Saturday 15 February 2020
Taking a Second Look
Another early start to get on our way, back up to Whilton Marina to take a second look at Nb Silverdale. The last time we visited in January, we had little idea that we were searching for Silverdale but that’s just what it turned out to be. This trip was to photograph and measure our find. There would also be in the back of our minds, the fear of had we done the right thing, was this the one. It was to be our home now after all.
Storm Dennis was on its way. We had ummed & arrhed about whether the storm should scupper our plans but the Hotel was paid for and the pull of boat was greater than the push of the winds we might encounter.
We stopped at Solstice Services at Amesbury (as we always do) for coffee, tea & toast. The car ran well. We listened to Liam Galagher, Oasis and The Stone Roses, on our way to Whilton. We had now travelled this way several times and enjoyed the journey.
At the Marina
At the marina, the weather had become progressively worse. Harvey and Fred where there and a new member had joined the sales team. Nb Silverdale was in the water! It was off the hard standing where we had previously seen it.
Harvey went off to open Nb Silverdale. After first being unable to enter via the prow doors, he turned his attention to the stern. After much acrobatics, legs flailing to reach the lower bolt, he managed to open the stern doors. We were then allowed down and went aboard.
Our earlier fears were allayed – this is the one. Nb Silverdale was better than we had ever imagined. I took lots of photographs and mu took lots of measurements. We basked in our choice of new home.
Storm Dennis was now gathering force so we headed to Whilton Marina Cafe for a cup of tea and to sit and look at Silverdale. After speaking with the owner, whom we had met when purchasing Nb MIRRLESS we headed off. We drove into the wind and rain of the storm, into Banbury. We had stayed at Banbury on our previous journey down from Northampton to Bath (Tales from the Bilge – The Long Journey Hone – Part 5) and liked it. HMV called and I answered in the form of vinyl purchases: Revolver – The Beatles, Return to Ommadawn – Mike Oldfield in the sale. Banbury was wet.
We left for Weedon and the Crossroads Hotel where we were staying for the night. We were assigned Room 16. Room 16 is where we stayed while MIRRLESS was being outfitted and made ready. It was a nice touch of serendipity. We went to the bar in the late afternoon because we could and a had a three and a half hour wait for a table in the restaurant. Not all that time was spent at the bar – we went back to the room and published MEET ME AT THE JUMPGATE.
At the restaurant, we had Vegetarian Fish & Chips – halloumi & chips. We had waited a long time to re-experience this and it was as good as we had remembered.
We decided upon The Tales of Silverdale for the blog title.
Some Early Images of Silverdale
Sunday 16 February 2020
A Visit to Milton Keynes
Storm Dennis continued its downpour of rain as we left the hotel but we decided to visit Milton Keynes. I have always wanted to visit there. Something about its New Town status, being built from scratch and being aligned with the sunrise like Stonehenge appealed to me. It’s a nice drive from Weedeon. A simple straightforward run. There was however, lots of water on the roads and in the fields with the continuing rain adding to it all.
Milton Keynes is a big place! A grid layout from the ’70’s with references to Wiltshire’s monoliths. We went into the centre and wandered around the covered shopping area. For breakfast, we made a rare stop to Starbucks and enjoyed it. We then drove down to the marina and looked at the moored boats. However, the rain was pouring and being driven by Storm Dennis. We ended up in Ikea, browsing…
The drive back to Wiltshire was long and uneventful but made bearable by remixes of The Stone Roses and Ian Brown.
Videos of narrowboats cruising and a portable generator oil change ended the day. A second look had proved very fruitful…
We’ve decided that this time around, we want a generator. We think it will make a difference.
rp – peace and narrowboats