Guest post – Theo Whitehead

Well, this was only my second time ever on a boat (the first being a lake ferry on Lake Constance) and Mum & Dad had been talking about this “narrowboat” thing, so, of course, I was keen to see what the deal was.

Your author.

Your author.

We’d had a journey up from Essex, during which I had been asleep for a while, then woke up and, well, what were we STILL doing in the car on such a sunny day? I tried to explain to Mum & Dad that we should get out and about, but they didn’t seem to care (when will they EVER listen?). Still, we then arrived at this pretty place they called Braunston where there were all these “boats”. We walked around, Mum & Dad looking for the boat and then I heard a voice I hadn’t heard for a while – my godfather Tom! My…and with a beard too!

So THIS was the boat they had been talking about. And yes, goodness, this was narrow. Not much space for me to crawl around, but that has never stopped me before. Dad & Tom went off to get all the luggage (most of which was mine, hehe!), then we had some scrummy lunch. Uncle Tom & Aunty Em seemed to enjoy feeding me and the bread and cheese were delicious. (Wasn’t too keen on the cold chicken though, even if the adults all seemed to enjoy it!)

Lunch on board.

Lunch on board.

In the afternoon, rather than Mum or Dad taking me out for a walk in the buggy, suddenly our new house was moving. There was a chugging sound and we were moving past all these pretty coloured boats. There was loads of stuff to look out – hey, this was FUN! Mum and Em looked after me, whilst Dad and Tom stood at the other end of the boat – I guess they were making this house move! I had a chance to look at the lovely scenery in the afternoon sunshine. Where were we going? Oh, not too far. A short run, it seemed, as Tom turned the boat around and then we went back again. We weren’t going home yet, surely? I had only just started to discover all the places in this new, narrow house.

Master of the locks.

Master of the locks.

We went up through some big gates where Aunty Em was up on the side and there was a lot of water. I couldn’t explain it, but somehow we were going upwards slowly. There was a lot of the whooshing noise I know from bath time, but, somehow, this water didn’t really look like the sort of place for a bath. Tom then stopped the boat and made sure we couldn’t float back down into the big hole beyond the gate. Soon after, it was one of my favourite times of the day. Dinner!!! We were close to a place called “The Admiral Nelson”, where I got some yummy chips, even though Mum said they were “a bit too salty” (whatever that means…). The adults all seemed to have big drinks of beer and wine – I just stuck to my water and juice. MUCH tastier!

Dad hard at work.

Dad hard at work.

We went back to the house on the water again – I was feeling pretty tired by now. Mum put me to bed on a big snuggly bed and I was asleep reasonably quickly (after all, there was a lot to dream about!). I have no idea what the adults did that night, although, knowing them, they probably played a game and had something else to drink (which wasn’t juice and water). I was having trouble sleeping at that time and I guess I needed Mum close to me, but we got through the night.

Gosh, when I saw Dad the following morning he looked COLD. Something about a sleeping bag on the floor of the boat. Ooh, and the ground outside was all white. Still, we had some breakfast and this house (which was still on the water, yay!) warmed up slowly. And, to make things even better, we then went off again. Dad went off on to the bank and made some of the big gates move, and up we went. Then came something really exciting, a tunnel! Very dark and eerie, with just the noise of the boat. Somehow, the countryside was better, although the adults seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Fun and games on Felucca.

Fun and games on Felucca.

Soon after, there was some lunch in yet another pub (do the adults never get tired of them???), the New Inn, near Long Buckby. I took my prized possession with me – Tom and Emily’s salad server. Hey it was a pretty colour, ok?! Tom then cleverly turned the boat around, after which Dad got a turn at driving and made us go a bit faster. This was still more exciting than going around in the buggy, even though the view from my car seat was a little bit more lively. Lots of straight canal and even some people fishing and then an afternoon snack for me whilst we went back through the dark tunnel. Everyone started to buzz around and get all the things fixed whilst Dad opened up the big gates again. This time we were going down.

Admiral Nelson pub, Braunston

And then suddenly it was all over. Dad lifted me off the boat, right by the Admiral Nelson pub (oh no, not ANOTHER pub?!) and then we watched Uncle Tom & Aunty Em sink down into the big hole and the pretty Felucca (and that salad server!) go away into the distance. I had loved crawling up and down inside their home on the water and I think Mum & Dad found it snug and cosy too, even if we had a lot more space for us all at home or with Nan and Granddad in Essex. It was fun to watch our house move around past the colourful boats and the nice people all on other boats who all smiled at me and to spend a night in such an exciting place (even if I heard Dad say it was “the most obscure place he and Mum had ever spent a night”).

It was also really cool to see Uncle Tom & Aunty Em again and I’d love it if they’d come over to see me in Germany to play some more. I’m sure they will! But, for now, from me and Mum & Dad, thanks to them for a lovely trip and all the best for their further adventures.

Not sure about this boat thing.

Not sure about this boat thing.

Posted in Guest Posts
One comment on “Guest post – Theo Whitehead
  1. Sue Jones says:

    Tom – feeding a baby beer at lunchtime. Tut, tut! And you the godfather.

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