Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Boaters Banter and a Mega Marrow

On Saturday, we went to the CWDF Banter at Thrupp (on the South Oxford). Our friends Simon (aka Moominpapa) and Ann very kindly gave us a lift.

On arrival at the Boat in Thrupp, we were greeted by the sight of two very familiar boats. One of which we'd been inside before (Milly M) and one of which we hadn't (Bones). We were especially excited to see Bones' boat, and admired the bedroom that was inspired by ours! It was also very exciting to meet the two mutts: Molly and Boots, who are both adorable and great fun. It goes without saying that we were also very pleased to see the boats' and dogs' respective owners, Maffi and Bones!

We then walked down to Annie's Tea Room by the lift bridge. We came through here on our cruise last year, so it was lovely to be back on such a delightful bit of canal. PJ, from nb Ocelot was already there, and it was nice to see him too. After a cup of tea, and some very nice bacon sarnies and cake, we took the dogs on a little walk down the canal and back through a very pretty church. James rather failed to photograph the dogs as they hared through the graveyard at breakneck speed.

We returned to the tea room, with Sarah and Jim (aka the Warriors) who had just arrived. We also met Alan and his wife, and several other forum members. Sarah brought a set of lovely photographs of her wonderful new project boat, Chertsey. We hung out in the tea room for quite a while before heading over the pub. Others started to arrive, and we met lots of new face as well as catching up with some old ones. It would be impossible to remember them all, but it was a particular pleasure to meet the other young boaters Jim (aka Heffalump) and Dan (dhutch). Bones had organised for us all to have curries or stew, and these duly arrived for all 40+ people, amid some level of confusion!

We had to leave relatively early, in order to get back to the Fenland wastes, and the Moomins kindly dropped us back at Cambridge station so that we could get the 11pm train home. All in all a wonderful day out, and just what we needed. James in particular needed cheering up after finding that his PGCE application was not sucessful. He is still planning to train to be a teacher, however, and there are a couple of other routes that he could take, so all is not lost.


Last night we visited our friends aboard nb Rowanberry, one of the nighbouring boats on our mooring. Andreas had taken on the challenge of cooking the gigantic marrow that had been grown on the mooring allotment, and sat in the shed for quite a while. No-one had dared attempt it. UNTIL NOW. He stuffed it with mince, chillies, peppers and other flavoursome things, and as it was so big, invited us all to share it. It was quite delicious!

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