Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Stop the Fire Alarm on the Narrowboat - PLEASE! (Part 2)

Britta Huegel

Thank you for being so patient (in the meantime husband and I have done a wonderful four-days-trip to the Baltic Sea) - now our engineer has solved the fire-alarm problem: he simply removed the batteries.
Silence is golden... 
Though life on the canal is quite busy, sometimes: a lot of boats are moving up and down the canal: they have to - nowadays you are not allowed to stay longer than 14 days in a place.
Different canals have different energies - and different people. Our canal, Bradford-on-Avon towards Bath and then Devizes - and back - was the way to Enlightenment, populated by a lot of esoterics.

Britta Huegel

There were people who lived on their boats for years, boats with tourists, boats with cats, with single persons, couples, daughters with aged mothers, and if a crank had lost his crank, we helped.
We saw precious boats (designed to the proud owner's wishes, for 110 000 Pounds), we saw normal boats which, used, were offered for about 42 000 Pounds - but then,  if you keep your eyes open, you might even find a real steal:

Britta Huegel


What impressed me?

- the starry, starry night skies

- fog on evening meadows

Britta Huegel

- dew drops in the morning

- the changing 'typical' English scenery

- the friendliness of the English people

- the 16 locks of Devizes - but they are worth a post of their own

- and, of course, my best beloved Real English Ale:

Britta Huegel



And I learned: Sometimes a woman at work is deeply misunderstood: when I for the first time steered the boat, and warbled away this sweet Moomin-quote:
'Look out for sand banks,' shouted Hodgskin. 'I want to try one. To test the hinge-and-wheel construction' ,
the two fellows of my crew got the impression that I was not doing a scientific experiment but was a damsel in distress landing on a sand bank - well, well, well - A prophet has no honour in his own houseboat   country...
- BUT I have a lot of energy, and I will never forget the face (in a distance, about 22 m apart from me) of Captain Matti, who sung soft sweet tones at the bow of our boat, and his guitar gently wept ... and I still steered, and then I accelerated, and I DID IT MY WAY - I aroused them and rocked the boat. Till then Matti didn't know me well, so he had to learn that I "never ever do nothing nice and easy / I always do it nice and rough 



I hope he has recovered from his shock and will forgive me - and, most important - will take me again to the English canals! 







18 comments:

  1. It looks as though it was lovely. I almost bought a 72 foot narrow boat - the largest you can still turn around on the Kennet and Avon.

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    1. Wow! That must have been the length we had - in a lock sometimes we had to clip down the - mmh, dont know the technical term - might be the tiller? Otherwise you couldn't close the locks.
      It has its fascination - the boat of an retired teacher, built after his design, was awesome - space and beauty - but he said, he hadn't thought that he wouldn't have much of that sort of company he was used to - so he was a bit lonely and now will buy a flat near the Welsh border. I see you and H.I. more in a beautiful city like Bath - with an added boat.

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    2. Every ten years or so, I think about buying a boat, then H.I. reminds me of the reality. There is a saying here (about sail boats) that owning one is exactly like standing in a cold shower, tearing up £20 notes.

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    3. I love that image! We had a (warm) shower too, but the 20 Pound notes we preferred to tear up otherwise.

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  2. What an adventure! I love how you took control and did it "your way" when you were at the wheel. Something tells me you are rarely, if ever, the "damsel in distress" kinda gal.

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  3. Dear Susan, I am glad too. And your writer's intuition is right - the 'damsel in distress' was never the stage role I applied for :-)

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  4. Well grounding a boat once is just as experimental as smashing a golf cart into a tree whilst watching a Californian chipmunk, then backing up, only to be distracted by the darn chipmunk and repeat the same movement again. Well when you hate golf you have to liven things up....non?!
    :)

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    1. Mais oui, Paul - may I invite you to a glass of Wild Cat in a "pöb"?

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  5. What a delightful post, dear one.
    Thank you much for coming by...and thank you for leaving your blog name to be found in your Google+ page. So many don't leave the address of their blog and I can't find it to leave a comment.
    hugs, bj

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    1. Dear bj,
      thank you! So you have found me again, I'm glad about that!

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  6. I'm glad your journey was so much fun. What an adventure! Just for a moment, Conrad's Heart of Darkness insinuated itself into your "fog on evening meadows." But your feminine turn at the helm cleared that thought in a hurry.

    The best vacation that SAM and I ever had was aboard a 65-foot yacht bound from Miami to the Bahamas, on a geological expedition, carrying several geologists and their spouses, a crew of four, and a journalist for a travel magazine. If I hadn't been such a young airhead then, I would have kept a journal of my own. We still laugh about the fun and sometimes folly of the trip.

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    1. Dear Walk2write,
      thank you! No - no Heart of Darkness, no ship's kobold either.
      Your vacation must have been gorgeous - won't you write it down now? Maybe mixing with the recollections of the others - so interesting to see what and how they remember the journey. I'm sure there will be surprises.

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  7. Britta, magnificent. I love the way you tie in so many disparate pieces into a uniquely YOU sort of post. If silence is golden, your Tina-Moomin-Wild-Cat-ale-starry-night harmonies are titanium. :)

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    1. Dear Suze,
      as so often when I read your comments I am on cloud nine. Your writer's eyes notice so much - and I am glad that a bit of me shimmers through the yarn.

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  8. Wow! The fog on evening meadows pic has certainly transported me--along with the rest of your adventure. As for your way at the wheel--you GO, girl :)

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  9. Dear Elizabeth,
    thank you! I have so many beautiful pictures (dew in the morning in spider webs, so beautiful) - but only a certain amount of space. Yes, I loved it my way :-)

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