Wednesday, 23 December 2009

My friend Jim

My friend Jim
6th December 2009
Staffs and Worcester Canal

I have a friend, let's call him Jim, who has a particular fondness for Rosie and Jim and has expressed a long held desire to take a trip on a narrowboat. I have known Jim since he was a toddler but never knew of our shared passion for boating, so it was a delight to spend a blustery December afternoon in his company taking Wand'ring Bark to Coven and back.

Sunset at Moat House Bridge

I made a day of it and spent the morning doing a spot of fettling, refixing the wardrobe doors with newly attached mirrors on the inside, touching up a bit of paintwork here and there plus giving the boat a good vacuum after all the carpentry that has being going on. My early arrival also meant that the stove was lit and the sausages and onions cooked and the and soup heated before the hungry hoardes arrived at 1.30pm.

Jim is a lovely young man of few words, but his delight at the boating experience was apparent from the huge smile which was fixed on his face for the whole trip. There was a very cold wind blowing and it did cross my mind that his smile was actually frozen on, but it remained in place when he decamped to the front deck under the cratch cover, where a bit of warmth from the stove was able to reach him.

As cruises go it was short and over very familiar water, but after two months of poking around abandoned canals, it was a huge joy just to be moving freely on a 'real' canal again.

Given the heavy clouds and poor light I had virtually given up hope of any decent photos but then, as if by magic, the skies cleared for the last ten mins before sunset, and we were treated to a spectacular winter scene. So spectacular that I failed in my supervisory duties with Jim and ran the boat aground, twice!

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