Second Star to the Right and Straight On ‘Til Morning

A lot can happen in a week. A tsunami of the plague could gather its second wind. A Thetford could explode in the heat. A boat could be sold. A dream could finally end.

And sometimes dreams need to end, because, from a financial perspective, sometimes we need to wake up.

Memories of summer evenings that now seem so long ago…

We sold the boat – our Mouse Boat – to an extremely pleasant girl and her equally extremely pleasant parents from Gloucester, at almost half the price we’d originally intended, because sometimes a bandage is best torn off quickly to minimise the distress.

Back when the World was young…

There were a lot of interested viewers, and for a couple of days the towpath at the apostrophe-less Potters Brook had never been so busy. But it was Debra who got it in the end. (Sorry Max. I know I’ve apologised repeatedly, but I always feel guilty about these matters. If we hear of any other bargain basement boats going we will definitely let you know.)

Those were the days my friend…

The boat needed a clean. The spiders needed evicting. The Thetford needed emptying. But it all happened so quickly. The end often does. It seemed so strange leaving the boat this afternoon with the back doors open and people we barely knew still onboard.

…we thought they’d never end…

But that’s how it goes. I don’t think we could have sold it to nicer people if we’d tried and I hope it all goes well for them.

Memories, from the corners of my mind…

Now we stuck in the Spinney, landlubbers again. It’s not so bad in the Spinney. There are lots of trees and hedges and squirrels and foxes and hedgehogs and stuff. It’s its own self-contained village, a bit like the one in the 1960’s television series ‘The Prisoner’ in many respects, only without the psychotic weather balloon. It’s quiet here, almost comatose, and what neighbours we do see are friendly enough – not too friendly, not the sort who are in and out of your house all day long when you just want to get on with something else, but the sort who say ‘Hello’, tell you the latest local gossip (within a range of three or four houses) and then quietly continue with whatever they were doing before you interrupted their day. Which is how I like it.

…all those dusty, fading memor(FOR GOD’S SAKE, GET A GRIP! ED)

It’s going to take some time before I get used to not worrying about the weather, the ropes, the bilges, the spiders, the licence fee, the Thetford…but time is something we appear to have in copious amounts here. I might go mad. Everybody needs a hobby. The Spinney isn’t a place where people embark on exciting new lives. It’s the sort of place where people quietly fade away…

14 thoughts on “Second Star to the Right and Straight On ‘Til Morning

  1. Now there’s a thought – living in/on under? a hot-air balloon, going where the wind takes you, spending your days and nights as high as a kite.

    Think of the books – ‘Around The Lockdowns in Eighty Days’ – ‘A Week Spent on the Manchester Airport Approach Path’ – ‘Traditional Basket-Work Repairs Under Emergency Conditions’ – ‘No Gas In My Bottles, and I’m Not Hanging Around’…

    Tis both sad and encouraging news that the Mouse Boat has passed into new hands, both you and the boat can move on. I have asked the C&RT spotters to call on The Spinney at least once a week, just so that you don’t feel neglected.


  2. It’s awful when you get pushed into a financial corner but sometimes needs must, I do feel for you both but maybe it’s a time for a change which is as good as a rest so they say and who knows might lead onto bigger and better things xx


  3. So you think you’re exchanging life on the edge for a hedgeholic life in quiet village not yet requiring the professional services of Inspector Barnaby. I suspect not. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Series 4,439. Episode 1 -‘The Dead Red Herrings of Burrow Beck.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard there was a dead body found near the bus stop down the lane a couple of months ago. Not murdered by a wayward giant cheese or sacrificed by the local flower arranging club, but somebody who just died waiting for the bus.


    1. Unfortunately not at the moment, Roger. It all went a bit Pete Tong (as these things often do for us.) We’re currently making films (or rather we would be making films if it wasn’t for the plague restrictions) called ‘Lancashire Footnotes’ over on Youtube instead. There might be a few Mouse Boat prints still on sale in the Vintage Attic in Garstang, but I suspect it’s currently closed until the restrictions end.


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