Friday, September 22, 2006

Home at Last

Well, sort of. We're in Hungerford, just for the afternoon. Hungerford is the canal town that has come to feel like home to me. I know my way to Somerfield's (supermarket), Boots (pharmacy), the library (I have a card), the laundromat, and several other important places. Our boat is still in Great Bedwyn - three hours away by canal, five minutes by train. We came in by train today to do some shopping and get to the library, which was just as well, because it's positively pouring outside, and just sitting on the boat would have been a little dreary. Tomorrow we'll sail in and take our place at the municipal moorage. Most of our weather has been fine, but we've had the odd interruption like this.

Since I last posted, we've been everywhere. We did rent a car and drive to Cornwall, where we watched nephew Steve compete in the championship speedway race (He didn't win, but he didn't expect to, his competitors being the cream of the crop. He did very well, but appears to have broken his foot in the process.) David and Sheila then came on board for a couple of days, then left at Devizes. We hooked up with another boat to go down the Caen Hill Locks. We were very fortunate in that the people on our buddy boat were old hands at canal boating and had done the Caen Hill flight many times. Accordingly we whizzed through there very efficiently. Near Bath we were joined by our friend Alan, who had come all the way from Scotland. He stayed with us for about four days and helped get us back up the Caen Hill flight.

When we got to Bath, I made my way to the library and asked to use the computer. I was given fifteen minutes, of which I spent five just getting into the v-e-r-y s-l-o-w system, which then wouldn't let me in here. Hence the long space between posts.

I think I've finally got the hang of doing videos with the new camcorder, but now we've run out of space on our mini-dvd and can't get a replacement until at least Devizes (Monday, I think). Next trip, I think we'll have to bring twice as many.

We've had a couple of pub meals, the most notable at a place called The French Horn in the village of Pewsey (tuna steak). However, the friendliest pub we've found was at Wilton, where we stayed last night and the night before. The Swan is about a 20 minute walk from the canal. It's one of those traditional pubs full of dogs and old soldiers. Last night we won one of the prizes in the Thursday night meat draw - a tray containing four Cumberland sausages, four rashers of bacon, two eggs, two tomatoes, and about 30 mushrooms. This morning's breakfast was superb.

The day before yesterday, we took the path from the canal to the pub alongside a duck pond, through the village - but we discovered that there was another route home, along the Roman road, so we went that way - Roman roads are very straight, but they take no notice of hills, so the walk was a pretty good cardio workout. Yesterday morning we took the same road back to the village and detoured up to a huge windmill. I'm definitely getting my walking in - and Robin isn't doing too badly himself, in spite of the cold he caught from me and couldn't get rid of. He finally went to a doctor in Devizes and got some antibiotics, so he's on the mend now, just as my back starts to give out from all this winding and pushing (I'm sleeping sitting up now - practice for the plane ride home) :>(

Sunday, we're expecting a visit from David again, this time bringing his daughter and granddaughter for the day. We'll be giving him back his phone then (and speaking of phones, I've been out of range most of the trip. Tomorrow, when I'm back here again, I'll try making a couple of calls to friends in England.

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