I woke up full of beans this morning and we were busy poring over the map and planning the next few days with our tea in bed – it usually takes me ages to wake up.
I spent the morning catching up on emails and other things I had been putting off. I had just put some washing out at the front and was coming back down into the boat down the front steps. I was going backwards and put my foot on the first step, only the first step wasn’t there (it hasn’t been there on my way up either and I said to myself I mustn’t forget that isn’t there). My leg went down into the void and I fell backwards hitting my head on the bed. My left foot got stuck under the door frame and over the step and I was stuck. I yelled for Richard who came rushing through and sort of sat me up and then asked what I wanted to do! I want to get out of here I said sweetly!!!! He managed to extricate me and I lay down on the bed with my leg throbbing (!) and an egg on the back of my head (no that isn’t a cure it was caused by hitting the bed). Richard brought me a cold wet tea towel to put on my leg which I think helped the bruising and the swelling.
We had planned to walk into Guildford in the afternoon but my afternoon was spent sitting under the willow tree reading – déjà vu!By late afternoon my headache had gone off though the egg was still there so we walked into the town as I needed shopping. On our way back we stopped at the Weyside for a drink and then back to the boat where Richard cooked dinner – again!
We are moored on a water meadow and I now know what one is. In the middle ages, riverside meadows were turned into water meadows – a new farming method brought over from Europe. It encouraged grass to grow much earlier, so sheep could graze during the spring when food was scarce. The sheep were removed in late April and the grass left to grow for early hay cut. Cattle would then be grazed or another hay crop grown. It all worked as in January the sluices were opened and water flowed along the channels and then overspilled onto the meadows. The meadows remained flooded during the winter, then the water drained back into the river. This kept the grass warm during the coldest months, so it was ready to grow in early spring, as well as dropping silt that fertilised the meadow.
From the boat we can see St. Catherine’s Chapel high on a hill. It was commissioned by Richard de Wauncey, then rector of the Parish Church of St Nicolas in nearby Guildford, and building commenced in 1301 – it was consecrated in 1329. Over the centuries since the chapel fell into disuse various attempts have been made to repair the remaining outer walls.