In July, for the best part of three weeks, we left the boat and headed off on a trip to Suffolk and Cornwall. Before we put the boat into Barby Marina and headed off, we managed a couple of days moored up in a quiet spot just outside Braunston, with Sue and Andy from Festina Lente. The weather was incredible, the craic was great and, even though the barn owl that hunts in the area didn’t put in an appearance for us, the sunsets and the company made up for it.
Our first port of call on the trip was Aldeburgh in Suffolk where we spent a wonderful three days with my daughter Jenny. We had a great time playing with the boys in the garden improving our non existent football skills!
We may have made an escape from the boat but we certainly hadn’t escaped from boaters. Paul, Roly and Bev were also staying in Cornwall and we managed a get together on our first night in the Ship in Mousehole.
We also managed to bump into some old friends, Hen, Tim and Ollie the pug along with the ‘Harbour Barber’ Robbie Capes. It was great to catch up.
Our first stay was with my friend Annie in her beautiful house overlooking Mousehole and she looked after us royally including cooking us a couple of wonderful meals.
Gordon managed to get his compulsory walk around Newlyn Harbour…
…and his compulsory drink with old friends in one of the local hostelries…
…before we moved on to stay with Gord’s sister Heth in her new house in the countryside near Lelant. It’s right opposite Trencrom Hill and we headed up there on our first evening. It’s one of the places I used to take the dog for walks when we lived in Hayle and the views are stunning.
On another day we headed out on another of my favourite walks past Lanyon Quoit, the Men an Tol, the Nine Maidens stone circle and up Carn Galver with its views over the North Coast.
One of the reasons for our Cornish visit was that I’d finally reached pension age and could pick up my bus pass. Being old has some advantages! To celebrate my birthday we went for lunch in the Coastguard hotel with Gord’s sister Heth, Annie, Hilary, Roly, Bev, Paul and my daughter Ellie. Ellie’s an expert at avoiding the camera and managed to stay out of the shot in any of the photos I have of the event. It was a wonderful meal and a great way to celebrate turning 64 with friends and family.
We had originally intended to head back to the boat after this but were invited to a wedding that we just couldn’t miss. Cod and Jane, who have been together for longer than either of them would care to admit, were finally getting hitched and we were asked to the evening do. This meant staying in Cornwall for a few days longer which gave us time to attend Newlyn Raft Race and help out a bit with the setting up and organisation. It had been pouring down the day before so everyone was relieved to see clear skies on the day. I don’t know how much was raised for the Newlyn Harbour Lights fund but it was amazingly well attended and enjoyed by all.
The whole of our visit to Cornwall was a bit of a social whirl, visiting as many of our friends as possible. We managed to get to see Clare who runs the pirate boat Bag O’ Rags in Penzance Harbour.
She’s completely up to her eyes in preparations for Penzance’s most recent attempt to break the Guinness World record for the biggest gathering of pirates. Unfortunately we can’t make it back down for that but I’m sure they’ll smash it! We bought ourselves a Cornish Flag and now have it flying proudly from the back of the boat.
Dinner at Barry and Hilary’s house in Mousehole was another highlight. It was a ‘school night’ so not a late one but nonetheless enjoyable. As usual, Hilary cooked a lovely meal backed up by Barry who sorted out the booze.
To end the visit, we did manage to get to Cod and Jane’s wedding reception – unfortunately my phone battery died so there isn’t any photographic evidence but it was a marvellous ‘do’ in Penzance Rugby Club. Great food, loads of chance to catch up with old friends and a certain amount of alcohol.
We’re back on the boat now have met up again up with Sue and Andy in order to make yet another attempt to tackle the Basingstoke Canal. This will be our third try and hopefully this time we’ll be successful!