Last Saturday Jan and I drove down to West Sussex for our nephew's wedding. It was an excellent occasion, and we left at about 2030 to drive up to Crick. The obvious route involved a lot of motorway driving, which is not my favourite. My heart sank when the sat nav indicated, once I'd turned onto the M1 from the M25, that it was to be 58 miles before the next instruction from it, but at least the roads were clear. One advantage of going at that time on a Bank Holiday weekend.
We parked up on the verge opposite the short track to Bridge 15, took our things, and walked to the boat, getting there at about 2330.
The next day, Sunday, we both cycled along the towpath in warm sunshine to the temporary footbridge. The towpath was rather muddy and slippery in places - we learnt that Crick had received a battering from hail while we were enjoying ourselves down south. (We had rain there, too, but no ice.) I locked our bikes under the bridge and walked into the show site. Everything was laid out as in previous years, so we were able to go straight to the beer tent where the Boaters' Christian Fellowship service was about to take place. I went on stage to play my recorder as part of the band, and Jan hovered just outside the marquee to give service sheets to people coming in. The service went well, even though I had to give up trying to play as I couldn't hear myself above the rest of the band. (Hmm. Perhaps I can rig some sort of personal foldback via headphones next time. I'll have to experiment.)
After that we went to the BCF stand to do a stint "on duty". In the afternoon I was pleased to spot the Herbies, and very pleased to be invited for tea and cake, and even more pleased when they said that the TV would have to be on for the Monaco Grand Prix. (Kath, I hope our presence with the inevitable social chit-chat didn't spoil your viewing too much. I know what it's like when you're trying to concentrate on something and you can't.)
In the evening we were invited for a meal with Adrian and Chris on board Bendithion. Thanks for the fellowship and food. Later I went to the beer tent for some beer this time, and to catch the last of the Big O and the Traveling Wilburys (I think the American spelling is correct). The Herbies' granddaughter Grace was enjoying dancing with Kath (I didn't see Neil on the dance floor, though). They went as soon as the band had played their final number, and then I joined Charles and Carole from BCBM for a bit before they, too, disappeared. I got the message, and went back to Jubilee.
At some point over the weekend, I think it might have been on the Sunday, Jan tripped over a tree root on the towpath going back to the boat with a couple of bags of shopping. She hadn't fancied cycling again, even though the towpath had dried out a bit. She went flying - fortunately not into the cut - and bruised her ribs. Ouch. (This is still painful three days later.)
On the Monday the weather reverted to form. Rain. Sometimes heavy and sometimes light, but a marked difference from Sunday's sunshine. I managed to look round a few stands, buying oil and a filter, but not buying all that I should. I looked at some Hotspot products for the stove, went to a rival chandler's for comparison, and then completely forgot to buy the stove paint, stove polish and flue cleaner that I wanted. Lots of people came away from Crick with free large magnetic "Tick over" posters for their boat. I'm not a fan of that, nor other similar exhortations to reduce speed stuck to boats. Yes, people should pass moored boats slowly, but will such signs really make a difference? I think not.
Towards the end of the show Jan and I looked round a few of the boats on display, including the peoples' favourite, Shackleton with all its (24V) electric gizmos. On one cupboard if you touch the metal hinge a light comes on.
We both said, when we came back to Jubilee, how much we prefer our boat, though!
In the next post: our eventful journey back from Crick.
(Sorry for the lack of photos).
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