Someone famous once said, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon I believe). Anyway, we have had a bit of a lesson over the last week to literally go with the flow, be flexible and above all, accept what is.
We are currently just onto the River Nene at Northampton but will be turning around tomorrow and heading back to the Grand Union Canal. Those of you who have followed us a while would know that Bob has had ongoing treatment for the effects of the shingles virus he contracted in his eye almost 3 years ago. We returned to the Moorfield’s eye clinic on Tuesday of this week to discover that the eye pressure is as high as it has ever been and that pretty intensive intervention is required to treat it and the co-existing inflammation. So back to alarms several times a day to keep up with both the eye drops and oral medication and lots of frequent trips back to London for treatment and check-ups.
So we made the difficult but obvious decision to head back down the Grand Union Canal towards London thus enabling better access to train stations for return visits. Fortunately, our travelling companions, Chris and Jim, are very supportive of this change of plan. So we regretfully postpone (but not abandon) our goal of getting to Cambridge and instead steer toward experiencing the big city of London on board Celtic Maid!
Our week has been a good one, nonetheless. After meeting up with Chris and Jim on NB Sylph last Thursday afternoon (and having the obligatory bubbles, beer and banter), we progressed on Friday to descend the 17 locks on the Northampton arm. to arrive at the wharf very close to Morrisons supermarket after a 5-hour effort. We were lucky to get the assistance of Leon who helped us all the way down and by the time we moored we were very tired. Chris cooked us a lovely meal and we retired somewhat exhausted.
On Saturday, we had a bit of a look around Northampton and found the railway station to collect our tickets for the trip to London on Monday to see our friends (Kendra and Mick, and Chris and Sue), and for our appointments on Tuesday to check up on the wilful eye. And Sunday morning we awoke to the fantastic impending arrival of Julie and Phil, taking advantage of our relative closeness to pay us a “welcome back to England” visit. So we spent a wonderful day catching up, enjoying a great pub lunch and relaxing.
It was also great to be back with our friends on Monday – even if half of them became sick at the prospect of our arrival!!! Fortunately, they were a little better by evening and we all went out for dinner with Chris and Sue’s lovely friends, Diana and Jeff. Despite a long wait for dinner, we all had a very good night together and we hope to see them aboard Celtic Maid one day very soon.
Sue was still unwell on Tuesday so we left her to rest and had a shop and lunch at Harrow before wishing Kendra and Mick a safe trip back to the US and thanking Chris yet again for all that he and Sue do to make our lives in England simpler.
The hospital visit was less than brilliant and so began the discussions and decisions to change our plans. Arriving back on Celtic Maid at about 9.30pm that night we adjusted to the changes and after discussing with our travelling companions on Wednesday morning, feel sure that this is the right way to go.
Bob’s trip back for a check up today as reaffirmed the decision and we will head off tomorrow aiming for Milton Keynes before our trip back again on Monday to see how much improvement there has been to Bob’s eye condition.
So, we have had a brief flirtation with the River Nene, and hope to be back sometime in the not too distant future to develop a more meaningful relationship!!