Thursday 23 August 2018

An away day

So early the next morning, with the fresh knowledge that we could go anywhere now having ditched the upper reaches of the Thames.... We pulled the pins, I donned my wellies to do that in the overgrown nettles, (half way there I rethought wearing shorts though), but away we went, turning mid stream.  Now the river is very benign this year, the flow is down due the the lack of rain and subsequently the weirs are too...  But when you put a 70 footer broadside to the current you can certainly feel it then.

Away mid stream, (Don't Drs ask for those too)

Stoll Rockin' following along.

These Turns rarely sit still so here is one.

The plan had been for the two boats to share the locks down to Goring, but on reading the Thames Handbook we saw that the two boats would NOT fit in together at all,  I was just about to call Carol when my phone rang and it was her saying the same thing....
They hung back.

So we arrived at Benson lock and I operated it for the boats coming up, then David came in, and there was a bit of a bun fight as to who was coming in behind us, George waved through a Le Boat boat crewed by Germans, he came in and seemed not to stop.....  Carol was yelling stop and waving hands and then David joined in too, he made small contact with us, but not badly then only attached one rope and would have run into us without the second....  turns out he was travelling with a second Le Boat and thought they could both come alongside us.....

Well we got out quick and went on our way.... Yoooo Hooooing to Sue on NP who was awaiting a shopping delivery at Shillingford, then would be joining us at Wallingford.

Look who was here already, Dutch barge Dorchester, we've been leap frogging them these last three weeks.


David and Sue from No Problem XL looking so very well this side of all her treatment.

Actually that photo was taken later in the day, as when we arrived, we loitered a bit then Still Rockin' appeared.  George had needed a new gas bottle, it was another hour away by boat so David suggested we nip down in the car, which was ten mins away.  Job done, the Ladies had changed into pretty dresses and away we went in the car to ......

Guessed it?  Yes Lechlade.  
I have never been to this amazing house that Carol had been to some six years or so previously, so we all went together this time,  Kelmscott Manor.   HERE   

I've always love the art of the Pre-Raphaelites so in a nutshell is a country home of William Morris, he was a patron of the movement, friend to artists and the founder of Morris & Co furnishing company and of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Going back to the art side of things, William Morris had this stunningly beautiful wife, so stunning she was painted many times by Dante Gabriel Rossetti who's work I think you will recognise.

What a treasure house this proved to be.  One or two photos to follow.

I should have checked but I think these two above were of their two daughters

Jan Morris in "Blue silk dress" 1886 by Rossetti

Of all the portraits of Jane, this was her favourite Water Willow 1893 by Charles Fairfax Murray.

This fabric and wallpaper design below was one I picked for our home years ago for the hall and stairs, when the children got home from school they were jointly HORRIFIED and called it the jungle, while I made the tea, they had drawn animals insects and birds and stuck them all over the place, not on the wall paper I'm happy to say but every other surface.   In my head I had always called it Bamboo, but now having seen the prolific willows growing all along the Thames I can see where William Morris got the inspiration.

Jane Morris's bedroom.

Sorry its dark but no camera flash were permitted.

Arts & Crafts chair, 

Jane embroidered this bed cover, it has Kelmscott at the centre, surrounded by the Thames and all over life coming after that.  Kelmscott was the centre of their world.

family portrait in the garden, looks like a day they had all argued.

The Manor, just loving all those shapes and rain gutters.

Back yard

View towards the Thames

Front door.

Carol taking her photo for her blog.

No plumbing or Leckkie until well into the C20th.

Wonderful colours for autumn now.

Walking back to the car through the village was this garden wall......  I have never seen any fence quite like this before, stone panels.

On a wooden frame.

Lastly, I was assured that no visit was complete to Lechlade without a trip to here, The Christmas Shop and yes I did buy something!!!!

Back at Wallingford, Sue had arrived and breasted up with G&C, but when a space presented itself later she popped into it.  
Supper was all together at The Anchor on the riverside, on the way I took this snap of the boats, a lovely thing to meet up with good friends you haven't seen in three years.

Supper was crispy chicken strips, scampi and chips and apple pie and custard, but off of the over 60's menu (I nearly qualify) so nice small portions I could manage.


  1. A truly brilliant day was had by all.

    1. We have a free day tomorrow whilst waiting for a daughter, we were going to go again until we realised it's only open on Wednesdays....
      I'll look for somewhere else.

  2. I'm sure you will enjoy your day no matter where you end up. x