Saturday 10th September Elvis and a sea toilet…

With a day of luxury ahead of us while waiting for Chris, we decide to tackle the deep joy of replacing the seals on the sea toilet. Without being indelicate, the loo has become an increasingly noisy experience over the last few months with protesting seals (the rubber kind) and unnecessary heaving (on handles). We take the precaution of chucking down plenty of loo cleaner first, plus donning our own squeaky rubber gloves before diving into the heads. It proves to be a surprisingly satisfying job in the end and the result is a toileting experience to be looked forward to. If only we had done it sooner. Guests on Heydays can now gain comfort with discretion without announcing to the whole river what is going on.

Lunch is mostly liquid in the lovely Harbour Lights Picture House bar and terrace and we book a movie for the evening. More afternoon snoozing (we deserve it) and we are ready for Chris and some dinner.

One of the joys of this particular marina is that we have a whole 50m walk to the cinema and we watch Elvis which s the story of his life, but told largely through the eyes of ‘Colonel’ Tom Parker, his disgraced and abusive manager. We are reminded of what a legacy of great music he left, let alone the cultural difference he made by singing and dancing in the negro tradition borne from a youth spent in the poorer parts of Memphis.

It has been a funny period and this will no doubt continue for some time. Opinion on Heydays ranges from Monarchist, through mild acceptance to distinctly republican. However, we all agree on a surprising number of things. Firstly, The Queen has been a fixture and point of reference in all our lives for almost all our lives. She had no real choice (unlike most of us) about how her life would pan out. True, she lived a life of luxury and privilege, and the history of empire and her ancestors is not one of glory or civil equity, however she chose to conduct herself in a way which was undoubtedly honest, bound by a sense of duty and deep moral values. We all agreed that our politicians could learn a lot from the way she conducted herself at all levels of political life and that this country would be a nicer place if they did.

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