Welcome to the story of Hale and Hearty travelling the canals of Great Britian

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Since February, when we realised our dream and bought our lovely narrowboat Hale and Hearty for our big adventure ambling the canals, we have had all the pleasure of setting her up. We were really surprised by the incredible feeling of freedom on the day of purchase, sitting in the February sun, drinking coffee, perched on the stern and listening to the M1 and mainline railway, a far cry from our rural home! We slept aboard that night and two weekends later, when the temperature was minus 9, thank heaven for an effective little multifuel stove and the foresight to pop a bag of logs in the car, and high tog duvets. As the bed is only 4 feet wide we also had to snuggle up, another aid to keeping cosy.
We have had two or three lovely trips out, to test the newly serviced engine and better bed design, it now extends to a massive six feet square and as neither of us are tall we can sleep across the boat and have lots of room. As we had such a lovely spring these trips have really whetted out appetite for the rest of the adventure. We have seen the Grand Union change gently into its spring adornment, with lots of blossom, bright new leaves and ducklings aplenty. Why is it such bliss to wake up early to the sound of ducks quacking and the gently rocking motion of the boat I wonder? On the first trip we had a bottle of champagne, kindly provided by my sister and poured the first glass over the bow by way of a new launch and to toast times to come. (I then drank all the rest and slept rather well!) We have also been delighted to discover the 'corner shop' and a great curry house in Weedon Bec.
Each visit we have put more useful things aboard, you would think that we were going into the wilderness, but I do like to be prepared. We found two perfect little arm chairs, space is pretty limited in the living area, second hand from a charity shop, ex hotel bedroom I think, so very neat. And I have been growing herbs and salads in troughs to take on the voyage - we want to avoid scurvy after all.
A really lovely result of our purchase is that I am now back in touch with an old friend from nurse training who also has a boat and we hope to meet up in Birmingham where she is moored.
So, now we continue to prepare for the off. Watch this space.

1 comment:

  1. We're watching, Happy Boater and thanks for the address! Just beware Brummie traps - those inviting side-turnings are like the Bermuda Triangle: people disappear up them! But have FUN - we're only jealous. Northam Belle!