Sunday, 9 August 2015

A weekend of visitors in Saul

After an early small shop we departed our adequate but hardly salubrious moorings
just down from the Sainsbury's moorings
They had obviously been used previously by much bigger boats than us
We soon reached the first of the mechanised work for Geoffrey
However this first one at Hemstead was not mechanised.
The bridge man had work to do.
It was a bright and beautiful day, the best we had had for some time.
There seemed to be good moorings at most of the bridges.
It was 6 years ago that we last came down this way and even Geoff's memory is not doing as well as normal.

We were glad of the good weather as we were expecting our friend Ronnie at coffee time.

Everything except the kitchen sink
Must get comfortable
We had chosen to travel on a day when the National Angling championships were being held along  the canal.  Luckily we had set off early and since their start was not until 10am (I think), not many of the lines were out.  They were still getting settled.  Not being of the fishing persuasion we find it incredible to see the amount of paraphernalia they trundle along with.
Since the canal is so wide it is not the problem it would be elsewhere.  The odd line that was out is easily avoided.

We reached Saul by coffee time and Ronnie arrived a little later.   We then had a delightful day catching up.  Ronnie and I went for a walk in the afternoon leaving Geoff to his siesta.

We walked across the fields to Framilode which is right on the Severn Estuary
Our path follows the course of the old Stroudwater canal which closed in 1954.  On reaching Framilode there is a hamlet of houses, a pub and a church
St Peter's Church Framilode
We checked the times of the the service for Sunday for Geoff & me.  It confirmed the 11am as stated on the has been known to be wrong!  We were in luck as they only have a service every other week.

The walk turned out to be a little longer than anticipated as we decided to make it a circular walk by going part way along the estuary and cutting back inland.   Nearly 3 1/2 miles which is stretching it for me.   This meant that both Ronnie & I were walked out and Geoff's plan of a walk to the pub for a pre supper drink was shelved.   Instead we sat and drank our Pimms in the cratch.....such a hard life.
Supper on board rounded off an excellent day.

On Sunday Geoff took Barney for a good walk before we set off for church.
Just beyond the next bridge he discovered Archie (ex Clifton Cruisers)
The new owners were not around
He also seemed to have had a fascination with ducks on his walk as there were several photographs of them!
We went a slightly longer road route to church.  Geoff thought it would be easier for me as it avoided the 5 thoughtful......

We passed Saul Church
and some very old cottages..this one from 1858
A lot of restoration work has taken place in the church since we were here 6 years ago.
They apparently raised £85,000 and the roof has been done and this beautiful altar cleaned up.  
It was Family Service with Communion.   A small but very welcoming congregation.  
We were surprised to have a gentleman come up to us during coffee and say 'Ah hello again you come from St Merryn'.
This a someone who has a holiday home not far behind our house and we had met him 6 years ago.  he actually recognised us.....
Chatting to Vernon who is retired clergy and has been here for 20 years, we discovered that their next venture is to remove all the pews.......they have already moved some in the middle to make room for wheelchairs and some at the back to make a communal area for coffee etc.   An interesting venture.

A drink in the pub followed where we had a comfy seat and a read of the Sunday papers.   Geoff is having withdrawal symptoms as for the first time for ages there is no shop for the Sunday papers.  In fact there is no shop at all.   The one in Frampton on Severn has closed, although a new Community Shop is due to open next weekend.  

Back at Petroc we had more visitors.  Christine & Mark the new owners of Archie stopped to say hello.  They were en route to the marina to try and find a printer.  Since I had one on board we invited them back later in the afternoon to use it.

I then set to to cook our Slunch...I think that might be the correct word.  It was a delayed cooked breakfast which we normally have on Saturday.  Since it was now approaching 2.30 Slunch seems a good term.

I was just about to serve it when we had another unexpected but very welcome visitor.  Derek Straw a friend from RAF days.  Derek had seen from my blog that we were under an hour from his home and decided to call.  He joined us for coffee and we had a couple of very pleasant hours....more reminiscing.

Soon after his departure Mark & Christine came back to do their printing and to partake of coffee/tea and cake.   The cake was courtesy of Ronnie who had turned up yesterday with a chocolate fudge of Geoff's favourites.   Not reminiscing this time but plenty of boat chat.

So a weekend full of visitors...and more to come

Total distance:7.39 miles 
Elapsed time:2h21m37s
Average speed:3.13 mph (3.13 lock/mph) 

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