Thursday, 27 July 2017

Well!!! Words fail me

Sadly they did not fail me at the time........

The day started well today, we were away by 8 as we wanted to be in Henley to meet Giles at lunch time.  Not a soul around, although a lady was awake on a boat in front of us and commented on how quiet we were....

into the pretty lock, camera in one hand,
Geoff at the upper control panel with Barney in attendance
Lock keeper not on duty until 9am
Once I was in Geoff closed the gates and walked forward to the forward control panel to start the descent process.   As he was about to start I looked behind and another boat had appeared.  He was not visible as I went into the lock as there is a bend just before the lock and he had not thought to give a hoot to signal his arrival.  I signalled madly to Geoff  and he stopped what he was doing and walked back to the upper gates to go through the process of opening them.  This takes a good few minutes as it goes through some sort of cycle before opening them.   I moved over to the right to let him in.....he was too fat to fit alongside us.

As he was on the side of the control panels and he had a larger crew Geoff climbed back on board with Barney and went below and the skipper of the other boat went forward to the control panel.  At this stage I did not think anything was amiss, so my day was still going well.......

After he had started us on our descent this gentleman (!) walked over the gates and all the way down to me and proceeded to tell me about our POOR ETIQUETTE!!   He obviously thought we had deliberately shut the gates on him but, despite my telling him that we genuinely hadn't seen (or heard) him, he continued to harangue me and accuse us of not wanting to share a lock with a hire boat. Since he was now in the lock with us that seems somewhat inaccurate.   He would not be mollified and continued to rant at me and said he hoped I had learnt my lesson!!!!   By this time, sadly, I had had a sense of humour failure, I did venture to ask his wife who was on the front of their boat if he was always this rude.  My adrenalin was running now and I think my blood pressure must have been raised...and needless to say the day had taken a nose dive in enjoyment.

This is him overtaking us after we had left the lock
He then decided to go at a very slow pace!!!

Back to more pleasant doings...........there was a lovely notice on the bank not long after leaving the lock.   Amongst the NO MOORING signs there was another notice which read THIS IS A PRIVATE NOTICE, PLEASE DO NOT READ. I failed to get close enough for a picture.

We stopped at the facilities at Shiplake lock, had to wait a while for the water point (guess who was on it??)  We then took an age to fill up.....sometimes I think the water must be going out of the boat!

Onward then and had a pleasant run past some beautiful houses.

This one will do for me.

We also passed the Thames Visitor Moorings at Wargrave.  We had originally thought we would stay over a night but a lunch date with Giles had changed that plan.   

This is what was on offer for £5 a night
Having said that we stayed at their moorings in Goring and they were fine.  They are mainly one night free and £5 a night for up to two more days.   We don't have too much of a problem with that. Wargrave did not appear very inviting though.

So once through Marsh Lock we were at the Henley moorings which looked quite full.  We took the first available space but after a recce forward found a more open one and moved along.  The intention was only to stay one night as here the moorings are local council and £10 a night.  However it is so pleasant here we have decided to bite the financial bullet and stay over the weekend.   The moorings are free between 10am and 3pm and surprisingly we saw quite a few boats departing around 3pm!

A good lunch at the Angel with Giles and a quick visit to his office here to collect load of invoices....yes I am still doing his accounts....

As we walked into Henley to meet Giles, Guess who was moored a few boats along!   In the spirit of entente cordiale Geoff went up to the man and shook his hands and apologised for the morning incident, although I am not sure we had anything to apologise for.....I think I might have forgiven him if he had been gracious about it but he kept banging on about how he knew we boaters didn't like sharing with hire boats!  Ah well tomorrow is another day and I guess life is too short.

So here we stay for a few days.  Church sussed out for Sunday and cafe for Saturday cooked breakfast.  The local cinema is showing Dunkirk so we have booked for tomorrow afternoon.   We may give Sunday lunch out a big swerve though.......don't like the prices round here!


Anonymous said...

I hate these holiday drivers. Henley sounds a good place to stay, we went to Hand in Flowers - Tom Kerridge Restaurant as a treat - def not for a reasonable priced meal. Will be interested to see what you think of Dunkirk. `hope to see you next week. Rosie

Tim said...

Perhaps you should have pointed out to him that it was just HIS hire boat that others didn't want to share locks with, and left him to ponder why!