Tuesday, 31 July 2018

A Birthday & more family join us.

Tuesday 31st July
We had a nice couple of days with Colette & Joe at Pangbourne, although the weather wasn't very good we still managed to go for a walk into the village on Saturday afternoon and then we went to the Swan pub in the evening for a lovely meal.
Colette, Joe & Kev.
It was raining on Sunday morning when we got up but not very heavy. After breakfast Colette & Joe were ready to leave, it was  about 8 am but they needed to get home to Bristol as Joe works in the PDSA charity shop on a Sunday from 11 am. Kev took Jaz and walked with Colette & Joe to the carpark where Colette's car was  parked where he said bye to them and when he got back to the boat we got on our way.
When we got to Goring lock we were able to get rid of all our rubbish which was quite a bit after the weekend! Then when we got to Cleeve lock we filled our water tank. Not too many boats on the move with it raining and when we got to Wallingford we moored on the visitor moorings next to the open air swimming pool and there were people swimming there too! Yesterday morning we were on our way at 7.30 am and our first lock was Benson lock, as it was early it was on self service. We needed to empty our cassettes so when we got to the landing before Days Lock Kev sorted the cassettes while I let Jaz stretch her legs & have a pee, Kev had to lift her off the boat and carry her off the landing as it was grating and she can't walk on it properly. All done we headed for Days Lock where the lock keeper saw us and opened the gates. It was Kevs birthday yesterday and so we wanted to get moored at Abingdon so I could get a nice bottle of red for the evening. We moored opposite the open air swimming pool at Abingdon, seems to be quite a few of these about. We took Jaz with us for a walk to Waitrose although Kev took her into the park while I went into the store. A nice quiet evening with a nice bottle of wine, cheese, pate, and crackers very nice too.
This morning I had put a wash on before we left Abingdon and once it had finished just after 9am we let go and headed for the lock. We stopped to top up our water above the lock, although there is a water point at Kings lock we will probably top up again when we get to Thrupp on the Oxford canal.
Moored for water above Abingdon lock.
Once our water tank was full we left and while Kev was on the tiller I was down below doing all the ironing, I had finished it by the time we got to Sandford lock. After leaving Sandford lock  we hadn't gone far when we saw WB Still Rockin moored so we slowed down pipped our horn and went slowly alongside of them but nobody at home. We didn't stay as we wanted to get to Godstow for the night and we will be off the Thames tomorrow as we want to be at Fenny Compton for Friday. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

Family visits

Friday 27th July
Had a busy couple of weeks, after mooring at Windsor on Friday 13th July we spent the weekend there and on Monday 16th July Kev & Jaz walked with me to Windsor train station as I was going home for a few days, I was a bit nervous about the journey(silly I know) but I haven't been on a train for a while let alone the London underground! I must say I managed ok with my first change at Slough, then onto Paddington then Kings Cross.  On Friday 20th July I returned back to Windsor with my sister  who was staying for the weekend. Kev & Jaz met us at the station once again, after we had got back on R&R and had a drink, freshened up we went to the Weatherspoons pub King & Castle for a bite to eat.

Unlike me my sister doesn't drink alcohol!
On Saturday morning I took my sister Sam to Windsor Castle, we went about 9 am to queue before it got busy as the queues can get very very long! It opened at 9.30 am and we were close to the front of the queue so it wasn't long before we were inside the castle, the weather was glorious as it has been for weeks.
Changing of the guard, was excellent.
Sam outside St Georges Chapel.
We spent a few hours at Windsor and then went back to the boat for a bite to eat, our Sam then went for a walk to look around the shops while we chilled on the boat. 
On Monday morning we walked to Windsor station to see Sam off on the train, she was doing the same journey I had done to Kings Cross.
After seeing Sam off we popped to Waitrose for some groceries and then got back on board the boat and got ready to leave Windsor. Our first lock was Boveney Lock but before we went into the lock we filled with water and emptied the cassette and also got rid of the rubbish.  After Boveney lock we were travelling along towards Bray lock when we spotted the fuel boat Merchant, who was tied alongside another boat and we called to him to ask if he had diesel and he said yes so we turned and pulled alongside him.
NB Merchant.
Turning towards Nb Merchant.
Tied alongside, filling with diesel.
I never got a photo of Stan the border terrier or Chris from Nb Merchant but I had to give Stan a treat as he was looking through our galley window for one. Kev asked Chris if he had any gas but unfortunately he didn't have any, we weren't in great need of gas but one of our gas bottles was empty and wasn't sure how much was in the one we were on but Kev thought there was plenty until we got to Better Boating at Reading.
When we arrived at Cookham Lock it was our last lock for the day as we wanted to moor at Cookham. We had family coming to see us on Tuesday, and we had given them the post code for The Kings Arms in Cookham village, we had an idea what time they were arriving so we took Jaz for a walk across the field to a car park where we were going to tell them they could leave their car. There was an ice cream van in the car park so we had one and very nice it was too! We walked down to the Kings Arms to wait for our guests to arrive, they text to say they had took a wrong exit so were running 15 minutes late, I told Kev to walk back to the car park and I waited for them at the pub. They arrived just after 11.am and by 11.15am we were all walking across the field to the boat. Yet another glorious day with the sun shining it was a lovely day to take them for a cruise to Marlow and we managed to get moored on the visitor moorings next to the trip boats.
 Bridget & Anthony.

 Anthony having a steer.

 Bridget & daughter Emma.
 Emma had a go steering too.
They were enjoying the cruise.
After we had got tied up at Marlow our guests went for a walk into Marlow as Emma wanted to find Shelley's house. Emma was surprised that when she asked a few people where the house that Shelley lived in, they didn't know.  Shelley wrote Frankenstein.

Emma outside Shelley's cottage.
We all went for an Indian in the evening and it was very good, but I can't remember which one it was although it was on the same street Shelley's cottage was on.
On Wednesday morning we left Marlow fairly early as we wanted to take Bridget, Anthony & Emma to Henley, we had a lovely cruise and moored briefly at Henley for Jaz to have a walk. We couldn't stay long as we needed to get them all back to Cookham so they could get home in the evening. It was lovely to see them and very good of them to travel all the way from Hull to see us. We managed to get moored again at Cookham about 4pm and walked them all to their car and said our goodbyes. We stayed overnight at Cookham and left yesterday morning at around 6am, early I know but we needed to get to Pangbourne as Kev's daughter Colette is coming to see us with her son Joe. Luckily we have got moored fine and are waiting for them to arrive later today. I have plenty to do while waiting for themas I did 2 loads of washing on the way here yesterday so have it all to iron!

Friday, 13 July 2018

Whats that on the towpath, at Windsor!

Friday 13th July😈
We had a good mooring at Henley and Kev wishes now we had stayed for the festival as a fellow boater who was moored behind us told him there would be a good atmosphere.
We left at 9am on Wednesday morning and I put a wash on but paused it when we arrived at our first lock which was Hambledon. 
On our way through Henley.

Preparations for the festival.

The stage is set for Rita Ora. 
Looking back to Henley.
After we were through Temple lock we were hoping to get moored at Marlow and managed to get moored on the 24 hour moorings before Marlow bridge.
Looking across from our mooring Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning.
Passed under Marlow bridge 
Marlow Bridge 
I hung all my washing out and then we just relaxed in the sunshine for the rest of the day. In the 
evening we watched the England semi final and had a few beers, disappointed they lost as we thought they played fab but  they did well to get that far.
Thursday morning was overcast to start with and we left our mooring and headed for Marlow lock and as we approached the lock, the lockie started to open the gates and we went straight in. We wanted to top our water up, empty cassette & get rid of rubbish and so when we got to Cookham lock we stopped at the water point just before the lock. All done we were on our way. 
The old Bray studios

We had to use our horn as he was oblivious to us.
After we left Bray Lock we wanted to moor on a mooring that we had moored on when we were with George & Carol on Still Rockin and Sue & Vic on No Problem XL, we managed to find the mooring again and moored there. 
We were on our way this morning shortly before 9am as we wanted to get through Boveney Lock and get to Windsor to moor before it got busy. As we approached Boveney lock there was a trip boat about to leave and we were able to get straight in and down the lock. We have got moored inside bath Island.
We reversed in and as we were reversing we saw a young mink running along the towpath, it was looking for somewhere to get into the water to swim across to the island and managed to do so as we were nearing our mooring. 

Jaz has had a bad back leg which we think was caused in Marlow when she was chasing around with a French Bulldog, I think she has pulled a muscle as she couldn't put the leg down properly and Kev has had to lift her off the boat. I have given her some Metacam and it seems to have helped her as today she has managed to walk on it much better.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

BBQ with two lovely boaters

Wednesday 10th July
On Friday morning we had a lovely cruise to Abingdon and managed to moor below the lock, we knew that George & Carol on Still Rockin were moored on the moorings at the weir side above the lock and wanted to see them both. We knew they were away but that they would be back on Saturday late afternoon, so we decided to stay at Abingdon for the weekend.
These two keeping cool.
High & Dry!
Going through the low bridge at Oxford.
We watched the England match on Saturday afternoon, we don't usually watch football but watched the previous game they played against Columbia and thought they played well in both. After the match on Saturday we sat at the stern with a beer and then George came over to us and asked if we fancied going to pub with him & Carol, so about 7pm all four of us walked to the bridge and went in the pub there , but can I remember the name of it!
On Sunday morning George & Carol managed to get moored down below the lock about two boat lengths behind us so that was good. As they still had their hire car they took me to Tesco, so I was able to replenish our beer, oh yes and I bought some food too! We had a BBQ with George & Carol  in the evening and very good it was too thank you both.

On Monday morning we went over to Still Rockin to see George & Carol  before we left Abingdon, they  then came on board Rock & Roll for a cuppa, after a natter  for a while we then said our farewells.
 Carol took our photo.
So Kev went over and took theirs.
Shortly after we had got through Goring  lock we managed to find a quiet mooring and stayed there for the night.
This boathouse ahead is for sale.

Who's this? 
We had a brief chat with Sue and gave Vic a wave, we hope to see them again on our way back upstream.
Bet these are bloody hot inside!
This morning we left our mooring about 8am our first lock today was Whitchurch and the Lockie told us that we may have a wait at our next lock Mapledurham as there were divers in the lock laying some electric cables, by the time we arrived at the lock and Kev had emptied the rubbish & cassette the divers had either finished or not started as the lockie opened the gates and we were able to go down.
 Leaving Mapledurham lock
This postbox makes me chuckle.
Love this boats name, my mums name!
When we got through Sonning Lock we saw a boat leaving a mooring so we pulled into his spot, we didn't want to stay there but wanted to let Jaz off the boat for a pee, it was crammed with cruisers all meeting there apparently one group were the Windsor boating club and another few cruisers from another club. So once Jaz had stretched her legs briefly and had a pee we got her back on board and set off once again.
When we got down Marsh lock at Henley we found a mooring and went to pay, apparently it is free mooring 10am to 3pm and overnight is £10. As we haven't been here before we decided to pay and stay, we went to the payment machine at the nearby carpark where you type in your boat name and pay with either coins or card. Kev paid with card but for some reason it only charged him £8 but it said the time of leaving was today at 7pm! Not good, so he rang the phone number on the machine and spoke to someone who said he could pay the £10 over the phone so that meant it would have cost £18 for the overnight stay!! I don't bloody think so, anyway we found the council office in the town and Kev went in there to sort it. The woman told Kev that they have had nothing but problems with these machines and so she took £2 off him to make it the total £10 and gave him a receipt to display in our window. There is a festival here tomorrow but we won't be staying for it.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

On The Thames

Thursday 5th July
On Monday morning we left our mooring at 7.30am and headed for Claydon locks, another lovely days cruising and when we got to Banbury we moored close to the Spiceball country park. I took Jaz for a walk in the park but it was too hot to take her far, there were quite a few boats as usual moored in Banbury, we didn't stay long we left Jaz in the boat and had a walk into the town but didn't want to leave her too long in the boat. We weren't gone too long and when we got back we opened all the windows and doors to let the air in and then we set off and I got off the boat to open the lift bridge to let Kev through and then set the lock for him. We stopped again at bridge 168 so I could pop over to Morrisons for some shopping, Kev also wanted to get some beer so he went with me. Once Kev had got the beer he went back to the boat and waited with Jaz for me to get back with the food shopping, I unpacked the shopping while Kev let go and we cruised until we were at bridge 172 and we pulled over and moored. The rest of this blog is just in photos as there isn't much to say about our journey so far, the weather is absolutely incredible. I will say that we are disappointed with the state of the Oxford canal as it is very over grown and due to the dry weather very shallow in some of the pounds towards Dukes cut.

Who Is this
Maffi at Lower Heyford
My maiden name!!

Kings lock, first lock on the Thames.
Moored opposite this!
We pulled over before Godstow bridge as we had something round the prop and we decided to stay here. I put a wash on and after it had finished and I had hung it up we had a walk over Godstow bridge to Lower Wolvercote and stopped for a beer at Jacobs Inn.