I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Shepperton – Dockett Eddy Lane (River Thames) Saturday 20th July


We didn’t wake up until 8.15am – very unusual for Richard who seems to have an internal alarm clock set for 7.45am!  Maybe he just forgot to set it last night.

We were heading for Shepperton for the start of a few days of catching up with old friends.  The only trouble was – would there be any mooring?  Down through Chertsey Lock, a top up of water and then on down the river.  Also down came the rain and when we stopped at Dockett Eddy moorings (plenty of room) it was super heavy!  Richard managed to get one stake in and then dive down below to sit it out.
  
What a large houseboat!
I needed to do some housework before we had visitors, but it was soon done – the joy of a 60 foot by 6 foot 6 inch living space!

Old friends Shirley and Barry came for lunch and we sat chatting all afternoon.  Shirley’s eldest, Matthew, is the same age as Victoria, so we have known each other for 35 years! 

No sooner had Shirley and Barry gone than another, even older friend (!) Phil came to pick us up and take us back to their house for dinner.  I’ve known Barbara for about 50 years (OMG that was scary as I worked it out!)  We worked together, met our husbands (or ex in my case) at work and then married in the same year.  We sat out in their garden and had a lovely lasagne (it really was lovely Barbara!!) and stayed outside until quite late.  Barbara very kindly drove us home.

A lovely day with old friends and more tomorrow 😊

I had a bit of a shock this morning.  I went to get the rope to go down Chertsey Lock and found a fish entangled in the rope round the T post.  It’s tail was flapping and I couldn’t understand how it had got there.  As I got closer I saw that it was rubber and had nasty barbs on it.  I guess it must have been some kind of fishing lure!
  



2.53 miles
1 lock

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Laleham (River Thames) Friday 19th July


We left our mooring in Windsor in the grey and thus is stayed all day   It wasn’t really raining at that stage but when it did start to rain, boy did it rain!  Richard was OK as he put the pram cover up but at each of the first three locks I had to go out at the front and get wet!

I had to take the obligatory photo of Windsor Castle and as I zoomed in, I could see the Queen was at home.
  



I also saw this motor cruiser covered in flowering plants – I don’t think I have ever seen this before.
  


As we approached Staines the rain just came down in stair rods – great as I needed to go shopping!  We moored up just after Staines bridge and had lunch.  Gradually the rain eased and when I left the boat it was only drizzling.  Sainsburys is just over the bridge on the Egham side so not too far at all.  Back at the boat I put the shopping away and got ready to do Penton Hook Lock – thank goodness the rain had stopped and I didn’t even need my coat on.  I took this photo from Staines Bridge.
  


We wanted to moor at Laleham and were a bit worried as time was getting on but in fact there were two spaces there and, as we aren’t greedy, we just took one!

That was it for the rest of the day as the rain started again.

While Victoria was on board, she cleaned my tiller pin family – she loves cleaning brass!  I’m not sure when they were last done!  They look wonderful now.  Thank you Toria.
  


10.18 miles
4 locks

Friday, 19 July 2019

Windsor (River Thames) Thursday 18th July


We woke up to rain – we really weren’t too sure what this wet stuff was, coming out of the sky!!

By the time we left Marlow the place was almost deserted!  Why are we always the last??? 

  


Past Bourne End and The Bounty – maybe we will go in there on the way back as we won’t be in a hurry.  Cookham Meadows was almost empty – I’m not sure where everyone is as the river is very quiet for July.  Cookham Lock and Boulters Lock.  Back in the day we (a work trip) used to go on Riverboat Shuffles from Windsor to Boulters Lock where we would all devour fish and chips then dance all the way back to Windsor.  They were fun – ah those were the days!! 

When we last came through Taplow in April 2017 Berkeley Homes were just starting to build a new, upmarket, riverside estate.  I took this photo of the first phase.
  


I was so amazed at how lovely it looks today that I forgot to take a photo, but I have “borrowed” one off the net.
  


We had hoped to moor at the moorings above Boveney Lock but that was full and all the wild moorings there were taken up with looked like continuous moorers.  So, it was down through the lock and there was a nice space on Bath Island which we grabbed! 

To set the scene for the next bit!  I have three family trees that I work on from time to time.  My paternal and maternal sides and Richard’s maternal side.  During the day I had a text message from an Arthur Lewis asking if the name Lewis appeared in my family tree.  My maternal great-grandmother was a Margaret Lewis.  He mentioned a date but when I looked at my Margaret the dates didn’t match.  However, Arthur came back and said that Margaret was the daughter of his great-grandfather!  Which, by my calculations makes us second cousins once removed!  Strangely though it turned out that Arthur and his wife, Ann, live in Taplow and we had gone through Taplow in the morning!  Arthur asked if he could come to Windsor and see us, which they did and it was very pleasant sitting out on the bank, drinking tea with a distant cousin!  I will try and do a bit more work on the trees now.


During the evening we saw a smallish motorboat towing two men in the water.  As they drew level with us the two men decided it was time to get back on the boat.  The first NAKED man got on quite easily but the second struggled and struggled and in the end they really had to manhandle him into the boat – I bet he will sore in the morning!



13.87 miles
5 locks

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Marlow (River Thames) Wednesday 17th July

Oh dear – another lazy morning!!  But whose counting!

Down through a busy Hambledon Lock – 5 boats.  First time this year we have had so many in a lock at one time.

We then came upon the Swan Upping.  We had seen it before but not on this scale!  There were so many lovely launches and old motor cruisers plus of course the rowing boats with the swan uppers in.  The river was chaotic – just to add to the chaos there were 3 swimmers swimming down the river too!  I saw something which surprised me though.  Two of the rowing boats had swans and cygnets in them which appeared to be sitting quite calmly!  There was a large posh trip boat with very well-dressed people onboard drinking champagne.  The rowing boats took the cygnets to the back of the trip boat and handed them in through the doors – I guess they were going to ringed in there.  I took this from a website called www.royal.uk

The annual census of the swan population on a particular stretch of the River Thames, Swan Upping has changed from a mostly ceremonial event to an important element of wildlife conservation. A flotilla of traditional Thames rowing skiffs, manned by Swan Uppers in scarlet rowing shirts and headed by The Queen’s Swan Marker, wearing a hat with a white swan’s feather, row their way steadily up the Thames.  ‘All up!’ they cry as a family of swans and cygnets is spotted, and the Swan Uppers carefully position their boats around the swans, lift them from the water and check their health.  The Swan Marker’s iconic five-day journey upriver has been an annual ceremony for hundreds of years, and today it has two clear goals; conservation and education.











These are a few photos of the lovely boats



Steam Launch Alaska

After the Swan Upping excitement, we settled down to Hurley and Temple Locks.  We pulled over at Marlow, in the only free space, for lunch.  We had planned on going to Cookham Meadows but, in the end, we stayed put.  My only expedition in Marlow was to the ice cream van in the park!

6.2 miles
3 locks

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Remenham Farm Moorings (River Thames) Tuesday 16th July


A lazy start to the morning after 3 not so lazy ones!

Down through Sonning Lock which has a lovely array of hollyhocks. 
  


We filled up with water at Shiplake Lock then down through the lock.  Shiplake Lock is so pretty with it’s lovely weeping willow.
  


Below the lock we saw the tug Churn towing a huge log – I’m glad we didn’t hit that!


The stretch of river between Shiplake and Marsh Locks has the most amazing houses – I sat in the cratch just watching them go by and wondering who on earth owns them!  I’m going to put the house photos at the end as there are quite a few.
  



The Royal Henley Regatta and its associated events are all over now and the marquees etc. are all being dismantled however the course is still there. 
  


 We’ve passed the mile mark.
  


Yeay – we’ve passed the winning post – we must have been fast as there is no sign of our fellow competitors!
  


We had debated on whether or not to stop in Henley but a) we didn’t need anything from the shops and b) I wanted to put washing out and didn’t really think Henley was the place to hand sheets on a rotary drier! 

We’ve stopped before at Remenham Farm Moorings which is just before Hambledon Lock so we decided to go on to there.  We found a nice tree and moored up underneath it.  It really is a beautiful spot.
  


Don’t forget to look at the house photos below!

8.16 miles
3 locks






A "Grand Designs" house



Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Above Sonning Lock (River Thames) Monday 15th July


Today our guests were going home.  I have loved having them here and they seem to have enjoyed themselves.  James has even said that he would like to come back for a weekend before the summer is out 😊
  


We just had Mapledurham Lock to do before we got into Caversham where we hoped we would find a space to drop Victoria and James off.  In fact Christchurch Fields was practically empty!  I think we were just lucky with the time we arrived.  We said our goodbyes and they went on their way to the station to go to Oxford to pick up the car before going home.

The Tesco moorings had lots of room too so we pulled in there so I could do some shopping.  While I was there, I showed the pharmacist my leg and she took one look at it and said that it was infected, and I needed to go to my GP. 
  


Back at Mary H we had some lunch and phoned the Walk in Centre who told me to get there about 2pm.  I walked back to Tesco so I could get a taxi into town.  I only had to wait about 5 minutes for my taxi and had a lovely driver who chatted to me all the way.  It cost me £7 which I didn’t think was bad.  The driver told me how to find the Walk in Centre which is on the first floor of Broad Street Mall.  I arrived at the check-in desk about 1.58pm and at 2pm they opened up and I was given the number 65.  I sat down ready for a long wait however the first number to be called was 57 which was hopeful.  The numbers called were a bit erratic but I was about the 5th to be called. Consulting Room 1, but where on earth was it???  Down through a rabbit warren of corridors and rooms and I eventually found number 1 at the furthest point!  I saw a lovely young doctor who said that it looked as if I have had a nasty reaction to either a horse fly or a spider bite.  I mentioned cellulitis and he said that it isn’t but just in case it should develop he told me how to spot it and gave me some anti-biotics to be on the safe side.  Back outside I called another taxi which arrived in about 12 minutes and headed back to Tesco.  This driver was not chatty at all.  Back at Mary H Richard had put the shopping away, hoovered, taken the dog for a walk and was sitting drinking a cup of tea! The whole escapade had taken less than 2 hours – amazing!  Thank you Reading 😊



We set off up river first to go to Better Boating for diesel then turned down river.  We found a nice mooring just above Sonning Lock and sat out on the tow path drinking tea and reading.

8.61 miles
2 locks

Monday, 15 July 2019

Pangbourne Meadows (River Thames) Sunday 14th July


I am going to mention my night’s sleep as I was really worried about my bites but I took one drowsy antihistamine about 7pm and another about 10pm – I slept like a log!  However, the bites look just as bad today and still very hot and hard.

We have a system in the mornings when we have guests onboard.  Richard and I get up first and use the bathroom then we tidy away the guest’s bed while they use the bathroom and our cabin.  It works really well.  James made bacon sandwiches for breakfast – I haven’t had one of those for a long time and yummy it was too!


We had bonding sessions this morning!  Richard and James up on deck – James has been learning how to steer and I think he is a natural.  Meanwhile Victoria and I were down below chatting. 
  


We stopped for lunch at Beale Park then set off again for Pangbourne Meadows.  The only place left was in the trees, but we got in and can get off the boat.
  


We had another catering disaster today.  I had planned on doing a chilli so started cooking it after lunch.  I got the mushrooms and onions in the pan and cooking then went to the fridge to get the mince only there wasn’t any mince!  It had been on my shopping list and when I checked it at the end of my shop, I didn’t notice that I hadn’t picked any mince up.  Fortunately, there was chicken in the freezer so that came out and defrosting was started in the microwave then left to thaw naturally.  Later Victoria cooked a lovely dish with the chicken.

I sat on the river bank and caught up on some blog reading and also decided to call 111 as my leg was looking even angrier.  I had had a couple of comments on Facebook about it as it looked a bit like cellulitis.  111 decided that I needed to talk with the out of hours doctor service and said that I would get a call back within 12 hours.  Needless to say when I went to bed at 10pm they hadn’t called back.  (Update – they called at 6.30am but the phone was on silent but all they said was put antihistamine cream on and go and see my GP.)  This is a new photo of my leg as it shows how much redder it has become.



We wanted to watch the first episode of Poldark but couldn’t get BBC1 – well the aerial was up in the trees!  We had to settle for Drummond House which we had been watching anyway.

7.75 miles
3 locks