Countdown to the new normal

Spring continues to show its head, even though the lovely sunny days are interspersed with some very high winds, snow and frost. On March 28th we welcomed British Summertime and lost an hours sleep. It is however lovely to have the lighter evenings and so longer days before we need to close the curtains!!

I do try to keep busy and have, in the past tried watercolour painting – not very successfully. So when I saw an advert for a painting by numbers kit for under a tenner, I snapped it up. It is a picture of a hare and it is absolutely absorbing, each time I try to put on all of one colour, today has been number 18 and while you are painting and close to the canvas it doesn’t seem a lot but when you stand away and can see the picture taking shape it is really lovely and gives such a sense of achievement. Can’t wait to see the finished article, whether it is ever good enough to ‘hang’ I’m not sure, maybe not.

We continue to have our regular walks and a couple of weeks ago followed a walk which my daughter sent us which took us in a different direction to our normal forays. It was advertised as 9 miles and we did most of it, just took a detour around one village instead of through it. We picked a wonderful day sunny and warm and ended up walking in tee shirts and sunglasses. Maybe then it was an even bigger shock when the following week our walking attire was waterproofs, woolly hats and wellies!!!

Our regular walk by the river along from the mooring is one of our favourites as there is always something to see, geese, swans, muntjac deer, hares, herons; marsh harriers and buzzards soaring overhead and we regularly see a barn owl out hunting.

Earlier this week we disturbed a heron and were surprised to see as it moved away that it had caught a huge rat. It put the rat down, but as the rat tried to run away the heron quickly picked it up again in its beak. It stood for sometime, as we did watching, with the rat in its mouth, almost as if it was unsure what to do with it now that it had caught it. It definitely looked much too big for it to swallow!!

We had a new engine fitted last summer and have been waiting for lockdown to ease to allow the engineer to come over and check the installation. He (Sam) came a couple of weeks ago and he and Martin took the boat out for a test run. Most seemed to go well except that there is a problem with the steering (not good!) and the new propeller we had fitted needs to be refitted at a different angle to provide optimum thrust. This means the boat will have to be lifted out of the water, propeller taken off and taken down to London (to the manufacturers), altered and then refitted. Martin is currently battling with lengths of hose and ‘things’ as he refits the steering mechanism. It is good for him to have a project!!!

We have also spent some time discussing our future and decisions have been made up to a point. We intend to get the required work done to the engine and drive mechanism and the we shall put the boat up for sale, our next move depends really on how long it takes to sell, but we will keep you updated.

Although on the face of it we don’t seem to have loads to do, we always stay occupied, even if it is reading, painting, going to Tesco’s or just watching the world go by. The days go by very quickly and Monday keeps coming round. Lockdown is easing and we sent for the free lateral flow home test kits, which we ordered on line and they arrived the next day, we have done one test and are both negative and we hope it stays that way. We look forward to our second vaccination and the continues path path back to the ‘new normal’. We have been luckier than many and not really adversely effected by Covid. One thing we do make sure of is that we laugh each day and so ensure our world keeps turning and our lives continue to be enriched.