Yesterday (Wednesday), it was a day of waiting for things to arrive. One of the first things we had to sort out was the setting up the camp compound. Which is where all the planning is done, as well as eating and lots of drinking of tea and coffee. Later in the day NB Belfast arrived, she is the accomodation boat for the volunteers who have offered to help out to sleep on.Keith and I have been made very welcome by Dave, Maria and the team. They depend a lot on people offering their services, whether it be for a day or for the whole event. What we are both loving about helping out, is the fact that we are meeting up with people from all walks of life and yet we feel after chatting to them, that we have known them for years. We have met one or two familiar faces, one of them being Bob on NB Glenfield, who we first met when we arrived on the Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal over the winter, when everyone was frozen in. During the evening we were joined onboard Hadar by Tom from working boats Ara and Archimedes. Tom took over the diesel and coal business last year and has been doing a roaring trade. We spent a most enjoyable evening in his company, drinking tea and chatting about anything and everything to do with boating.
This morning the Marques arrived by lorry before Keith and I were even awake. Because we could here the work going on around us, we thought we should put in an appearance, so got up, had breakfast and joined in with the work party. I unfortunately am not feeling so great today, so have not done a lot. I am hoping that this afternoon I will feel more myself, as I am not one for sitting around watching others do all the work.
The Marque company were in charge of erecting the marques, so we got to watch them do their stuff. The one thing that you notice about helping out at such events, is that there can be long periods of waiting around. This is due to the fact that not all of the things needed arrive when you need them to. After the marques went up, the tables and chairs arrived, so it was all hands on deck to move them from the van to one of the marques. Some of the group have gone off to Camden to pick up a boat with further equipment onboard and that will arrive sometime this afternoon. There has not been a dull moment and everyone is getting a long really well. We are all waiting for the moment when everything happens all at once, it will then be manic. I will keep you posted on the progress made.