I have realised that one of the things that I enjoy about blogs, is seeing the landscapes and adventures of my fellow bloggers around the world. Wether it is the view from their window, or a trip that they took, it's wonderful to be transported to places new.
Now I am very lucky, my parents own a beautiful narrow boat called Moon Daisy (after the huge Oxeye daisies that used to grow along the canal in Yorkshire where my mother grew up.) They had her built, and she arrived just a handful of weeks after my first child. My children's childhoods have been full of trips on this boat, and my oldest boy who is now nine, is already a competent boat handler, he can start her up, cast her off, and drive her beautifully. Now he's getting bigger and stronger, he can open the gates and the locks too.
At half term, my parents, my boys and I, set out from our mooring to venture a little way along the Thames, and then off up a little National Trust owned canal called the Wey Navigation. Its beautiful and rural, and the sunshine came along with us.
I think it's impossible not to relax on a narrow boat. Speeds are limited, the boat chugs along at slow speed, and you can feel urban life's faster pace slip away. It's wonderful to all be together without having anything to do except be together.
Spring time on the canal means ducklings and goslings, being woken by birdsong, an abundance of Mayflies landing on the water, and fat ducks gorging themselves on them. We saw Herons, and Cormorants, and on the Thames a gull catching a huge fish. There were cows, and horses, and two wild deer close to the bank unfrightened by the slow moving boat. As I keep chickens, I am not a fan of foxes in my garden, but to see two beautiful healthy ones rooting about in a shady wooded dell was quite magic.
Spring has come late this year, but everything is lush and abundant. The leaves on the trees, the tall Cowparsley, the fields full of golden Buttercups
Whenever I am on the water, I feel the pull to live near it. I could imagine myself in any of these little old Lock Keeper's cottages.
It wasn't all sunshine, we had a day of rain too, but we pulled on our waterproofs, and had a good excuse to light the little wood burner inside.
I don't think it will be long now before the boys can manage the boat entirely on their own, I will just be able to sit back, relax, and watch the world slip by.