We are in the final preparation stage of organising both Celtic Maid for her winter sojourn without us, and ourselves for our much anticipated visit back to Australia. There is such a lot to do to make sure that Celtic Maid is safe and sound for us to return to after enduring a long English winter without us. Not to mention packing bags with all the essentials to visit family and friends back in Australia – and attend a few weddings and catch up with lost time with grandchildren growing up and enjoying warm weather.
Over the last four weeks England has endured four major storms and we have had more than our share of mostly wind and some rain. Our trip back down the Ashby was leisurely with a short stay with Julia and Malcolm to take a trip to London for an eye appointment. We even had our first belated ride in a Hackney cab – albeit in Leicester! Celtic Maid hung about in Market Bosworth which really is a pretty town to visit even though its a mile walk up the hill from the canal!
Once we were back on our boat we used what little fine weather there was to make short hops to get to Brinklow Marina where we had secured winter moorings. Its also not far from Rugby making it easy to go by train to London – for a little shopping in Camden Markets – and then down to Maldon to celebrate Julie’s birthday and help out a little with her fabulous “Made For You” handmade products market on Saturday. I was able to pick up a few more goodies from here too. This is a great innovation by Julie and her friend Teresa and if anyone is ever in Maldon when the market is on – get yourself along!!!
After a wonderful weekend we bid a sad farewell to Julie and Phil, and Joy and John, and made our way back to London for our last eye appointment before heading back to Oz. Both appointments went very well with the eye pressure stable and no new issues and both specialists were happy to keep Bob on his medications and see him on our return.
Our last important event before returning to Rugby was to catch up with our very good friends, Sue and Chris. After a celebratory drink (Sue had a birthday, its nearly Christmas and we are leaving!) we said our goodbyes and headed home to Celtic Maid. We are so fortunate to have the support of our extended family and friends in this country!
So the last week has been very busy cleaning, storing, choosing, packing, rearranging, worrying and coping with huge winds – at least we are not trying to control the boat in them! But we did have Friday off for good behaviour and went to the Old Smithy for a catch up lunch with our friends Jim and Chris from Sylph. As always we had many laughs, a few drinks and a good feed. We are looking forward to travelling with them for a little while when we return next year.
Tomorrow we finalise the winterising of Celtic Maid(full diesel, empty water, ventilation and humidity control) and then head off to Julia and Malcolm’s for the last couple of days before our flight.
So…….. Bron, Bob, Bunion, Bungee, Funi, Eyeore and Celtic Maid wish all of our friends and followers the very best wishes for Christmas, holidays and New Year and we look forward to updating our adventures in 2016. Love to all xxx