Friday, 23 September 2011

Friday 16th September 11

A really lovely day, quite a slow one, doing nothing very hurried or busy.  I enjoyed breakfast with Serena (Weetabix and Cheerios) and her delightful and engaging 3 year old son. After this I popped along to Tescos on my unicycle to get a few bits and bobs for lunch, to go with the bread that Serena had got.... hommous, sun-dried tomatoes and olives, a cucumber, and a single bottle of pear cider for the evening.  Over lunch I was introduced to the delights of 'Rosie and Jim' on video, which is a series for children based on life on a canal boat.  Topical, and actually very well made and clever.  Both Serena and her little boy are fans of this.... and I might be a convert too!

During the day I met Serena's son's Dad, Julian, and one of Serena's best friends, Mike, and her long term best friend, Jeff.  It was really good to see the sort of community she lives in... quite tight-knit, where people know about each other, help each other, and trust each other.... for instance, any  strangers coming into the community are observed, and may be interrogated, partly because making a boat secure is not that easy.

I had a nice chat with Mike, and his friend Jane, whilst Serena had a quiet few minutes with Julian, burying a chicken which had died.  Then I helped Julian shift a trailer-load of topsoil, which he'd rescued from a skip and was going to use to raise the level of his canalside land. Then, Mike, Serena and Julian, all of whom have unicycles but cannot ride them, came down to the car park which had a good smooth surface and a sturdy fence to hold onto, and I gave them a unicycle lesson.... mainly theory, but some practical help too.  This was fun... and then another boat-dweller arrived, Ben, and proceeded to jump on and ride every unicycle apart from mine (it was too tall, and the height can't be changed after so many years in one position)... but he's been riding unicycles since he was a child, so he was actually better than me.

A group of us went out to a 'Harvester' pub for a meal.  The vegetarian selection was poor and overpriced but there was an option to have as much salad from the salad bar as you wanted, so I had two visits to that.

Serena and I didn't have a late night as we had an early start the next day... but she did put her stove on, to take the chill off the boat, and I enjoyed seeing her stove working.   I really enjoyed today, as we didn't have to go anywhere or have set things to do.  My life has a lot of 'having to be somewhere' at specific times, so it was a treat just to float around (literally!) and slow down.  Pity I couldn't stay a bit longer....

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