We left our mooring and headed to Shepperton Lock where Richard emptied the loo and rubbish and we met up with Richard’s step daughter, Fay, and her daughter Brooke. We went down through the lock and downstream to The Weir pub at Sunbury where we were lucky enough to be able to moor outside and sit on their terrace and have lunch. It had been a hot morning but it got a bit chilly at lunchtime. We couldn’t turn round at that point on the river as we were in the lock channel and it’s a bit narrow so we had to go down to the lock, sit in the queue and then turn round right in front of the lock. (Canal boater readers will notice that I’m not using the term “wind” as I’m not sure you wind on a river like the Thames!!) It was then back to Shepperton mainly with 7 year old Brooke at the helm (with Grandpa watching over her!) – she is very good indeed and managed to keep the boat on a straight course though she needed to stand on a box to see where she was going!
On our way up Duke’s Cut we came across some boys jumping off a bridge into the river. We were rather worried that one would jump and land on the boat so Richard gave a long hoot on the horn which, thank goodness, they acknowledged. I managed to get a photo – albeit not a very good one) as one jumped.
Back at Shepperton it was manic with just about every type of boat you could think of milling around below the lock. The moorings on the Weybridge side were all full so we went back and moored on the wall just outside the Weybridge Sailing Club. However there was a rowing boat with four ladies and a male cox/trainer in our way. We waited for ages while he instructed the crew what to do and in the end I shouted across that we wanted to moor. Now he was either deaf or just didn’t want to hear us (!) but two of the ladies did told him but still he ignored us. By this time I was getting stressed out with everything that was going on (that is not a good thing!). Richard began to move behind the rowing boat just as he decided to move off – there was a screeching of brakes from Mary H while they leisurely rowed a few strokes out of original way. (By this stage I was even more stressed). We moored up with Muffin whining away as he wanted to be ashore with Richard and I and in the end I burst and yelled at the dog – poor Muffin!! I did apologise to him later but I don’t think he understood :-)
Fay and Brooke caught the ferry back to their car while Richard and I sorted out the boat and then we too caught the ferry over to where our car has been parked at Nauticalia. We were off to another of Richard’s step grandchildren’s birthday party. (Richard has three step daughters and 4½ step grandchildren.) It was lovely to see everyone and all the children playing happily in the paddling pool. Richard and I lead a quiet life so a 7 year old, 6 year old, 2½ year and an almost 2 year old are pretty tiring!! Next thing there will be a baby too – but hey I love babies so just put me in a corner with the baby to cuddle and I’ll be happy! It's just been pointed out to me by Richard's son, Tim, that Richard has in fact got 5½ grandchildren as Tim has a son Jack! Ooops I'm sorry Tim xx
We got back to that boat about 7pm and collapsed into heaps!