Saturday 27 October 2018

Boating at last

You best go to bed early Lisa, we've got to be up early, really early says David
I can get up, says I.

And I did, we left home at 06:30 and arrived at Marlow to visit The Rockers!

Know who The Rockers are?   HERE  The lovely George and Carol.  We had been invited to join them,  on the way to WaL (Who needs polishing) for a bit of a Jolly....

On arrival, a marvellous arrival,  Bacon Butties were served with lashings of hot tea.  We needed hot tea as it was cold, I mean winter had arrived that morning, the day before I was sat in the garden, in a hat to keep the sun out of my eyes as I read Exit West by Moshin Hamid, I am going to a book event with the author on Sunday and I haven't finished it yet.

So where was I?  Oh yes I remember, I had brought especially a new thermal long-sleeved undergarment and I needed it. We were in for a bit of a treat as the Thames looked fabulous, sunglasses were donned and off we went for a fun day boating.

Although we have enjoyed George and Carol's hospitality during this summer, we haven't ever been on a moving wide beam, this was to change today as we were generously included in a jaunt.

So we started off from Marlow and headed upstream, 
Bisham Abbey is very close by and here is a shot  of it as we passed.

Pretty quiet on the river today.

Here is Still Rockin' coming into a lock, maybe Hurley Lock..?  Wide eh?

Action shot of me, yes that is my shoulder, but look over my shoulder to see a wide beam with a narrow boat strapped to its side,  we pulled over to let them by as we wouldn't have all fitted through.

George supervising closely as David had a turn at the wheel, wide beams have wheels not tillers, but George does have a tiller in case of emergencies I understand.

Carol supervised me as I learnt how to crew a wide beam, its a bit different.

Medmenham Meadows

We stopped at Medmenham for homemade mulligatawny soup, my favourite.  

Three quarters of WB Still Rockin'

One third of WB Still Rockin', the grass was knee deep in poxy goose poo so I only tip toed this far.

This boat can turn not exactly on a sixpence but very easily, and what pretty Violas Carol has planted up.

Medmenham Abbey, it still has the builders in.

You can read about it HERE

Danesfield Spa Hotel, quite fancy a night or three there.

So we finally left the Fine Company after saying our goodbyes, it had been a brilliant day plus a beautiful boat and we thank you both very much for making us so welcome.

Onward though, northwards to Leicestershire, Debdale marina and WaL.  
Here she is, they must have had heavy rain here followed by a stiff breeze as most of the leaves have vanished from the roof, I'm not saying she was clean but it sure saved us a lot of sweeping.

Bags onboard and David fired her up and off we went.

So it wasn't a thrilling trip, we didn't go far just out of the marina and down the way, down to a favourite mooring of mine.  We rinsed, wiped, washed, rinsed, wiped and then polished and buffed.  When it was done, we hopped down to the basin at Foxton where we turned around  and came back to my favourite place and repeated the whole process.
My back had a thing or two to say, David was braver and didn't moan.  

I was pretty sickened to find that the Gin Cupboard was empty, David in his lack of wisdom had removed all the wine from WaL and taken it home last time, I thought that was an error at the time but he insisted.  I shall hide some if he thinks of this again.

Pretty pretty mooring, 100 metres from Debdale, no sheep this time.

Minutes before sunset, see the shine on WaL?

Nice sky on the water.

So frequently flyers to this blog may remember that on the very first day of our cruising season this year way back in April, we had a water leak    HERE   so what do you reckon the chances are of having one on the very LAST day of our cruising that we should have another.... you've guessed it.

So out came David's tool box for maybe the third time this year;

David's tool box, see how shiny and new it all looks?

Action shot of David attempting to fix the leak, sadly he says he doesn't have the right sized spanner or some such.  I did the mopping and sponging and he made supper.  Note that he has had to wear my pink glittery slippers as his were left at home.

Sadly the leak couldn't be fixed by my Hero so it's a job for the marina to do.

We are now home again, the fun weekend on WaL with the Lewis's has been postponed for the winter, but frankly if its too wet or too cold.....

So until we meet again Reader, stay warm and dry I plan to.

Weekend away

It was supposed to be a fun weekend on WaL,  Amanda and David were joining us in a day or so but when we arrived at WaL there was an electrical fault so we abandoned ship and fled to Norfolk, it was a surprise to Amanda and David who had become unexpected hosts as opposed to guests.

We awoke to a very sunny Norfolk and went on a trip to Holt,  nice shops in Holt, after some shopping and an extremely good afternoon tea at a posh tearooms we drove to the coast to Blakeney for a look at art galleries, (three) and a bit of nose following...

Blakeney, not a breath of wind.

There's a hotel here I might investigate.

Low-ish tide.

On the way home, we popped to two Walsinghams and a pretty nice sunset.

The following day The Yars arrived.  Remember The Yars?  Joe and Lesley lived aboard two narrowboats, NB Caxton 
and NB Yarwood, Lesley kept a blog during those years but now they live on dry land and are close enough to join us for lunch.  

We went for a stroll in the park afterwards, Houghton Park that is,  HERE     full of deer, big brown ones and pretty little white ones, but they are devilish shy and won't be photographed.

A phone snap so fuzzy, apologies.

Here's the gang, they were all pissed they never smile this much usually.  David thinks its still summer, he might have changed his mind this weekend with temperatures of 5C.

Big brown ones, equally shy.

Pretty or what? Little cherubic darlings who stole Lesley's heart.

So after a fine Sunday Lunch at their local the follow day we took our leave, not the weekend we envisaged but a great one, but it still leaves WaL needing to be polished.

Monday 8 October 2018

Wedding Bells, grilled octopus and sandy feet.

Well Reader, it seems like ages since we were on the Thames and then the South Oxford canal, in that time we had a wedding and then a nice long spell in Italy. 

We booked Italy way back in April, the idea was to extend the summer.  Last summer I had felt cheated out of warm sun, well until we had that little sojourn to Antigua house-sitting and caring for two little doggies and a parrot, now that was good fun, but who could have known that this summer would have turned out to be a scorcher and that the last thing we needed was an Indian summer...

So in ten days or so we are coming up to the boat to have a few days onboard pottering then put her to bed for a while, if the weather is dry then maybe another jaunt in the months to come.

But I just wondered if you'd like to see a few holiday snaps?  If yes, then scroll down, if no, then see you next time. 

Off to the Registry Office

Now this Bride has very strong views on a few subjects, one of them was why a Bride has to put her fathers occupation on the official forms, she is currently in correspondence with her MP and the Home Office on that one.  The other annoyance was that your father walks you down the aisle, so she invited us both to.

Sadly it was me that trod on her hem.

The wee cute flower girl had a starring role.

This is Leon (other son-in-law) sorting out David's tie.

This is my lovely sister and lovely mum

So about four days later we hopped on the plane and arrived in Italy, southern Italy, extra hot!

David swam here as I had a cold to start with, of course he came down very early when no one there.

Truillies, funny round Hobbit Houses made from the rocks in the fields, cleared so they could plant.

Typical lanes in all the Historical Centres, we got lost constantly.

So we called into an out of the way town, there amazingly out of the blue was an exhibition of Picasso's ceramics.  I was thrilled to go, (David wasn't and had a coffee instead), 
but almost all these pieces were from private collections, so such an opportunity to view.  Anyone wanting to see the other photos of the work just let me know, I have lots of photos.  
They were stunning.

"Jug with four faces"

So we saw quite a few of these adorable Fiat 500's, on the street where we stayed there seemed to be a different one each day.  I have submitted a request for one, I had wanted a yellow Mini Cooper but have changed my mind.  I shall have to see what colours Fiat do.
Is anyone able to age these little beauties out there....?

Ooooooooooooo Fabulous, I don't want white though.

Longs sessions on the beaches.

Then she turned up, this is our youngest, the one married to the Kiwi.

I'm missing days like this.

So there you have it Reader, normal service will be resumed, weather permitting, next week or so.  If it's pouring I may not go.