Pictures to Follow

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.

I forgot MasterB’s harness so he can’t have shoreleave, and this time he seems rather keen. I’ve been playing with him, but it can’t be as interesting as the smells he’d have found out on a walk. Indoor cats must miss out on a lot.


The forecast has been so dire I nearly didn’t come. But in my heart of hearts I knew I wanted to be here and if there was a chance the weather might be kind, I would come. So there I was this morning, still vacillating, but at the back of my mind choosing the things I would pack. Pity I forgot the harness. Maybe if it’s quiet tomorrow morning I’ll risk taking him ashore and letting him run free. Not if it’s windy though. I don’t want any accidents when he gets back in board.


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.


9 thoughts on “Pictures to Follow

  1. Have a really good time on your boating birthday weekend with the ginger boy Isobel. Can you not fashion him a temporary harness out of something on board for his shore leave? My grandmother used to use a scarf for me as a temporary set of reins when I was beginning to walk! Hope the weather takes a turn for the better too for you and that you get some good photos of the marine wildlife!

    • Well I have wondered. But I can’t see anything that might work. His harness is bespoke(!). But if he settless tonight we may be up early enough in the morning for him to enjoy some freedom. I hope so. He has made it very plain that he would like to go ashore!

  2. oh, it sounds like you are already having a wonderful birthday celebration. all the best with MasterB and a possible excursion ashore sans his harness.
    while i fully understand the joy of the freedom of the outdoors, Timmy is one of those cats who has been relegated as an indoor cat. but in his case he does get a number of outdoor excursions, although it is rarely offleash and bever unsupervised. I have seen coyotes outside the house and in a nearby park, during evening and daylight hours, as well as skunks and raccoons. one time there was a skunk across the street, and if Timmy had been free to roam, he would have headed straight for it. he was tugging and tugging on his leash, and he could not seem to understand why i was not headed where he so dearly wanted to go.
    in any case, so happy that MasterB adopted you. happy 5th anniversary to you both! enjoy your weekend, and happy birthday!

    • His safety is exactly the reason he doesn’t have the freedom here he enjoys at home. He isn’t that keen on the harness which we only use here, but I think he understands it’s the only way he will get out and about. I ought to keep it in the car so it is ready for use. Today has been glorious; lots of sunshine and I am again sitting on the gunwale enjoying a lager. MasterB is having a wash and has eaten the remains of his breakfast. Something just dived close by the boat and made both of us look up. As no bird has resurfaced, I think it must have been a large fish.

  3. Sorry I didn’t remember to drop off a birthday card for you. I remembered when I got to work but it was too late by then. I have a present for you which I’ll give you on Monday. I love “a sort of ornithological timeshare”.
    April 29th was my father’s birthday so I also remember the date of William and Kate’s wedding, which I have to say I enjoyed immensely.

  4. So much news, very nice. Too bad about MasterB’s harness but I know you will find a way to keep him happy. A little supervised stroll if it is quiet would be good. I am thinking by now he has had some shore time. Enjoy your birthday weekend, Isobel. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your birthday, I hope the weather is kind to you.

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