This morning we woke up to a light dusting of snow on Charlton Kings. I use the phrase "light dusting" advisedly. When we bought our home at Great Rissington 16 years ago, we moved in at the end of the first week of December. LCM and the furniture arrived on the Thursday, and I followed with Hattie Gandhi and Hugger Steward the following day, arriving just before suppertime. S-i-L and her family, who lived a few miles away, invited us to eat with them, so we happily set out...but during the meal, snow began to fall heavily and in the end we were stuck there until the following Tuesday lunchtime. The weather forecast for that weekend? "Perhaps a light dusting of snow over the Cotswolds..."
This time, however, the light dusting was just exactly that. Enough snow to make things look pretty, but not to inconvenience anyone, which was a relief as we had plans for the day.
For some time, we've been considering whether buying a narrow boat would meet the need of the Curate for a bolthole for days off and mini retreats, LCM for a project (to replace ongoing maintenance of our old home) and the offspring for somewhere that feels like their very own space, to take their friends. Several weeks spent on hired boats, in all sorts of weathers, have confirmed that this really does seem to tick all the boxes for manageable family holidays...so when friends here spoke of selling their boat at bargain price, and invited us to have a look, how could we refuse?
And it was such a good day.
Driving across country was a pleasure in itself, and to be on the waterways at a time when the rest of the world was at home by their fires was a real delight. I missed the kingfisher that the others saw, but the winter emptiness of the skyline and the quiet of the towpath made an appealing mixture. The boat herself would suit us beautifully - so now we have to do some sums and see if this might be a practical possibility.
Meanwhile, what a lovely winter mini holiday!