It's always something of an anti-climax when we return to the marina after some months on the cut. In many ways, it's good to be here. There's community here, for a start. A fixed community of people we've known for a few years rather than just a few days or weeks. And there are the conveniences of the car, the familiar shops, the nearby water and elsan points, mains electricity. All of which we happily do without while we're cruising, when we're happy to explore new places looking for what we need.
But the one thing that seems very odd is having so much time, time in which we'd be travelling if we were on the move. One thing we've promised ourselves for next year is that, wherever we go, and for however long a time, we'll go without any time pressures such as we've often had over the past five years. Places to be at particular times, people to have aboard at particular times. And without those time pressures, we'll have time to stop wherever we want, for however long we want, and do whatever we want. Pursue hobbies, visit places of interest. Wash the boat! All of those things which continuous cruisers take for granted most of the time.
In this extra time we have, we've done all sorts of jobs on the boat. Some of them quite small, but nonetheless significant. And, yes, we're spending more time on visiting places of interest, and on hobbies.
At last week's Macmillan Coffee Morning here at the marina, we bought some raffle tickets, and one of them won. Not the bottle of wine we had our eyes on, but a jigsaw puzzle.
OK, yes, it's a kid's jigsaw puzzle. Don't mock! But it has 1000 pieces, and I hadn't done a jigsaw for decades. Grace is much more inclined to do them, and has several back at the house, though those do tend to be more adult in their theme. It was a lot of fun, strangely therapeutic, and actually quite difficult even for Puzzle Grandmaster Grace.
That aside, we're progressing with the spring cleaning. And that's fun, too!