Some friends came up to the boat yesterday. The same ones who came my birthday weekend.
Just call me Miss Marple, but you know what, I think they like it here. Something about the big smiles; the words paradise, perfect, I love it; the way their shoulders settle back where they ought to be, gives the game away.
Their dog likes it too.
Last time, he was fine on the boat itself, but flattened himself on the pontoon in the way dogs have to show they are not happy. Yesterday he went onto another pontoon to say hello to a friendly native, and as for the people in the motor home, well you’d have thought he’d known them all his life.
We wanted to take the boat out, but there were logistics to deal with, which meant keeping both Cat and Z happy and safe while still being able to see out of the back of the boat. So we couldn’t reapply last time’s solution of simply closing the door between the galley and the aft cabin.
A Solution was Required.
While we had lunch, and enjoyed the sunshine with the boat in coupé mode, and a nice bottle of château Waitrose they’d brought, Z wore Cat’s lifejacket and was tethered to a drawer handle.
It seemed to work, so mid-afternoon, off we set for a pootle down the river. Teamwork. S at the helm, P on boat hook, me at the ropes. Maybe we should start a band.
S was enviably stylish in the way he took the boat out of the marina entrance. We had encouragement from two lovely boaters who were working on their boat. They are reluctantly selling it. It’s a gorgeous boat, though it needs some work. Their daughter owns half of it and needs the cash for her higher education fees.
It was a good thing Z was tethered. The reversal of his usual position vis-à-vis ducks had him scrambling to leave the boat and get them. His little nose twitched constantly.
We all took turns at the helm so that we could enjoy a turn about the boat and stare at the riverbanks.
The quiet of our conversation was punctuated at intervals by P squeaking at S to take a photograph. A heron flow across the river. The geese and their adolescent goslings were strutting their stuff, two adult swans waited on the river bank as their tiny cygnets struggled up the bank. The grass was green, the skies were blue, a gentle breeze kept us cool.
S guided us back into the marina smoothly; demonstrating that our exit had not been a fluke, but skill. We tied up and then it was time for them to leave.
I think we have a team.