One of the joys of living on a narrowboat in the UK is that we get to spend some time with Bob’s relatives who live here and sometimes some of them visit from Australia. Over the last weekend in May we travelled again to Maldon to spend time with Julie and Phil, but with the bonus of visiting the Norfolk Broads again and spending time with her parents, Joy and John, and her aunt and uncle from Perth Australia, Brenda and Arthur. Joy and Brenda are Bob’s cousins – their fathers were brothers.
Julie had managed to rent a lovely house for us to stay in very close to the Marina where their boats are moored. This gave us a base to all be together without being cramped while still having the opportunity to cruise the Broads. This is a truly beautiful part of the country and whilst still all about “messing around in boats” it is very different than our life aboard Celtic Maid.
We arrived there on Friday afternoon with Julie and Phil after spending Thursday evening catching up with them and their busy lives. Joy and John had already arrived and Brenda and Arthur came later in the afternoon having driven from visiting some of Arthur’s family along the way from their time in London. Our catch up aboard Joy and John’s boat, Blue Sapphire, over afternoon tea enabled us all to fill in the time since we had last seen each other. We decided on fish and chips for tea so once we had relocated to the house and settled in Julie and Phil went to collect our dinner while the rest of us tried to turn on the oven (several attempts – finally successful!) and find dinner plates (right in front of us on a prominent shelf above the cupboards we had been searching through for about 5 minutes)!!!!
English weather is a very fickle thing. On Saturday we thought to go cruising but the wind was up and there were a lot of sailboats out (some special event on). We explored several other options over cups of tea and a little procrastination. Finally the wind dropped a bit, the sailboats had moved on and we decided to cruise to Wroxham after lunch to go to some of the many Roy’s stores in the town and take in the sights. This is always a very interesting cruise with much birdlife, an array of different boats and beautiful houses along the way. one can never be bored by the plethora of sights on a waterway!!!! In fact just before we left the marina we were treated to the sight of a family of otters going about their business only a few meters from Julie and Phil’s boat!!! (Photos in the gallery!)
After strolling through the town and making a few purchases we made the journey back to Horning with John having a narrow miss while passing below a very narrow bridge when suddenly on the other side a boat moored up let their tender swing out straight across the bridge gap! No harm done fortunately but just shows that inattention is prevalent particularly amongst inexperienced holiday makers!!! Enough said!!
We returned to Wroxham later that evening (taking much less time by car than boat) to enjoy a beautiful meal in one of their favourite restaurants. We were all very full and very satisfied by the time we finished.
Sunday dawned a bit bleak. We had thought to go on the steam train but a mixture of poor weather and low motivation saw us sharing a lunch before setting out on the return journey to Maldon. Brenda and Arthur stayed with Joy and John while we went back to Julie and Phil’s. We had intended to return back to Celtic Maid on Monday night after attending an appointment for Bob’s eye in London on Monday afternoon, but fortunately had decided to return to Maldon Monday night and go home on Tuesday. It seemed that after a minor procedure Bob had to return to the hospital on Tuesday so we took the train home from there and Brenda and Arthur drove up to Red Bull to stay with us from Tuesday evening.
A wonderful weekend with family we are happy to call friends!!!