Sunday 23 August 2015


We had a great nine days with our Norwegian grandchildren. It was meant to be eight, of course, until we discovered, on the way to the airport, that the passports were back on Erin Mae. The last day was a bonus, both in terms of time together and in terms of what we were able to do. Finally, with the passports, my best beloved flew back with them to Norway.

Theo, the youngest at 7, was the one who showed most interest in the actual boating activities. He was first out to push the swing bridges, or the lock gates, and had a good go at steering Erin Mae.

Sam, at 10, did one good bit of steering through a swing bridge, but his preferred activities are imagination-rich (3D modelling, comic book creation, video-making, etc) or energy-rich (especially swinging and climbing). Since we didn't allow him to swing or climb on Erin Mae, a lot of travelling time was spent, inside, on the imagination stuff. We made sure there were parks around for the energy-burning.

Elissa is seriously into reading, and currently into the "Warriors" series, in English. Each day we folded the children's duvets on the double bed (ours!) the boys had used, and held them in place with the air mattress she used each night. She found an ideal reading den, out of sight, tucked among the duvets, and spent an enormous amount of time getting through the library she'd brought with her, enjoying the movement of the boat as we cruised.

One of the delights was to find that they could cope with the walking we did. From the station to Bolton Abbey was longer than we'd thought, but they were fine. The walk up the hill out of Gargrave was about 5 miles, and they took it all, as it were, in their stride. That was different, I think, to how it would have been two years ago, and it made for some very enjoyable days.

Times like these are not given to everyone, and we're grateful for the opportunity Erin Mae has given for the children to share this part of the adventure with us.


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