Monday, 7 February 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Well, spring it would seem is at long last on its way. As I write I can see the first of this years bulbs start to poke through the ground in the garden. It will be the first year that I will have some time to devote to the garden apart from the more usual emergency lawn cutting and remedial annual hedge trimming. I keep getting an ever growing list of "essential" jobs from the Memsahib as she doesn't want me to become bored by my impending early retirement.

I have a number of  "essential" maintenance jobs of my own to do on the boat before we take the first shakedown cruise of the year. Installing my radio equipment so that I can keep in touch with friends whilst we are cruising away from home. I want to do an oil and filter change, as well as carry out a visual inspection of the batteries.

The Lock Keepers Daughter
On another tack, I have just finished reading "The Lock Keepers Daughter" author Pat Warner ISBN1858580757" This is a good read which gives a great deal of insight into a canal lock keepers family. The book is something I would describe as an accidental autobiography of two people. Because I don't think Pat set out to do an autobiography of herself or her father. In a way, the book benefits a great deal from not being another dry biography.

The book describes a poignant story of a man who lost his wife and almost all of his children quite young. His youngest daughter describes her childhood and their life together. He working as a canal lock keeper whilst at the same time being both father and mother. A moving story of him as a provider and her reliving all of her adolescent years. This is a story of their shared privations living in an isolated lock keepers cottage, with no electricity, sewerage or running water. A story told by a first time author with obvious love and admiration that she had for her father. Written from fond memories "The Lock Keepers Daughter" is a simple story, that is simply told and a very good read.


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