Rachel recommended a television programme on canals to me, so this morning, over a late breakfast I watched the first episode on iplayer. How it brought back memories for me as it was about the section of the Trent and Mersey canal - in an area I know so very well.
For seven years, as my son was entering his teenage years, we lived in Lichfield. Our neighbours B and J and their only daughter A, lived next door. They became our dearest friends and I was godmother to A their only daughter. B and J are now long gone and when A married I gave her away at her wedding. B's passion was boats with a capital B. And through him, for the years we lived next door, they became my then husband M's passion too. First it was canoes, then a small sailing boat, then B built a houseboat in his garage - joined to our sitting room as all the bungalows in the cul de sac were linked.
We spent many happy hours together on the houseboat and then B built a steel-hulled narrow boat and he was really in business. Every holiday was spent on it and often near enough for us to nip down in the car on a Sunday to see how they were enjoying life. It coincided with the time when I was a mature student at West Midlands Training College in Walsall and he often gave me a life to college in a morning. I always used to say that whatever we were chatting about when he drove out of his drive by the time we got to the bottom of the road the talk had turned to boats.
When 'at home' the boat was moored on the canal at Alrewas and today's episode of the canal series included Alrewas. I have not been back since those days and what memories it brought back.
Throughout my life I have been blessed with good neighbours, all have become friends - what a difference good neighbours make.