Thursday, 19 September 2019

Peaceful 3 days in Abingdon

On Tuesday we sauntered up to Pangbourne and had no trouble finding a good mooring on the meadow.    Free mooring here BUT only for 24 hours.   I took advantage of the launderette in town to wash two of our duvets...….I do query whether it is cost effective though.  After paying for the washing and drying I think I could have bought good enough new duvets to last a season!!!!

Wednesday we had an earlyish start for Goring.   It was no good going too early as we needed to find a space at Goring and if we were too early no one would have moved!!   We were in luck and found a good spot right at the end of the moorings.   A short walk up the hill for me to catch the train to London to granddaughter...……..

The weather is being very kind to us at the moment and we are having delightful cruises each day.

On my return we had breakfast in the Village Cafe and then Giles picked us up and took us to see a boat he is considering buying to use as his office!!!    I am not sure of the practicality of the proposed venture and the boat is 50 years old...….however having said that …….it is a nice boat.....we shall see.

Friends Ronnie and Gill came to visit and we had a good lunch in the Catherine Wheel.    

Onward then to Wallingford, another good day and space to moor.   Here Geoff had to make an emergency shopping trip to find a new belt for his trousers...…….. he was lucky to find an old fashioned men's outfitters who could supply the very necessary article!!

And so to Abingdon where we have spent a lovely 3 days on the meadow in brilliant sunshine.    Unlike earlier in the year, when it was too hot, it has been a nice temperature to sit out in.  

More friends, Dick and Jackie, came for sundowners and then we all repaired to the Nags head for a meal...….an excellent one.

The film of Downton Abbey is on here in the Abbey Cinema so I had a couple of hours wallowing in all the splendour.   It is a lovely cinema, there were seats set in groups of 4 around a table, where one could order food and drink from your phone ( if one wished) .  They were swivel armchair seats......and the screen was huge so I had a ringside view.  

Onward again tomorrow heading for Oxford and the last run up the Thames.  The forecast says the weather is holding for a couple more days.....lets hope they are right.

Monday, 9 September 2019

and back to Reading......the end of the summer creeps closer

Someone is bedded in well!!!  I would love to see what it was like down below,,,,,
So goodbye Henley again after 9 days there.   I did my granny time with Kensa so was away for 3 days,   However back on Saturday and met Geoff for Brunch in Wetherspoons.

Saturday night was incredibly cold I thought we were in the middle of winter again, so Sunday night I retired with woolly socks, hot water bottle and thick jumper to bed, only to find that it back to a more normal temperature!!!

On Sunday Giles and the two boys joined us for the trip up to Sonning.  They brought their bicycles so they could return to collect the car at Henley.   We all went to the Coppa Club at Sonning and had a very good lunch/brunch.   We had not ventured in here before as we were under the impression it was a private club....wrong......highly recommended.   It was extremely busy but we managed to find a table.

And so to Reading today...Geoff needs to restock his supply of chocolate which he can only find in Aldi!!!   We also stopped at Tesco.   The moorings there are now more than half full of boats that appear to be long term......we just managed to find a space.

Total distance:3.34 miles
 Elapsed time:3h8m2s 
Locks:2 Bridges:2
Average speed:1.07 mph (1.71 lock/mph)

Those timing do include stopping to shop at Tescos and to refuel!!!!!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Lingering again at Henley

Slowly making our way upstream.  We have survived another mini heatwave....just!!!

The planned one night in Windsor turned into two as Geoff was not well.   We went in on Bank Holiday Monday and were lucky to get a space inside the island.  The place was heaving...….but lo and behold by Tuesday morning it was almost like a ghost town...…..I am referring to the moorings not the town itself.....  What a difference a day makes.

Cookham followed for a couple of nights which was also busy.  However after some persuasion a cruiser did move to fill a gap in front of them so we could just fit in behind.   

We bypassed Marlow as the moorings below the lock were full and we didn't fancy the £14 a night moorings by Higgenson Park.   In fact they were full as well so not a difficult decision. 

We arrived at Henley in good time with several spaces to choose from and have settled in for a week+

A good place for visitors.   Boe arrived back from her holiday in Slovenia and Croatia on Friday so came out on Saturday for a couple of nights.  As she departed on Monday Anne & Keith arrived for the day.   Weather is a much better temperature now and we were able to sit on the riverbank in comfort for most of the day whilst we had a good catch up.    We dined in the Giggling Squid in the evening and had a very good meal again...…..well 3 of us did.   Geoff was the one who made the wrong choice this time, although he said his starter was very good.

Only a month left of this summer`s cruising which is very sad.    We have decided that we want to be a bit further south so have reluctantly made the decision to leave Petrocs winter home at Clifton Cruisers after nearly 13 years and instead we have taken a winter mooring at Cropredy, just north of Banbury.   As the crow flies, or even by road, its not that far from Rugby.   However by canal its at least 4 days south and at our rate of travel probably over a week!!

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Meandering gently upstream

A very short trip on Monday, just around the corner to Hampton Court moorings.   Plenty of space at our time of arrival although they were full by the evening.   Whilst they are in a very convenient place they are very uncomfortable moorings.   For a narrow boat the concrete quayside is just the wrong height. A lot of passing traffic going fast so despite the wide river here it creates a huge wash which bangs us against the side.   No amount of adjusting our warps provides any improvement.   
Barney is most unimpressed......just as he has settled himself along comes another boat jerking him awake!

Monday evening we had a very pleasant meal ashore with Gavin and Celia and Tuesday we made our first ever trip around Hampton Court Palace, thanks to Gavin.   I am not normally one for sightseeing but managed to spend most of the day there and found it fascinating.   I joined a tour of the gardens in the afternoon.  This was mainly about the history of the gardens through the reigns of the various monarchs.

Fantastic ceiling as you go up the grand staircase.

The privy Gardens

Nice cosy bed in William the thirds apartments.

Magnificient yew trees
An early start on Wednesday on a glorious sunny morning.....not many boats around at our time of the morning

Geoff working the lock as we are far too early for the lock keeper

We`ve passed a fair few floating houses but this one is rather opulent
Delightful mooring just beyond Shepperton lock for the evening followed by yet another early start.......when do I get a lie in???

The plan was to be in Staines and moor by the town Hall  so we could shop at Sainsburys and also the town.   Nothing wrong with the moorings apart from the fact that there were lots of groups of people gathering throughout the day and evening.   Unfortunately the chemist could not fill the whole of our prescriptions until the following day so we were forced into a night stop.   I was a little dubious about the situation but in fact there was no trouble much to my relief.

Another hop skip and a jump on Friday once again just round the corner to moor by a park where we have been before.   Barney in heaven here as there are lots of picnickers in the day so it is good scavenging ground!

Sadly no cafes close by serving our Saturday cooked I had to do  it myself.   

After that it was a gentle trip up one lock and looking for shade...…….we were lucky just at the start of Runnymeade.    No facilities near here but a good park, lots of walking for Barney.

Monday, 19 August 2019

About turn at Kington

We eventually left Windsor last Tuesday, picked up fuel from Chris on the fuel barge Marchant and thence to Hampton Court.  The mooring charges here have not increased since last year which is a wonder.  Still £8 a night after the first 24 hours free.  Max 3 nights

We only anted the one night so that was ideal.  A very convivial evening as Gavin and Celia came aboard for the odd glass of wine or two after supper!

The castle from Eton bridge

and as we journey downstream.

 Lots of floating homes as we journey down stream which look idyllic in the sunshine and when the river is calm and low!

Petroc right on the end of the moorings at Kingston
Wednesday we moved round the corner to Kingston which is as far as we intended going.  All set for my two granny duty days and then a planned family weekend which was to start with Emma Boe and I going to see Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.....

Mooring charges here the same 24 hours free and up to 4 further nights at £8 a night. know what they say about the best laid plans!!!

Boe started with a bug on the Friday and was in no fit state to go to the show.  Sadly we could find anyone who wanted to join us so Emma and I had an empty seat between us in a packed theatre.   Great show although we thought it a bit short as it finished begore 9.30 having started at 7.30 with an interval.

Saturday was planned for everyone to come out to Petroc for the day and supper on board as Emma and Dave only live 20 mins on the train from Kingston.   Sadly I succumbed to the bug on Saturday morning.   Emma, Kensa and I made it out to meet Geoff for breakfast (Boe still not recovered).   I had to beat a hasty retreat from the restaurant and made it back to the boat in time to collapse!
Supper on board cancelled although Emma and K stayed for the afternoon and had time with Geoff.......I was completely out of it by then.....

Sunday went ahead as planned although we had heavy rain in the morning but Boe Emma and Kensa made it out and Dave joined us for lunch.  An excellent (if somewhat expensive!) lunch in the Foresters pub in Hampton Wick.

All fully recovered now thank goodness...….so this morning we about turned and have started on the journey upstream.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Windy in Windsor

We were initially moored on the outside of Bell Island but with the forecast we decided to stay a couple of days extra and move to the inside where it was a little more sheltered.    

Thursday saw our visitors arrive, Anne & Graham.
A very relaxing day, a few beers at the pub for the menfolk, 
catching up on reminiscences of their time stationed together in Canada over 40 years ago!!!
Followed by al fresco lunch and much chatter

Quiet mooring away from the crowds

Cannot believe the price of ice cream just across the water from our mooring
Dearer than Henley!

The wind caused some damage to trees but thankfully nothing major.
In fact the promised bad weather has not been nearly as bad as forecast, at least for us.    Very windy and a few sharp showers but nothing like the storms we were expecting.

Should have been on our way today but Geoff is slightly under the weather so have delayed another day.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Goodbye Cookham, Hello Windsor

Very cosy space
Whilst I was still away granny sitting Geoff moved Petroc from our rough mooring in the field.   We were expecting visitors on Monday and the climb down into Petroc was not one to present visitors with.  He had been watching for a space on the good moorings and eventually sped a space on Saturday morning.   A very speedy departure (so I was informed) so that he reached the space before anyone else!!!   I dread to imagine his thoughts if this had happened...…….

Giles called in on Sunday and we had a good breakfast together in the Italian Café opposite the station.

Monday brought our visitors Anne & Keith and Anne`s sister Mags.  An extremely pleasant day catching up and the weather was obliging being not too hot for us all to sit out most of the day, apart from our trip to the Ferry pub for lunch.

All good things come to an end and after a week here we up sticks early on Tuesday morning bound for Windsor.    Through the first 3 locks before the lock keepers were on duty and watered etc at the last.

On arrival at Windsor our preferred moorings on the outside of the island looked full but closer inspection revealed a Petroc size space just waiting for us.  A speedy 180 weaving between passing boats put us in nicely.   Geoffrey very happy!!!

The theoretical plan is to depart here on Friday BUT we have seen a weather forecast which talks of very heavy rain and strong winds SO there may be a delay!!

Total distance:9.41 miles 
Elapsed time:3h54m20s 
Locks:4 Bridges:6
Average speed:2.41 mph (3.43 lock/mph)