Recent weeks has seen wilvir bathed in the growing warmth of summer sunlight, and nights bathed in the cool beauty of moonlight.
As the weather settles down, the beginnings of Summer display a whole host of new life as nature takes its course and the windows of my world are filled with the sights and sounds reminding me of summers past, evoking memories of childhood adventures that live within me even today.
The start of the course fishing season in mid June still brings the excitement of expectation, of days spent fishing unencumbered, and the probability of rain receding as every day passes.
New life is beginning at every moment, bringing an abundance of change. Those that work the land can breath again with the prospect of the right weather ahead leading to a good harvest and fat livestock. The raucous behaviour of our wildfowl population, especially duck and wood pigeon, is testament to the old adage of 'making hay as the sun shines' so to speak.
Our home drifts along on the thrust from a propeller driven by an engine hardly ever running above tick-over, offering little disturbance or distraction to anyone or anything who we come upon or that cares to take an interest in us.
Passers-by, hire-crew or gongoozler, stop to pass the time of day, intrigued by our way of life. Locks with room-for-two offer an opportunity for banter and often the chance to make new friends. The offer of a penny-farthing tour of wilvir to anyone interested in living the way we do is often the beginnings of an idea to retire or, as we did, give up work to live an alternative lifestyle.
Finding a place out in the sticks is always our preferred mooring location, undisturbed and non-disturbing. The chance to explore rural villages, footpaths and towpaths is reward enough to anyone who, like me, can't be doing with the pace of life that is often heard as friction, mostly between tyre and tarmac. The chance of a good pint of real ale is usually on the cards too, but only as long as my friend Gunner is welcome to sit with me.
Everyday is an adventure, life is an adventure, love is an adventure, each and every one of our stories is an adventure. Just be sure of a dream and make that an adventure too.
24th Jun 2014, 16:15
2. Proper parenting.
4. Learning the ropes.
5. Out in the sticks.
6. Staying put for a couple of days.
7. Hawthorn at its best.
8. Just the other day.
Rain is ever present as June arrives in the seasonal calendar. The ground is heavy with moisture and the air heady with the scent of old and new blossom. Marginal flag iris try to stand tall amongst the reeds as the rain soaks their bright yellow flowers, causing them to bow and dull from the onslaught.
Signets appear below the galley window, Pen and Cob proudly protecting their offspring, encouraging them to knock for their supper. Geese and ducks too wait in line, sure they won't be ignored by the generosity of the hand at the hatch.
The landscape is nature's palette, every verdant shade of green on show, enticing me to go off-piste, to explore and seek out a long abandoned pond here and a cutting there, confident my wellington boots capable of keeping me dry, until, surrounded by thigh high grass, and nettles, I emerge soaked from belt to knees and socks now beginning to take on the roll of blotting paper. Gunner shakes himself dry by my side, looking pleased with having 'put-up' a cock pheasant just moments earlier, it narrowly missing my head as it aimlessly took flight in the general direction of safety. Gunner enticing it to ever more frantic flight as it struggled to get airborne.
The afternoon sky hangs leaden overhead, one solid grey cloud. Birds display little enthusiasm for singing, the sound of rain dampening their spirit, and lambs huddle together for warmth and shelter in open fields.
The wind grows bolder in its attempt to fill the pressure void, everything bending before it to let it pass, the trees alive with the sound of it.
I love all aspects of weather, it's part of what we were, what we are and what we become. Few realise the influence it has over them and ignore the true benefits it brings. Just go out and embrace it. It will change your outlook on life.
5th Jun 2014, 12:14