Octogenarian Waves. 29th July

Gawflat Pipe Bridge to Brewery Lane Swing Bridge, 177

Mick was up to return the hire car first thing and after breakfast we headed over to Morrisons to collect our click and collect order. The lady who came out to the van was slightly confused to start with as she couldn’t see a car. We loaded up our Brompton sherpa and headed back to the boat to stow the next weeks food.

One of the mills in Skipton

Through the swing bridge we could see a large gap had appeared in the moorings, we decided to move up, it’s not far, but it would be worth it. So we pushed off and headed to Gawflat Swing Bridge where the C&RT chap sat with his back to us. Mick had to beep the horn a couple of times to attract his attention, then he swung the bridge holding up quite a few pedestrians.

I wonder who lives there?!

Having travelled all of a fifth of a mile we pulled in, the bow on a bollard, stern necessitating spikes. Our mooring was bang on perfect and we were soon spotted from the bedroom windows of the house opposite.


One window opened then another and our friends Margie and Robert waved to us from separate windows. A few shouts across the cut, these octogenarians ain’t half rowdy! They soon appeared with their wheelie shopper to say a proper hello and to arrange meeting up later in the day.

Mick headed off to do some very important shopping. A visit to Stanforth Butchers for one of their pork pies. These are cooked daily, the small pies tend to be sold whilst still warm from the oven, the jelly not having had time to set. There used to be a sign outside the shop suggesting the correct stance to eat their pies without getting the liquid jelly down your front. Mick returned with a just still warm medium pie, he made sure he cut it on a plate so as to collect the juices. I suggested sitting it on a slice of bread so that it could soak it all up.

Springs Branch

Then we headed into town with our masks to do some shopping. I was on the hunt for a zip so we first visited Boyes. They had a good selection but not quite chunky enough teeth, I still bought one in case it was the only option I had. They currently close at 3pm so we were one of the last customers in the shop.

I like shops like this

Round the corner I headed into The Fent Shop. Here they sell all sorts of fabric and I hoped they would come up with something suitable for me to patch up our cratch cover where it has got caught a few times. Some polycotton drill or water repellent fabric would do the job. They were all out of drill, but I had a choice of two weights of repellent fabric. I only wanted a strip, so asked for 20cm, way more than I need. The chap handed it over and said it was a sample so therefore free. Thank you!!

A look around the market followed, we’d maybe already missed some of the fresh produce stalls, a large mound of ice in the gutter from a fish mongers suggested as much. With only one fruit and veg stall I was a touch disappointed as I’d wanted some nice veg and Morrisons didn’t have much. But nothing jumped out at me, we’ll cope with what we’ve got.

My free sample

Holland and Barrett next to stock up on some brown rice flour and soya mince. We were now sorted, time for showers each and head off for our rendez vous.

Margie and Robert are old family friends, plus at one stage my brother was engaged to their eldest daughter and I went out with their son for a while in my teenage years. I had my very first canal holiday with them at the age of 16.

Doily head Margie

At the end of last year they bought a house in Skipton with an established garden that needed some attention. We’d been hoping to be able to meet up with them as we haven’t seen them since they helped us up Bank Newton Locks on their 57th wedding anniversary in 2016. Since then they have both turned 80, so we were a little bit nervous on being invited round to theirs for a meal.

We had a very lovely evening with them, catching up on all their news and stories from long ago. Katy their middle daughter came and cooked us all a very tasty chilli and later on we were joined by her partner Trevor, it was nice to meet him at last.

Pip, Mick, Margie and Robert

This was our first social engagement since early March. We did our best to stay a distance away, but Margie did keep forgetting a touch. If we venture up the Ouse to Ripon later this summer we may have a visit from them there. A lovely evening.

On returning to the boat Tilly was relieved that her disgruntled stare at me as we went out had worked, she really hadn’t wanted to be left for another night on her own so soon. Head nudges all round and then she curled up on my knee, happy to have company again.

0 locks, 0.19 miles, 1 swing bridge swung, 2 x 80 year olds, 2 windows, 4 bags of shopping, 4 boxes! 1 medium pork pie, 20cm of patching fabric, 1 reel of cotton, 12″ zip, 0 exciting veg, £40, 1st social engagement, 3 layers of patches, 3 bottles of wine, 1 lovely meal with cheese and pudding, 1 possible commission, maybe this time without a goat!

2 thoughts on “Octogenarian Waves. 29th July

  1. joamungoanddog

    Wait …. one man, one lady, a wheelie shopper … could it be????

    Glad you’ve made the tentative steps back into the social world again, our first time was fairly worrying too. We are more comfortable now albeit we tend to just do garden visits.
    I’ve got my shoulder op in 2 weeks, so now self isolating with no visits 😦
    Take care!


    1. pipandmick Post author

      You could fit about four Margie into one of the lady shopper, big difference in size. Have to say we’d hoped for a garden visit, but it turned a touch chilly.
      Hope all goes well with your shoulder and that you heal well.



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