Greetings from Tier 4. We're frantically packing up presents to send by courier to family who now can't join us. Aah Well.
So the plan was, and still is, to remind us all that one or two good things might have come out of this traumatic year. There must be something. Boating wise, I suppose much depends on whether you live aboard or, like us, cruise purely for the fun of doing it. I'll have to leave it to the residentials to speak for themselves, but for us this year has brought about a couple of good things.
1. Giving nature a break. All that reduction in human activity must have been good for mother nature. less air pollution, less disturbance to nesting birds. Fish too maybe enjoyed having the water to themselves for a change. Maybe boating should have a close season likes shooting and fishing. Hmmm maybe not.
2. Seizing the day. Normally we like to do some longer cruises, but this year we've had to grab what time was allowed to us, even if it was only a couple of days pottering up Napton and back. And did we enjoy it? Oh yes. Even our main boating trip was less than a week and we savoured it.
3. Slowing down. Our September trip -all the way from Wigrams to Braunston and back took us a week and we loved it. We'd normally do that in a day or even half a day if we needed to. We did actually move every day. I think one day we cruised for less than fifteen minutes, just from one mooring space to another for a change of scene. I've generally regarded that stretch of canal as something to push on through but in fact a lot of it is perfect for a short stay. The sun shone and we found nice wide grassy banks to sit out on. Kath did her art work, I, um, can't remember doing anything in particular except polishing one side of the boat. The canal was actually very busy with all sorts of craft enjoying their last fling of summer, but we just sat and enjoyed being out in the sticks. I think in future we might do a bit more of that, rather than always trying to get somewhere, especially as we get older I suppose.
4. Finally, the kindness of strangers. Boaters are mostly a friendly lot, but this year I think the shared experience of the lockdowns and all that produced an extra bond and people were looking out for each other in a good way. We could all have a little grumble together, then we'd share our stories and wish each other well and safe. When we were being a nuisance to our marinas, forever changing our plans, they couldn't have been kinder or more understanding.
Of course we were lucky in what we should probably now refer to as Lockdown1 because the weather was beautiful for the most part, so sitting on a sofa in the garden all day wasn't exactly a hardship.
So has it been a good year? Of course not, but at least we survived it and maybe when we get our freedom back we'll all enjoy it a bit more.
Anybody had their jab yet? My big bro has had his. I can't wait.