Dad has spent the last few nights on the 'night shift' looking after the precious barge, SB Cambria, sleeping in the Mate's bunk (pictured) and then last night promoted to the Skippers bunk at the beautifully restored, 105-year old panelling aft end. These are big tides (6.4m) and the barge needs checking every now and then to make sure the fenders (between barge and quayside) are still in effective locations as the barge rises and falls on the tide (usually inconventiently in the middle of the night!).
They also need to keep the barge looking occupied and obviously lived in, to deter any mischief from the local herberts, who tend to use the St Andrew's area as their place to park cars, get the drum'n'bass sound systems a-thumping, get themselves round a few cans of beer and plead with the barge occupants to let them aboard in the dark. Stand by to repel boarders! Go home lads.... Go to bed... get some sleep!
Wrapped around that, Mum is looking after us and having a nice quiet relaxing weekend, but Dad is looking after the Treasurer job at the town's Hort Soc Flower Show and leading a 7-mile hike through Challock Forest for the Friends of Kingswood. He is beginning to feel like everybody wants a chunk of him and wondering how he ever had time to do any paid work.
Today we are off down to Hastings to visit the Pud-Lady and we are taking dinner to save her having to cook for 'us'. Mum and Dad have spatch-cocked a chook and loaded a bag with allotmemt spuds, green beans, lemon tarte, hot (when you make them hot) chocolate soufflés and fizz (Pud Lady does like a drop of fizz and at 84, who is going to argue?). God Bless Her.