My one concession to non-Clipper stuff in August – and the one thing that didn’t change – was the long-planned visit from one of my university friends for the bank holiday weekend. But he wanted to see the boats, so after meeting him at Euston on the Saturday morning I took him straight to St Katharine Docks, which is where all the boats were having arrived there the Friday afternoon. I had already been to meet the crew after work that evening, but even so Richard did not encounter any objections from me.
It was pouring with rain so we stood under a tent to eat the lunch we had bought from one of the stalls then had a beer in the Dickens Inn to warm up before I took him on board Henri Lloyd.
The boat was a hive of activity, and they had rigged up a makeshift rain shelter out of an old sail over the boom. I felt a little guilty that I was not there to work, but not too much as we all knew that I would be there to help after I had seen Richard back to the station on the bank holiday. I showed him round and gave him opportunities to take pictures while trying not to get in the way of the workers! Soon it was time to head home for the evening.
The next day was completely non-Clipper. I had two alternatives planned. As the weather was better we chose the outdoor activity and went to Cuffley Steam Fair. Hatfield House will have to wait for a rainy day.
- classic cars;
- shire horses;
- steam vehicles;
- mechanical music that sounded as if it was live!
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