Janis arrived back in Warwick on Thursday evening. Her National Express Coach from Gatwick was an hour overdue and because of a lack of precise delay details, I had been waiting for around half that period at the bus station, as twilight set in and the air became distinctly cooler, by the time it arrived.
But I was so glad to see her. She looked healthy and made me look, and feel, quite pale against her well tanned mahogany complexion. In the gathering dusk she looked more like one of the indigenous inhabitants of Sri Lanka where she had been for over a month than one of us cold mortals here in UK.
After the driver had retrieved her rucksack and bag from the luggage compartment, the bus quickly sped off in a cloud of exhaled diesel fumes, well aware no doubt of its timetable setback. The lady though, insisted (as she always does) on carrying her own rucksack, which was larger than herself in spite of my alternative offer, leaving me looking like a ninny to carry the smaller bag and, as a healthy strong male, a very guilty conscience. But soon we were back on board and it was great to have her back.
Since then we’ve been preparing to head north on our proposed 2014 cruise, which eventually will take us to the top of the Lancaster Canal. The intermediate plan is to be close to Liverpool by the 1st April where there is an annual reunion of my old shipping company that I want to attend. It will be good to see old faces again.
Hopefully but as always somewhat tentatively after four months on our 240 volt umbilical cord with all the decadent advantages that this has indulged us with, we plan to leave Kate Boats tomorrow morning.
In past years there has always been something that has made us put off this fateful day. But this time it will need to be something really serious to prevent us leaving, as my friend Jenny is arriving here expectantly early tomorrow morning anticipating a passage up the twenty one Hatton Locks and through the Shrewley Tunnel beyond. She has to return home on Tuesday so it’s important that we set off tomorrow. Janis’s friend Andy is also meeting us tomorrow evening above the tunnel so we need to arrive there on time.
This afternoon Janis and I have made our final visit to Tesco to stock our cupboards and fridges for the forthcoming voyage. So all we have to do tomorrow is finally to fill the tanks of the two little ships with fresh water and then….
Off we jolly well go!