Well, who’d have believed it? Over two whole months since the Skipper’s last blog post, and not a word in the meantime! Luckily for him, I don’t worry too much these days if he disappears for days on end. I’ve decided there’s no point in getting fed up. I’ve got used to his gallivanting around without so much as a by-your-leave, especially during the winter mooring period, here at Kate Boats. It’s when he catches up with friends and family, and his “on-land” pursuits. We’ve been travelling together now for six and a half, nearly seven, years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in that time, it’s that you’ve got to let him please himself. Luckily, I’ve had ‘Roots and Wings’ for company, and all in all, it’s been a very pleasant winter so far, with us breasted-up against each other. We never seem to run out of things to chat about. Although I have to say I do miss the cruising along the water, and the smooth, lightly-lapping sensation against my bow, which is only produced by the forward momentum of motion, having my amiable companion beside me while I am in stasis here in Warwick more than makes up for it. However, I can’t help feeling that it’s just getting too long now since sight or sound of the Old Man. What makes it more strange is that, up until a couple of weeks ago, Roots and Wings’ Skipper, Janis, was very much around as usual, plus the fact that last month the Skipper’s two sons, Alex and Rupert, were staying for several days. But absolutely no sign of the Skipper himself! Mmm, it all seems a bit fishy to me. Call it gut instinct if you like, but I can’t help feeling that something is going on, that everyone except me knows about… There’s nothing for it: I’m going to have to come out with it and ask directly. I shall ask Roots and Wings. I’ll choose my moment carefully, at a suitable opportunity. After all, I wouldn’t want to unsettle her… Today, as I sit here on this pleasant and peaceful section of the Grand Union Canal, a spotless sky hangs spaciously over me; and despite a temperature that must be only a few degrees above zero, the usual features and routines of nature – the ducks gliding past every so often, a brave Robin Redbreast in the vicinity scouting for food, and the delicate, occasional splashing of the water against my sides – continue undaunted.