Monday 12 August 2019

One out, two in.

Here are the next batch.  Our youngest daughter Verity and her Kiwi husband Mitch.  
Frequent Flyers to this blog will remember that he is the acrobat of the family.  

A few years ago when we were on the Middlewich Arm in WaL, there was a pipe bridge coming up.  Mitch was on the roof as it was a sunny day, he jumped up and leapt over the pipe bridge and then had to flatten himself quickly as there was a brick bridge....  

I also have shots of him on this blog leaping over a lock, clearing it by miles.  I understand there are videos on YouTube of a man attempting to do this and causing himself severe harm and a long hospital stay, so I do say to you all "Don't try this at home".  

Mitch is also a card shark, never challenge him to poker I warn you.

Although David had promised his girl he would pick her up from Windsor,  (This makes a much easier and heaps quicker train trip from where they live in London as opposed to Henley train station)  but in the event it was during the first match of The Ashes, that morning England were doing well in the match so I went instead.  

I haven't driven into Windsor before and I thought it would be troublesome but it was as easy as kiss yer hand, the Darlings were on the pavement outside and jumped in.
I wonder if David has heard the cricket Lisa?  Says Mitch, they've just collapsed!!
Indeed they had, three out in about 7 runs.  Oh well that's England for you.

Mitch has a love hate relationship with England cricket, if you are a follower of cricket you'll remember that England pipped them in the final of the Cricket World Cup which watched together at our house (Mitch hasn't really recovered yet) but on the plus side Mitch supports any team that is playing Australia...  I said he was a Kiwi didn't I?

Well the cricket went on to be a disaster, we won't say anymore about that.  But we had a fine afternoon playing cards, watching the Regatta and generally chewing the fat.  

We hadn't seen them for ages and ages.... 3 weeks so masses to talk about.

We played Hearts, this is a game I love (I'm not very good at it but I love it).  It is only for four players so we always play it with us when we are together.
At Christmas last year, David and I were on a roll and in the lead, Verity (Who is pretty good too) had had too much to drink and was behind.  Well Reader, Verity sobered up and we played until 2am with me ending up in second place.   

A great occasion, sadly not to be repeated this time. 

The next morning very early David was crashing about on the front deck, he thought he was being quiet... Ha!  Come biking with me he says so uncharacteristically I did. 

Just like he always says, no traffic about at this time of day as we took the road into town and the main Henley Bridge where we spotted this going on;  

Waves of swimmers going off in groups, this last group were quite young.

We took the lane that runs parallel to the river to try to get in front of all the supporters who were walking alongside their friend swimming.

If you can make it out each swimmer has an orange float which is secured to their waist plus a brightly coloured hat.

So this is 'The Henley Swim', held annually, they enter the water here and finish at Marlow, that takes them through three locks and 15 kms.  

We talked to a man walking when we rejoined the path and he was walking alongside his wife, they had driven down from Manchester the previous day.  I asked him if she needed vaccinations for river swimming but no.....

She competes all over the country, sometimes in lochs in Scotland, has been doing it years.  

I think about 1.5 miles hereabouts.

This was the shore at Hambledon Lock, the first lock, the swimmers have to get out unaided, this is a refreshment station for them.  They then are directed about 100 metres to the other side of the lock, where they re-enter the river.

Mostly they just jumped back in and away again towards Temple Lock.

The friends and families followed on but David and I took a different way.  I'd never seen The Flower Pot pub at Aston, almost on the river.  Years ago there were moorings here making it accessible to boaters but now only small cruisers can get in.  

I thought this cottage could be the oldest I saw this morning, I know it has a brick skin on it now, but I was looking at the beams.  This was in Aston. 
Cute village, way too small for me.  

David showed me an old farm yard behind the pub, this was where he had seen a man feeding Red Kites very early one morning, he estimated 40 or 50 of them.  We were too late today to have seen him feeding but there were lots of them flying about and sat in the trees calling out for more please.

The yard was teeming with them

Masses of them in the surrounding trees

David took me on the scenic route back via Remenham village and then as the crowds had gone, back on the path into Henley again

SR, curtains drawn still.

When we got back later to SR, they were still asleep, ah bless.
Next on the entertainment schedule was Dragon Boat Racing, or practicing anyway.
All competitors looked big, strong men and women, I don't know if that's needed to join.

After a gentle morning we all went walking  we quickly discovered that the footpath on this side of the river is fenced off so we retraced our steps and walked up into Henley to see the boats etc,



Fabulous (Except for the cheap plastic chair)



Not many of these about today, GR that is for King George, the present Queen's father.

David and I left them to view and we returned to the boat to get lunch ready for them.  Just a short visit for them this time.  

Verity had requested WaL for August Bank Holiday weekend months ago then her two sisters announced their pregnancies (Both due on the very same day Reader) which is at the end of August, so all those plans went out of the window.  

David did the short flit back to Windsor this time.

Lovely to have them with us.  When David returned he watched the highlights of the cricket, it didn't improve things.


  1. If you are near Didcot on Sunday 18th August then this might be your wake-up call....

    1. Thank you Kevin for that. Don't tell anyone but we are home again now, had we of been in the general area I would definitely gone to see.

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