1st May- a retrospective
It was my birthday and celebrating in a different country means that everything’s different.
This, for instance, was my birthday card from Dave.
Not just this picture, but the actuality! It’s customary in The NL to decorate your boat with bunting to celebrate a birthday – or anything worth celebrating. I’m hoping to ‘dress’ Lady Christina to celebrate staying in the EU, one day soon.
The day didn’t start as well as it might though. I tripped over a tree root while running in the park and still have the scars on my arm. Any primary school child would be proud of them, but I don’t think it’s really a good ‘look’ for a woman of my maturity. But totally in character though. 2017 was a bonanza year for personal injury for me. Often due to carelessness. I mean, why look at the ground when you’re running with the rooks, through a woodland park, crammed with flowers and shrubs?
We had coffee with another UK boater and Barney, his Assistance Dog. I only knew a little about such animals before I met Barney – a beautiful golden labrador, with a delightful temperament. And I say this as someone who really isn’t that keen on dogs. Barney’s job is to guard his owner if he falls over due to low blood pressure and bark to get help. He couldn’t bear it when his owner was out of sight for a moment. Vigilant animal.
I’d said that seeing some hares would be an excellent birthday treat. I still haven’t seen any this year, unlike the previous two years. The natural history bidding was opened by two Common Storks which flew overhead. A good start.
We sailed around the Sneekamer later
and then moored for the night on a Marrekrite Mooring – mooring for free in the middle of nature.
I’ve mentioned these before – there are three and a half thousand of them. I wonder if we could visit them all! By coincidence, this was the morning when the man on a bicycle came past to sell us our Marrekrite pennant – you don’t have to buy one, but it’s a way of showing you support this excellent, municipal project. As he handed me the flag, he also gave me a small wrapped package and said, ‘Surprise!’ Inside were two, suitably sized for a boat, beer mugs.
Before dinner, I walked along the bank (to put our rubbish in the bin actually, because we’re responsible boaters) scanning the fields for those illusive hares, because I’d seen them here before. They say that virtue is it’s own reward, but I won’t claim I deserved this treat.
I did appreciate it though and spent a good twenty minutes, watching him feed, before he scampered off into the trees. I’ve seen loads of deer in the UK, Red Deer on Scottish Islands, Roe and Muntjac Deer, even in the Midlands, but they’re always a treat and I’d never seen one in The NL before.
There’s something about watching an animal or bird, especially if the encounter lasts a good time, that’s so fulfilling.
So all this, plus the birthday cards and presents smuggled on board by my family and phone calls with them all, made for probably the best birthday ever.
Credit for photos goes to Dave.