Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant is an unremarkable terrace. It sits proudly above Cromford in Derbyshire and boasts 8 houses. No cars reach here. Access is on foot via a switchback path that heads upwards towards the sky.

The properties are pretty darned small. Front doors open into front rooms with a galley style kitchen nestling behind. Upstairs, a bedroom, a bathroom and most have second bedroom up in the top of the house. Most have a garden but the garden is not necessarily next to the property. Weird I know.

The bare facts reveal so little. The views are stunning, the day light hours long and warm as the sun confronts the cottages for most of the day. The community is tight and secure. No one goes to Mount Pleasant without a reason. It’s a bit like Norwich.

This terrace was our happy happy home for many years. Until boat life. As we’re back in the UK we called by to say hi to our new tenants. And to check out painting the windows. By complete chance we bumped into the owners of one of the properties. It was lovely to see them and catch up on their news.

That night I started thinking about the amazing people who have lived, or live in that terrace. And what they’ve done with their lives. Here’s a very small snapshot. Made an award winning feature film, walked the Pacific Crest Trail (2700 miles) with their two kids aged 10 and 13, run a small holding, been a semi professional actor with a passion for musicals, set up a massively successful well know business then sold it to be able to retire super super early, studied at Cambridge and now works in Russia, makes beautiful bespoke guitars from tin boxes and sells them occasionally to the rich and famous, a professional storyteller who spent a lot of time in Palestine working with disaffected children and that’s just for starters. You get my gist. Mount Pleasant has been home to some remarkable people.

And just or maybe more important, it’s about who people are, not what what they’ve done. So many good eggs have passed through that terrace. My friend Becca who is sadly no longer here being a prime example of that. Kind, generous, selfless, stuff that matters.

Mount Pleasant, a place that inspires.

Boat life seems so distant. But life is still full and happy. We’ve been out cycling a bit and Dave’s been out climbing while I went to work. Yes, I know! He has been holding the fort at our temporary home which is just lovely and much appreciated. Thank you Grist’s.


Dangerous cheese

I have a minor cheese injury. I was scrapping cheese from the inside of the grater when a small solid piece got lodged under my finger nail and dug into the skin underneath. It’s a bit stingy but probably not serious enough to get me out of washing up or getting the boat ready for her two month abandonment. Perhaps I need to big it up a bit more. Watch out for dangerous cheddar.

We got hauled the day before yesterday. Not straightforward and an all round slightly anxious procedure. 20 ton Grace was maybe two feet out of the water when the boatlift driver started staring at one of the pulleys high up which was making a strange noise. So back we go into the water as spanner-ing and new parts are required. Glad he heard that before we were fully out of the water and relying on the lifts integrity to keep the boat from splatting onto the ground.

A few hours later, the machine is back in place and we’re ready for take two. It’s tricky to line up the two slings that will support Grace as she is hauled out. Because we have an arch at the back of the boat where a couple of solar panels reside plus the wind generator, the boat can’t sit too far back in this lift or this array of power generating appliances will get mashed.

I wander off as there’s nothing I can really contribute here. I chat to a couple on a boat who tell me a story about watching a very expensive Nordhaven Boat get dropped by a boatyard in Trinidad and smashed to smithereens. Cheers guys. Time and a place for such stories and now is not it. Then the guy starts lecturing me about boat-lifts and marking where the slings go for the future. What I want to say and what I do say are quite different. My body language and looks obviously not landing anywhere near his sensitivity radar.

I start to walk back to the boat and there’s a unpleasant screeching slipping sound as Grace settles into the slings. Will Mr Insensitive get another tale to tell? Thankfully all is good and the boat gets hauled. She’s a bit lopsided in the slings but she’s not going anywhere.

It’d gone 4pm by now so we spend the night in the slings and the following day we get moved to the yard where Grace will stay on her lonesome for a couple of months. So it’s two days of sorting the boat in preparation for leaving her. Sails are off, running rigging is off, holes in the hull blocked off so no nasty creatures can crawl in and make a home. It’s super sexy this boating lark.

The contrast to life on the water where there’s some breeze, to being parked on land where there’s none, is palpable. By 11am yesterday it was in the low 90’s. Not massively conducive to being productive and getting chores ticked off. Ah well, the outdoor swimming pool and bbq will call around 5pm. That’s the carrot for day’s end.

We fly tomorrow. Fingers crossed our taxi to Dulles Washington turns up.