way back in the summer months brandy glasses became an issue on nb Cleddau. Somewhere along the Staffs and Worcs Canal in early June the Captain smashed a brandy glass, not deliberately you must understand, but accidentally. The glass leapt, it would seem, from a shelf to...

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Last snippets from California

“Look! England’s flooded!” exclaimed Cal Gal. It was Sunday, the last night of the Cleddau crew’s Thanksgiving trip. A large television mounted on a wall in a family diner was displaying international news.  While England (particularly Cumbria and Lancashire) was being submerged by torrential and incessant rains California continues to crave water. Will El Niño this coming winter bring much needed rainfall?  In public areas these days you are likely to see notices explaining  reduced water usage.    In the aftermath...

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Pelicans, pastimes and a pier…

Oceanside on a holiday weekend is a good place for people watching. The lifeguard huts might not be manned    (after all, this is winter now) but the beach is still busy. Post Thanksgiving last Friday some family groups gathered up their post-feast leftovers and headed for a beachside shelter for a beachside picnic.  Park down near the pier ($4 for two hours) and you are well placed for fun… You can hire a bike (various types available)       or RENT ME...

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Juggling

When there are three children of three different ages to entertain an element of juggling inevitably creeps in.       Out in Southern California with the Cal Clan during the Thanksgiving Break  there have been activities to involve all, activities applicable to all but appealing specifically to one or two family members – and activities that have just one fan… Take ice-skating.     Cal Gal adores it, her brothers don’t. So while the Captain and Cal Guys Snr and Jnr remained in Vista at...