(sorry, couldn't resist)
In fact, the only effect that the volcano ash problem has had on us is a positive one: my mum ended up staying with us rather than flying to France. It was lovely to have her to stay, and the weather perfect for enjoying Cambridge. We enjoyed drinks and dinner at the Fort, and several nice walks in the sunshine. As her weekend visit was unplanned (she was going to be arriving 4pm Friday and leaving 3am Saturday!) I still had to go rowing in the morning, and continue my coxing training. Surprisingly, I am quite enjoying learning to cox. On Saturday, I successfully negotiated the stretch of river going out of town past all the residential boats, and on Sunday, coxed the stretch with the most bends and cross-over points. My steering is not bad (I hoped this would be the case, having experience of steering the Duck) although my calls need to improve, but that will come with practice! I think that it will also improve my narrowboat handling skills, and certainly help me deal with other rowing boats I encounter on the river!
About to push off: coxing Chesterton's womens VIII Dawntreader
My mum left on Sunday morning, and James began a task that we have been thinking about for a while: the continuation of The Grand Repaint. He took about 4ft of one side of the boat back to bare and we have now primed it. However, we are thinking about hiring a scabbler to continue the task, as the anglegrinder is inefficient. We'll need to borrow a bigger genny though!
Here's my plan for the new colour scheme (using Grand Union blues). The lid of the roof that folds down over the cabin sides prevents any coach lines, as the horizontal line will always be there. Instead I think we should just work with it rather than pretend its not there: