Saturday, 6 February 2016
How many inches in a Narrowboat?
My younger brother, The Writer, has just bought himself a narrowboat - a very handsome one. He plans to live and work from this vessel. I haven't seen it yet because it is berthed on the other side of the country in Cheshire, just a couple of miles down the road from our older brother!
I had the pleasure of looking after Hector yesterday, he'd been sick in the night and although his schoolteacher parents are generally pretty strict about sending him in, they decided that he wasn't quite well enough for school.
He was wan and pale, but a walk in the clean cold air, with Dobson, soon had roses in his cheeks and a sparkle in his eyes.
He had a lovely breakfast of eggybreads made using eggs laid by his favourite hen, King Oliver, (formerly known as Shaggy) and a glass of milk. He was refreshed and energised and could really have been in school - but I'm not complaining, I had the pleasure of his company all day.
We fell to talking about The Writer's boat, particularly how long it is. Fifty-seven feet four inches from stem to stern. Difficult enough for me to visualise, never mind Hector. Out came my trusty tape measure and a piece of chalk, and we set to work measuring it off against the length of Parsonage Cottage........which is a long house.
This simple task involved using our multiplication tables and lots of calculations as we converted feet to inches, etc. we had to measure off 688 inches - so that was from the front rain barrel, right the way along the building, almost to where the conservatory begins... seven lengths of the tape measure.
I could nip out and take a photograph but the weather is wild, wet, windy. This sketch will give you the idea - the boat stretches from the scented roses right the way along to near the conservatory.
Hector was very impressed, in a way which he hadn't been with just the numbers.
So we did reading, maths and lots of exercise as we later took Dobson out again down to the fishponds, you can see the Old Parsonage just through the trees.
It was chilly, windy, dry. We had a great time and so did the dog.
We got Dobson from the RSPCA almost three years ago. He hasn't been an easy dog to work with and there have been times when I despaired. However, this photograph tells me all I need to know. See how well he is walking with Hector - confident enough to leave me behind, not pulling on the lead - and best of all, on a walk which is well out of his normal comfort zone.