Wednesday 15 December 2010

The Secret of The Lady of The Lock

10th October
On a sunny Sunday Big Sister and I stopped on our way back from the village to buy ice-cream from the Lady of the Lock and to pay her for the laundry load that she did yesterday.
“You’ve run out of Mini-Milks haven’t you?” I asked.
“We have,” she confirmed, looking apologetically at my little daughter.
“But I tell you what. You could have a Twister lolly. Would you like that?” She smiles at my daughter and then looks at me.
“You can have that for the price of a Mini-Milk.” She returns with the lolly and my daughter sits on a wooden park bench outside her front door and gets ice-cream all around her mouth.
“How do you like it on the mooring there?” she said, leaning on the baby stair-gate in her doorway, that prevents her dogs from running onto the lock-side.
“Oh, I’m really enjoying having a mooring,” I grinned. “Actually, I was going to ask you. Do you mind? I mean, next week, we’re going to Devon for a week. My parents and my husband’s parents live there, so it’s all the grandparents there you know. Will it be alright to leave the boat there? And you could keep an eye on it for us, you know.”
“Of course, yes. Not a problem.”
So we chatted a bit more and I said,
“You’ve got two sons haven’t you?”
“No, four” she smiled, and described each one to me.
“We never got married though, never got around to it.”
So, the husband of the Lady of the Lock is not the husband of the Lady of the Lock. Is it too late to invent a new pseudonym for him?

I do like having a mooring. I like being a short walk from the village. I like living next door to people who sell gas, diesel and ice-creams. I like having an address – we’re having a new futon mattress delivered here next week! I like nodding at my boaty neighbours when I pass them on the towpath. I like going to the same toddler group every week. I like to fantasise about strimming down all of those waist-high nettles and having a garden for the children to play in. But I think The Doctor misses the stunning views of The Mead. He thinks that a mooring is the worst of both worlds; no storage space or mod-cons and you travel a lot less. I’m beginning to feel it would be the best of both worlds. An address near a nursery, neighbours that know my children, and no need to travel to get water, gas, rubbish disposal or the toilet pumped out.

Occasionally I Google ‘narrowboat wife’ and similar to see if I can find other narrowboat blogging mums. Today I was pleasantly surprised to find myself listed as a new blog on George's Canal Boating website.  I am excited to have a tiny bit of internet fame! But I’ve still only found one other blogging, narrowboating mum.

George's: Canal Boating website is an introduction for those unfamiliar with the pleasures of canal and waterway cruising, as well as a resource for experienced boaters. There are over 2000 links to canal and waterways related web sites. “Please... they are "narrowboats", not "barges".

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

-- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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