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Day 1 – A luxury journey by my standards Day 1 (Monday 5th of June) begins on my Mum’s sofa; I’d travelled to Stevenage (my home town) on Sunday by train as I’d had the offer of a lift to Stalham from my Mum’s partner. The luxury of a comfortable car and lack of train fare could not be refused. I felt like a kid a Christmas I couldn’t believe later that day I’d be back on the broads. This was to be family trip - our group of 5 consisting of My Mum, Mum’s partner (ElTel), My youngest Sister (Meat-Soph) and her Fiancé (Hamez). As a group this was our 2nd trip on the broads. We were on the road at around quarter past 9 after a herculean effort to load the 2 cars with what seemed like enough food for an army. My Mum had insisted on bringing enough provisions for 2 years despite my protests, and reminders of the constraints on storage space on boats. I was especially concerned as I knew I would be kipping in the saloon. That being said this all added to the sense of anticipation there was something of the start to the Home Alone film about the morning as bags and boxes were shifted and humped around the hall before ElTel carefully packed and (I hesitate to use the word) faffed everything into the boot like a game of snack based Tetris all this while 2 crazed Yorkshire Terriers ran amok (they were thankfully to be left behind this time) The journey to Stalham was uneventful enough we stopped for McDonalds at Thetford and shouted answers at the radio during Ken Bruce’s Popmaster quiz. I was impressed with our effort. We soon arrived at Richardson’s yard at around 12:45 after my mum realised she had forgotten to pack the milk and she managed to fill half a trolly in Stalham Tesco. Meat-Soph had booked this holiday and we arrived as she was collecting the life jackets. It was pleasant not to have had to queue in the office and nice to just go with the flow for once – with a larger crew this became a theme and made for a very different holiday compared to my last trip on the broads. I seemed to do so little I’m sure I’ll struggle for blog content. Broadland Breeze 3 was ready after 1430 - fenders counted and paperwork signed we were under way. It was well on the way to 1500 by this point. As we rounded Swan Quay and turned onto the River Ant proper I really felt a rush of excitement – the familiar sights of the boats in the marinas through the trees and the 1st of the classic River Ant wild moorings were like a tonic after the hustle-bustle of the boatyard and life in general especially considering the sometimes tragic national events of the last few weeks I really felt like a could relax. The delicate steering of Broadland Breeze seeming to obey my thoughts as we cruised in little more than tick over. For a June day I was surpised and pleased with how quiet the river was. The weather forecast for the week was pretty dire at that point and Monday was not faring too well it was very chilly with ominous clouds and rain promised for later on. Our 1st port of call was to be Howe Hill. Mum had expressed an interested in visiting the gardens after consulting her guide book. However once we had actually moored up the chilly and the blustery conditions did not make for an appealing stop off. So we fed some geese and moved on. It was valuable mooring practice in strong wind and having a large crew meant that Hamez and ElTel were out with the ropes in no time! No Drama’s from this 1st mooring. Ludham bridge was to be our stop for the night we navigated the last few bends and moored on the Horning Marshes side. After unpacking and generally getting the boat set up for the week I went for a wander round – I’ve not had a decent nose round the bridge area before having only ever made a beeline for the pub. 1 thing did catch my eye was the chained off concrete hump with a bit of metal on it at the sailing boat mooring. I’ll attach a picture I’m sure someone can tell me what it is?! Unpacking complete and a can of grog consumed we made our way to the Dog Inn for some grub. The sky had darkened and I noted that I was the only one that had come out with a waterproof the others said they felt optimistic about the weather. I think it was the beer coats they were wearing. As we wandered along ElTel decided to drop a bombshell. “Oh no I’ve left my wallet in the car” he mumbled. Assuming he meant boat I didn’t worry however when I looked at him I realized he indeed did mean Car. My 1st thought was shall I hire a bicycle and cycle the 30 mins back to Stalham? However it was getting darker and I was Hungry so we decided to leave it for the evening and make the 4 hour round trip back on Tuesday. The news did dampen my mood momentarily and I was irritated as I had vague itinerary worked out for Tuesday and this would probably put pay to it. After some discussions about a suitable punishment a traditional keelhaul was plumped for and I put it my phones calendar for 6am the following morning. This lightened the mood and I idly thought what the point of going on holiday with family is if you can’t all bicker in the middle of the street on the way to the pub?! The meals were not bad in the Dog Inn I had the large fish and chips which for £13 was a bit on the dear side for me. And I think the deep fryer oil was getting due for change. Everyone was satisfied with their meals though and we stopped for a pint or 2 after and watched the rain trickle down the windows. It was brisk wet walk back to the boat where I promptly fell into a comer for the night.