The grebes are nesting, but not next to das Boot. This year they have chosen a spot on the river. I watched them busy collecting material. It seems much noisier spot than in the marina, but I suppose most grebes don’t have the luxury of off river facilities. I took some pictures, but it don’t know they show more than vague outlines.
The journey east was varied. We left in sunshine, drove through hail with winds that swept the rain sideways across the roads. Pedestrians in Stratford outlined by garments wrapped round them. Then more sunshine; winds that chased clouds across impossibly blue skies; scatters of raindrops.
There were roadworks. There are always roadworks in spring. One lot had us crawling several miles until we were clear. I stopped at a petrol station and filled the tank.
Near the start of the undulating road across the fens that leads to the marina I nabbed half a dozen eggs from the nice egg lady. The road seems even more undulating than a week ago. Mary and her two uncontrolled but beautiful Labradors was here. They ignored her commands and jumped up at me. MasterB, so had been quiet and accepting most of the journey began to cry plaintively as I emptied the car. I wanted to get the bed made before he came aboard. When I let him out of his box, he made big eyes and sniffed everywhere before taking refuge under a pillow.
The birds seemed to be taking it in turns to come into the marina like some sir of ornithological timeshare. First the grebes who remained frustratingly far away once I got my camera in my hand, then the moorhens, the ducks, thee swans, and the last time I looked when it was still light, two swans and a grebe. Birds are flying over head that look like swallows, but surely can’t be. They look too big for house martins.
I had a long chat with Lovely Linda, Aunt’s home help. We may meet up over the weekend, it’d be great if she and her partner were to come here. I told her I was wearing (am still wearing) Aunt’s body warmer. When we were clearing the flat, I found this garment and said to Linda that it looked new and that I had never, ever seen Auntie Mary wearing it. It is new, Linda told me, her friend in Scotland sent it to her, I took a picture of her wearing it to send back and then she took it off.
I do wish I could tell Aunt that I’m really appreciating it. I think that would make her smile. Humour is very important in my family; dry humour, stories, giggly humour, you name it. A few relatives have missed out on the humour gene. It can make conversation suddenly falter, even stop. This is unusual in my family where talking is almost a competitive sport. Cousin even wondered aloud where her sister came from, as said sister, a good woman, shows no sign of having a sense of humour. Their brother warns that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, tell her a joke.
So I am happy to be on das Boot. Had I stayed at home I am sure I should have found lovely things to do, but it’s my birthday on Sunday, and every year since I have had das Boot I have spent my birthday afloat. Usually friends come, but this year they are in France and it will be just me and MasterB. And that’s fine. Though it would be finer if I knew he could go ashore safely. Today is Prince William and Katharine Middleton’s fifth anniversary, a date I remember because it is also the fifth anniversary of the first time MasterB, newly neutered, came to das Boot. You can look it up in the archives if you like.
He is such a good boy. Right now he’s curled up beside me sleeping. He has looked out of the windows, played with the fishing rod toy, emptied his biscuit ball, purred and washed himself. Could anyone have a better cat? I don’t think so.
So actually, I am more than happy to be on das Boot.
It feels perfect. Mind you, I am saying this before a night on the less than perfect mattress.