Wednesday, 29 April 2009

sunny days

We had a lovely walk among the bluebells, in the woods, beside the river. And we heard our first cuckoo, may be previous inattention, but it was a thrill none the less.
Every time I take a picture of Hatters it meanders through my mind that it might be the last, but I think I am just a morbid old biddy trying to control nastiness by pre-empting it.
Ah ha can't surprise me.................
I guess I should add in these troubled times that I worry about this not because of the "pig flu " pandemic seeing us all off before we can actually destroy civilisation as we know it by our own idiocy, but because young Hattie is twelve and a half and covered in so many lumps she resembles a bag of sprouts.
The bluebells are wonderful and will hopefully survive us all, but is a bluebell beautiful if no-one is there to make the judgement?

A few days ago we took our retired old bones down into Essex and had lunch by the River Blackwater.

In years gone by I used to holiday there with my parents and Lucky the First Dog. We stayed in the paternal grandma's holiday home made from an old railway carriage. It was unusual I guess even then, the rest of the farmer's field was lined with the dreaded caravans so derided by all car drivers. But this "home" never moved again so had high self esteem.

Step-granddad ............ nana had [unusually in the 1920s?] divorced my father's father as she took exception to being dragged around by her hair as a punishment for having an opinion.. She kept it short after that. Father was fostered out for several years till things settled down and thereby had an excuse/reason to act the goat ever after]
Anyway granddad was a grainer by trade, i.e. he could use paint and varnish to make cheap wood look like walnut and oak etc. so the carriage looked like a small palace previosly used by a pre-revolution Czar on his journeys to the hinterlands to wave to the grateful serfs

The Blackwater is a tidal river and the Thames barges used to carry cargo into Essex, as they used to here too. They are very fine ships/boats and still carry rich couples or poorer tourists around the coast and over to Europe.
A canal also links to the river, it was pleasing to see the lovingly maintained narrow boats; and that Mary Seacole had found such a peaceful berth.
We used to take narrow boat holidays when the kids were younger. Unfortunately as i can't do things in reverse[the tiller goes the other way to that which you wish to achieve] I had the job of winding the wheel that opens the gigantic lock gates.
After the kids [bored as only teenagers can be] had a fist fight on the tow path we waited till they had left home before attempting another canal. It is so wonderful [if you are not a teenager] waking up in the morning mist with a heron on the bank and bacon frying in the galley. However those gates are heavy so we haven't been recently.
Maybe the BB will appreciate it one day.


Walled Garden said...

Bluebells might be about this weekend "oop north". There were a scattered few today in the woods and a startled deer.
Never done a longboat/canalboat holiday. I think I need someone to do the lock gates etc for me now too. It always looks so cosy, maybe too cosy!
Cheers Gillian

carol said...

That's MY river you're talking about! I lived a few miles from Maldon, went to the Grammar School there and saw a few sailing barge races finish in my time (the slowest race in the world perhaps, even allowing for tortoises.) The Balckwater holds many memories for me and it made come over all sentimental seeing your pics. Where was the grandparental railway carriage?
Hattie looks very alert amongst the bluebells. She's enjoying herself whilst YOU come over all sentimental!! Animals have a much more sensible attitude don't they.

Heide said...

a boat trip sounds lovely and peaceful. Too bad you don't have a picture of the converted railway car, I'd love to see it. Hopefully the swine flu scare has abated somewhat. Spring is hiding from us here on the west coast of the United States. The bluebells are lovely.

carol said...

Any news about the BB visit yet?