Xenia is sold.

It’s the end of an era, a decade to be precise, and Xenia has now gone to a new home somewhere near Rickmansworth, having been surveyed for the first time and had her bottom blacked for the fourth.

April 2009 001

Early days. April 2009 on the Thames at Goring.

This leaves us shore-bound, although I have volunteered to train up as a boatman to operate the little ferry that transports members of the Island Bohemian Bowls and Social Club to and from north or south bank to De Montford Island – the site of a famous duel in 1163, witnessed by Henry the second, between Robert de Montford and the Earl of Essex, who, left for dead on the island, was rescued by the monks from Reading Abbey and lived out the rest of his life in their order. The bowls matches seem to be altogether a less risky challenge – but competitive none-the-less.

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Bowls on the Island. A more gentle form of combat than that of Knights of Old.

Everyone says “but, oh, won’t you miss the boat?”. “Well, not yet” is the current answer. Admiring the lovely landscapes between Reading and Oxford yesterday, from one of the few trains that was both running and had working air-conditioning during the hottest day on record here in the south of England, I did reflect on those days spent in the relentless heat of the Midi summers trying to find shade and to sleep in a hot steel boat whilst fighting off the mosquitos!

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The neighbouring herb garden at Caversham Court – gives me something to aspire to!

So far, we are enjoying life ashore. I still have to stop myself from instinctively checking for when the next pump-out is due, whether we need a water-fill and what state of charge the batteries are in. It seems strange not to have to be aware of how much water or power we are using or how much waste we are generating and not having to worry about what supplies we are going to need, for how long and where we will find them. Everything we need is here within walking distance, just around the corner!

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Sharing a BBQ in the garden with our neighbours.

This leaves quite a bit of time for social activities and being able to commit to things on a regular basis – although I suspect that there will be days when I just wish we could untie the ropes and cruise off to a new horizon. But for now, we’re loving our large shared garden, and being able to make our contributions to its upkeep, meeting and getting to know our several neighbours, and learning a new sport, bowls. And it will be easy to lock the door and fly off at a moment’s notice as we did in June to look after Nigel’s garden in Laure Minervois and to travel the entire length of the Midi Canal in just a few short hours – recognising every twist and turn of the canal and catching up with old boating friends.

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On the way to Sete, George Brassens and his cat. On our way to have lunch with David and Evey of DB L’Escapade at Frontignan.

This entry was posted in 2019 season, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Xenia is sold.

  1. Virginia Sherry says:

    Time marches on and we find a way to adapt. Thanks for the great postcard.

  2. David Trotman says:

    Glad all going well, although cooler here. Still in same house westhendred if you are passing. But be carefull, short of ringers!! Dave T

    • xeniaboatlog says:

      Dave, we have yet to decide where to hang the ship’s bell, which we have brought ashore with us. We hear St Peter’s bells ringing, so that’s nice and not quite so close to us at East Hendred! Hope all’s well with you and Janet. Charles and Pam.

  3. Shaun&Lynn - Elle says:

    The end of an era of.a Legendary Blogger. Thank you and all the best with your new endevours.

    • xeniaboatlog says:

      Thanks Shaun and we’ll look forward to following your journeys with Elle. Seems like this year’s cruising in France is getting to be more of a logistical challenge than normal! Charles and Pam.

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