Saturday, nine pm.
Day three at Alvecote began with a little light polishing, then breakfast in the Barlow. In previous years the boaters' breakfast was extremely set, with no exceptions and no substitutions, so we have got in the habit of taking a dish by which to transfer our eggs to Ricky. Both Jim and I are of the view that the only acceptable way of eating eggs is in a cake. This morning Ricky got some sausage too, as I was feeling generous. It was ten thirty by the time breakfast was over, and the sun was already warm. We had Ricky's shelter set up yesterday but at two metres wide it's a bit of a liability and so detrimental to the aesthetics of the boat that I feared we might be banished to the end of the marina with the cabin conversions. So this morning I improvised a more compact, Ricky sized, shelter using the fabric of the tent and the folding table. This was a great success and I shall share photos of it in due course. We took the opportunity to forage the Chesterfield Canal Trust's stall and came away with four books, a Walsh long throw windlass, and a new tiller for the Princess Lucys. (Lucies?)
After a light lunch (a mint magnum) we went over to visit the Moomins on Melaleuca. This was because they are moored on the towpath opposite the Barlow, in prime position for viewing the winding part of the boat parade. I wasn't going to parade for two reasons - one, I can't abide the 'amusing' commentary, and two, I couldn't face the thought of getting back onto the pontoon after. So we sat it out on Melaleuca's fore end and I tried out my new birthday 17-85mm lens. I can't tell you what the results were like until I get back and get the photos onto the big screen but I am sure there will be some to post.
After two and a half hours of parade we went back to the boat for some dinner containing actual vegetables, keeping the scurvy at bay for another day or two, and then found ourselves irresistibly drawn back to the bar, where I have been inveigled by mein host Malcolm into a boutique gin or three. I am currently sitting, slightly chilled (Ricky now has his blanket on) outside the Barlow eagerly anticipating the illuminated boat parade. And another gin.
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