It's windy; ropes are creaking and there's a definite rock to das Boot. The wind always affects the Internet connection here, so tonight I have none. Nor do I have a 'phone signal, which is slightly unnerving. Still, das Boot is securely tied to the pontoon, the pontoon itself is secure, unlike the rickety one I saw this afternoon, and I feel in good health.
Aunt was pleased to see me. It turns out Uncle Bill made a surprise visit to see her at the beginning of the week. I think that probably explained why Aunt was looking so upbeat. Swallowing is becoming more difficult. Now everything has to be sieved, but she has a good colour and a bright eye.
The rain that was forecast held off and the sun shone fitfully. After a lunch of pea and mint soup Aunt agreed to an outing in the car. Our goal was the caravan shop so I could buy a new light fitting for das Boot, and then we thought we might see if we could find Jude's Ferry, one of the pubs Aunt wants to go to.
Jude's Ferry was a favourite destination of my parents when they first moved East, and I was surprised Aunt had never been there with them. But maybe she was a bit more strait laced about pubs in those days.
I had been to the caravan shop before, remembered its location and we headed straight there. Except it has gone, and in its place some sort of military supplier. It may have just moved, but if so some time ago as there was no sign directing old customers to a new site.
We covered several square miles of Suffolk countryside looking for the pub. We even found another marina, and an eco camp site. Aunt was enjoying looking about her so much, making a checklist of the new blossoms since her last outing a few weeks ago, that not finding the pub didn't really matter. And we were certainly doing a fairly good job of ruling out places where it wasn't.
We were heading home when I suggested a left turn. The road was unfamiliar to me, but then I realised we were climbing a short hill to a small bridge. A bridge crossing water, and suddenly there was the very pub we were searching for. We received an auspicious welcome from a black Labrador called Monty, and Aunt settled on a comfortable sofa while I ordered tea for her and grapefruit and soda for myself. David Cameron might have described us as 'pumped up'. We were certainly very pleased with ourselves.
The view looked down to the pub garden and the river. There was no one in the garden and very few people inside the pub. I remember it as being very busy. Looking about, we felt the interior needed a makeover. It had a rather tired air. The tiles in the Ladies' were a time warp. But there were some interesting old photographs of the pub a hundred years ago, including one where fully dressed people seemed to be wading joyfully in the river.
What are they doing? I asked the barman. Full immersion baptism. I remembered the fiery Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon had a connection with somewhere in Suffolk. Aunt didn't know, but back at her flat we googled him and discovered he was baptised at Isleham, 3rd May 1850. Aunt was so pleased she wrote it down in her diary. Apparently there is a stone that marks the spot. I think that'll call for another outing, and as Spurgeon was no tea totaller, I reckon we can clock up another pub at the same time.
A better connection today and my 'phone came back to life before I went to bed which was a relief, but the in is pretty steady this morning and I haven't been able to upload this post. I did manage to get to the shower block and back in a lull, but whether I go ashore to the organic farm is debatable. So, a lovely excuse to sit and read, maybe write, and to play with MasterB.