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  • clivenmel

July 15th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Monday  July 13th/Tuesday July 14th � Godmanchester to Buckden Marina   We did manage to meet up with our friends Karen and George yesterday afternoon.  Karen came down to visit us on the boat in the afternoon and we also arranged to meet up with her and George in the Royal Oak later on in the evening.  We ended up being rather late as the two potatoes I put in the oven to bake were a bit on the large size and took ages too cook � we finally got to the pub at about 9.00pm!  Well I have to say it was not the most welcoming pub we have ever been to!  When we arrived George and Karen were sitting at a table waiting for us.  There was a large flat screen TV on the wall and there was some soap on called Monday Monday(?) and the volume was on full blast!  I politely asked the barmaid if she could turn the sound down a little as we could barely hear ourselves speak (I will add at this point there was only us in the bar besides her!!) � she grunted something and I swear she turned the volume UP!  A little while later after we had been shouting at each other to make ourselves heard Clive asked her again if she would turn the sound down � she did this time.  However she then walked over to the table next to us and very pointedly put all the chairs on the table � was this a hint?  A few minutes later she rang the �Last Orders� bell � it was just 10-00pm!  Well we took the hint this time and said our farewells to George and Karen with the plan to see them again in the not too distant future back at The Red Lion.   The following morning (Tuesday) we set off after breakfast on our last cruise for the next few weeks (sob!).   It was a beautiful morning and the scenery was breathtaking so we really enjoyed ourselves.  It seems strange to think that we won�t be going anywhere by boat for nearly four weeks!  We had a couple of locks to negotiate and both went very smoothly with no problems.  Then all too soon we arrived at the marina.  We turned into the marina entrance and hadn�t a clue where to go to!  So I phoned the Marina office and spoke to Rebecca who said �I can actually see you from my window!�  - she soon directed us to our pontoon � Lady Arwen�s home for the next four weeks.  As we were tying up she came out to greet us and brought us a special key fob to get us in through the security gates.  She gave us a general introduction and told us to go over to the office to see her as soon as we were settled in.  I explained that I needed to do some laundry so she told me to bring that with me.   So a short while later we wandered over to the office, armed with the laundry and went to get the low down on Buckden Marina.  Rebecca gave us the key code for the car park barriers and a few guidelines to make our stay a pleasant one.  Showed us around the very nice shower and toilet facilities and finally the laundry � I was itching to get the first load in!   It is all very nice here.  Apart from quacking ducks, honking geese and pitiful sounding squeaks from the Coot chicks it�s very peaceful indeed.  There is a clubhouse, which has a bar, restaurant, gym, swimming pool etc.  Maybe we will get chance to check it all out in a couple of weeks time.  The marina is also surrounded by lovely little chalets on stilts.  These are designated �second homes�.  They look very nice indeed and the majority of them come with their own mooring.    I kept wandering backwards and forwards to and from the boat and the laundry for the next few hours seeing to the washing and by early evening I had washed and dried all our clothes and even a pair of flip-flops!  All that was required now was to sort through it all and see what was suitable to take on holiday � we don�t want to let the family down by looking like vagrants now do we!    The only thing about being tied up in a marina is that you are attached to floating pontoons � these are designed to rise and fall with the river levels and therefore are not fixed so the boat tends to roll a lot more than it does when tied to the bank.  It has been quite amusing during our sojourn in Cambridge to find that so many of our visitors were a bit startled when the boat rocked slightly as we walked up and down it � they would really notice it here!  Fortunately we have our �sea legs� now, but even so we are both very aware of the rocking sensation.  I rather like it myself.   We actually had a visitor this afternoon from our �next door neighbour�.  Her name is Susan and she and her husband David live on board NB Plodder.  They have had her for six years and have lived on board for the last two and a half years, however they are now going to sell her as they have never managed to do what they planned � cruise the waterways like we do.  They have been in different places but as David works they have stayed put for several months at a time and then moved to somewhere else.  The last time they moved was from Reading to here and they hadn�t time to cruise here so Plodder was lifted out of the water and placed on a flat-bed and brought to a marina not far from here, where it was put back in the water, all in the one day!  Then they cruised the last bit to Buckden.   Susan invited us on board Plodder to have a look around.  Its great seeing other people�s boats because no two are the same once they have been personalised by the people on board.  Their boat layout was similar in a way to ours but there were subtle differences � for example one thing they have that we don�t is a �cross-cabin� bed, which means that it is a full width double.  Ours is an in-line bed, which means we can only have a 4� bed (cosy!).  The galley also had a lovely pull out larder cupboard � ooh I�d love one of those!  However when Susan came on board Lady Arwen to have a look around she was very taken with our shower, which she liked better than theirs and she absolutely loved our bamboo woodwork because it is so shiny!  The simple fact is that unless you pay out an awful lot of money and have a bespoke boat fitted out with everything that you want, there will always be something better on somebody else�s boat!  However, we love Lady Arwen and I can live without a larder cupboard (but I would really, really like a bigger bed!).    Susan was heading off to her son�s to help to look after her new two-week old grandchild as soon as she left us but we arranged to meet up with her and her husband in a couple of weeks time after Mallorca and Burwell so we look forward to that.  She has also very kindly agreed to look after my planter and give it a drink whilst we are away.  See � nice neighbours!   One of the things we are having to get used to is getting on and off through the cratch instead of at the stern.  Lady Arwen is moored bow first into the pontoon (this is the norm) and the stern is stuck out in the middle of the water just tied to a mooring post � if we stepped off at the stern now we would be in the water!   Wednesday July 15th � Buckden Marina   After breakfast this morning we started getting organised for our holiday.  I got all the newly washed clothes in piles and sorted out what was going and what was staying, then I started to put it in the hold-all that we are using as a suitcase.  Note � no ironing!  Can�t � haven�t got an iron on board!  Ah well, your clothes always come out of the suitcase creased anyway, I often think it�s a waste of time ironing clothes to take away!  We haven�t worn ironed clothes for the last ten months, the creases usually fall out with body warmth anyway.  The reason for the lack of iron is simply that our batteries and inverter just can�t cope with anything that takes that much power � the first day out back in September I blew the whole system by switching on the electric kettle!  The kettle and iron were therefore packed away and sent home with Vicki the first time she came to see us!  So, the bag is packed.  All the little bits and bobs are all gradually getting ticked off my list as they get put in the other bag and we are almost ready.   We also had visitors today � Vicki and Gareth came over to see us and we all went out for lunch together, it was lovely.  Vicki was taking Gareth to Peterborough to the DVLA in order to re-tax his van and we were actually just a slight detour on their way.  After lunch they headed off but promised to call in again on the way back.  Sure enough they got back soon after 5pm and we got the webcam set up on the laptop ready for Indy to call.  Our granddaughter is on holiday in Los Angeles with her mum and it is wonderful that she can talk to and see her daddy even though she is so far away.  We all got chance to see her and have a chat � she spotted straight away where Gareth was and said �what are you doing on Granny and Granddad�s boat?�  After we had said goodbye to Indy it was time for Vicki and Gareth to head off home.  Vicki is coming back tomorrow morning as she is driving us up to Huddersfield.   Well, basically this is it as far as the blog is concerned, at least for the time-being.  We are leaving the boat tomorrow and we fly to Mallorca on Saturday.  We fly back the following Saturday and will be driving back down to the boat on the Sunday.  I will be driving down with my sister, Thelma, as Clive is going to drive his TR6 down.  He won�t want to come down on the motorway, as that is boring!  He will take the scenic route and will also take his time and enjoy the driving experience � we are praying that it doesn�t rain, his TR6 doesn�t do rain � the windscreen wipers don�t work! (Well it is 35 years old!).  I on the other hand need to get back asap in order to prepare for my next holiday!  I am going to my annual music summer-school at Burwell House on the Monday! My sister, who plays the fiddle, has been going for many years, I play the flute and started going in 2001.  We both love it and have a truly wonderful time.  So when we get back on Sunday I will need to unpack and repack, collect my flute, whistle, recording equipment etc etc and be ready for off bright and early on the Monday morning.  Its all go isn�t it!  I think actually I shall be looking forward to the peace and tranquillity of the boat again once Burwell is over!  Hope Clive doesn�t get fed-up when I start practicing all the new tunes that I will be learning!  However, if I sit in the bows whilst we are cruising and play my tunes Clive won�t be able to hear me above the engine noise!   So please don�t go away!  The blog will be resumed in a couple of week�s time once we are back to normality.  We will no doubt have a few stories to tell about our holiday in Mallorca with Clive�s family and there will be an odd photograph or two I am sure (did I say odd!).  There may also be a snap or two taken at Burwell � who knows � watch this space!

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