A productive week with strangers becoming good friends

We enjoyed our stay by the Jolly Boatman, Not only did we enjoy a few drinks there with friends, but our week turned out to be quite productive. Our neighbours Alex & Helen who were painting their  boat when we arrived inspired me to touch up the paint on the towpath side handrail, carried away with this, I then painted the newly fitted vice and serviced the engine. Whilst searching my workshop for the spare oil & filters I discovered a whole lot of ‘stuff’ behind my toolbox which I had forgotten about and set to finding homes for it. This developed into fitting shelves into a couple of the back cabin lockers, buying a couple of new storage boxes and fixing up hooks to hang spare wire, fan belts, oil measures, soldering irons and all the other necessities required by an engineer. Not content with that I invented an extra flap on our bed to help fold the mattress away, carpentry no less!

On the domestic front things were not idle either. When we bought our boat the settee was covered with a rather plush red throw,  in fact a couple of duvet covers padded with folded duvets which while looking good ‘in-situ’ had the infuriating habit of slipping off and looking a complete mess!
Joy was discussing this problem with Helen who, not knowing Joy’s sewing skills, said “Why don’t you make covers out of it for each cushion” and on being assured of Joy’s lack of aptitude in this area volunteered to do the task herself on her sewing machine! [How many people have a sewing machine on board their boat?] The result is a resounding success and photos will follow when we have a better internet connection.

It’s nice to make new friends as we cruise up and down the canals and we shared a barbeque and many chats with Alex & Helen before saying goodbye on Thursday when we went our separate ways, them south, headed for the Thames and us north back to Heyford.


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