Loo views

Loo views

Monday 27 August 2018


This is my new view from my loo on my new mooring. Not pretty (yet) but having my car right here by my boat is a new experience. For nearly 10 years I have been carting everything in my barrow from the car, down the road, across the lock gate and down the towpath to my boat.

Arriving has been a difficult journey though. I had the breakdown at Woodend Lock on the day I left Fradley (see previous post). I broke down again at the junction of the Staffs and Worcester and the Shropshire Union. My throttle cable snapped, leaving me with no forward momentum! Having only broken down once whilst on the move in ten years, twice in two weeks felt like a sign! But perhaps it was a sign of good fortune, as it happened right beside a boatyard. They had me up and running again in less than an hour.

Arriving has been difficult emotionally too. I regard myself as a reasonably courageous woman, but I suffer from anxiety when it comes to meeting new people and particularly when joining a new community. I think the anxiety has got worse the older I get. I no longer have to attend parties or social events if I don't want to. I'm not working so I don't have to meet a lot of strangers. I fact I can go for fairly long periods where I don't have to mix with people at all. And as with most hangups, if you avoid it rather than confront it, you don't resolve it!

So knowing I was coming to a new mooring, with new neighbours and a new landlord has prevented me from sleeping soundly for weeks. The only thing that has kept me reasonably sane is practicing mindfulness. I downloaded the Headspace app and I take 30 minutes each day to meditate and that has really helped lessen my anxiety.

Today was the day of our arrival as I cruised from Gnosall to Shebdon. (Useless fact alert: the three nearest settlements along the canal from my mooring are Gnosall, Norbury and Knighton. All sound like they begin with N, only one does.)

I arrived on my mooring with a flourish. Because it hadn't been used for months it had silted up and I couldn't get my boat closer than a couple of feet from the bank. I grabbed my rope and jumped ashore to try and pull her in. Unfortunately, my foot landed on a greasy paving slab and I went down flat on my face....right in front of my new neighbour! He came rushing to my assistance, as did his son, on the boat moored at the other end of mine, and the three of us managed to pull 'Don't Panic' into the side, with only a bruised knee (and pride) to show for my tumble.

It certainly broke the ice with my neighbours; Colin and Viv on one side and their son Jason on the other. We had a lovely chat and Viv offered to fetch anything I needed as they were just off shopping. They seem very lovely and that is a massive weight off my mind.

Now I have finally arrived (having been travelling towards my new mooring since May!) I feel exhausted. The adrenaline has drained away and it was all I could do to secure the boat and take Bonny for her first Shebdon walk. I have time though. I have a list of things I need to do, but today I will sit and listen to the silence and thank the god of the canals that I am here.

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