Saturday 3rd. January, 2015 – The long journey home 

This morning I again walked Mix to Salterforth and I took this picture of the cutting as I looked over the canal bridge at the Lower Park Marina. The picture has caught the light of the morning and I just love to look at all of the boats. I noticed that this year there are quite a few of them for sale. I’m not sure what that means because most of the boats here seem to have people living on them. Are folk moving on? Or buying new boats? Or leaving the waterways behind them? I hope not

Forced myself out of the most comfortable bed in the world this morning because we have to make the long journey home (almost four hours in the car) and there are many chores to be done before we can set off. But first the dogs had to be walked (I enjoy all this dog walking on holiday but we sure miss having the garden into which the dogs can be decanted until we are ready to set off on a wander).

My main task before we leave is always to deal with the toilet. This involves disconnecting the toilet cassette and taking it to the special toilet where it can be emptied and cleaned before bringing it back on board and preparing it for its next use by adding blue liquid and a quantity of water. I like it to be ready for our next trip (although we do have two such cassettes to ensure that we don’t get caught out).

Then we put the double bed away – it pulls out from the wall and goes across the whole width of the boat and ensures that we are so comfortable. Rachel had meanwhile cleaned and tidied and also had all of the elements ready so that next time we arrive it will be a matter of minutes to get the fire lit.

Finally we had to get the boat ready for our departure by closing the water tank, emptying the taps of water, turning off the electricity both from the shore and from the ship’s batteries, closing down the gas supply and so on.

We loaded the dogs and our spare rations on board and set off. Rachel chose to drive along the west rather than the route I normally take down the A1. As a result we visited a great deal of the borders on our way home, but we made very good time and were all unpacked and ready for our evening meal with Mum, Olive and Digger in the farmhouse.

In the evening we settled back into the Granary and watched an old film entitled The Seventh Coin set in Jerusalem (the tourist Jerusalem we knew quite well) and starring Peter O’Toole. It was quite good if just a little pantomimy (I know that is not a word). Rachel went off to bed – we walked the dogs first – and I settled down to watch the Test Match from Wellington: New Zealand against Sri Lanka. Kumar Sangakkara was magnificent, going on to score more than two hundred runs. Tomorrow night will be exciting.


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