Living in a narrowboat can be a little claustrophobic. Our boat may be 60ft long, but in common with most others of its type, it is only 6ft 10in wide. You need to be organised and tidy. Now I am pretty well organised, but by no stretch of the imagination am I particularly tidy.
Now add in our daughter Erica, her husband James and their five-month daughter Olivia (Livi) on board and the dynamic shifts enormously. I had forgotten how much stuff was needed to keep a little one like Livi functioning, but it was an absolute joy having them aboard, even if it was only for three days, which flew by.
|Our grandaughter arrives at the Marina|
Livi is a little treasure – very placid with a very cheeky smile. Although Pat had been to NZ to see her, just after she was born, this was our first encounter. I think I handled myself reasonably well. Livi’s behaviour was exemplorary and if she whinged a little, it was only because she is teething.
|"The Cat's Whiskers"|
Erica likes to bath Livi every night before bed. In the absence of a bath on board, the galley sink was pressed into use, and proved to be a very suitable alternative.
|Galley sink becomes a bubble bath|
Our original intention was to go away for a couple of days, but we decided to just do a day afloat. Erica and Livi sat at the bow and enjoyed the view. James flitted between them and doing a bit of lock duty, when required. I think James was a bit non-plussed when he saw this sign as we went into Newbury town. It’s a bit extreme, don’t you think.
Last Saturday night we went out for a change. James’ parents run a pub in Little Marlow and they put on a belated 30th birthday for Erica. It was a low key affair, but the sun shined and James’ father Clive, rustled up the biggest paella I have ever seen. It must have been good. Pat went back for seconds, which is very unusual for her.
|Clive stirs his paella|
We are here now in Newbury for just a few more days. On Monday we head off for Reading, a distance of about 20 miles. We hope to be there on Thursday or Friday and the following Monday head off down the Thames towards London.
|James, Erica and baby Livi|