Travels of ‘Joanie M’ – Life as a Continuous Cruiser 30 May 2013

The spring cartridge to repair our toilet didn’t arrive on the Tuesday so I went back to the Post Office the next day after visiting the Gloster Regimental Museum on the Quay. From the comments written on the envelope it appeared that a dyslexic postman had first delivered it to the Debenhams store opposite.

As it was late afternoon I decided to fit it the next day. I split the toilet in half, just remembering to shut the water off and first cleaned the rubber seal for the ball that the effluent passes through, not the most pleasant of jobs, and then reassembled it all with the new spring. It now wouldn’t work! The only difference between the new and old cartridges was the colour so I rang Leesan to find I had been sent one for a 500 series toilet rather than for a 5000 series! So another wait.

Presenting myself at the Post Office again on the Monday, no parcel again. So much for First Class Post. To give plenty of timne we decided to head back to Saul Junction and fill the diesel and, due to the continuing cold weather, buy some more coal – actually Multiheat – and hope the spring would be there on the Wednesday, which it was and was duly fitted.

Gloucester Docks was playing host to the Tall Ships that weekend with a number of restrictions on boat movements, which coupled with the tide times, would mean a late arrival at Tewkesbury or trying to find a mooring on the river so we decided to leave ion Thursday. What an awful day! Wet with a strong wind blowing in our faces all the way upriver. It was so cold we had to put our gloves on!

It was even windier the next day so we stayed put in Tewkesbury walking around the town and the Abbey.

Fortunately Saturday dawned bright and sunny and we made our way upstream, threading ourselves through sailing boats, rowers and canoeists to moor that night in utter seclusion at Comberton Quay, sitting out on the grass with a glass of Boddingtons! What a difference a day makes. Sunday was even hotter, and easier as the volunteers were out doing most of the locks for us. Unfortunately many boats were out too and most of the best moorings were full. We eventually stopped at Chadbury Lock with an Anglo Welsh boat on the other side waiting for an engineer to replace a broken gear change cable. This lock is completely inaccessible by boat and we all watched as the engineer parked some 1/2 mile away and walked to the lock in a great sweep to avoid a drainage ditch that separated him from us.

The next day, the Bank Holiday saw us a Evesham. walking into town we were lucky to watch a performance of the local Morris Dancers in the square. Disappointing though was the absence of any local greengrocer. We had hoped to buy some local asparagus and with Evesham being the centre of the growing region, what better place. Some chance as there is no greengrocer and doesn’t appear to have been for several years.

And then the rain came down again. We braved it the first day but with levels rising we played safe and stopped at Bidford. Still no grocer but a Budgens displaying locally grown produce.