August 29th (sorry, we were offline for days and playing catch up a bit now)
My 31st birthday! Woooot! We woke in Devizes to torrential rain. I stayed cosy in the boat while Sam rummaged mysteriously in the aft lockers, and lobbed delight after delight through the open hatch onto the sleeping bag. Croissants! Card! Bacon! Flowers!
After birthday breakfast we were slightly at a loss. Just the two of us. Pissing down outside. What is there in Devizes anyway? I tried some token ukulele practice, but what next?
I’d wanted to go for a wild swim and a boozy picnic, but it was seriously grim.
We decided to go to Devizes Leisure Centre. Yes. But it wasn’t open to adults for another 4 hours so we went for another meal. When we staggered up, full and rather dirty from our grimy boat life, we discovered that ‘adult time’ at the pool was merely a guideline, and in fact every other attendee was under 12 and focused with fierce intensity on how long they could hold their breath while kicking our legs. Anyway, we got clean.
After that Sam bought me a haircut from a lady whose main concern on hearing of our voyage was whether I was able to bring my hairdryer. The answer is yes, but strictly for the purpose of space heating in the winter and not under any circumstances for my hair. I decided after this small luxury to test the theory that my hair will clean itself if left free of soap for three weeks or so. The hairdresser thought this was very brave.
We got back to the boat and ate another lovely meal, with the bottle of champagne I bought when I found out we’d really sold our house. A final inconclusive amble around Devizes- which is mid-carnival week but was apparently in a lull- and we headed out of town to find new moorings. As we settled into a hushed locale under oak and birch trees, we heard an epic carnival firework display kick off in Devizes. I think I preferred the moon on the water.