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Timbo

The Voyages Of Grace

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Kenneth Grahame writes “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”.

A little bit like the Mole, I ventured out of my hole and sniffed the late spring air. It had been a tough winter of coughs and agues, sneezes and diseases, wobbly legs, a jiggly hand and an errant and wayward cakehole. But spring was finally here and my white whiskers twitched with excitement at the prospect of adventures to come, for our granddaughter Gracie was making her first trip to the Norfolk Broads to meet Royal Tudor.

Deciding who was the most excited about the impending trip to the Broads was going to be difficult. Gracie had packed her small suitcase the day we announced the trip. Walking Gracie to school became a chance to answer her questions about boats, boating and the rivers. 'Boat fever' was something I didn't mind catching in the least! How best to describe Grace? Six going on twenty-six. Bright as a button, very, very astute, long fair hair, tall and as limb-lithe as her name describes. Our walks to school were full of talk of ducks, otters, life-jackets, types of boats and pirates. 'There are no pirates Timbo, only those near Africa!'. There's no fooling Gracie!

The day of departure finally arrived and after a fitful night's sleep, I of course overslept by half an hour, the day dawned bright and sunny. A quick coffee and after walking the beagles Ellie and I started to pack the QQ for the journey. Soon we were leaving 'Big G' three-quarters of an hour later than we intended with Gracie wedged in the back seat, the beagles in the boot and the QQ full to the gunwales with luggage and bits for the boat.

We made our way via Doddington and Harmston to join the Sleaford roundabout. Just after the stretch of dual carriageway, Gracie was feeling travel sick. More I think due to Grandma asking if she was OK than actually feeling ill. So when I managed to find somewhere to pull over Gracie became my front seat navigator. I introduced her to the game of Pub and Church cricket. A game quite difficult to play since the demise of the public house. The rules are simple. Passengers take it in turn to 'bat'. A church with a square tower is '6 runs'. A pub name or it's sign provides additional runs to the number of 'legs' stated or depicted. So the Canary and Linnet pub provides four runs. The Carpenters Arms would have been no runs but the sign depicted two 'carpenters' holding up the arms so this was four runs. A church with a spire means that you are 'out' and the next passenger starts spotting to score. Due to the lack of pubs these days, windmills were substituted as three runs.

Playing Pub and Church Cricket, Gracie reading the names of places on the Sat-Nav and handing out the mints, we were soon over Sutton Bridge and into Norfolk (According to Gracie the Bridge counted as fifty runs and brought her score to 367 not out). I stopped at the services at Swaffham, where Ellie realised what crap service we actually got from eateries at home. While Grace and Ellie went into McDonald's I sat outside with the dogs, the staff offering to bring my food outside while the ladies sat in comfort.

Fed and watered we got underway again. As we drove along Gracie got more and more excited as I pointed out landmarks that were increasingly boat related. Down the new Broadland bypass, turn right for Wroxham and over the bridge and a 'wow' from Gracie as she saw the busy river and the boats. We stopped at Norfolk Marine to buy Gracie her life jacket. We were pleasantly surprised expecting a price tag of £50 plus to be asked for £25. While I waited with the 'beagle boys' Ellie and Gracie popped to Roy's for some last minute shopping.
“They should call it rob-dog Roy's” Grace announced upon her return to the car clutching a new 'word search' puzzle book. “It's ever so expensive!” there's still no fooling Gracie.

On our way again and we finally arrived at Stalham. Gracie was incredibly excited. The first job at the wet shed was to take the 'boys' for a well-earned wee. So Ellie, Gracie and I walked down the footpath behind the sheds while the boys stretched their legs. Back at the wet shed, I stopped by the two wrecked day launches parked on barrels outside. Gracie's face was a picture when she thought fleetingly that one of them was Royal Tudor.

Just inside the shed, Dave (Janet Anne) was varnishing Uncle Mike's boat Chameleon. We made our way around the jetty until we, at last, reached Royal Tudor. Gracie was full of gasps and wonder and finally delight. It was love at first sight! While Ellie and Grace pottered around exploring RT, putting away the groceries and starting to clean, Dave and I did some catching up and waited for the chance to sort out the stern gland grease. We found this had already been done so Grace and I made a run to Tesco for last minute bits too expensive in Roy's, like beer, wine and batteries for Gracie's night light.

In Tesco, Gracie looked thoughtful.
“No, he's not a pirate.”
“Who?” I asked her.
“Dave. He might look like a pirate, but he's too nice to be a pirate. Besides, he doesn't have a wooden leg or a parrot!”
“Ah!”
Did I mention there's no fooling Gracie?

At last with Royal Tudor fully provisioned and with the day waning rapidly, I made final preparations to get underway. By this time I was getting quite rushed, hot and bothered. I dropped RT's cockpit, took away her connection to shore power, started her engine, let loose the warps and we nosed out of the shed! Flags flying we made our way out onto the river and Gracie was elated!

It wasn't long before she was acting as 'lookout' spotting birds and boats. As the river widened Gracie was even more amazed.
“It's the first time I've ever been on a boat on a big river!” Gracie exclaimed.
I was waiting for the look on her face when we reached the expanse of Barton Broad. As we made our way out onto the broad Gracie gasped. Both Barton Broad and Gracie's face were shimmering in the evening sunshine. What a glorious, glorious sight to see!

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”.

Part Two soon!
 

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Wow Broads Water Fever at six!

Thank god there is no cure for it. I got my first dose of it at the age of three and I'm still not cured.

And that's too many years of suffering waiting for my next fix.

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Glad you managed to get out on the water after such a rough winter,  enjoy the magic of a 6 year old. :default_biggrin:

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What an absolute joy to read! 

8 hours ago, Timbo said:

No, he's not a pirate.”
“Who?” I asked her.
“Dave. He might look like a pirate, but he's too nice to be a pirate. Besides, he doesn't have a wooden leg or a parrot!”
“Ah!”
Did I mention there's no fooling Gracie?

:default_laugh:  so cute! 

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9 hours ago, Timbo said:

Kenneth Grahame writes “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”.

A little bit like the Mole, I ventured out of my hole and sniffed the late spring air. It had been a tough winter of coughs and agues, sneezes and diseases, wobbly legs, a jiggly hand and an errant and wayward cakehole. But spring was finally here and my white whiskers twitched with excitement at the prospect of adventures to come, for our granddaughter Gracie was making her first trip to the Norfolk Broads to meet Royal Tudor.

Deciding who was the most excited about the impending trip to the Broads was going to be difficult. Gracie had packed her small suitcase the day we announced the trip. Walking Gracie to school became a chance to answer her questions about boats, boating and the rivers. 'Boat fever' was something I didn't mind catching in the least! How best to describe Grace? Six going on twenty-six. Bright as a button, very, very astute, long fair hair, tall and as limb-lithe as her name describes. Our walks to school were full of talk of ducks, otters, life-jackets, types of boats and pirates. 'There are no pirates Timbo, only those near Africa!'. There's no fooling Gracie!

The day of departure finally arrived and after a fitful night's sleep, I of course overslept by half an hour, the day dawned bright and sunny. A quick coffee and after walking the beagles Ellie and I started to pack the QQ for the journey. Soon we were leaving 'Big G' three-quarters of an hour later than we intended with Gracie wedged in the back seat, the beagles in the boot and the QQ full to the gunwales with luggage and bits for the boat.

We made our way via Doddington and Harmston to join the Sleaford roundabout. Just after the stretch of dual carriageway, Gracie was feeling travel sick. More I think due to Grandma asking if she was OK than actually feeling ill. So when I managed to find somewhere to pull over Gracie became my front seat navigator. I introduced her to the game of Pub and Church cricket. A game quite difficult to play since the demise of the public house. The rules are simple. Passengers take it in turn to 'bat'. A church with a square tower is '6 runs'. A pub name or it's sign provides additional runs to the number of 'legs' stated or depicted. So the Canary and Linnet pub provides four runs. The Carpenters Arms would have been no runs but the sign depicted two 'carpenters' holding up the arms so this was four runs. A church with a spire means that you are 'out' and the next passenger starts spotting to score. Due to the lack of pubs these days, windmills were substituted as three runs.

Playing Pub and Church Cricket, Gracie reading the names of places on the Sat-Nav and handing out the mints, we were soon over Sutton Bridge and into Norfolk (According to Gracie the Bridge counted as fifty runs and brought her score to 367 not out). I stopped at the services at Swaffham, where Ellie realised what crap service we actually got from eateries at home. While Grace and Ellie went into McDonald's I sat outside with the dogs, the staff offering to bring my food outside while the ladies sat in comfort.

Fed and watered we got underway again. As we drove along Gracie got more and more excited as I pointed out landmarks that were increasingly boat related. Down the new Broadland bypass, turn right for Wroxham and over the bridge and a 'wow' from Gracie as she saw the busy river and the boats. We stopped at Norfolk Marine to buy Gracie her life jacket. We were pleasantly surprised expecting a price tag of £50 plus to be asked for £25. While I waited with the 'beagle boys' Ellie and Gracie popped to Roy's for some last minute shopping.
“They should call it rob-dog Roy's” Grace announced upon her return to the car clutching a new 'word search' puzzle book. “It's ever so expensive!” there's still no fooling Gracie.

On our way again and we finally arrived at Stalham. Gracie was incredibly excited. The first job at the wet shed was to take the 'boys' for a well-earned wee. So Ellie, Gracie and I walked down the footpath behind the sheds while the boys stretched their legs. Back at the wet shed, I stopped by the two wrecked day launches parked on barrels outside. Gracie's face was a picture when she thought fleetingly that one of them was Royal Tudor.

Just inside the shed, Dave (Janet Anne) was varnishing Uncle Mike's boat Chameleon. We made our way around the jetty until we, at last, reached Royal Tudor. Gracie was full of gasps and wonder and finally delight. It was love at first sight! While Ellie and Grace pottered around exploring RT, putting away the groceries and starting to clean, Dave and I did some catching up and waited for the chance to sort out the stern gland grease. We found this had already been done so Grace and I made a run to Tesco for last minute bits too expensive in Roy's, like beer, wine and batteries for Gracie's night light.

In Tesco, Gracie looked thoughtful.
“No, he's not a pirate.”
“Who?” I asked her.
“Dave. He might look like a pirate, but he's too nice to be a pirate. Besides, he doesn't have a wooden leg or a parrot!”
“Ah!”
Did I mention there's no fooling Gracie?

At last with Royal Tudor fully provisioned and with the day waning rapidly, I made final preparations to get underway. By this time I was getting quite rushed, hot and bothered. I dropped RT's cockpit, took away her connection to shore power, started her engine, let loose the warps and we nosed out of the shed! Flags flying we made our way out onto the river and Gracie was elated!

It wasn't long before she was acting as 'lookout' spotting birds and boats. As the river widened Gracie was even more amazed.
“It's the first time I've ever been on a boat on a big river!” Gracie exclaimed.
I was waiting for the look on her face when we reached the expanse of Barton Broad. As we made our way out onto the broad Gracie gasped. Both Barton Broad and Gracie's face were shimmering in the evening sunshine. What a glorious, glorious sight to see!

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”.

Part Two soon!
 

That has made my day and all the hard work from everyone involved in RT DIY worthwhile.

:default_beerchug: :default_eusa_dance::default_biggrin:

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33 minutes ago, brundallNavy said:

That has made my day and all the hard work from everyone involved in RT DIY worthwhile.

so true, its good to see Tim out on the water enjoying himself. I cant wait for part 2 now

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Tim, enjoyed the start of the tale.

Enjoy the company of your granddaughter while she is young and teasable, too soon they grow into world weary teenagers were everything is tiresome.

Although I don't allow mine to get away with that, she just looks to the heavens and says I'm older now grandpa.

Now it's been 10 hours where is part 2.

paul

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Beautifully told account of the magic of the Broads appreciated across generations :default_beerchug:

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Brilliant, can’t wait for more!

In a word...heartwarming!

Helen

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15 hours ago, Timbo said:

Besides, he doesn't have a wooden leg or a parrot!”

 

 Oh ye of little faith

 

IMG_20170315_174936.jpg

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what about the wooden leg? eyepatch?

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Wonderful, looking forward to reading the next one.

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2 hours ago, grendel said:

what about the wooden leg? eyepatch?

"a wooden leg or a parrot"

Anyway, when you own a wooden boat all the good wood is spoken for long before limbs appear on the list :default_biggrin:

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5 minutes ago, JanetAnne said:

"a wooden leg or a parrot"

Anyway, when you own a wooden boat all the good wood is spoken for long before limbs appear on the list :default_biggrin:

Must be able to recycle an old bit with an artistic wood worm look! 

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"an old bit with an artistic wood worm look! "

Are we back to talking about Timbo again?

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1 hour ago, Maxwellian said:

Must be able to recycle an old bit with an artistic wood worm look! 

I thought that was all recycled into Royal Tudor :default_coat:

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“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

 

“Just look at it!” Gracie almost squealed. “Grandma! Timbo! Just look at it! How far does it go?”
There is nothing as joyous in life as watching someone discover something new and exhilarating. I felt like a showman. 'And for my next fete of prestidigitation...'
“How far are we going?” asked Gracie.
“Around Pleasure Hill Island and back to find somewhere to moor for the night.”
Gracie's brow furrowed.
“No, we are not!”
“Not what?” I asked a bit concerned.
“Going to Pleasure Island.”
“We are it's over there!” I said pointing out the hummocks marooned mid broad.
“That's not Pleasure Island!” exclaimed Gracie.
“Not that Pleasure Island sweetie. A different one,” said Grandma saving the day and realising Gracie was thinking of Cleethorpes.

Satisfied I was not pulling her leg and we were not bound for the 'Costa del Cleggy' Gracie hopped onto the step beside me.
“Do you want to drive?” I asked her.
I didn't really need to ask as Gracie swarmed onto the stool and took the wheel. So, we bimbled across Barton Broad, rounded Pleasure Hill Island and headed back upriver into the Ant looking for a mooring for the night Gracie 'at the helm' as I remembered my very first experience of The Broads. The last day of our holiday aboard Captain XII singing 'we shall not be moved' with my brother.

'Old hands' will have to forgive me, but for many years I've been renaming parts of the Broads. There's 'Perch Corner' which is the downstream end of the moorings that separate Salhouse Broad from the main river. This is where Matty our youngest son caught his first ever fish, a 3lb perch. There's 'Telephone Corner' one of the wild moorings on the starboard bank of the River Ant above Barton Broad where my daughter Holly dropped her phone and, like a good Dad would, I stood up to my neck in the water trying to retrieve it while the Stalham Mafia sent their wash to engulf my head. So that night's mooring was named by Gracie. The wild mooring on the port bank on the last corner of the straight before Barton Broad is now named 'Gracie's First Night Sleeping On a Real Boat Corner'. I should have learned my lesson about letting kids name things, especially pets, having had to walk a dog named 'Spot' for seventeen years!

After a tea of sausages, bacon, eggs, beans, bread and butter and cups of tea Gracie decided she needed to try Royal Tudor's shower. So while Ellie supervised and Dylan and Toby stood guard, I opened the fridge and reached for a beer. Contrary to popular belief, I very rarely drink at home and Ellie almost never. A cold beer is something I save for boating, and boy did I enjoy this one! RT's new fridge was working perfectly. The ice box was frozen and the beer was chilled. What more can you ask for? It was at this point that I realised I had forgotten my medication and had left it in the car along with Dylan's medication too. But Dylan was engrossed in chasing flies on the river bank and I was feeling decidedly relaxed so I decided I would retrieve them in the morning.

Out of the shower and dressed in gym-jams Ellie and Gracie joined me in the saloon while I telephoned Doug to let him know how we were getting on and that nothing major had dropped off either me or the boat! Then it was Gracie's turn to phone her Mum and Dad.
“It's amazing Mummy you would love it! It's like a floating house, well a floating bungalow, you can cook and sleep on it and go for a shower and go to the toilet and I have my own bed and there are ducks and geese and water and boats...I LOVE IT!”
Job done I think!

With Gracie in bed, Ellie and I sat and relaxed over a glass or three of chilled wine. We talked well into the night. Something that, with the rush and bother of daily life, we don't really make time for and we really should. And so to bed where I slept like a log. If logs snored.

Being kicked in my stomach at 5:30 am was a bit of a rude awakening. Dylan was in full seizure. Shouting Ellie, who was feeling a little delicate, aid arrived just in time as the dinette bed collapsed. I crashed to the floor nursing the still fitting Dylan. He came out of his fit and I immediately went into one preparing to leave the mooring and return to the wet shed to fetch his tablets and mine I fired the engine and freed the warps. RT must have sensed my urgency and responded quickly as I headed back to the shed with some haste. A cruise that had taken an hour the evening before was done in ten minutes with the tide pushing behind us. I tied up outside the shed and shambled and jogged, 'shogged', to the car to fetch medication.

Tablets, a cup of tea and multiple slices of toast down the both of us and Dylan and I were almost ready to face the day. I say 'almost' as Dylan required an extra tin of dog food. He's always ravenous but particularly so after a seizure. The shock of Dylan's medical episode and three glasses of wine meant Ellie was feeling, let's say, delicate? Laid on the cockpit floor, eyes closed while Gracie applied make-up. This is not as bad as it sounds. Gracie loves make-up, make-up brushes, palettes, bottles, jars and generally related goomph. Working where she does, Ellie has been teaching Grace the professional techniques of application and regularly acts as Gracie's test subject. Grace, although only six, knows her stuff and makes a better job of applying make-up than you will see on ninety per cent of wearers on any given Saturday night.
“Where to now?” asked Ellie opening one eye.
“Time for a dog walk, then fuel the boat and then it's up to you guys!” I said fetching dog leads.
“Potter Heigham! Gracie wants to buy presents!”

“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that's always changing!”

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Mental note, if I see a zombie lurching toward me, check that it's not Timbo before lopping it's head off.

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2 hours ago, Timbo said:

shambled and jogged, 'shogged

boy am I glad you didnt use the first 3 letters of the first word with the last 4 of the second, I would have hated having to moderate your post

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You could write a book! Keep it coming 😀

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On ‎05‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 10:39, vanessan said:

More please Timbo - I’m just lovin’ this! 

Ditto

 

 

Carole

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It's like waiting for the next episode of a well written drama on TV. Trying to be patient ......

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