What day it was of the narrow boat tour we were not sure. Nevertheless, we knew the vessel had to be returned today (Monday). Saturday night at Festibelly resulted in burlesque dancers joining us on stage, beer cans being lobbed over the audience and a fairly temporary stage threatening to collapse. We hammered them in the New Forest.
Sunday was a more serene gig in a beautiful setting in Northamptonshire. The rain stopped as Skinny came onto the main stage…. revelers not afraid of mud came out to dance and we were also privileged to bring the legendary George Thomas (Max and Lorna’s Father) to the stage for a diddle and a dance to £40 wedding. Shortly after the set and following a brownie & ice-cream combo treat described by Daniel as ‘the best thing he had ever eaten’ (Thank you Anna) – we made our way back to the boat and set about hauling our asses back up river to Birkhamsted in time for a slap up dinner with our hero Allan. He regaled us with tales of the river and of his fascinating life. The food was marvellous and the wine flowed, it was a sad moment when we had to say goodbye. However, it was not to be our last meeting.
Next day, we had a large distance to cover to get the boat back to where it had come from and we knew Allan’s boat was around about three quarters of the way back so we were hoping to pop in for a cuppa on the way through. He texted us early in the morning though to offer a full Irish Stew followed by Ice Cream and Waffers if we got to Pengalanty (Allan’s boat) in time for lunch, so we floored the throttle and promised to be there for 2 which we duly were.
After a lovely meal we said our final goodbye’s and set off for the finish line, but not before meeting a lively Welshman called Bryn who was so excited about going to a pub just upstream called The Grove that we decided to go for one last drink and a diddle before docking at Linslade.
As we moored up for the last time we were all feeling sad to leave the boat, it had been a truly epic journey, we’d played some great shows and met some fantastic people all of whom we hope to stay in touch with. We can’t wait to do it all over again. We salute you Grand Union Canal and all your residents. Thanks for showing us a grand old time.