The sun was setting as I drove the last miles over what passes for a road over the fens. I stopped to buy half a dozen eggs and the Egg Lady came out and introduced herself. She recognised me as the woman who handed her some twenty egg boxes at the start of the summer. I keep them in the boot of my car for when I come East.
We had a brief chat and I explained I was on my way to das Boot. She was interested in why I had it. I explained – Mother's move to sheltered housing, my need for somewhere to stay. She asked what I would be doing this weekend. I told her the main purpose of my visit was to see my aunt who has terminal cancer. Egg Lady promptly told me if I needed a shoulder to cry on and/or a glass of wine, I should be welcome.
She has a pack of wonderful dogs, so I may take her up on it. I told her I knew someone in Colorado who wants her weather vane.
At the marina I hurried to das Boot to run the engine and get sorted before MasterB came on board. A head poked out of a nearby boat. A boat that is newish here. The owner of the head, Gary, wanted to know if I knew the code to the toilet and shower block. He seemed a bit down. Maybe he has been waiting all day for someone to turn up and give him that information. He made some comment about there being quite a few cars here but no people. They're out on their boats, I said, gesturing to the riverfront which was conspicuously empty of craft. He seemed unimpressed. Maybe I would be too if I had been hoping for use of an onshore shower all day.
The engine started straightaway, and I scuttled between car and boat with groceries, bedding, and goodness knows what. It's always best to make up the bed before MasterB is aboard as he likes to help, though if my memory is correct, Cat was even keener to get enmeshed in the sheet when I was trying to it fit over the mattress.
Fifteen minutes later, the water was hot, and everything was aboard if not in place, and I fetched MasterB. He was not keen to be strapped into his harness, but my nerves wouldn't take the thought of him taking off for exploration in the gloom. We had a nice walk down to das Boot. I had hoped he would dig himself a little hole and have an al fresco pee, but he didn't feel the need.
I could not find the enthusiasm to cook, which is rare with me, so supped on bread cheese and olives which did very well. I got a nice bottle of white wine on the way up, and am ruining it by drinking it with fizzy water, but no one can see, and I like it, so that's ok.
MasterB is settled and relaxed. He too has had his supper, has purred and looked out of the windows, so I don't think he's too traumatised at finding himself afloat. He has just looked up as an owl has hooted some distance away. I am sure he knows far more about the wild life here than I do. He often spends half the night sitting in the fore cabin watching in the dark.
I think Gary must have settled for an onboard shower, either that or he's left a tap running, the sound of water running into the marina on an otherwise very quiet night is almost unseemly.
I'm looking forward to seeing aunt, and to spending some time walking about the roads near here. The seasons are moving on. The leeks have been harvested, and fat rolls of hay sit in the fields. Amazingly there are still poppies. And I have plastic boxes in the car ready for blackberries. The cygnet must have grown; maybe the moorhen has had a second lot of chicks.
I can hardly wait.