Last week I took a slow boat along a lazy river, well sort of. I went on my first ever barge holiday. I was not really convinced it was for me, but I will try anything once! I am after all a five star girl and I was being asked to adopt a one star outlook – not easy!
That said, I agreed, all be it somewhat reluctantly. I blame wine consumption and a happy disposition! Late one evening 6 of us agreed it would be an excellent holiday and we should all go! I put my fear of confined spaces and dodgy toilets to one side and we all signed on the dotted line sometime last September. The deed was done – money exchanged hands – we were going!
So, how did I get on? Well, 6 go barging was never going to be easy lets face it. 6 people in a confined space for 7 days was I admit an eye opener. Would I do it again? emm…. maybe.
There was something almost magical about travelling at 2 mph silently along the river. Life slowed and became almost timeless. Kingfishers, herons, swans and even a terrapin (I kid you not) were our companions. We would ‘barge’ (I’m not sure if that’s the correct term…) for approximately 4 hours each day then moor up. Spending nights moored in the heart of both Bath and Bristol was inspiring. Stepping off of the boat and being in the centre of those beautiful cities was very special.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better it did! As we ‘cruised'(?) from Bristol to Bath and 4G was briefly restored, my phone pinged. In among the Twitter updates and supermarket offers sat a sparkling new email. A story I had written with a nativity theme had been chosen for an anthology. The publisher was asking for me to review and sign the contract and return it as soon as possible.
Well, as you can imagine I was excited, happy, delighted and shocked in equal measure. Getting a contract printed, signed and returned while on a boat with patchy phone coverage was going to be a challenge.
I have always loved libraries and even more so now. I can not thank the wonderful staff at Bath Central Library enough. They helped me to print & scan my contract so I could send it back via email. We are so fortunate to have access to such valuable resources – not to mention the limitless supply of good books.
I shall leave you with a few pictures of our wonderful home on the water and one of the very friendly Swan that adopted us.
Bye for now…