February is half over and 2013 marches on swiftly. The rain is beating down outside and its consistent patter on the roof is as comforting, because it is not allowed to get inside where my fire is keeping everything nice and warm, as it is mesmerising. If I was to relax in my easy chair, the gentle staccato rhythm combined with this feeling of security would soon have my head falling forward on my chest. Such peace is here.
Though it has had its moments, this winter has not proved as severe as it has over recent years. Though we have experienced a few days of snow and the canal actually froze, it was only very briefly here in Warwick. If one could predict accurately how the weather was going to behave over this season, one could safely use this idle winter time much more productively chugging along. As it is one is merely killing time tied up to a safe mooring until the beginning of March, when the official cruising season begins.
Here at Kate Boats however the bright and perky little Robin continues every day to sing his optimistic song, never daunted by whatever weather there is; he has such courage. while not far below him, bobbing their white heads in the cool breeze, the Snowdrops enthusiastically offer their applause. Everybody is sensing that the spring is not too far away.
Not that I feel disappointed with these ‘time killing’ days. They give me the opportunity to carry out all the tasks that I never manage to do in the busy cruising days. All the little jobs that have accrued in the summer can be satisfactorily completed, while of course I get the opportunity to visit the family on the bus, with a ‘stop’ just outside the yard, and from the mainline railway station only a ten minute walk away.
Of the family my brother David is the one I visit the most, as he lives so close at Stratford-upon-Avon. On Friday I arranged to see him and travelled across by the local bus. I had been invited to coffee with him and his two friends Edmund and Patricia.
These three, all single, spend a lot of time together and though a few local people who spot them regularly might be tempted to think ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’, I consider them to be a very illustrious little group and am very honoured when they invite me occasionally as an associate member.
On Friday I met them in the Encore pub and with all the flashing wit and discourse, we managed to pass two easy and comfortable hours together. Then with a break for individual shopping and tasks, we met again at twelve thirty at ‘The Henley Street Tearooms’ for lunch.
It was a special occasion; they all are. So we four enjoyed a delicious Smoked Salmon Benedict with a flute of Champagne, complete with half a strawberry straddling the rim. It was magnificent and all went ‘dane loike a treat’, as they say contentedly in my part of the country, while another two hours was warmly passed in such excellent company.
Later I returned to the ship very happy with my day.