Saturday, 7 June 2014

Basildon, where Bond came from.

We really didn’t want to miss Waterlily’s leaving, Pauline had told us they were off early and would not start their engines to disturb us.  But I wanted to bid them ‘Adieu’.  No problem to us, I simply tell David to wake early and he does as if by magic.  
He did.
We were already awake when we felt the boats ever so slightly move. Up dressed and drinking tea when presently their heads appeared above the back of the boat.  We popped up at our side hatch somewhat like The Flowerpot Men.  
They both were togged up in full wet weather gear.  David was curious when Pauline said she had her waterproof pants on, he asked me later.  But they are from the North and meant trousers (Well I hope so any rate).  
Bye for now.. 
David ran around to lend a hand with their first lock of the day
 With a cheery wave they were gone, in the rain.

So what to do with ourselves today then?  Times like this to have a car nearby is a bit brill.  We had a late breakfast, got our own wet weather gear on and walked to the car for a day out. To Basildon.
BASILDON!!!!!  I hear you think, however it was here.

Basildon Park just outside Pangbourne, a quick dash along the M4.  

The sky was as black as your hat so we thought it prudent to visit the gardens first.

Thought this was a stone from Avebury, but its a statue without a head.

I do love wrought iron gates.

Just as well as when we were in the house the rain lashed down whipping lots of petals off.

The house is charming. Although it looks huge it really wasn’t that big and had a lovely homely feel to it.  Lord and Lady Iliffe brought it after the war in the late 40’s and it was a wreck after having accommodated a load of troops in the war but worst having the lead stolen off of the roof by the caretaker who had been appointed by The Ministry of Works.  She saw it and being rather well off and no children had the resources to do the job.  
They have kept the 1950's kitchen Lady Iiiffe installed.

My mum had an ironing board just like this one except my dad put some asbestos on it to prevent it burning!!!!!

My mum had this food mixer

Big cupboards full of equipment.


Unbeknown to us the Christmas Special of Downton Abbey was filmed here too, so here are a few pictures of stills on display to show you.  I now want to watch it again!
Beautiful restored room

That this bunch had a ball in.

The other end.
After tea there we didn’t have time to go to another house nearby so trollied off to have a look at the Thames at Pangbourne.  It didn’t really look too bad, I am referring to the rate of flow Reader with all the recent rain we had heard that it had been on and off Red Boards but I don’t think it was so today.  We saw several narrowboats pass by.  They are rebuilding the old Toll Bridge there, then we found the is on the old Toll Cottage

On the free moorings on Thames Meadows there were several yoghurt pots and a couple of wedding cakes too.  By now it was about 4:30pm, we were in the shade and the wind was picking up.  I ended up with my new windproof jacket on with the hood up and my gloves on I just happened to find in the pockets. Yes it is JUNE!!!!

We scuttled off quick back to the car and put the heater on full then began to thaw.

A nice relaxing evening on the boat, no cooked supper but an Italian platter of cheeses, olives, tomatoes and paté served with a cheeky little merlot too did very nicely thank you.

Hang in there Reader, boating resumes tomorrow!

PS Back at Wal, then this floated past.... it was huge, we reckoned some careless boater had whacked the lock landing somewhere and dislodged it.  I am glad it didn't clonk the boat.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    At our sailing club we call logs like that logodiles. Good job that one did not bite :-)

  2. That's great Logodiles. We kept a wary eye open for it the next day, I reckon someone fished it out.