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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Shackerstone Festival Mooring.

Monday 1st September.

Shackerstone Festival Mooring – autumn is on its way.

Can anyone tell me where this year has gone please?

It is the 1st September and for many this marks the beginning of autumn. I can certainly report that it had a feel of autumn when I took Paddy for his morning jaunt, although I did only have shorts and a t-shirt on so maybe that was why I was felling more than a little chilly. Not only that we have a brisk breeze blowing down the canal, causing waves on the surface of the water. September and we are into the 28th week of our adventures. It only seems like yesterday we set off, but infact it was Tuesday 26th February, which was a cold, windy but bright morning, a little like this morning. All morning the rain clouds have been threatening us with a down pour, but it has not arrived yet. We are still glad however that we put the sheeting back on the hold last night, as we did not want the hold filling with rain water, we will have a trap door put in the timber flooring, when we get back to Stone, so we can lift the trap door and be able to mop up any rain water lying in the bottom of the boat. So the day began as I said with Paddy’s walk. Keith and I took a stroll to see how things were progressing with the site, they have the marques up and some fencing in place, like wise with the porta-loo’s, so it is coming a long. As with any event where there are a lot of boats, you get chatting to other boaters, discussing the weather, boating, problems encountered on the trip up etc etc. Towpath banter would make a great book. In the next village of Newton Burgoland, there is a post office and general store, who will deliver to the boats if the order is £20 and over, so Ann from N.B Taliesin took orders for any food needed, we then waited for it to arrive. Now that is what I call service. Unfortunately Shackerstone does not have its own village shop; it does have The Rising Sun public house, a post box and a church, along with all the village houses.
Before lunch we sat down a cut up some more of the t-shirts for our rag rug, but after a time your fingers cramp up, with using the scissors, so we have to take regular breaks, well that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it ha ha ha.
Having laid out the Hessian and marked out the patterned which Keith would follow, he then set about applying the material with the rag rugger tool.
Whilst sat doing the rug, we heard a toot toot, from a steam horn, N.B Adamant came past in the pouring rain, and they were heading for the moorings reserved for the historical boat exhibition.Sadly the day ended very wet and windy. We have to hope that the weather improves for the weekend, although I do not think anything will dampen our spirits, e are having such a wonderful time. We had a table at The Rising Sun Pub booked for 7pm, so Keith walked Paddy and we went for our meal at the pub. The food was mmmmm yummy, we both had the steak and ale pie, which was excellent, the meat was so succulent and you could still taste the ale in the gravy. We had eaten here two years ago, and the food is still as good as then. It pays to book a table though as it does get busy. The pub has a very good reputation, which is hardly surprising. The pub has a great atmosphere and you are made to feel very welcome. Which I suppose you could say is expected after all they want you to spend your money. But I think that in some pubs, you just feel more at home, and this pub makes you feel very at home. So a lovely evening was had by the both of us.

Tuesday 2nd September.

Boaters to the rescue.

I finally managed a decent night’s kip, having had a week of broken nights. I was woken at 5am by a cat calling. At first I thought it was a tom cat calling after Marmite, but it soon became clear that this cat was in distress. I then heard voices belonging to Jimmy and Alan. They were involved in a cat rescue. A cat from one of the other boat’s who had arrived late yesterday afternoon, had taken the wrong turn off the boat and fallen in during the early hours of the morning. She was struggling on the off side of the canal to get out, so Jimmy and Alan set about rescuing her from her watery trap. By the time they managed to haul her out of the water, she was already very exhausted and they feared the worst as she was very lifeless. Ann came and knocked on our boat fearing it was Marmite, they had rescued, but I assured her, that Marmite was sleeping in her basket. They managed to find the owner and get them out of bed; the owners then put their cat on a hot water bottle, and massaged her to get the blood pumping. They then rushed her to the vets. Thankfully the cat is none the worst for her adventure and is now back on the boat with her owners. I am so pleased we do not allow Marmite to wander.
I would never sleep if we did allow her off at night. I reckon I would be a nervous wreck. As we were awake, I made us a nice hot cuppa, before we settled back down for another couple of hours sleep. We eventually woke up at 8.30am to sunlight pouring through the engine rooms port holes, this looked like we maybe in for a nice day. The sun may have been out, but brrrr it was chilly when I took Paddy for his walk. Having had breakfast, I lit the back cabin stove, to take the chill of the cabin and to air everything. It soon felt nice and cosy, so Marmite made sure she found a warm spot to take a snooze. Keith and I then set about pricing up all the bits and bobs we hope to sell at the festival. I also sorted out my notices for selling my Cancer Research Book ‘Precious Moments’. So with the notices done and items priced, it was onto the next task, which was ironing my boatwoman’s costume, which had been washed and stuffed into a bag. So it looked like old rags, until I applied the iron over it all. Like with the past few days we did not escape the rain. As Keith and I were chatting to N.B Gilbert owners the rain began to fall again, with a shower which did not last to long, but you cannot help but notice how quickly the temperature drops as the rain falls. I made sure the stove was stoked up, and then put a beef curry in the oven for dinner tonight.

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