It was nice of TPTB to designate the first mate’s birthday as a Bank Holiday, to celebrate his achievement of official OAP status. Now a genuine old fogey, the sunny morning was spent wandering around some of the Odiham festivities we’d missed.
The local ladies and girls had banded together to sew a splendid tapestry covering the history of the town from early days to today (spot the Chinook helicopter).
And the local church had a flower festival, with arrangements from dozens of local organisations: an impressive display.
Biggles’ BFF Emma brought her boys over for a birthday burger lunch at The Waterwitch pub, followed by a cruise up to the end of the canal at Odiham castle (where there were still loads of people in the mediaeval village re-enactment) and back. With food, wine, birthday cards, birthday cake, presents and hungry teenagers on board there was fortunately no time or opportunity to take scandalous photographs.
The nice people of the Basingstoke Canal Society had said that for a small donation we could moor up abreast the John Pinkerton II on their private wharf and plug into their ground power. So a quiet evening was spent with more eating and drinking, no access to the outside world, and teaching Biggles how to get ashore across the JP II without falling in or getting lost, in order to conduct his personal business.