My journey down to South Devon on Monday was long and though I had to change trains twice the bulk of the time was spent on one of those fast comfortable Cross Country trains so it seemed that in no time at all I was hailing a taxi at Newton Abbott station and we were speeding towards Bovey Tracey in the dappled sunshine of Dartmoor.
Harry and Trevor, the proprietors of the Copper Kettle Bed and Breakfast where I have always stayed on my previous visits, were very welcoming again and my usual room was most comfortable.
The service to Marjorie the following day at the Methodist Chapel was in fact a thanksgiving for her life rather than a funeral, so it turned out to be a very happy occasion. She was a well known and beloved lady in the neighbourhood and the tiny church was bulging with at least two hundred people I should think. Afterwards there were cups of tea served in the hall behind the chapel and somehow we all managed to fit in.
Marjorie had many friends but there were only one or two of them that I had ever met. Her carer Monika, though originally from Switzerland, had lived with her and looked after her devotedly for thirty five years. I knew her very well but was not able to have a long conversation with her since she was so busy greeting everybody else. After talking to those that I did know, I left and returned to my digs for the evening.
The following day, Wednesday, I returned to Newton Abbott for the long journey home where I arrived mid afternoon to ‘Futurest’ still moored where I had left her.
It was an anxious moment as I walked along towards the river, wondering whether she would still be there. I had been away for three days and during that time anything could have happened. My biggest anxiety was how I would find the batteries. The weather had been cloudy and showery and since I had left the fridge on, I wondered whether I would find them right down. I needn’t have worried though; the Sun had obviously been shining in Lincolnshire as they were fully charged up.
It was so strange coming back on board after the brief absence. Everything was exactly as I had left it, except the spiders had been hard at work. They had wasted no time in weaving their gossamer strands, which silkily caressed my face as I passed along the length of the ship.
It was good to be home!