Friday 2 October 2015

Meeting up

Last night we rang some friends who live in Loughborough, and Gareth and Yuko came over for coffee this morning. We'd met Gareth 40 years ago, when we started theological training at the same time. Gareth's first wife, Ruth, sadly died some years ago. We'd kept in touch, and followed the story that eventually led to him and Yuko marrying. But this was the first time we'd met her, and it was great to have them on Erin Mae for a couple of hours – all too short a time.

Erin Mae had always been intended to facilitate meetings like this, and at the start of week there was another. Andrew and Rachel had been students of mine in the 90s, and then worked out in Africa for many years. Now they're based in Nottingham, and Andrew was able to join us for coffee on Tuesday.

So today we set out quite late to move towards Leicester. Who would we meet on the way?

First up were these bovine specimens – clearly not shorthorns of any sort. I can't remember seeing before a field of cattle with the horns left in place. They looked dignified, but rather scary.

Next I saw a pale imitation on the bank, while my best beloved was winding the paddles at the next lock. I've no idea what the other characters in the tableau were meant to be.

Then we were joined in a couple of locks by two-men-in-a-canoe. It would have been quicker, and less dangerous, for them to have carried their craft up the six feet or so, but they said they were lazy. They were having a great time, and along the way foraging for fruit that no one else could get at.

Finally, as we were trying to see the best place to tie up for the night (which is why the photo's so dark) we found ourselves alongside Maffi. For those who don't know, he's a boating blogger, or perhaps a blogging boater. We'd never met him before, so we stopped to chat, and then he kindly helped us through the lock, and held a line as we came in to moor up. Thanks Maffi!


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