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July 07, 2008

Conferences and narrow boats ...

Last week the Monk attended a conference in Blackpool for three days at a very posh hotel which apparently does its best to appear not to be in Blackpool even though you can see the famous (or infamous) tower from the car park. I have to say, that the staff both at the hotel I was staying in and the Conference venue were among the nicest and most cheerful young people I have had to deal with in a long time. They were friendly, helpful and polite - and always smiling, no matter what happened.

One very funny moment occured when a group of us went for a meal in the restuarant adjoining my hotel. We are all long standing friends and colleagues and we "take the mickey" out of each other, tease, and generally give as good as we get. The waitress who came to take our order watched the banter and the arguing over whether or not we would have wine with this, whether it would be red or white, or just stick with various beers in something like amazement. Finally she asked, "Are you guys all family? You sound like one!"

THat set the tone for the rest of the conference and I suspect for some time to come. You see, we may not be related at all in the sense of "blood" ties - but we are all members of one of the best "famillies" on earth. The Old Style Fire Service.

Conference over, I took myself home and then on to Saul Junction for a part weekend afloat on a Narrow Boat called "Haere-Mai" at the Saul Junction Festival. I was there to help a friend, the owner of "Haere-Mai", make sure no one burned anything down. It rained, it blew like crazy, but that didn't stop a lot of people having loads of fun in the Folk Festival, on the water or just meeting up with old friends and old boats. There will be some pictures of all this eventually, I just have to find time to download them, down size them and post them. As we did our rounds of our fire points and checked no one was doing anything silly with some of the goods on sale, we found ourselves rubbing shoulders with every branch of British Eccentricity. Morris Men, Morris Women, people in pirate outfits, people in Motley, kids with their faces painted, big beards, big hair and even the odd medievalist.

Being boring of course, I was more interested in the boats ..... Oh, and the 100 year old steam traction engine hauling a trailer with people up and down ...... And the display team of Barge horses ........

Pictures, pictures, pictures ......

Posted by The Gray Monk at July 7, 2008 08:08 AM

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