Perfect Harmony

Perfect Harmony
Moored at Huntingdon

Monday, 31 July 2017

Monday 31st July '17

Got off to a good start today. Last night there was some sort of 'do' over behind us somewhere, which required someone to speak, very animatedly, almost constantly for a couple of hours. John could see snatches of lights and people through the hedge in the distance but we couldn't make out what it was. Luckily about 10.00 o'clock it all ended so that was OK.

This morning we were awoken by ravenous ducks, nibbling away at the weeds on the bottom of the boat. They were extremely noisy about it, it sounded like someone pulling a heavy trolley over a boardwalk.

We got through six locks and then arrived at Berkhamsted and moored up. Quite a usual occurrence but this one was a bit different because somehow I slipped whilst jumping from bank to bow and fell in. I went right under backwards, which is one of my nightmares.... I HATE water, and going under is not something I can do at any time, even in the shower!

I knew what was happening as soon as I missed my footing but surprisingly the main thoughts I had were to keep my shoes on (they were flip-flops) and to keep my eyes shut (contact lens). Once upright I shouted for John but it took a while for him to respond and then he tried to pull me out, but that was never going to happen, and I told him to get the ladder. We'd bought this after my first fall in years ago, and apart from John using it to get in and out of the Thames, we've not used it. I can say here and now that EVERY boat should have one. It was brilliant.

I got straight in and had a hot shower and changed into dry clothes, while John finished the mooring process and then we went to the pub just up by the lock and I had a large rum and coke. Coke is supposed to kill any nasty germs you may swallow and the rum was to take away the taste of the coke (I hate the stuff).

Here is the bow, nicely moored, but there's quite a step up to the boat and I think I just couldn't have got high enough. I was really lucky not to bash my head on the stone edge. Of course because it was in a pound and by moorings, the sides were sheer and the stone was far too slippery to get a grip. I've been out and bought some plimsoll type shoes to wear on board in the future. The idea of bare feet on the bottom is just too much for me to handle.

After lunch we went to have a walk around the castle remains. It was huge in it's day and was built in the aftermath of 1066 as a defence from the north for London which is apparently 30 miles away.

We walked around the bank that was between the two moats, and this is towards the inner bailey with the motte on the inside of the moat.

The motte from the inner bailey. At one time in its history the castle belonged to Thomas Beckett until he fell out with Henry II when it was taken away again. Henry III bestowed it on his brother who seems to have done a lot of diplomacy on his behalf. I would imagine it was needed.

For some reason I put Paddy's short lead on him instead of his long one. It didn't stop him rolling on the ground every few minutes! John is dragging him along here, which sounds awful but Paddy doesn't seem to mind too much as he often puts himself in that position. Daft dog.

We'd been planning to move on once we'd seen the castle but to be honest I'm still a bit shaken, so we're going to stay put and move on tomorrow. John's calculated that as long as we do about four hours a day we'll be back in three weeks, so that's not a bad average.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sunday 30th July '17

Awful night... it rained so heavily and there was a Church bell ringing the hour.and I heard almost all of them. The rain had stopped by the time we were up and ready to move so we set off in jeans and sweaters, not trusting the bit of blue in the sky.

Another old and new photo, well newish! as we are approaching the lock on our left in front of us to our right is a glimpse of the M25. Just a bit further east of here is the M1 turning.You can see the sky looking undecided here.

They were doing some work on the M25 bridge and the amount of scaffolding that was used was astronomic. Enough for several estates of houses at least! We commented on how we'd travelled that stretch of motorway so often and never considered that we were crossing the canal. It's strange but neither of us remember anything about this canal, and it was only a few years ago. Some journeys stay with you but this one seems to have been wiped from both our memories. John checked his log book and we got from Cassiobury Park up to Braunston in seven days. It's taken us a couple of days so far and we're still a long way away. Maybe that's why we can't remember it!

We got through quite a few locks and then were joined by a family travelling up to Berkhamsted to drop off a grandson who was only there over the weekend, so we shared a couple of locks. Then we stopped for water and rubbish disposal and they headed off as they had a long day ahead and we weren't going that far. By that time we'd discarded the jumpers and both changed into shorts.
As we left the waterpoint, it was looking a bit dodgy but we are British so that didn't stop us!

Then it poured, the heavens opened on us so we quickly got through the lock we were in and found a mooring luckily just along the tow-path. John did the mooring while I got the pram cover up. We were both dripping by the time we got in the boat. So we had a shower, got warm and dry and had a cuppa.

The rain didn't last that long and after a bit we decided to go on a bit longer, as we're not getting very far at the moment. We headed off again but of course found all the locks against us as no-one was coming down and the others had gone up ahead of us.

The first road-bridge we've had to deal with since the K&A! It was right in between two locks so John legged it.

Just after the road was closed and the bridge started moving some bikers turned up, revving furiously. I enjoyed the power! a little old lady on a narrowboat and three motorbikes having to wait for me! I loved it! We did one more lock after this and then moored as we'd had enough for the day. 6 miles, 12 locks one bridge and 5 hours to do it all. Not a bad total really. Tomorrow John has spotted a castle near the canal at Berkhamsted so we're going to stop and explore. Whether we go on further after that is dependant on this miserable July weather, I hope August is better.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Saturday 29th July '17

I'm sat here with the rain pouring down outside, as it's been doing non-stop since about 3.30 just after I said, "it doesn't seem too bad out there, maybe we ought to do another hour or two." Apparently I'm not much good at weather forecasting!

On the bright side I managed to sort out the formatting problem (on my own!) and submitted the revised version of the book and it's now all good to go, so I've ordered another proof copy to check and then hopefully we're off and I can start writing book 3!

We got away OK this morning after a good nights sleep despite something having bit me on my arm and knuckle, and they're driving me mad!!!

Although we only travelled a few miles today we did seven locks and at least two of them had the top gates open with the wind and so required shutting before John could empty them. When they are double locks there's a lot of walking involved.

The water level has been quite low and I don't know if this is because or despite the fact that we were going from river to canal with almost every lock. One lock asked you to leave the bottom paddle open so they obviously usually want more water to be coming down. It seemed to be quite a few inches below what it ought to be.

OK so what is strange about this picture? No? How about it I say that the lock was full? Exactly... no leaks! It had new gates fitted and they didn't leak a drop. I was so impressed. It takes very little to make me happy, on the whole.

The Grove Bridge,a  rather attractive one that belonged to an estate and the landowner wanted it to be ornate, rather than purely functional. You get these occasionally and they are always a nice surprise to come across.

My rant today (I'm trying not to make a habit of it but it seems to be happening more frequently - I'm becoming a grumpy old woman) was these fishermen, who had taken up residence on the mooring intended for lock use. I was left having to hold the boat. At least I tried to but because of the angle of the lock, the water coming out as it was emptying suddenly caught the bow and there was nothing I could do. Luckily I was able to jump on the back and do some hasty, and rather noisy, manoeuvring to get it back to the right place. They totally ignored all of this, so I had a good shout at them, telling them that they were on the lock mooring and shouldn't be there if a boat needed it. One calmly told me I ought to have used the other bollard, which was impossible because there wasn't enough room between it and the boat moored behind it. They were eastern European and I hate to say it, but we've found the attitude of most of them along the waterways totally unfriendly. The ones we've seen tend to leave their rubbish where it falls and they don't have any idea about boats or what the tow paths are actually there for. They appear to think that they have a God given right to fish where they want and not consider anyone else. I sincerely hope they are not representative of  the rest of their countrymen over here. Rant over.

Once I got in the lock we were inundated with a group who were on one of two community boats who make the canals accessible to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to do so. They were all desperate to help and John is on the far side explaining how to raise the paddles and when to do it. The ones on this side were determined to open the gates and it took a lot of me yelling "Not yet!" and John saying much the same thing to get them to wait for him to be on the right side to get back on the boat. It was good timing actually as the second boat wasn't yet in the other lock so John was able to run up and we went up for them to come down, we definitely didn't want to waste water on this stretch especially.

We were watching the weather carefully as it had forecast heavy rain for later and sure enough, it started to rain gently so we found a mooring and pulled in. I discovered that we're only a couple of miles away from the Warner Brothers Studio and the whole Harry Potter experience. I would SO love to go but obviously you can't just turn up so I'll sleep tonight knowing it's just over the hill from us! The rain didn't come to much at the time and I took Paddy for a walk. By the time we got back it had started again and it had just got worse and worse ever since. It's supposed to be better tomorrow so we shall hopefully get some miles done. The M25 is just around the corner and the M1 junction, so by car it's about 2 1/2 hours home. We'll be lucky to do it in 2 1/2 weeks! That's boating!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday 28th July '17

Wednesday - Darren visited us but Michelle was caught up with work. We had a nice meal (well I cooked it so it would be wouldn't it?) and a good chat and I got my proof copy of my book! Can't wait to check it for mistakes.

Thursday we moved on. The weather was very changeable and we had some lovely sunshine but also some showers.

While I was getting the cover down I spotted a mayfly just emerged from it's old casing! I put it carefully onto some nearby shrubs and it flew off happily.

This is called Denham Deep Lock! DEEP! I think not. At 11ft 1in it might be deep around here but once you've done Bath Deep Lock very few seem that deep any more. Mind you someone put a photo of a lock in Ireland on Facebook and it was over 130ft deep. Now THAT deserves the title I'm thinking.

A bit of a political hot potato but when has that ever stopped me? We saw a couple of these signs and then we looked around to see where it would actually be going....

....this beautiful stretch of water would be presumably bridged over with high speed trains shooting over at all times of the day and night. I'm against the project, can't see that anyone's going to benefit apart from the big money guys. I know there must be some out there who want it but not many in the areas it's going through and not many in our home area that it's supposed to be helping, because it's just not in the right place. Rant over.

There's a bit of a thing going on at the marina this summer about crocs, so i couldn't resist taking this picture of a large crocodile near a lock! For those of a nervous disposition, I'm fairly sure it wasn't real!

Last night we moored a bit south of Rickmansworth and this morning we stopped there for shopping at Tesco's where you can actually moor right outside, absolutely brilliant. Then we stopped at the service point for water, elsan and rubbish disposal. Well we got the water and the elsan OK but I got the rubbish and read the sign that said there was no rubbish disposal point there and we had to go out onto the road, cross the bridge, go past Travis Perkins then cross again and the disposal point was on the left. Well it started out OK. I was finding the rubbish getting heavier as I got around to Travis Perkins and by that time I was losing the will to live. I spotted a guy there and asked where should I put the rubbish. He told me to go across the road and I'd see the disposal over there. Well I crossed said road (busy I might add) and continued up the road a bit. This was a big cross roads and there were railings so you had to go the long way around. The rubbish by this time was getting quite heavy. I couldn't believe I was going right when I spotted the municipal rubbish and recycling yard opposite. So I had to heave the bag across the dual carriageway and then get through the non-pedestrian friendly entrance until I found myself in a large recycling yard (used to be called a tip). I asked a big strong man what I should do with the rubbish (which by now was weighing me down significantly) and he pointed up a set of steps and told me to put it up there. So I hauled it up the steps and then had to get it high enough to throw in the wretched bin. Then I had to walk back, feeling much lighter but determined that I would NOT be using that particular rubbish disposal EVER AGAIN.

As we were setting off today, I spotted a duck on a paddle board that was tethered to the  mooring of the house opposite. I just thought it was funny.

We've got up to Cassiobury Park at Watford, so now we are at the last place that we can be reached by London Underground! Tomorrow we'll really be out in the country!

We have peacocks nearby and on a walk just now John spotted flamingos through a fence. I took some photos on my camera but it's still not talking to the computer so unless you're a Facebook friend you'll have to take my word for it. Maybe I'll stick it on Instagram.

I now need to use the computer to get the formatting correct on the book. I spent yesterday evening getting the typo's etc sorted and thought I'd got the page numbers done, but apparently there's still a hitch so I need to go back and try to work it out. Where's Jason when I need him?

I just had a nasty incident on the way back from the walk. A chap with a VERY large German Shepherd walking off a lead came towards me so I pulled Paddy in on a short lead and said, as I always do, "He's not good with big dogs." The guy blanked me so I repeated myself. He still didn't look at me but said. "Carn't 'ear yer anyway." He was wearing headphones so I shouted, "Well maybe you ought to bloody listen then with a big dog on the loose." Total waste of time but I loosed Paddy's lead and he snapped at the poor dog anyway, the guy had walked past and didn't even notice. GRRRR

It's meant to be wet tomorrow so not sure if we'll get very far. We're making slow progress mainly because of the number of moored boats along the whole stretch. Never mind, we're not in it for the speed.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Tuesday 25th July '17

This is probably the longest gap I've left in the blog when we've been out, but it's taken until now for me to have the energy to do anything!

To continue from where I left off...

Wednesday 19th - we were both really disappointed with the American in Paris. There was a lot of modern dance in it which is not something either of us likes that much. The music by Gershwin was wonderful but the whole thing lacked pace and dialogue for us. Never mind at least we gave it a try.

Thursday 20th. - I went down to visit my mum after going to Battersea for a Slimming World group. I was very down hearted as I'd put on half a pound, I'd so hoped to have lost one but there you go, another week of trying hard I guess. Mum was fine, in quite good spirits actually and I was pleased to have a much shorter journey to see her.
While I was there, John went to the National Gallery. We both used buses and we're really getting into it now. We've spent practically nothing on our Oyster cards which is nice for the next visit when we're likely to be using the underground if visiting a hotel.
In the evening we went to an Angus Steak House as it was handy and I really fancied a steak. Nice meal, a bit pricey as you pay for all the sides, but as I wasn't having fries that wasn't too bad. I had a dessert, just to cheer myself up after the weight loss, not the right thing to do but I'd been so good that I felt a small blow out was appropriate.

Friday 21st. - We'd toyed with the idea of going to Borough Market but in the end we just stayed in and had a quiet day then went to the Albert Hall in the evening to listen to Beethoven's Fidelio. I didn't know the story at all and it was sung in German but the music was wonderful and the singers were mostly excellent, a couple were a bit quiet, but overall it was magical and now we can say we've been to the Proms. Unfortunately it was raining when we got out and John hadn't considered that Hyde Park would be shut so we had quite a long walk in the rain getting around to Lancaster Gate where we caught our bus back. Naturally we didn't have a brolly or coats with us so we were quite wet.

Saturday 22nd. - again we had quite a quiet day as the weather wasn't great and we got tickets at the last minute for Half a Sixpence that evening. We enjoyed the show a lot, good music, excellent cast and a nice feel-good atmosphere to it all, quite a small theatre, the Noel Coward, but just right for the production. We got excellent seats so it was a good end to a thoroughly fantastic and tiring week.

Sunday 23rd.

The view from our mooring.

The mooring at Rembrant Gardens

The gardens themselves

Thick layer of duckweed that caught under the bridge through to Paddington Basin.

The Basin, our daily walk through here to the bus stop to catch the 23 bus into town.

Little Venice

Sunday 23th. We left our home (as it felt) and went over to the facilities block to get the boat ready to cruise again. There we discovered that I'd left the hose adaptor on the tap when we'd last visited and so we now didn't have any way of connecting the hose to the tap. John insisted that there were at least 2 spares and while he was hunting them, I borrowed one off another boater and got on with filling up. John couldn't find either of the spares and another boater I'd been chatting to gave me a spare one that they had handy, for next time.
I immediately started doing the washing as we'd not done any all week.
We moored as the weather got a bit dismal again and so the washing remained wet.
I was so tired that I didn't stay up to watch Poldark but went to bed before 9 and slept through nearly 12 hours!

Monday 24th. We headed off again and I put the sheets in for a good hot wash so we stopped at Greenford to top the water up. Unfortunately the adaptor we'd been given didn't fit properly so John had to hold it in place to get enough in the tank for our needs.

You do see some strange craft on the waterways!

We've seen quite a few of these on our way. Floating gardens seem to be the way to go, if you want a garden that it, and I most certainly don't. One of the best things about boating is NOT having a garden.
We moored back at Bulls Bridge and I topped up the groceries. There was a group of kids hanging around the boat as we went to bed, but Paddy started barking and I heard someone say something about a dog and they all went away. Good old Paddy! I didn't manage to sleep well though despite everything being quiet from then on.

Tuesday 25th
We had another go at filling the water tank before we left. John had taped it together somehow and although he hunted every nook and cranny that he could, he can't find either of the spares. We're hoping to get a replacement en route. (probably two!)

We saw this and thought that we probably wouldn't be welcome to moor there! Nice bollards, shame about the fence! Reminded me of the pikes set at 45% to ward off oncoming foes in the Civil War!

One of the things that has upset us most about this trip has been the indiscriminate way that rubbish is just discarded, waiting for someone else to remove. This is by no means the worst of it. We have seen people sitting in the midst of places like this, having their lunch and calmly adding to the piles. In some places we have seen bins overflowing with rubbish and bags stacked up around them, so it's not all the public's fault. No-one seems to take responsibility for themselves now. I don't see why, it they've managed to carry the bags, cans, packets or bottles there when they are full (and heavy), it is so difficult to carry them back home to dispose of when they are empty (and light). There was a horrific story on the news last night about the enormous rats videoed scurrying around the pavements in Harrow. We've seen a rat on the towpath and it's no wonder when people continue to throw bread around for ducks, despite notices saying it kills them. I have no idea what the answer is apart from educating people to respect themselves and their surroundings.

Here is a coot family utilising some floating junk and making its own little home - reminded John of Wembley Stadium!

This made us look twice - two vans flying over a bridge. They were on the top of a car transporter and as we came closer they were slowly being lowered in preparation for coming off. It did look a bit strange at first though!

We came past the Watersedge pub today, which is where our lovely friends Darren and Michelle had their wedding reception in May last year. It was a lovely day and it was appropriate to take the picture as we are moored in Uxbridge now, waiting to see them tomorrow. We couldn't moor where we'd hoped to but are just a mile or so up the canal. We came through our first lock since Brentford today but were spoilt because there were three volunteer lock-keepers so we just stayed on board and went through it like a Thames lock, me holding onto the front rope and John at the back. We'll be back to reality on Thursday when we start heading northwards in earnest, must remind myself what we normally do!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wednesday 19th July '17

Happy Birthday Tom!
Just a quick update on our stay at Little Venice so far.
No pictures as my phone doesn't want to talk to the computer today and I haven't taken my camera out.
Sunday - arrived and found that we couldn't get a pump-out token until the next day so we topped the water up and got into our mooring. Very happy to be here, it's in a lovely situation and we had a quick reconnoitre around the basin. John had discovered a ghost walk that evening and we found John and Pam moored at the end of the basin so told them about it. We all went and had a good wander around the City of London. In case you didn't know everything shuts there in the evening by 7.00pm at least on a Sunday. We actually looked at some of the pub opening hours and many only opened at lunchtimes. Thousands might work there but very few live in the mile.

Monday - we went to Leicester Square to see what shows were available using the bus to see where it would take us, and booked for 42nd Street that evening. We had a good look around and went to Zizzi's for lunch on the Strand. We wandered along the South Bank to check to see if there was any chance of a seat at the Globe but there wasn't so we came back, had a quick tea, walked Paddy and went back into town for the show. It was brilliant, we'd both highly recommend it. The costumes and production were exceptional. We got home totally exhausted and ready for bed.

Tuesday - we thought we'd have a quieter day so walked along the canal with Paddy to Camden Lock. It actually took us over an hour to get there and it was baking hot. We tried to stay in the shade as much as possible and we were glad to get back. We had a late lunch and I decided to return to Oxford Street for a look around the shops, John came along as well but he took himself off to the National Portrait Gallery instead. I managed to buy John some new sandals but didn't get what I'd wanted for myself. We had a quiet night with a couple of DVD's (good old Big Bang Theory).

There was a big thunder storm that night so I ended up spending quite a bit of it up with Paddy as he was really unhappy.

Wednesday - we went off on the bus again, me back to try again and John to take his camera to the places we went on the ghost walk so he could get some pictures. He took a few then his camera went flat - we're not doing well for pictures are we? I however managed to get myself some tops in the M&S sale and some Sketchers sandals, so that was a success. We popped around to the station to see the Paddington Bear shop and get some bits for the little ones.
Tonight we're off to see American in Paris. Really looking forward to it as the guys on the boat alongside us went the other night and said it was fabulous, far better than they'd expected.

That's pretty much it for now, I've walked over 20,000 steps each day we've been here so far and tomorrow I go to Slimming World before visiting my mum, so if I haven't lost weight I shall be very unhappy!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Saturday 15th July '17

Well we are well on our way to Little Venice now, tomorrow we can moor there after 1.00. We're both very excited and have managed to book tickets for the Proms on Friday night. There's a Ghost Walk we might do on Sunday evening. I'm planning on popping down to visit my mum on Thursday and so that leaves four days to find shows, walks and other things we fancy doing with our time.

We left Teddington at the head of a queue of two. Last time we did it there was quite a convoy and we just followed the boats in front. I hadn't realised how comforting that was. Suddenly we were out there with the tide just on the turn, carrying us at a speed formerly unknown to narrowboats (so it seemed) and I had no idea where we were. John was as cool as a cucumber as normal and I was a quivering heap.

There were moments of humour though, the high tide covered the tow path in some places and we'd watched this cyclist get slowly deeper and deeper until he finally came off and pushed his bike through.

Further laughs were had as this van got around the corner ......

....causing a wave to soak customers in the pub garden! There were lots of yells and shouting going on at this point.

A pedestrian wondering what the options were.

The smile was quickly wiped off my face when I realised we'd gone past Richmond Lock, not THROUGH it, past it. Where was the weir? What had we done? Were the couple gaily following us heading for disaster in our wake? John said it was OK and we must have done it last time but not realised it. Too true I hadn't realised it. My heart and stomach were now stuck somewhere in my gullet and was starting to gibber, regretting not putting my life-jacket on and wondering if I hung onto Paddy, his would hold me up as well.

Then we were out in the country, no landmarks to be seen.... where was the turning? Had we missed it? were we heading for the ocean? Not that I panic or anything.... well not much. John explained that there was a small marina then a block of flats that went around the corner and we had to turn there. So at that point I got the camera, with the zoom lens pointed constantly at the shore, willing something to come into view. Suddenly there it was, we turned in with the tide pushing us down the river and the wind pushing us around the corner, and there we were.

Even when you've found it the actual entrance isn't that obvious, but it's hard around to the left, avoiding sandbanks!

I checked that the boat behind was still with us once I knew we were almost off the Thames and were in all likelihood going to live.

Never was I more pleased to see a lock sign. We'd been more or less decided not to do the Tidal Thames through Limehouse and this convinced me, wild water is not for me. Call me a wuss, call me what you like but I know my limits and this was it.

The couple behind us were John and Pam and we both decided to moor directly inside the lock that night as moorings were uncertain above there and we'd all had enough. The mooring was very high and we struggled a bit with ropes but eventually got sorted out.
The next morning John told us that he'd got up in the night to check our ropes as the tide had come in at about five and we were several feet higher. I'm glad I didn't know about that beforehand. Apparently all was well with the ropes, given the length we'd had to tie them, but he was a star for checking them. Apparently the lock floods at very high tides, thanks for telling us!

In the morning we filled with water, did the elsan and rubbish and came up the eleven locks as a pair of boats. It all worked really well, with my John closing gates etc after we'd got out and the other John going on to open up the next one. We got up in good time and managed to moor at Tesco at Bulls Bridge.

This was useful on two counts, first I was able to stock up well again with the heavy stuff and secondly Darren, good man that he is, was able to bring us our post, that Sarah had sent down from the marina. We are blessed with our friends. I'd also ordered a few bits and pieces to go to Darren and Michelle's house so it was like Christmas!

We turned onto the Regents arm yesterday morning and moored at Greenford. We're staying here until tomorrow morning when we head off for our week's mooring!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Wednesday 12th July '17

Sorry for quiet couple of days, but I've got some time to kill now so thought I'd catch up. Monday was a scorcher of a day and we found a lovely mooring at Lower Shepperton. It was the quietest mooring we've had I think with a nice patch of grass and other boats but no path next to us so no-one going past. There was a walk through the woods which was nice and cool for Paddy and generally life felt good.

John mentioned when we moored that there was a naked man sunbathing a few boats back, but I didn't look as ... to be honest.... what's to see? at one point in the afternoon - yes, we'd left really early and moored before lunchtime! - some police turned up and after that naked man and his boat disappeared. John told me all this because I was cooking a roast. Well we hadn't had one yesterday and we do like a roast.

For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the place, no idea why as the little village was rather nice, another time. We'd definitely try to moor there again.

We left after a good nights sleep, rain had been forecast but hadn't come and the day was warm again but a wind had sprung up and the cloud was a bit heavier than lately.

We didn't have far to go as we wanted to get to Kingston because I'd found a Slimming World meeting in Surbiton that I could get to from there. The sky became darker as we travelled on, a real change from the Mediterranean blue that we've got used to.

We went into Molesey lock, which is huge, and we were the only boat in it. I always feel slightly guilty when these huge locks work just for us.

As the lock opened a boat was waiting to come in, poking its bow around the corner.

'Twas the Gloriana, in all her beauty. We saw her last time we were on the Thames, just coming into a lock after us. Not sure which lock, I'd have to look back but she really is a beautiful sight. Not sure what they use her for now but she obviously keeps busy.

We got into a mooring at Kingston, right next to John Lewis, and a nastier, more grubby mooring I wouldn't wish to meet. We wouldn't leave the boat at the same time so I popped out, had my hair cut (good old Toni and Guy's) bought some salad and yogurts and got back. John found that there was a park just down from us so I walked Paddy around it then John went out to stretch his legs. I was told at the hairdressers that I could catch a bus to Surbiton so John researched it for me (what did we do before Google?) and I caught one there and back. Sadly I'd only lost half a pound so still have a pound to go before I hit target, but as John keeps telling me I'm going in the right direction all the time.

We were going to move on when I got home but it was so wet and the kids had dispersed so we stayed. Apart from the strong smell of marijuana coming from the multi-storey car park next to us, it wasn't too bad. There was one round of dog barking and shouting at some point late at night but other than that we survived the experience. 

There's the spot, there was takeaway rubbish all over the place and cans and bottles. John Lewis clean the higher section but no-one takes responsibility for this. I swear that if John had his picker and bag from the marina he'd have done it himself!

Today the rain had stopped but it was cold and windy so we travelled quickly down to Teddington Lock to discover that the tide wouldn't be right for us to go through until 5.40 tonight so we won't be moving at all today. It started raining again so all the covers are back up and we're off to explore Teddington shortly. It's just as well that we hadn't planned to be anywhere tonight as Brentford it's going to be!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Sunday 9th July '17

A fairly short and hopefully sweet one today as it's been that sort of a day.

John didn't sleep well and I was awake early so we got up and were on the move by 8.45. Our little friends had disappeared in the night but not before they'd had a fire and presumably cooked whatever they caught.

We went past Windsor Castle and this is the view from downstream across the park. It's got the most brilliant moorings along this length but you're not allowed to moor.

They really REALLY don't want you to moor there.

There is a bridge at the  beginning of the restricted area and this is the crest shown on it. It's called Victoria Bridge.

This is the decoration on the other bridge and guess what it's called??? No prizes if you said Albert Bridge (what else COULD you have said) (REALLY???)

We are very much under the flight path for Heathrow along this stretch....

Is it a it a plane....... One of each actually. Both in plentiful supply. I do like my red kites!!

We are now moored near Runnymede, outside the Bells of Ouzeley. It's a Harvester but we had a nice lunch in there as I just didn't feel like cooking today. I've got the food so it will be a roast tomorrow I expect but for some unknown reason I'm suffering with hay-fever. I've never had it at this time of year before but I'm putting it down to the trees that we were moored under last night. 

We are planning to get to Shepperton tomorrow and Kingston the next day so that we can come off the Thames at Brentford on Wednesday. We seldom, if ever, have a plan but now we do. We shall see how it pans out!