Sunday morning, and a horrible wet start to the day.
Biggles’ BFF Emma had offered to run one of us home from The Anchor or Pyrford Marina on the Sunday afternoon to collect a car, so we could save the Captain the ignominy of travelling by bus or train in a basket. She couldn’t make it in the morning, because she was going walking with some friends and dogs, probably around the Ripley area. “Look out for us – we’re at Walsham Weir… drop in for a coffee”.
Well, they walked over Walsham Weir and managed to miss Song & Dance completely, even though they must have passed with 15 metres of the boat. Biggles was most upset, and intimated that Emma’s status as BFF might now be in doubt. He was so disgusted that he took to drinking the hard stuff: the water level on the navigation dropped noticeably.
Annie (a Ram Club devotee, one-time morris widow, one-time resident of Pyrford, who now lives in nearby Ripley) did find us without difficulty, and brought a boat-owning friend over for coffee, biscuits and boat admiration. The sun came out and she stayed on as crew for the short cruise to The Anchor at Pyrford). When first married she and her husband lived on a narrowboat on the Wey Navigation, but this was the first time she’d been boating on a narrowboat for over 40 years.
Sitting in the sunshine at The Anchor drinking Guinness, the offer of free beer meant Emma could join us immediately… turned out that she went to school with Annie’s son. Small world. Making up for her previous lack of navigational skills (or myopia), Emma not only ran one of us home for the car, but as we were now mobile, invited us over for dinner too. Biggles has promised to reconsider her status.
Monday morning saw the boat moved across the canal into the Marina, tied up and plugged in, and the car filled with dirty washing: guess what the crew members who aren’t going round gardens in the Cotswolds will be doing.