So, what has been going on? Firstly, we had to collect Derek the Defender from his home chez Norman (the Bobil man) and Julie. The train to Cornwall from Cardiff is amusing at present as the tunnel under the river Severn is closed. That means either a bus ride to Bristol or a big diversion via Cheltenham or Gloucester. We opted for the diversion as it didn't rely on buses and promised some great river views. We didn't quite get as much of the view as we hoped for but it was good all the same. 6.5 hours to get to Cornwall is pretty slow though.
We had a visit from the toddlers for a few days and packed in some culture (paintings at the National Museum in Cardiff), a National Trust property (Tredegar House) and some narrow gauge train fun.
Tredegar house was impressive. If you believe the possibly slightly biased local Civic Society, it is one of the finest restoration houses in Britain :
Of course, there is little in Newport to judge it against.....
The male toddler really enjoyed his visit as in the old kitchen some lovely ladies were cooking fresh welshcakes that you could try (or devour) for free as you wished. They were excellent. Well worth visiting just for those. During a wander around the nice lake:
the female toddler discovered that she had picked up a little bonus on her shoe, left by a kind dog walker.
The face says it all. The crew tried the "wave it in the water" trick:
As you can see, the one-shoed toddler found this most amusing:
We also enjoyed a trip to Perrygrove Railway. A wonderful narrow gauge layout amazingly built from scratch by another Nordhavn owner. Go and visit in the summer months when the beautiful steam engines are working. Mind you the winter diesel train service is great fun as well. You MUST go and visit - look at the website link.
We also had an entertaining morning watching a wide beam narrow boat getting launched into the corner of the marina. The crane operator didn't seem to have bothered with spreaders or anything useful. The boat was suspended by two strops that were in no way far enough apart - it looked most precarious:
The boat was, rather aptly, named "The Sitting Duck". Well, the crane managed to swing the brand new craft into one of the lamp posts:
A slightly bent lamp post and a nicely scratched new boat later, it was finally launched safely:
It enlivened our morning and probably did just a little more than that for the owner. A real cowboy operation.