I was woken up at 1am by pecking on the hull. We haven’t had that for ages but I guess with the boat having been left for over two months at Constables there must be some rich pickings down there! I gave up after a while, got up and went to have stern words. I opened the side hatch and found it wasn’t ducks but two swans – I politely asked them to stop and go bother another boat. They did! Ducks aren’t nearly as agreeable to stop their pecking.
We didn’t wake up until gone 8am – which is late for us. We were lying in bed when I got a Viber message to say we were leaving at 9.30am – it was 8.55am! It’s amazing how quickly you can get ready when you try and we were just letting the ropes go as Ferndale came past – phew!
I did a tidy up and then the ironing before we got to Mapledurham Lock. There is something about the name Mapledurham which I just love. This will be one place which we will visit on our return trip. Apparently because of its picturesque situation, and lack of through traffic, Mapledurham has been used as a set for several films, including the The Eagle Has Landed. There is also the 12th Century Mapledurham House and a watermill.
Whitchurch Lock was manned by two very pleasant lockies – such a change to the other day!
Our goal today was Beale Park. We moored up behind Festina Lente (from now on known as FL) and Ferndale in a very awkward place with the bow tied to a tree and, what looked like, giant hogweed invading the cratch. We had lunch and decided to move down about 200 yards to a much nicer place. Diane, Sue and Andy walked to the National Trust property, Basildon House, while Ray worked. Ray isn’t retired yet and works from the boat for an Australian company. He is an early riser so gets in a few hours before Diane is awake and then completes his day once they are moored up. Ray did offer to look after Muffin if we wanted to go to the house but we just know that Muffin, as much as loves Ray, would only whine and disturb him.
I took the opportunity to catch up on the mail that Richard had brought back last Monday. Fortunately there was nothing urgent! Richard adapted a drawer under the bed for my sleep machine. I have sleep apnoea and every night and morning for the last five years I have had to move the machine on and off the floor – its jolly heavy to lift first thing in the morning and each year it seems heavier! It will now just have to be pulled out at night and pushed away in the morning. At home it stays beside the bed all the time. This is going to revolutionise my life!