Monday 31 August 2015

The Long Goodbye

The time had come for us to leave Guildford.  Lesley and Joe are staying put to meet up again with Sue and Vic on No Problem who had previously arrived and then departed to return grandchildren to their rightful owners further up the Wey and then were to return to Guildford.   But we had to make tracks, we have to return home to look after the farm for three weeks whilst David's brother is away.  There is a shortage of boatyards on the Thames who can cater for long narrowboats, but David has found one further up but he wants to enjoy the Thames a bit and not belt up sort of thing.

Reversing away from our friends with whom we have spent the past four months with

Early morning tea was provided.

He turned in the same place as George had on SR but fluffed it a bit.

Rubbish on the front all ready for the nearby bin.

Leaving the splendid Guildford.

We stopped at Dapdune Wharf to service the boat (We had been flushing the loo with river water to preserve stocks remarkably clean it was too, I fished out the leaves before flushing).  Here at a wee museum run by the National Trust is a preserved Wey Barge that was built in the early 1930's.  Visitors are able to go on the barge but the place hadn't opened yet.  Next time.
Fond farewells and big hugs for bestest chums Lesley and Joe who left us here to fall in the loving arms of B&Q without a backward glance at us two weeping.  

So this is that troublesome bridge just north of Guildford

 Coming into Guildford we recked at a rough guess that we had eight inches breathing space, not this time after masses more rain...

Make your own guess here but it wasn't a lot.

The trip down had taken us 5.5 hours from the pretty meadows, today with only little me doing the locks instead of Lesley, Amanda and me, we were much quicker.  Nearly every lock had had to be emptied on the trip down but I think all the locks were in our favour on the way back plus the river going a bit faster and not being so shallow in places all helped.

This row of blue barrels are to protect this boat from being walloped by boats coming out of this lock and believe me he needed them when we came through, not that WaL hit him but it is a sharp turn for long boats.  I hope he pays little for this mooring.

This part of the Wey is more open and pleasant

It was sunny earlier but not now.

Hardly any boats about, but here comes one.

So sorry not to have spent longer with you both, next time eh?

A few sharp bends here at Sutton Bridge, a weir on the right, a blind bend.

An old roller post here to help the old barges around the corner.

I wouldn't really want to meet a wide beam here...

David said the rain was due at midday, as we turned to wave No Problem past we caught sight of threatening clouds sneaking up on us, I pointed at a gap and suggested mooring there might be an idea, he quibbled, I felt a drop of rain and we moored in a hurry to have the heavens open at 12:04pm.  There we stayed snugged up reading for the afternoon at Send, in a nice open spot well before the pub  and the noisy road.

Supper was chicken with chilli, ginger and lime.


 Now I am all behind like a dog's tail with this blog so this will be a bit of a prĂ©cis,  When we arrived here in Guildford it was a nice surprise to meet George and Carol from 
NB Still Rockin'    HERE  we were welcomed aboard by the generous couple and had a really good snoop all over their lovely boat, we opened cupboards and of course chatted about toilets, both styles as exhibited on Still Rockin' the composting loo and the cassette variety.  
It is a FAB boat.

Soon it was time for SR to leave Guildford to be off of the Wey in a few days time.  Carol made me laugh in that for them to leave at 7:30am in the morning she has to get woken at 5:30am to be ready in time, the order of events is flexible but involves tea in bed, shower, dog duties, breakfast and I am not sure what else....  I said I would operate the first lock for them.  This was my signal below;

SR reversing past my bedroom window.

When they past us by I got up, in four minutes I was out and running to catch these photos.
The Yars were casting off to go and jump on their vacated mooring which was a cracker on the meadows for the dogs it was a wonderful setting for them all.

Now David had thought that we might reverse and turn about here on this spacious corner but from the footbridge you can see this to be impossible, WaL is longer than SR.

A flawless example of reversing.  Just love this back deck

I wasn't convinced that this wide beam would fit in the locks but it did, we had had a ton of rain and the river was up a bit and Molly had to keep her head down in her favoured seat on the captain's bridge later on at a very low bridge.

Molly keeps a low profile.

I a glad there wasn't a boat waiting on the lock landing to enter this lock.

When we started this boating malarky  our youngest daughter brought us a copy of the Lonely Planet for England.  Since our trip to NZ last winter when David carried it with him for two months he now reads the England one it at each new place we visit.  
The only entry for Surrey is a town called Farnham, about 11 miles away.  We set off.

This was part of the cycle route....

Yep just up this hill

David just about half way up!!!!!

But oh my what a view, once I had recovered the power of speech...

Then we descended which wasn't that good news as later there was a hefty pull up again.

Yes this is the cycle route through chest high bracken

This is Loosley Forest where the ice-cream comes from, thick sand here to clog up your chain a treat.

Then through a golf course over an extremely rough track, then another long graduated hill, alongside a river and finally into Farnham.  Its a lovely preserved Georgian town however the traffic is ghastly.  We fled to Bill's for afternoon tea and David ever sensitive to my moods...... suggested the bus back.  

Farnham is attractive but frankly I wished I had stayed in Guildford shopping, fabulous shops in Guildford ladies.

Supper was chicken salad with tarragon  and raspberry dressing.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Old folk, winter and Beefers.

We set off bright and early this morning.  As winter is closing in now we all decided that it would be better to Barbie Queue at lunch time or soon afterwards rather than wait for the evening when it gets so much cooler so much more quickly.  Besides, we are all so old now and its a well known fact that old people like to eat early.

So Lesley and Amanda walked with the boys and I didn't.

First lock was here at the colossal Coxes Mill.  Its all conversion into flats now, nice enough I suppose, but the sound of all this running water would keep me up all night.  

We had had a bit of rain last night whether that had effected the race here I don't know, what I do know is that it knocked David right off his balance and pushed him off a mile.

An audible wallop was heard at this point, obviously nobody mentioned it.

Yarwood coming in without a hitch.

Here Joe and I were convinced he had the wrong "Cissy" button pressed....

He denied it and said this was exactly where he wanted to be.

Ten minutes later he came in.  Cameras are good aren't they?

The rest of the journey was uneventful in excitement terms.  At Pyrford lock we wanted to fill with water but the water point is above the lock, over a side race, on a wooden rickety looking platform but there is a Long Term mooring about 60ft in front of that and the ever present NT signs say do not fill while in the lock.  
So we filled up whilst we were in the lock.  

The Yars had gone into the nearby marina to get diesel and watered up while in there.  They returned saying how very conveniently situated all the services are there.
We decided to visit there on the way back.

The Basingstoke Canal entrance.

Differing views on WaL about this canal,  Amanda says its very pretty, she should know having cycled its length yesterday, later on David cycled a section of it and says its a green tunnel closed in and not much in the way of views.  I hate being enclosed by trees, but you may love that.

Ruins of the 12th century Newark Priory, seemingly no access.

We moored up on the lovely open NT meadows at, well they are not named, but it was lovely.
Ready Steady Cook and Joe was out there firing up the Barbie and Amanda and I whizzed up a tomato and basil salad, a couscous with courgette, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.

We had company.  There is something slightly unnerving when coking and eating beef burgers and being gazed upon by fellow beefers, but not if you are a farmer so David and I enjoyed our food tremendously. 
Sorry and that to any veggies.

Chef par excellence Joe. 

Your turn next.

I was going to have made "Cherry Surprises" but Lesley had made a rather fine Banana and Walnut cake which was served with coffee, two regular teas and two red bush teas.  Nothing is straightforward.
We are all sitting a slightly spaced fashion as Joe had lost the tent pegs for the windbreak, it was fastened to our chairs but that worked admirably, but remember to buy some new ones Joe.

Afterwards Lesley and Amanda cycled the eight or so miles into Guildford.
I didn't.
I believe I sat in the sun. 

Friday 28 August 2015


The next day we had a day off, that is to say Amanda cycled off down the entire length of the Basingstoke Canal!  I didn't. I went on bikes with David the other direction back to the Thames and back down to Hampton Court to have a closer look at the gardens.  Joe went to Brooklands Park Museum to play with planes, he even sat in Concorde.

The Kitchen Garden was tremendous, there was a little bit of signage but not nearly enough explaining what they were aiming to do here, there were plenty of people looking but questions remained unanswered.

Terracotta planters hre and there.

Bean pyramids in amongst herbs and lavender.

David disputing the label.

Late violets, mine have long finished.

Some stupendous espalier work.

No idea, looks like auriculars
On the way back, (That is after having coffee and cakes sat in deck chairs in the gardens)  on the way back we watched this with quite a crowd, 

As it came into view, or rather made a turn on the river it became clear that it was being pushed from one side by a wee tug and it had a person on each corner with a walkie talkie, they sailed on by.

We were to have had a Barbie Queue, but where we were wasn't really wide enough and the sky was blackening, so we had a huge omelette, due to my lack of turning over skills it was a 'Scrambled Omlette', for dessert we had blackberry and apple, I think we'll be having that for a while.
Not long after it poured with rain.

PS  Amanda cycled the 32 miles to HAMPSHIRE!!!!  But when she arrived there with the intension of getting a train back she had just missed it.  She phoned her nearby living son who collected her, fed her and delivered her back to us...