Well we made it to the Norfolk Broads in boiling hot weather and long road works around Norwich. I had C in the car with me and we did a good deal of singing on our journey. We made a grand job of a special version of 'Yes Forward on the Foe ' which turned into 'Yes Forward to the Barge', complete with hand points and everything ! She is a quick learner and would have loved to have been a girl in the chorus, especially since her debut onstage was the last time we did Pirates, 8 years ago, when C was 2 years old and was carried in on her Papa's back in a rucksack, complete with a minuscule girl's costume !
We also had the inevitable who can sing the highest competition. Like a couple of the teens in the actual show, she takes immense delight in trying to squeeze out a piping top C ! She would have fitted in very well with our youngsters ! Why is it that little girls are always desperate to see how high they can sing, and little boys are always desperate to see how LOUD they can sing ???!!
The barge is quaint and sweet and quite compact - or bijou, to use London estate agent speak ! I refused point blank to learn how to drive, I want to be driven and enjoy reading my Kindle and drinking good coffee ! This went down well, since Sara and her partner are delighted and excited to be captains in charge of the trusty Clear Gem 4 ( our blue and white lady).
Pretty soon after the trial runs and instruction we were underway at a top speed of 6 mph, which feels quite fast enough on these most beautiful waterways and open lakes. There are a plethora of swans with lines of cygnets paddling behind their parents, and this evening after supper they came to the side of the barge and we hand fed them. They clearly know that barges mean 'grub' ! I have always thought swans were quite aggressive, but not these Norfolk souls, they took food from mine and the children's hands gently and with total accuracy !
I write this sitting out on the tiny deck area with the remains of a fine sunset and the reeds gently moving around the barge. It is so reminiscent of Benjamin Britten land, and one knows exactly where the sounds and colours in Peter Grimes originated. The flatness, the slow moving windmills, the gentle reed beds and the whistle of the breeze. I can hear the strains of the sea interludes in my head.
Glorious............oops I can hear a tired argument kicking off.......best be on my way.
From the barge an hour ago