Tuesday, 21 July 2009

In the begining...

My parents have had boats since I was two years old so spending every holiday exploring new places was the norm for me. As a teenager we borrowed their boat for girlie weeks in Manchester so that we could hunt for talent! We were never very successful in talent hunting but had a great time even when I nearly steered the boat over the Barnton Tank - when it was closed! Oops!
I went away to Uni and saw the other side of hols and ventured abroad. Didn't really fit in there as I was always bored on the beeches so ended up being the youngest museum visitor or drunk in a bar. I did eventually chill on the sand but there was always the other kind of holiday. So, Centre Parks we went, which was great. We bought tents, hired chalets, gites, went to Pontins, Butlins, Minehead, Sceggie, Ribby Hall, Blackpool... You name it we tried em all but nothing satisfied us as much as a free week on Mum and Dads boat. So after a few years of sun sea and sand we came crawling back with tails between our legs. This is when we pinched their boat a few times both BK (before kids) and AK (after kids) where we went to Lllangollen, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Stourport and a few other places. We had a ball. The last few times we went with them as we were good lock hands and Mum would mind the girls. There great all happy. Whats the saying 'you always want what you can't have', it was afford in our case. We kept telling ourselves we were really enjoying camping (in the rain).
It wasn't until Mark was going for some minor surgery (snip snip) at a local hospital that we stumbled (or in Marks case hobbled) upon a free plastic boat (GRP - to those who have them) for free. Yes free! The people who owned it couldn't afford the fees and moorings so needed to get shut and speedy as it was nearly Christmas. It was a lovely 21ft Yeoman called Harmony. 3 berth, cooker, sink, loo and outboard engine. Fab! We painted it up a bit, made a new double bed, curtains, covered cushions, cleaned out the slugs (yes slugs - we never actually managed to get rid of them all, often I would wake in the night with a slug stuck to the wall just in front of my face). Yuk! We had our first sleep aboard in March 2007 - and it snowed! It was blooming freezing. Well, we enjoyed our little boat and had a few holidays on her and were away almost every weekend. One of our favourite spots is Stockton Heath, there is a little patch of grass kept short just in front of the old houses just before you reach Thorn Marine and we can often be found there along with Kraken (seems like they have found it too!). That is were we spotted Sarah Ellen a small narrow boat with for sale sign moored at the end of someones garden. 'That boat looks great Mark, I wonder how many berths it has?' The dreaded words every man women and child dreads. It wasn't until the end of our summer trip to Chester that we plucked up the courage to go over and see it. Yes it did have 4 berths and a shower and a fridge and cupboards and a fixed double bed and NO SLUGS! We all wanted it so bad. Time for a financial reshuffle and 6 weeks later in time for Mark's 40th Sarah Ellen was all ours. Harmony was sold to a couple in Scotland and transported nearer their home on the Fourth and Clyde.
The Name Game
We had many ideas for the new name. So we plotted and planned. I always liked the name of the little girl in Waterworld (my fav film) Enola. Such a pretty name isn't it? Yes but you all know what it means when we add gay, yes Enola Gay the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Well I didn't know that! So a re-think was in order.One memorable weekend picked up a recorder book in Lymm from the famous charity shop, Rockies, and one of the songs Georgia learnt was 'All my eye and Betty Martin'. Yes I did say recorder book, on a boat and we suffered that weekend with Gypsy Rover, London's Burning... Need I say more. (fun!) We lost the recorder temporarily! Anyway, what was I saying? Yes Betty Martin. It kind of had a swing to it. I decided to look it up further and not to bore you it means total and complete nonsense. Which I thought cool. I can live with that, better still the web page I found went on to say that Saint Martin was patron saint of innkeepers and reformed drunkards. Even better! People we met didn't warm to the name they just thought we were a bit bonkers. I was a bit disappointed.
So back to ideas. What about Cheshire Lass? (as Dad and Mums boat is Cheshire Lad). As non of us are from Cheshire in our household it seemed a bit rubbish but good to catch on the reputation of some old boaters.
Loft extension...No, in case the mortgage company find out!
Sumarmilgeo.. never really took to naming the boat after everyone as too much of a mouthful.
No problems, No idea, Still waters, Perfect and every other name you can imagine.
OK so thinky some more. When the kids were babies and we used to camp (in the rain). We (or rather Mark) used to play the going to bed game. I was usually on to the second bottle of wine and digging out nibbles (quietly, as a rustle near our kids would send them into pringle frenzy) by the time bedtime came around. Anyway, the game? Mark used to get in the sleeping bag and wiggle his feet up and down in a ducky like motion yelling 'Cosy Toes' and the girls used to mimic him all giggly and excited. All shouting 'Cosy Toes' and wiggling about in a pre-bed frenzy and me more concerned that they would pop the air beds thinking like this is just the way to settle a two and five year old when camping. More wine please! We banded the name about at the club a bit and people warmed to it straight away. So hence the name was born. COSY TOES and very cosy it is too!

Well on to this blog thing x