Saturday, August 28, 2010

Steam boats, bats and butterflies

Enthusiasts being enthusiastic
We were in Crom the night before we came back home along with more than half a dozen steam boats. These shiny shiny things are owned by enthusiasts, much, I imagine, like the people who do things with steam traction engines.

The people we met were mostly (all?) from the Steam Boat Association, formed in 1971 in the UK 'to promote the enjoyment of steamboats and to represent the interests of steamboat owners'. I feel there should be small print saying 'Enjoy steam boats sensibly'.

The shiniest, prettiest of the steam boats.
The varnish on these boats made me want to hide Winter Solstice under a tarpaulin. It was as though they had been French polished. And the engines were on show with not a drop of oil upon them. The Association members were recently on a trip to Lake Windermere in Cumbria, half a milk carton of which was emptied into Lough Erne. A sharing of the waters.

Swallows in the morning mist at Quivvy Marina

I had a mutual guilt experience on the way home. We'd just left Quivvy Marina where there are no rubbish bins - the one downside of staying there. So we stopped in Belturbet and I walked to the bins with my bundle of newspapers and white plastic bin liner. There was a fellow mowing the grass. I thought one of those pathetic wimpy thoughts I have when in the presence of anyone in uniform, albeit only a grass mower - is he going to come and tell me off. And the bugger did. 

'Those bins are only for people on boats to use,' he said.

'But I am!' I exclaimed. 'We're just on our way home but we were here all week and the boat's just up the river and isn't this a fantastic place we had such a great time and we were at the Fleadh in Cavan...'

'Oh I'm really sorry but we get so many people dropping their rubbish and....'

'I know and we have the same and you're doing exactly the right thing...'

He was an incredibly knowledgeable fellow called Brendan. Lots of local history stuff. I left ten minutes later, each apologising to the other. I still feel guilty though.

The garden is full of butterflies. There's a few varieties, but this afternoon Small Tortoiseshells are everywhere. This must be the hatching from the little black caterpillars that colonised a bunch of nettles in the garden.

There was also a bat in the house. Just before we went away the last time, every evening at dusk a bat appeared in the glasshouse that the sitting room/study door opens onto. This door was open, so we never knew if the bat was getting into the glasshouse or into the sitting room. Today it appeared in the sitting room. Flew into the spare room and round and round. Eventually back into the sitting room, into the glasshouse and out. Ho hum. Not sure where it's getting in. They're tiny and climb into little cracks to get into the roof space. It's getting in from outside but for some reason has taken to a morning exit into the house.

The difficulty is that Joe doesn't like bats. At all. This was after a nasty experience in a belfry. And I'm going away to Blighty for a few days tomorrow. Further posts will be from Nantwich where I'm visiting the parents.

1 comment:

  1. It all looks so lovely and civilised! Those little tortoiseshells are everywhere this week. As for bats...yes. I'm not too keen either. Check out the photo on my blog header. Giant fruitbats in Brisbane, Australia, at dusk. Man they were huge.