Well another week has gone by and we are still here at Trent Lock. So is the ice that forms a crispy greeny-brown layer over the cut and greets us most mornings when we raise the curtains. It hangs around until mid-morning but it is now 11.30am and it is still evident as this photo shows.
|Ice on the cut. Our "facilities" are opposite as is The Steamboat Inn, to the left of the cooling towers|
Easter’s come and gone, the clocks moved forward Saturday night and although we lost an hour at least its started to get a bit lighter at nights which means we won’t have to be taking torches out with us, on our way back to the boat in the evening.
There was a bit of déjà vu going on around here at the weekend, for last Easter, which was a week later than this year, I was moored in exactly the same spot watching the world go by. Pat was in New Zealand visiting Erica, James and our new Granddaughter, while I was holed up at Trent Lock.
This year though, we are together and, rather amazingly, and considering that we have gone nowhere and been cooped up in our pencil box now for nearly four weeks, we are in good spirits, not particularly bored and have hardly argued at all.
Our cruising adventures have consisted of moving from one side of the cut to the other to get water and emptying our loos. I have been kept busy playing my uke, sorting out all the photos from our latest global adventure and re-acquainting myself with some old computer games such as “Civilization” and “Sim City“”, which I used to enjoy playing during the winter months back in Welwyn Garden City.
The pub across the cut, The Steamboat Inn, had a beer festival over the long weekend and there were a fine selection of local East Midlands beers.
Our pals from “Free Spirit” are in the dry dock, with their friends in Bracken and Icing respectively. They have taken over the dock for the Easter week - which they always do at this time of year, while the Kingfisher boys take off for a few days rest. We first met The Jameisons from Free Spirit this time last year when we were here, and I persuaded Ian and Irene to let me loose this year with a roller and blacking. I don’t think TCW will need any work “down under” for a couple of years yet, but it was a good opportunity to see what was involved. Ian was also replacing his propeller and you can see pix of him speaking “nicely” to it when it was a little reluctant to come off on their blog. Thanks for the pix Irene.
|Getting down and dirty in the dry dock helping to black "Free Spirit"|
The weather continues to be colder than the forecast suggests and the North-Easterly wind veritably rips across the open fields and hits us full on. It has not stopped us getting out and about though, and we have taking trips to Nottingham and Derby, therefore getting good use out of my Senior Railcard and bus pass.
However, yesterday’s bus run into Nottinghan was marred by the bus driver refusing my bus pass. It had expired on 31 March, and although I applied for a new one on-line to Herts County Council almost three weeks ago I haven’t had it through yet. As we were making a number of bus journeys yesterday it was particularly galling, and expensive.
Early evening we caught a bus out to Wilton, a leafy suburb of Nottingham, beside the River Trent and I had my first experience of a Ukulele Club. My pal Vic, goes to one in Nelson, NZ, when he is in the country, and most large cities seem to have them.
|"Let's rock this joint!". Rog tunes up at the Nottingham Ukulele Club|
People of all abilities come along and just play together. If there are bits you are not sure of, then you leave those out. The words, chords and music are projected on to a big screen and the school hall we met in was jammed with ukes of all sizes. There was a good mix of ages there, though I must admit, most were “middle-aged”. We whisked through “Iko Iko“, “Donald Where’s Your Troosers”, “Walking On Sunshine”, rather aptly “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “Waterloo”, “Lady Madonna”, “Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa” and finished on a rowdy “Ghost Riders In The Sky”, with lots of whooping and yeh hahs! I was a little nervous about whether I would keep up with them all, but it was no problem, thank goodness. They were very welcoming and as we travel around I will search out some more of these clubs. Oh yes, and more ukulele news. I took the George Formby classic “When I’m Cleaning Windows” and re-wrote the lyrics as a homage to my little granddaughter Livi in New Zealand. If you want to take a listen (and please do) search on You Tube for the righttrackrog channel and it should come up. It’s called “When I’m Being Livi”. Be good to get into double figures for hits by the weekend.
This weekend we are down in Welwyn Garden on Friday and Saturday. Got doctors, the hospital, a party and friends and relatives to visit. Got a great deal on a car for the weekend from Avis at East Midlands airport, £35 all in for three days, so we will be using it get wood, gas and go to Ikea, I would suspect.
And then, all being well next Tuesday morning we'll slip through the lock here, on to the Trent and head down, through Sawley on to the Trent & Mersey to start this year’s adventures. Hope we we are not ice breaking!