Friday 3 May 2013

Broadly speaking, not a total success

Allowing for the time difference, it was a year ago today when I dislocated my shoulder on the Norfolk Broads, foolishly leaping off the boat as it was leaving the mooring, with a vague plan to prevent it from hitting the yacht next door. Quite how I was going to do that, nobody knows, especially me, because the next second I was writhing on the towpath, half of me hung precariously over the water, astonished at the pain. Seriously, dislocated shoulders hurt like nobody's business: don't do it.
And just like that our boating holiday was over: shame, I'd always fancied it. The single hour we'd spent getting from Wroxham to Horning had been very promising, and once we were over the nervousness and novelty of being boaties, it looked like a lovely, relaxing way to get about. What's not to like? You pootle along at about 3mph in a comfortable modern boat (ideally, not just two of you in the 12m 8-man job we were generously, if misguidedly, assigned by Norfolk Broads Direct, along 125 miles of waterway past rows of pretty thatched houses each with its own watery driveway. There are trees, reeds, lots and lots of birds, wide expanses of pewter water, other boats, and pubs.
There's no beating an English pub, and this one was especially cosy and welcoming after a fraught first-time mooring on a cool grey day in late spring. There were other boaties relaxing in there as well, making it all very jolly, and it was very pleasant to spend the evening there and then just wander outside to climb aboard the River Countess and tuck up in the comfy bed to be gently rocked to sleep. And then to wake in the morning to the calls of birds already busy on the river, an early-morning stroll through the countryside to a pretty towered church, breakfast on the water and then another day quietly messing about in boats. Or, you know, not.

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