It's a bit of a shock to the system I must say. We never had so many people dropping by and dropping in when we lived in the house - and I must say I am enjoying the new experience of being sociable. There is a lot of truth in the cliche that the canal system is a linear village, and even when in practice you only see people three or four times in a year, it still feels as if they are just around the corner.
Today Alan and Cath came back to Stretton to collect Sickle. They brought beer and I cooked up a big pot of lentils to this excellent recipe, while Jim made a batch of his splendid home made bread. Just as started cooking, Cath came over to say that Stanton was approaching. We'd said hello to Peter and Laura as they passed on their way up to High Offley last week, so I ran out to see if they would like to stop for a cup of tea this time. They would, and tied up to Chertsey, and everyone had a chat while I cooked the lentils.
This in itself would be amazing enough, but tomorrow both Hairy Neil and Starcross Jim have promised to drop by, so I can foresee a fine evening in the Swan. Alan and Cath might well be back by then too as they are taking Sickle to the Black Country Museum and will be coming back for the car.
I think we might have volunteered to help them up the Wolverhampton 21 tomorrow morning too...
As I said of the Droitwich gathering, if you told me that would be going on holiday with two other couples, to what amounts to a holiday camp (club house, daily events and activities...) I would either have hit you, or shot myself. But guess what? Entirely due to the splendid people involved, and the overriding bond of boats and boating, I am really rather enjoying it all.