Saturday, 31 December 2016

Calcutt (great holiday but good to get back home to the boat)

Back home after ten days away

After our weekend at Napton-on-the-Hill moored by the Folly Inn we had to get ready for our festive break.  On Sunday 18th we cruised back to Calcutt to leave CHB2 by the reservoir for ten days.
We had rented a house in Hartley Wintney in Hampshire for a family holiday.  We had been to see the family who owned it to have a look around a couple of weeks previously and fell in love with the place.  It felt just like our house in Kent so we knew the children would be happy there too.

We were just about to start cooking dinner on the Sunday evening when we heard a boat cruising past.  It was heading for the locks and it seemed a bit strange to be cruising in pitch black and then attempting locks.  Anyway I looked out and realised it was Mark on his fuel boat pulling alongside us.  I had asked him to drop off some of his coal whilst we were away as the last batch we got from a boatyard wasn’t working well with our stove.  His plan had been to moor overnight at the lock and barrow the coal down to us in the morning but he’d forgotten we were moored on the offside.

Monday was a hectic day as we had several trips across the reservoir to load the car and then drive to Oxford to pick up Matt and Jo.  We had to get all Matt’s belongings in the car too as he was flying back to Oslo after the holiday.

Can hardly see Karen and Jo in the back

We had a brilliant time away – with children in and out most days and stopping over.  I like to cook on Xmas Day so soon got into the swing of things once I found an apron.

The only apron in the house!

We had 14 for lunch so had a ham and a turkey.  We had ordered the meat from a local butcher and expected the turkey to be boned and rolled but when we got it out of its box we realised they had forgotten to finish the job off.  I wanted it boned and rolled so it could be cooked slowly in the barbecue leaving the ovens free for all the roast trimmings.  We took it back and the butcher sorted it out very quickly but Karen and I had a misunderstanding.  She had driven me down as it was raining but we both thought we would meet at different places – I ended up soaked and rather cold waiting in what she said was the wrong place.  Anyway it all turned out well and everyone enjoyed their lunch.

Bit fuzzy but a selfie of 14 isn’t easy

The days before and after Xmas Day were mostly spent playing games and doing jigsaws with the different children who visited us during the break.  The house was well appointed so we had a raclette one evening followed by chocolate fondue - reminded us all of when we used to go skiing.

We came home on Friday (New Year’s Eve eve) and it felt so good to be back once we were settled in and got the stove going.  We had expected the cut to be frozen over as we had had four days of frosty weather but it must have been a bit milder in the Midlands.

Back on board after our break

Buddy was also pleased to get back home as it meant he could drink proper canal water rather than boring old tap water again!

Rather precarious but he’s never fallen in

Here are a few selfies of our stay in Hartley Wintney with our children.