Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A couple of unforgettable days.

Before the 2015 Herbie Awards reaches their thrilling climax, we look back once again over our ten years with our trusty boat.

Possibly our most magical night on Herbie was on June 13th 2009, at least that's what the blog record tells me.

We were moored on the Great Ouse not far from Earith on a tiny GOBA mooring just big enough for our boat.  We had already been away from home for some weeks and we were really getting settled into life by the water. As dusk fell, we sat quietly just watching the scene.

 The night was warm and sultry and we sat out on the bank in a tiny clearing with bushes behind and either side of us.  As we looked out over the river, a barn owl flapped silently back and forth over the opposite bank, and unknown creatures made strange noises in the bankside vegetation.  The river itself was still, like a mill pond and the odd fish plopped at the surface taking the evening rise of flies.

Just as the sun was disappearing here was a loud swirl in the water, right under Herbie's rear end, only a couple of feet from us.  Another swirl, bigger this time, and a beautiful seal poked his head out of  the water, looked lazily at us for several seconds, and then just as quickly was gone.  There's a lot to be said for just sitting still in the countryside.  Sooner or later you become a natural part of the scene and the wildlife goes about its business as if you weren't there.  Magic.

Some day's are memorable for rather different reasons, like the day in November 2010 when we were tootling up the River Stort and this happened.

Pretty spectacular don't you think? That'll teach me to keep the water and oil topped up.  The thing that our passenger, Rainman, found amusing was that the first thing I did was to reach for the camera to take this picture. Blog before boat, that's my motto. At the time I had a sneaking feeling that it might turn out for the best because I could get a new engine. Luckily although the engine had temporarily seized, it was under no other stress and the time and once it had cooled down and we'd topped up the fluids, there seemed no harm done.  Well, it's still going nicely five years later at any rate.

I think it was possibly the during previous evening that something happened that we still laugh about today.  We went into a pub for a meal. Possibly the Moorhen pub near Harlow.  Nothing special there, just a chain pub doing cheap food.  After perusing the menu I opted for fish and chips and Rainman the same.  I don't recall what Kath had.  I offered to order at the bar, which was only two or three paces from where we sat.

" A flagon of your finest ale and two fish and chips please."quoth I.

"Very well my liege, would that be with ye garden peas or ye mushy peas?" enquired our host.

"I don't know," I replied, "I'll go and ask."

I took the two or three steps back to our table and asked Rainman to make his choice, which he did with commendable decisiveness, asking for garden peas.  I did a smart about turn and returned back to the bar, the whole round trip not exceeding ten seconds quite possibly less.

"What did he say?" asked the man at the bar, finger poised over the computer touch pad.

"Um, er, I can't remember!" I was forced to admit, while all around indulged in fits of the giggles.

Aah the old Alzheimers is on its way. How come I can remember that after five years, but I couldn't remember Rainman's answer for five seconds?

Tomorrow, I'll put down a few words about ten years of blogging, including a favourite post before we announce the big award on Christmas Eve.


Vallypee said...

Great memories, Neil! I remember both the magical memory and the mistier one! It just shows how long I've been trailing around after Herbie too. Thanks for a brilliant ten years of blogdom! I still hope we'll meet up one of these days. All the best to you both for a magnificent Christmas! :)

David said...

I may have been amused by your photo-journalistic reaction, but I was also very worried as I had been "driving" just before the great fire.
As to the garden pea incident, I think it was made more memorable as it was performed in front of a crowded bar. It could have been used in an episode of Only fools and horses! Happy memories.