I've been silent for three or four days on this blog, because I've been moving.
I rented a van from Advanced Van Rental in Norwich, and it was a dream - lovely service, good price, etc - except that when I was told it was a 'long wheel base', it turned out to be sort of medium. A bit like a small Starbucks coffee is a 'tall', while you need a 'grande' for a mouthful, or a 'venti' for a full measure.
The upshot was that it took me 2 days to move my stuff the 150 miles from Aylsham, Norfolk, to my new house at Willington. I've been driving for eight hours each day in three days of shuttling back and forth, and my new house looks like a cluttered, unsorted bric-a-brac shop. AND I'M EXHAUSTED.
But I'm now officially a resident of Willington. Council tax and all. Here's a picture of the popular Willington visitor moorings.
The side news is that Granny is now in the nearby Mercia Marina - which shares the same postcode, DE65 6DW and is only 5 minutes walk away - so it's almost like having my boat in a garage. I've been pretty impressed with Mercia Marina (about which more later).
More generally, I'm charmed by Willington, a village which seems to have everything. Aside from the canal (and it's a perfect stop for canal boaters) it's got pretty much everything you could ask from an English country village.
Train station, hourly bus service to Derby (right outside my house), post office, three good pubs, a range of shops, public loos and free car park, excellent road links - 10 mins by dual carriageway to the M1 - and just up the road a 24 hr service area where I was able to buy a pint of milk after 2am when I returned from Norfolk for the last time last night. Etc.
Plus there's one of England's largest car factories up the road, for when I need another job desperately. Local word is that Toyota's Burnaston plant is apparently one of the few not to have been on short time during the recession. You can see it from outside my house, shining like a 21st century castle on a hill.
So pleased am I by this location, and so long have I kept on talking about it that Christine has dubbed it The Willage. It was just her way of remembering the name, but I suppose you can take it as homage to 'The Village', the gilded-cage of the 1960s TV Series The Prisoner. Except that I'm not trying to escape.
But I've still got a lot of unpacking and sorting to do. Plus, I'm still tied up with my PR day job, and will find it hard to keep up Granny Buttons. So you might find a few 'filler' photos and the occasional inconsequential, rambling post, just to reassure you I'm still alive.