We left without fanfare, a couple pulling out of the drive without a fuss. The ado was all within me, here an orchestra was in mid-flow, a crescendo of excitement, a flurry of violins, the brass instruments joining in! As we turned down the road did I spot a bagpiper wishing us farewell?!

Our first trip away for nearly two years already felt surreal and mirrored my many dreams of this moment. Days earlier it was with disbelief that the suitcases found their way down from the loft, the cool box washed and aired! My packing list was referred to repeatedly (yet how did I forget my Kindle which later resulted in a magical time surrounded by books in the local W H Smith’s!)

The origins of Ely Cathedral reach back to 672 when Etheldreda, daughter of Anna, king of East Anglia, founded an abbey on the site. It flourished for 200 years until it was destroyed by the Danes. In 970 it started again as a Benedictine community.

From afar the cathedral of Ely dominated the skyline, a glorious breathtaking sight, an architectural wonder! A constant as we approached the city and how it must have seemed a miraculous creation to the citizens nearly a thousand year ago.

Along with the cathedral the River Great Ouse is the heart of Ely and it was here we headed upon our arrival. We took a gentle stroll along the promenade of canal boats and pubs, through the park to the fields beyond. To one side the river, beauty of the natural world, to the right the regular rumble of trains, in between we walked a parallel path. The honks of swans and the hoots of trains became the backdrop to our stay. Our stay on a canal boat.

Yet time tick tocked by and now my husband picked up the pace, a short cut through the woods became a long lost way past shops and houses. Ahh … there was the Jubilee Park and its famous Eel statue. There was the goal … The Riverside Restaurant!

Masks donned we confirmed our booking and registered our arrival before being shown to our table. With only outside dining permitted we happily took a seat overlooking the river and path, safely distanced from other souls.

I picked up a menu yet found myself unable to read! A skill learned from young abandoned to this momentous occasion, the first meal from home for over a year. As my drink arrived I teared up when the food came, I cried! With joy and sadness. A joy that this was possible again with confidence, trust (& jabs!). Sadness for what we have all endured, are enduring and for some countries still overwhelmed by horrors. More than aware of the fragile nature of all our lives.

At last, it was time to check out our canal boat and even gaining entrance was an adventure, through a boatyard, along a metal walkway and across another boat. Already the front of the canal boat beckoned me to unfold the seats and table, to just absorb the peace of the water.

Inside the spaciousness was a welcome surprise, as were the chocolates and wine!

We were set!

Finally, under current restrictions, the cathedral was not open but I have visited this glorious building previously including the stunning Stained Glass Museum. You can read my post about it, An Illuminating Art, here.

For the trainspotter fans, a couple of videos of the railway traffic through Ely are available on my YouTube channel here and here.

119 thoughts on “FANFARE WITHIN

    1. Kristine, it was wonderful and the gentle slight rocking motion was just right for me! So peaceful. 😀 Thank you, it was a momentous step for me to head out into today’s world and I was close to cancelling a few times! So happy took the courage to head out into the world again! Have you been able to take any trips away yet?

      1. I haven’t taken a trip away yet but I will be heading to colleges this summer with my son so that he can start to tour them. I am sure it will feel very odd when we first step on a plane. And I wish we could be staying in a boat on a canal during that trip :-). Would somehow be more comforting than a large hotel.

        1. Have a great time touring the colleges with your son. It’s a very special time and I did just the same two years ago and visited lots of universities with my son. Of course, he ended up going to the first one we went to!

  1. Oh, Annika, you had me at “canal boat!” Then chocolate and wine. 🙂
    What a wonderful time for you both that has been on the back-burner for two years! The cathedral is gorgeous, and thank you for inviting us to stroll along, to see the beauty, and to just be able to BE outside and travel in a somewhat normal capacity. Absolutely lovely!
    We’ve gone on road trips, but haven’t stepped on a plane, and even though we’re both fully vaccinated, we’re not ready just yet. But we will make the flight in months ahead to see our kids on the east coast. Thanks again for sharing and so happy you had the chance to make this amazing trip happen. Hugs! xo

    1. Lauren, bless! 😀 It’s wonderful you could join and enjoy some of the peace and excitement of being out and about a bit! The seclusion of the canal boat was perfect, soothing to be on the water and yes, the wine and chocolate were a lovely gift! The cathedral is awe-inspiring and amazing to just walk around it and luckily I’ve enjoyed seeing the interior in previous years. Heavenly!

      I don’t blame you for not taking flights yet and my family and I feel just the same. Although still not allowed to fly we won’t when possible for quite a while. I can see how flying to see your children will tempt you on a plane … that will be a wonderful reunion!

      I’m so glad you had a special Mother’s Day with long zoom calls – it is amazing how we adapt in today’s world. Our Mother’s Day was in March and my son and I did the same on WhatsApp – wonderful to see him for so long! hugs xx 😀❤️

    1. Jo, it felt amazing and yes, even more special as the weather was kind. Chilly but sunny and dry! Heavenly! I can see myself going back there soon but just for a day trip this time! Hugs xx 😀❤️

  2. I know exactly how it felt like to take the suitcases to the airport or any transportation to travel again, Annika. You waited for two years. Wow, it’s such a surreal feeling. The cathedral looks magnificent, and the scenery is wonderful. Staying on a canal boat sounds great and we haven’t done that. Thank you for taking me along on your trip! 🙂

    1. Miriam, it was surreal enough to take the suitcase down and pack for a ‘local’ holiday I can’t even imagine going near an airport or onto a plane (nor are we allowed!) That will happen in due course hopefully!

      It is wonderful you could come along a bit on the trip and enjoy some of the sights. The cathedral is glorious and luckily I’ve been inside in previous years. Within it is housed the stain glass museum and it was awe-inspiring and amazing to see the creativity from nearly 800 years ago to the present day. You’ll have to try a canal boat holiday one day if you ever get a chance. It’s a wonderful way to relax, feel truly peaceful and catch the world from a whole new angle!

      Hope all is well with you! xx

      1. I’m glad you could do that, Annika! Many countries are or again in lockdown and have strict restrictions. We’re easing up significantly. Biden said we could celebrate July 4th. A few days ago, the cases and deaths were as low as July 2020.

        My daughter and her husband got vaccinated. They signed up for a program to receive the vaccine to fill the cancellation. We’re now test the vaccine for 12-15 years old. Currently, 16 years and up are eligible.

        We’re on the way to the airport to see the grandkids. 💖🎶 It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow in the US.

        I wished my friend in London Happy Mother’s Day weeks ago. 🌺

        Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Natalie, thank you and it’s so lovely you enjoyed reading abut my break. 😃 I’ve been on a few canal boat trips … hope you have an opportunity to enjoy the peace and harmony of them sometime! Xx

  3. Pre-pandemic, this would have been a very ordinary post. I’d have thought something like: Annika and her husband had a good time on their outing. That’s nice.

    Now it’s: Wow! A life event. Someone traveled. They ate out and everything.

    Seriously, though, I’m glad things are getting back to normal for you. I hope we all join you as soon as possible. : )

    1. Cathleen, you ‘get’ my post exactly! 😀 It was a momentous occasion, a few days of holiday, eating out … and I think the unique amazement will last quite a while longer! Even though things are a little bit closer to normal and it feels incredible to be able to do this trip after nearly six months lockdown in my area there is a long way to go. Longing to see family in Sweden I am still glad things are only slowly opening and understand travel abroad will take much longer. Hope you’re keeping safe and well, Cathleen. Take care xx

  4. Oh, just what I needed Annika. What a beautiful trip and a gift to be able to travel again. The Cathedral is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this snippet of what looks a fabulous time ❤

    1. Debby, bless you! I am so glad if my post could lift you a little. ❤️ It was a trip filled with peace and harmony, I felt rejuvenated physically, emotionally and mentally. It was a wonder and shock to be out travelling again yet keeping very safe, only outdoor dining permitted etc. A wonderful break and first exciting outing away from home in such a long time. Another one later this month, this time to the coast and woodland!

  5. I don’t know where to start- rather like you when arriving in Ely, I imagine! What a stunning cathedral, built long before my country was ever born. I love the sweeping lawns and amazing architecture- breathtaking.
    And then there is the fabulous dinner and a sleepover in a canal boat- wow!
    Great way to break the chains we’ve been under 🙂

    1. Jacquie, they have been chains, haven’t they? Shackling us to our homes, weighing down our spirits and emotions? It’s tough to ease our way out of them but being as safe as possible the whole trip made it a wonderful and liberating time! Ahh … I love how you enjoy so many elements of the post. As I love being near the water I was immediately drawn to the river and wanted to explore it … gathering my senses along the walk! Thank you for your lovely comment! Xx 😀🙏

  6. How wonderful for you! I was nearly tearing up reading about you tearing up! I’m so glad you got to have this fabulous experience. I have yet to travel again, but yours and others’ recent travel stories, are inspiring!

    1. Betsy, it is wonderful when the tears are ones of joy and shared happiness! Thank you so much for sharing in my joy of the first trip away for long time. It is unnerving at first to head out, almost dizzy when crossing the county border, being shown to a table. The first hour I saw more people than I have for months! Yet I felt high with emotion, lifting my spirits so high and all fears forgotten. It means a lot that my travel story has inspired you. Xx

  7. A beautiful magical place made more magical just by being able to BE there. To open up to a new day, breathing deeply into the present, thanks to those jabs and going away to celebrate. I so understand your tears. My guy and I did a similar “get away” two weeks ago and it felt like flying (as if I was a magical colorful bird). ❤

    1. Pam, bless you for your beautiful comment … your words flying like us on our adventurous journeys! 😀 The feeling is intense and even more so as these normal actions take on momentous significance in today’s new world. I hope you and your husband had a wonderful time away, soaking up the new freedom and I think meeting some of your family? Love & hugs winging their way to you. Xx ❤️

  8. Mike

    I have never been to Ely Annika but after reading your eloquent description of the City I feel that I just have to go there. The photos and videos are a treat and I particularly liked the video of the freight train. Did these run through the night, and if so did they keep you awake? The boat itself looks amazing, as does the food. It must have been a great few days after such a long period of restrictions.


    1. Mike, I’m glad I’ve tempted you to go and visit Ely … it is a a unique and special place. The sense of peace and harmony seems to radiate from the cathedral for miles around! I thought there would be some who particularly liked the train videos and felt I should include these. The freight trains were very evocative and seemed to go on for ages. I thought I would be disturbed by them at night but no, a restful rumble!

      Thank you for your lovely comment and yes, it was a wonderful first break away after such a long time. I realise it will take a long time until any of it feels ‘normal’!

  9. Ah, nice post Annika. I’ve been to Ely on several occasions with my mum. She loves the cathedral. I love the Prince Albert pub, one of my all-time favourites. The Ely 10k road race, held on New Year’s Eve, is – as you can imagine – flat with great views of the fens.

    1. Roy, it’s great you’ve been to Ely so many times! The cathedral is awe-inspiring and I’m not surprised your mother likes it so much. Lots to take in and absolute serenity (know this from an earlier visit as it was of course closed for now). I didn’t know about the 10k on New Year’s Eve. Have you taken part in that race? I imagine it would one of the easier 10k road races. Having grown up in Yorkshire I’m still surprised at how flat the landscape can be in parts of the UK. Thanks for the heads up about the Prince Albert pub – we are sure to visit Ely again this year and will try this one out next time.

      ps. I see Jersey is having an exciting time atm! When one thinks things can’t go any crazier!

  10. Ah…, Annika, how I love that fanfare within you as you leave on your first trip for so long. you make the music play so I can hear it and of course I heard the bagpipes. Deep emotions already in the first paragraph.
    That you forgot your Kindle makes me smile. It did give you a renewed joy of browsing among books. Real live books.:)

    Your photos of the Canal, the canal boats, of Ely Cathedral and more are fantastic and as I will run out of space I can’t tell all te feelings they evoke.
    Must mention how I enjoyed seeing you smiling so happily when the first food out is served. Bless.
    I do love Canal boats and some of my best holidays have been on those – peacefully puttering away at the slow speed wisely set.
    Wonderful post, Annika.


    1. Awww … Miriam, bless you for your wonderful and thoughtful comment! I’m smiling at how you felt you’d run out of space as you wanted to express more of your emotions. Wow! It means a lot that my post touches you so deeply.

      Haha!😀 The bagpipes I think comes from a couple of cruises I’ve been on and I just adored the way bagpipes played as the ship pulled away from the quay. I real sense of excitement and journey into the unknown!

      As for forgetting the kindle, I’m beginning to wonder if that wasn’t my subconscious action to ensure I had a good excuse to visit a bookshop – I’ve wanted to before but hadn’t plucked up the courage! Four books later I came out beaming!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and it wasn’t easy to choose just a few to share here as I took over 300 photos – as you can tell I was rather exuberant at being away!😀

      Oh, I do hope you have a chance to go on a canal trip again, your love of it shines through your words and yes, that ‘peacefully puttering’ is hypnotising. I seem to recall you wrote a poem about this … please do share a link here.

      Thank you again for your touching and heartwarming comment, my dear friend! hugs xx ❤️

    1. Libby, thank you so much for your lovely comment and for sharing in my joy of a trip away. ❤️ The full impact of so much stay at home time only hit me once I was away … hence the overflow of emotions. I think most of us will treasure the ordinary freedoms more than ever – I know I do!

  11. Wonderful read, Who would have thought such a simple thing like eating outside in a restaurant again could bring such joy tinged with sadness… The Cathedral magnificent…. And loved the look of your Canal boat… What a wonderful vacation … I know many are booking holiday cottages… Which are now in great demand as get away holidays in this country..

    Fantastic photos.. The weather looked good… We have had some lovely clear blue skies, but still quite cold north of the country where we are..
    So happy your break away made you smile….
    Sending love and well wishes Annika…. Much love your way ❤

    1. Sue, it is staggering how such small normal things now seem exceptional and tinged with a swing of emotions! It was wonderful to be able to eat out and to actually spend time away from home! The canal boat was perfect, so cosy, romantic and safe! Usually, we stay at self-catering cottages in the UK and have booked just such a break later this month – can’t wait! Set in the midst of the woods I’m hoping to capture a sense of our Swedish holidays which I miss so much. As for the cathedral, it is truly awe-inspiring and I love how easy it is to explore the outside all around. Luckily I’ve visited the inside on an earlier trip a couple of years ago … even this time we had the good fortune to hear the choir rehearsing from outside and it was heavenly.

      Oh, the cold weather is alas chilly here as well, whilst out for walks I still wear my woolly winter hat and as you can see from the photo I’m wearing my thick long winter coat aka duvet! Fingers crossed it warms up soon … the plants in the garden are struggling although the lilac came out in full bloom today. Beautiful.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment, my dear friend! love & hugs xx ❤️

      1. Wonderful your break was so idyllic Annika.. a woodland break this month sounds perfect..
        We live surrounded by Sherwood Forest woods on many sides lol… And a Centre Parks not too far away….. Where many enjoy a woodland break..

        Yes the weather has been colder for April and May not much better start.. with Hail and thunderstorms here the other day…
        And my grandmothers old saying of Never cast a clout until May is out.. rings true.. lol… Top coats still and scarf lol…..

        But its set to get warmer by the end of next week so I am told by the long range weather man and hubby lol… Fingers crossed our greenhouses are heaving with plants wanting to go into the garden… and…
        Sending love and Hugs and enjoy your weekend Annika… Much love ❤

        1. Sue, how wonderful that you live near Sherwood Forest! 😀😀It has a magical feel to it and I’ve been a couple of times to the Centreparcs! Love your grandmother’s saying, sounds a bit of Yorkshire! Have a great time planting out next week … think you’ll be very busy. By the looks of it Sunday looks like a one day heatwave! 😀❤️

    1. It was a heavenly time away, Debra! Yes, I agree that people will soon be enjoying travel a lot more. For now, a family bubble group is allowed to travel and stay in self-catering accommodation but that is due to expand soon in the UK. Although I long to visit Sweden the thought of flying is frightening and it is also a worry when international borders open up once again.

        1. Jennie, I do hope you have a chance to go on a river cruise. Do you have anywhere special in mind? Some friends went on the ones in Germany and loved the mix of history, castles and wine … sounds tempting!

    1. Robbie, thank you and it’s been a joy to share about my trip. Yes, surreal definitely sums up the past year! I realised that within an hour I’d seen more people than I’d probably done in the past twelve months – a scary and emotional thought. The countryside is serene and calming and the history of the town fascinating. One could never tire of walking around the cathedral – but hopefully, go inside next time too!

  12. What a gorgeous adventure! You are so lucky. I really wanted to do a canal boat trip when we had a year in the UK in 2003, but it didn’t happen. Something to look forward to on our next trip to England…one day.

    1. Mel, I really hope you have a chance for a canal trip when you are next over in the UK – whenever that could possibly be! International travel still seems an unreality! The whole time felt like an adventure and every small outing, eating out exciting and completely novel! I doubt I will ever take travel for granted again!

  13. It was such a treat to read about your trip, Annika and take delight in the photos! I’ve only seen canal boats in the movies, and the interiors always are pretty cruddy–unlike your accomodations, which look so clean and modern! The cathedral has such a fascinating history, and I’ve always loved Gothic architecture since I studied it in art history in college. It did my heart good to see how much you enjoyed your trip.

    1. Liz, thank you so much for your lovely comment and for sharing in my sheer joy of being able to travel again. ❤️ I’m so glad you enjoyed my post, seeing the canal boat (most are not cruddy, thankfully! I wouldn’t have stayed for a minute!😀) The cathedral is amazing and as a fan of Gothic architecture, you would love it. There were quite a few photos I didn’t post highlighting parts of the building particularly the gothic elements! The inside is stunning too and luckily visited it a couple of years ago. It is a wonder to travel again and I came home lightened and rejuvenated – hadn’t realised quite how limited the world had become for us all.

      Ps. How did you get the ‘Happiness Engineers’ to fix your notification problem? I’ve had the same problem and barely getting any through and also know email notifications of my posts are not getting through and only put on the reader on the day I drafted the post! Been on with them for hours with little success. 😞

      1. After bugging the “Happiness Engineers” after several days of radio silence, the response I got back last night was basically we’re on it, it’s going to take a long time, chill out.

    1. Bette, that’s just it … it is like seeing the world anew, appreciating every small moment, thing, events – even those that we would usually begrudge and moan about! Queuing to get seated – no problem, glad they’re taking it safely and slowly! A joy you could join us in the wonderful city of Ely and its waterways and parks! Take care, my friend! ❤️

  14. “The honks of swans and the hoots of trains became the backdrop to our stay. Our stay on a canal boat.”
    Such a delightful aural image, Annika!
    And I can well imagine myself going full-out with a cry over a meal ‘out’. We are of the same (he)art.
    Excellent post – so happy for you as you venture out into the more open, yet very much changed, current Pandemic landscape.

    1. Bless … Laura, your comment touches me deeply and it means a lot that you feel we are of the same (he)art. Just so!

      The aural image is exactly the constant sounds we experienced and at first, I thought the trains would be annoying but I enjoyed the gentle rumble, reassuring, life moving forwards. Oh, the meal was wonderful, especially for all the emotions it evoked. I did look around and nobody else seemed so affected so I wondered am I just odd? Glad to hear you would be the same – it felt a momentous time.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my post, thank you for your great comment. Your final words are so true, the world out there feels so different and above all I noticed caution in most people, that wariness, which way are you going, sitting far apart with picnics. Made me feel safer yet brought home the reality of our current world.

  15. Annika thank you for sharing these wonderful and marvelous pictures. The castle looks amazing and at the age of 90 Abbot Simeon began work on the Cathedra, amazing. Lovely time you must have had. Happy holidays.

    1. Kamal, thank you so much, I had an amazing, uplifting time and came back buzzing with excitement. It was fun to relive the holiday as I had to choose just a handful of photos from the 300 I took during the few days there! 😀 When I later read about the 90-year-old abbot I had to share it here – what a zest for life and dedication to his church! The cathedral is awe-inspiring from all angles and I love how it is possible to walk all the way around it. Hope you are keeping safe and well … take very good care.

      1. You are always welcome Annika and yes so nice to be going on a holiday in these times. Loved all your photos though the cathedral was awesome. Yes all is good though our country is going thru bad times.

  16. Thank you, Annika, for taking us along on your trip. It was both a history lesson and a joyful remembrance of what it was like to eat in a restaurant. The inside of your room on the boat was marvelous. What a fantastic way to celebrate the new era. And imagine Abbot Simeon at age 90 began work on the cathedral. Especially incredible that it was in 1083! An enjoyable and amazing post,<3

    1. Carol, when I came across the nugget of information about the 90-year-old abbot I just had to include it! 😀 It’s wonderful and what a zest for life and his church! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and I realise my travel ones are becoming a mix of nature, history and food! (All currently outside!) Thank you for your lovely comment and interest! Hope you’re keeping well and safe. xx

  17. Thank you for sharing your delight and wonderful trip Annika. Clearly, your joy captured many of our hearts and attention. Thankfully, I’ve had more freedom and local outings during the last year, but nothing this fun or unique. The castle looks beautiful and the whole walking the river, city, and staying on a canal boat sounds charming. Maybe I need to plan an adventure.

    1. I think you should plan an adventure, Brad! 😀 Any ideas of where you would go/do? It’s great you’ve been able to be out and about locally this year and it must make a difference. The mini-break was more rejuvenating than I could imagine and I came home feeling lighter and freer! Thank you for your lovely comment and it’s heartening how so many have enjoyed the post … I know how much travel posts mean to me, I soak up new vistas, learning about new places with excitement and even add places to possibly visit in the future. This trip went perfectly and planned to be as safe as possible, with lots of time spent outdoors, the scenery and architecture of the cathedral were a wonderful bonus!

  18. Oh. So much fun, Annika. What an amazing cathedral. I also can only imagine how impressive its construction was at the time (or even now). The canal boat lodgings are gorgeous. How plush! And I can relate to the tears at eating out. We did the same just this week, and it was such a profound experience after the last year+. Simple pleasures! Enjoy!

    1. Diana, it was a brilliant trip and everything was just perfect! 😀 The cathedral is astonishing and luckily I’ve been inside before to enjoy the interior and its wonders. We were lucky to walk past the first evening as the choir was practising and wow, I was transported to another level of emotion! (As you can tell, it was an emotional few days!) The inside of the canal boat was better than I could have hoped for, snug yet all the mod cons! Yeah! Glad you had the chance to your first meal out for over a year – profound is just the word! I doubt most of us will ever take anything for granted again … the simplest things in life are just amazing! xx

  19. Your fanfare within is leaping outward on the page and into my home, Annika. ❤️You remind me how the planning and packing is always a significant part of the adventure. I love your description of each side of the river. I cannot imagine how magnificent the Eel statue in real life. I get it “…confidence, trust (&jabs!)” I enjoy seeing the inside of the canal boat. Thank you for transporting me along in you and your husband’s getaway. I look forward to reading more future adventures. In the meantime, your fun and interesting post is heading to my husband’s inbox. Just sayin’xx❤️

    1. Bless! 😀 Erica, I’m beaming how you shared my emotional fanfare and that it entered your home! Yes, packing is the very beginning of a trip and whilst sorting out for this journey I relished every task where before I would begrudge and rush it! Precious times, precious freedom! The eel statue looks impressive and so dignified – hard to imagine there were so many in the river to pay for the stones of the cathedral! As you’ve transported me along with your adventures I’m happy you and your husband can enjoy reading about mine … yes, a couple of posts yet about two outings along the way. We walked so far on these I’m nearly at the end of the second Conqueror Challenge! 😀 hugs xx ❤️

  20. What fun! I am almost jealous of you doing something in the world again, but I cannot really be like that. I’ve never seen the interior of a canal boat and its charming. So glad you got to go on a vacay.

    1. It was amazing, Ally and such wonderful fun! I felt lighter the whole time. 😀 This canal boat was luxurious – I’ve gone on canal boats before and they were not of this standard but it’s always special and cosy. Thank you for being happy for me. xx

  21. Ooh how exciting, I’ve never done anything like this but it always sounds so romantic! I only know Ely from reading ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ in which the river and the cathedral plays a big part.

    1. Andrea, Ely is such a unique place, nothing else nearby for miles and the Cathedral dominating the skyline. I’ve read ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ years ago but don’t recall the role Ely played in the book – feel like picking it up again. The whole trip was exciting, the moment we left the county felt momentous and that feeling of awe and wonder never left me!

  22. A wonderful post, Annika. I’ve often wondered what a canal boat holiday would be like. How much experience of ‘driving’ the boat do you need? Not sure I’m ready to eat in a restaurant yet but I’m so looking forward to getting away in June.

    1. Mary, I’m so glad you’re have a chance to get away in June and have a wonderful and special time! I was wary of eating out and nearly cancelled a few times but once we’d checked it out beforehand everything seemed okay. A simple repast full of emotions and signifigance … yet the other meals were all on board! I’ve been on a few canal boat trips years ago and they are a lot of fun although woke up once on the wonk as the boat had edged itself up the bank and needed a push off … all in the dark!

    1. Pat, such a perfect phrase for my feelings,’ myriad emotions’! I had expected to be overjoyed at being away but yes, the sense of loss for us was overhelming as well. It’s most definitely a time for rejoicing at the new start … hope it lasts this time!

  23. This sounds like an ideal getaway!! So much more appreciated after such a long time locked in. I have always wanted to go on a canal boat. It looks so cosy. I hope we will hear more about the trip.

    1. Darlene, I thought it would emotional to finally get away but had no idea how much! The whole time was perfect and I was half-expecting something to go wrong! The canal boat was super cosy and comfortable. I’ve been on a few canal trips years ago but this will always be a special one. Now, I’m imagining one featuring in one of your books! 😀

  24. Oh my goodness! I heard music a la John Williams the whole time I read this post! You set it up so beautifully at the start, it just kept going!

    What a fabulous trip! May I just admit that I am envious? (and perhaps not just a tad). I am so happy for you and excited to share the the thrill of the drive, the meals, the canal boat (which I am always so fascinated by).

    Now, here is a question: did you leave your Kindle home by design?

    1. Ju-Ly, your question has me giggling! 😀 I did wonder if it was a subconscious moment of forgetfulness as Kindle is up there with phone and money to pack for holidays. I relished my time buying real books and did splash out a bit!

      Ahh … a tad envious is just fine and an emotion I can identify with as I read travel posts by others — all the time making mental notes of places to visit etc. I’m glad you enjoyed all the elements of the trip and post and yes, John Williams is the perfect accompaniment for the fanfare! His music is now on loop in my mind! 😀

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