Escape from ‘civilisation’

It’s been such a joy to go down river again, and get away from all the annoyances of town – the traffic, the noise, the horrible yobby people – and just be surrounded by water, trees, grass, etc. The weather finally took a better turn – surging downstream in the Spring sun, with the light glimmering off the water, the wide skies overhead, and the occasional rowing boats skimming past reminded me of what the whole idea of living on a boat was all about. I spent two nights moored at my favourite place opposite Nuneham Courtney – it’s such a delightful spot, and I got lots of lovely dry beech branches for the stove – and in between went down to Abingdon to get diesel and some bits and pieces of shopping. Abingdon ought to be quite a nice little town, and in some ways it is, but as I’ve mentioned before, as usual there is a sad, brutalised working-class yob element – possibly to do with the barracks – which slightly spoils it. They slouch about the shopping centre, yelling and snarling at one another and passers-by and wheeling endless babies around. What a pity it all is – I‘m sure they have no idea how debased their lives are – that‘s just the ‘norm‘ nowadays, reinforced by endless ‘reality TV‘ shows and crummy soap operas. However, once you get away from the centre of town back towards the river and the old abbey ruins, it’s much better. The boat seems to be running well (fingers crossed) after its big service; in particular the engine sounds better and doesn’t seem to be heating up as much as it did, which is good. I really need to start doing some touching-up of the paintwork, now that Spring is apparently here – though they are warning of quite a lot of rain in the next few days, which is hopeless for painting.

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