Well – that was Crick then! Our intentions from day one of this project was to wait for this annual waterway showcase, before we committed to a boat and builder, but, of course, these things never quite work out the way you had planned them, and our three-day pass at Crick Boat Show was used to scout out and try and resolve a lot of ancillary issues surrounding cookers, paintwork, engines, gadgets and navigational aids. We did clamber over a couple of boats, but that was not so important now we have got the project underway.
I’ve heard it often said that get a few boaters together and you are guaranteed that before long the talk will turn to loos. So it was with us, as we looked at, and raised the lids of every single loo being displayed at the various stands. We chatted to other boaters, either at the bar, or beside us at the stands, and, of course, everybody had their own point of view. However, we are now both convinced “The Cat’s Whiskers” will have a cassette loo on board. It will be a Thetford with a ceramic bowl. We also saw a water filter we liked, though I noticed they were not taking the water out of the canal and filtering it, and then offering it to customers to drink, as they have done in the past.
My pal Colin and his partner Stuart joined us on the Sunday and insisted on buying us “a little something” for the boat, so we now have a very flash-looking tiller pin in the shape of a cat. But apart from hats to keep the rain off our heads on the Saturday, we didn’t spend much. Roger was keen to chat to Aston and Mercia Marina. We have visited both these sites on the Trent and Mersey over the last couple of months. The Beta engine man was very welcoming and Pat was keen to learn more about becoming a British Waterways Volunteer. We went to nearly all the seminars, so we certainly got our money’s worth.
I think it will be next year that we blow the dust off our credit card. We will have been cruising for a few weeks by then and should have an extensive shopping list.