Friday 24th June 2005
Napton on the Hill
Following her journey back up the Grand Union, Honey had been moored next to The Folly, just below the Napton flight. She had then been left unattended for a week or so pending the arrival of Mr P, but during this time she was broken into. The thieves must have been very disappointed with what they found as we couldn't see that anything was missing, indeed even the wine had been left intact in the larder. I paid brief visit with Mr Whiteleaf, the last skipper, and bodged up the broken door and made sure all was ok. Mr W took the opportunity to show me round the boat and walk me through some of its numerous foibles.
Mr Primrose duly camped out on Honey for the following week during which time a fridge failure caused him to make a short trip back to Calcutt Narrowboats, seeking a replacement. On Honey's return to Napton the mooring pins were not driven in firmly enough, allowing her to drift free. I know this because of the note left by the kind boater who took Honey in hand and brought her back to the towpath, leaving her tied up safe and sound. Thanks anonymous boater!
By the time I got back to Honey on the Friday the fridge, which had been left on, had completely drained the batteries and there wasn't a glimmer of energy left to light the boat.
Even at this early stage I could see that the trip to Hampton Court with my mother (Matilda) and two children (Tilly and Jeff) would probably be eventful. As this trip took place during term time, you may be wondering how my children could be out of school. Well, at this stage Tilly was being home educated by my wife Belle. This proved to be pretty stressful and, after 12 months, I figured she needed a break. Jeff also had his issues at school and when I floated the idea of an extra week off to do the journey the teachers couldn't conceal their glee, and started suggesting that two weeks might be better than one! The inclusion of my mother was to give me some quality time with her following the death of the Captain (senior).
So this happy band of four found Honey in the gathering gloom and hastily made our beds, just as the last of the evening sunlight drained from a cloudless sky. Tilly shared the front cabin with Matilda whilst Jeff and I shared the cross bed in the saloon.