Tuesday, 2 November 2010

That was the week (end) that was

Oh my god what a week end. It would take me forever to write down all the happenings in such a short space of time. Arrived up at Minnow by about 7.30pm on Friday after stopping at that excellent chippy in Gnosall again and eating fish and chips, this time with clean hands. Dave Ray, manager at Norbury Wharf Limited came over and said that one or two were joining him in his converted river class boat Ant at about nine for a drink or two and for us to come over if we wanted and that was the start of the boozy weekend for at about nine Dawn and I, Sue Cawson, John Blunn and Mavis Waldron and a couple who Dave knew who I can't remember their first names but surname was Ghost (very apt for halloween) The evening went on till quite late and several pints of cider and a bottle of port later, apart from a glass that Sue had, we ambled (staggered) back to Minnow at about four in the morning after listening to hours of David's crap CD collection of boy bands from the eighties going full blast. At about five in the morning Lucy Waldron arrived and went over to Dave's boat where he was fast asleep in the chair still clasping the nearly empty bottle of Jack Daniels and the music was still playing full belt! Saturday morning came too soon and after a good full English, courtesy of Dawn we were ready to face the world along with many other's who were all cleaning brasses and cleaning boats down ready.
By early afternoon there was quite a collection of working boats around the basin with Minnow, Thea, Lion, Sickle, Kangaroo and Australia, Empress, Bootes and Battersea. By about 8.00pm the evening had started with the beer tent open with a selection of real ales, Holdens Golden and Enville brewery as well as Stowmill cider and Carling Larger for the girls. On the wharf three cut down oil drums were stocked with logs and a bag of coal each for people to gather round as well as tables and chairs in the marquee. At about nine the crowds were entertained by the band Meet On The Ledge who played for well over two hours followed by a computer full of music for all tastes, except when Dave took over as DJ and played eighties boy bands again. After about twelve pints of cider and well into the early hours, somebody suggested that we start Kangaroo and Minnow's Bolinder's in unison and so Lawrence and I set off back to the boats and put the lamps on and kicked both Bolinder's off to the delight of the crowd. The revelries continued until about four in the morning when sadly it all came to an end. But there was still Sunday left, as earlier on the Saturday it had been planned to go off for a jolly up to the Anchor Inn for a diner time drink, and then come back to Norbury for a communal Sunday Dinner provided by Lucy. At about 9.30 on the Sunday morning Dawn and I made our way over to the Cafe and had ourselves a full English to set us up for the day. At about midday Lawrence fired Kangaroo's Bolinder up and set off with Australia followed by John Blunn on Lion and then us on Minnow followed by Sue on Thea. Unfortunately there were two large fishing matches being held north of Norbury and along with the miles of moored boats, progress was quite slow and with the Anchor Inn shutting at 3.30 we were running out of time.
Lawrence was first there and he ordered twelve pints of beer ready for our arrival. With these consumed and an hour chatting we arrived back at Norbury just as it was getting dark, and just as the Sunday dinner was cooking. By six we were all called round to Lucy's boat and fourteen of us sat down for roast beef, roast pork, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, cauliflower, sweet potato mash and broccoli, it was absolutely superb. When finished we decided to have a drink of wine so I think four bottles of Lucy's wine were opened and consumed, followed by another three from off our boat then another six supplied by Dave and to finish off two bottles of Lucy's port. The evening passed all too quickly but the craick was brilliant with fourteen people sat in the well deck and the 'Dinette' of Lion the jokes, the humour, the sights (monkeys climbing trees at two in the morning and I believe that Lawrence saw an eclipse of the moon through Lucy's telescope! Long hard weekend's bring sore heads and I spent most of Monday morning recovering until Dawn drove us home in the afternoon after saying goodbye to all our friends and all hoping to do it again soon. Can't wait for the do at the Black Country Museum next year and of course for this bash next year. All I would like to finish off with is a massive great big thank you to all concerned for making this weekend one of the best, especially Simon and Dave from Norbury Wharf for making it possible, and don't bang 'em about too loudly

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