Time in England is jam-packed. Returning on Saturday afternoon we have tasks to get done. On the morrow we will be driving to Dorset to view two possible houses, thence to Sunbury for a BBQ and back home to pack for an 0300hr departure for Gatwick on Monday. The two houses we view are different and, inevitably, each has features we really like and some drawbacks as well. But the first one we see has fewer drawbacks and over a pub lunch with Stuart and Angela we talk ourselves into a position of feeling we’d like to make an offer. Charlotte has already checked these houses out on the internet and clearly favours the first so is glad to hear that this would be our choice when we see her later..
When we get back home I’m feeling slightly panicky because our bags are still unpacked although the bedroom floor is littered with clothing that needs to be whittled down. Once done I feel a whole lot better and we still manage to get a bit more than 4 hours sleep before we need to leave for the airport.
As I settle back into my seat, with a light novel and the Independent crossword to fill flight time, I’m already sinking into a state of anticipatory relaxation with ten days afloat on Verity in view.
Arriving at Marina Frapa there are high winds and it is immediately clear that we will not be able to set sail the following morning. We already face an exciting passage north, to Venice, and we do not need to factor any more excitement into the journey. It’s an ill wind if it does not blow us some good and both the Derricks and the Lights feel that we can make use of a quiet day or two in the marina whilst we sit out the weather. Three of Jandia’s crew are aboard and are good for company and entertainment. In the evening we meet at the covered Boules court for a match. I’m co-opted to the Jandia team and we win. The victory is ascribed to a particularly fortunate throw on my part which gives us 4 points in one game. At a stroke I become Jan Dear. We repair to Konoba Lanterna for a rather raucous meal. Martin from Arabesque joins us, hotfoot from his evening flight into Split. There will be some thick heads in the morning.
On Tuesday the wind is still raging and the weather maps show we can expect no relief in the next 24 hours. It’s another day in the port, easily filled by time with my book, my netbook. During the day Nick spends quite a bit of time on the ‘phone: we offer on the house and Dan needs advice in the matter of sorting his employment status and future. The men have running repairs to carry out. In the evening we are invited aboard Jandia for drinks and Yorkshire canapés because the return Boules match is blown off.
We have booked to eat together at the Atrium restaurant, another lively evening ensues. We have people to argue along the spectrum of political beliefs but are brought to a calmer moment when Nick thumps the table with an empty wineglass and breaks the top off its stem.
As Wednesday dawns it’s clear that the wind is showing now signs of relenting just yet. Nick has a date with Jandia’s bilges and I have offered to mix up the marinade which her crew need for their butterflied rack of lamb. I buy some mustard on the way over to their pontoon, do the business and then wait for Nick to finish toiling in the depths. Carolyn and Mike have carried out a first tranche of provisioning and after pizza lunch there is more shopping to do. In the evening five of us eat at Ilirya. I’ve enjoyed eating ashore and made the most of it, choosing octopus salads, seafood risotto and calamari. Whilst in the restaurant there is a flash downpour and the young owner tells us that this can mark the end of the high winds we have been experiencing, known locally as the Jugo.
Sure enough when we wake up on Election Day the wind has gone and we can head north.