Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Just looking!

The winter weather was heavy and overcast, a cold cold wind and a constant light drizzle being carried along in the air. One of those days where the conditions can soak you to the skin without you noticing until its too late. In reality - it was not the best day to do anything other than sit by the fire. We should have known, Poppy did not want to go out in the car. In fact she was such a drone that we turned around and dropped her back off at home! Pops seemed to be very happy at the prospect of not going out! But being the stalwarts (or idiots) that we both are, we went out just "for a look" at the Bluewater Marina on the Stainforth and Keadby canal at Thorne near Doncaster.

Just looking lesson.

When we arrived at Thorne, we found a group of boats moored up alongside the Louis and Joshua boatyard. We had a quick walk around and admired some of the boats on view. We waited for a while to watch a boat that was chugging down the canal towards Thorne centre. It was a nice pleasant experience to get a cheery wave and a few comments from the owner as he passed. However we had to ask a local for directions on how to get by road to the Bluewater marina.

In keeping with the weather, it was dank and dreary at the marina, it could not (under the trades description act) have been further away from reality than the Bluewater name suggests.  Lots of muddy grass and  various sized puddles to try and avoid. We had a steady walk round the marina looking at the various boats and in the time honoured (people watching) tradition looking at the people who populate them. It seems that winter is the time of year for boat maintenance. A few hardy sorts were busy doing indoor repairs and modifications. We had a nice chat with one owner who offered some advice about one or two of the boats on sale (in a nudge, nudge, wink, wink know what i mean squire sort of way). So we learned our first "just looking lesson" talk to the locals and be prepared to listen to their knowledgeable and sage advice.

Looking back, we seemed to have met both extremes in the narrow boat owner social circle at Bluewater. We met several very approachable owners who were all quite cheery in their demeanour despite the weather. Then we met Captain Glum, whose response to a proffered "hello" was an icy stare. We have also just learned our second "just looking lesson" and that is, for plodding round a winter beset marina, town shoes are not the best footwear - in such weather, stout footwear is certainly needed.

Poppy was glad to see us return! Plus, fish and chips on the way home helped to save the day. Tomorrow we are off to Birmingham, to the NEC where there is a motorcycle exhibition on. We hope to call into a marina in the Midlands area as well as visit family before returning home.

We have both enrolled for pre-retirement courses at our place of work. We have also had a word with our Human Resources department to sound out the chances of one or hopefully both of us leaving a bit before our anticipated retirement date. Another meeting has also been organised with our pension's provider to get the final figures.

Watch this space.

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