Friday 19 July 2013


It was quite strange being back at Great Haywood yesterday, not travelling on, not locking up or down, not wondering who we'd meet through the next bridge. Getting up late, washing sheets, working on some IT stuff, listening to the Test Match.

So today we headed off to Cassiobury Park in Watford for the first day of the IWA festival. Just over two hours in the car for what would have taken a good many long days in Erin Mae! It was hot and suitably festive.

There were boats galore, new ones to tempt you to buy, and a lots of ex-working boats with their enthusiasts enthusing. I stood on the deck of NB Chertsey (a 1937 Grand Union Woolwich class boat), courtesy of the ever-welcoming Sarah, to take a shot of a very heavily laden Josher that looks as though it's almost ready to sink.

There was entertainment from various musicians.

Life and Times' set included one great unaccompanied song about the decline of the waterways before the restoration movement of recent decades.

And there were things to buy. We wanted to complete the installation of LED lighting in Erin Mae, so we paid a visit to JMG.

Paul, as ever, was very helpful and, on this occasion, appropriately embarrassed at being caught with his lunch in his mouth.

We'd seen the Brolly Mate, so when we found them at the Miracle booth, we took the plunge. Given the atmospheric conditions at Great Haywood, it might find itself supporting a very high TV aerial if I'm to see any of the Test Match highlights.

We looked for a ratchet windlass, but no one seems to be producing or selling them. And then we took out membership with the IWA. It's a small move towards seeing whether we can put something back into the environment that has given us so much, so far, and whether this is a good way to do so.

Last, but not least, we found Halfie and Jan at the BCF booth – one of the few boating bloggers we've actually met.

It was great to meet you, guys. Hope you have a good time at the festival, and hope to meet up again sometime.


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