Our time in Northumberland came to an end last week – with not one but two farewell dinners. We picked Michael and Andru up at Newcastle Airport last Thursday and thought that dinner would be a low key affair. Neither of them had slept on the plane back from the Bahamas and Michael was heading off to Sale for a gig the next day – our only chance to say both hello and goodbye to him! The restorative powers of red wine are amazing and the evening ended at 2am with the four of us having consumed 5 bottles sitting round the kitchen table at Wrytree. We heard marvellous tales of Michael’s touring and Andru’s trekking. Luckily no-one was sober enough to take photographs!
On Friday we had our final farewell dinner in Northumberland with Andru and one of her friends. There was enough fish pie left from the previous meal to feed all four of us. All in all a much gentler affair with far less alcohol consumed but just as much interesting chat.
We’re back down on the boat again now and have sadly cut our ties to the gang from Aston Marina. We will really miss them. Sad as this was it proved an ideal excuse for even more farewell dinners.
We did manage to sneak in one more farewell dinner with Ray and Diane as both boats travelled to Rugeley the next day but it really is the last one – honest! As you can see by this time we’re all looking more than a little glazed over by all this socialising.
No sooner had we said our fond farewells to Ray and Diane at Rugeley than we managed to cross paths again briefly in Fradley where they exchanged help at one of the locks for a lift to the Elsan disposal point – the things you do for friends!
They’re going the same way as us for a while but we’re moving at a faster pace doing longer days as we’ve got a deadline to meet. No doubt we’ll bump into them again at some point as they go up the Coventry Canal and we go back down. I do hope so.
We’re hopefully also going to see Paul and Elaine again soon. They’ve sold Caxton, their narrowboat, and are hoping to come to lend us a hand going through the Tardebigge flight later this month. Leastways Paul will be lending a hand while Elaine stays on the boat admiring the view and chatting to Gordon. We might let her make the odd cup of tea though!