I am at das Boot with the First Mate (MasterB has been promoted). We are both in the rear cabin, I’m on the director’s chair looking out at the quiet marina, MasterB is purring on the pink fleecy blanket at the end of the bed.
In the field beside us the calves are grazing with their mothers. I got off to photograph some of them. They are so very pretty. One or two were curious but shy. I like to think their mothers recognise me as the woman who uproots sticky weed from my side of the barbed wire fence to give them. Certainly they seem unconcerned by my presence, and do nothing to warn their calves not to speak to me.
If I weren’t already vegetarian, close contact with these creatures would definitely push me in that direction. As it is, I am increasingly relieved my diet is largely vegan; I feel I can look them in the eye. Funnily enough, just before they appeared I had been thinking how little I missed cheese and butter. That has surprised me, but I think I have found other things I like equally well so I don’t feel the lack.
This will be my last boat stay of 2018. In three weeks (THREE WEEKS!!!) I am off to New Zealand. Older Nephew is going to winterise das Boot with a friend of his I have not met. So these few days I should take stock of work that needs to be done before next season. I intend to go to Aunt’s grave and plant spring bulbs. My plans have a valedictory feel to them.
But not tonight. There was one car here when we arrived after a good journey from London. I collected six eggs Janet had put aside for me when we turned onto the bumpy single track road across the fens. MasterB remained in the car while I ran the engine, made up the bed, ferried food and other essentials to das Boot. The other car left. Then I opened MasterB’s basket and he climbed out. Before he could run into the wide blue yonder, I put his harness on him and he lead me at a sedate pace to das Boot. Truly, I am blessed to live with such an accommodating boy. He came aboard and had a prodigious pee while I rehung the galley curtains I had taken home to wash. I’m glad he managed to hold on.
It’s getting cooler now, the days have shortened considerably. I still have the doors and windows open, but I shall shut them soon and close the curtains. When I went to fill the water bottles a pheasant rushed away. This is shooting territory. If I were a pheasant, I think I might well choose to spend my time at the marina where shooting is not permitted. In the water I can see spreading circles telling me fish are active beneath the surface. I am listening to birdsong as I type. When a cow went to the water’s edge to drink, two moorhens, rattled, sped to the opposite bank. Birds fly in formation and singly across the slowly fading light.