Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A fantastic weekend with family

Friday (16th Sept) we had a very slow journey north on the M42, M40 and M6 to stay with George's sister and husband for a long weekend.
 Diane had spent the whole of the day baking nearly 100 cup cakes

 ... The decorating of the cakes took up most of Saturday including lollies for the kids (both big and small) George and I helped hindered by decorating the nine minions and owls which were then delivered to the reception venue.

We had a great fun at the reception, lovely family and friends, delicious food and cakes, lots of dancing, chatter and laughter ... a thoroughly good time was had by all.

All too soon it was well after midnight and the room was cleared and packed into car boots though the father of the groom was having some difficulty with the balloons ...
 Oops ... well that solved that problem!
Sunday was a lazy day for most of us except for sister-in-law Bev who cooked an amazing roast dinner for 11 after which one by one most of us dozed off and on.  Thank you to the bride Anna and groom Matt for inviting us and to Di and Bev for looking after us so well, we had a fantastic weekend and were sorry to have to say cheerio for now.

Monday we had a much better journey south where we rejoined Still Rockin' which we'd moved on Friday morning to Goring lock landing where she was hitched up to the electric whilst we were away...

 After the hire car had been returned to Enterprise in Reading it was time to move on, Still Rockin' was winded and we descended Goring lock and were on our way
 We're only going two and a bit miles downstream
 ... to a favourite meadow at Beale Park

After a busy few days it was time to relax.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Ner, ner, na ner, ner!

It was 7:30 Thursday 14th Sept when we winded from our mooring at Wallingford
... and left the town heading downstream once again
... and the sun was just starting to appear

Lights were on in Brookes University Boat Club and we hoped we wouldn't be inundated with rowers for todays journey

As we approached Moulsford Railway Bridge this hire boat was close behind us as was the rower.  We kept well over to the right to allow the rower sufficient room to pass as she should on our outside but the guy in the cruiser squeezed past on the inside probably hoping to beat us either to the water point or the lock at Cleeve which of course he did.
You can see here the wakes, cruiser on the left, us in the middle and rower to the right.

I think that's Streatley over there, so not far to go now

There's the hire boat waiting for the lock ...

which is on self service

... but there is no power to the hydraulics to open and close the sluices and lock gates 

... so they were hand winding!  
Lots of turns to open one sluice and another load to open the other sluice, then the same again for each gate and that's just to open the top ones!  Once they were in the lock they had to do it all over again to close everything up and then twice more to open and close the bottom gates!   So he didn't get very far ahead did he!

It didn't bother us as we needed water first and just before we'd finished two more narrowboats arrived ... and so it was their turn to turn the wheels. 
While these boats went down the lock I could see the lock keeper from Goring arriving in his car, he'd obviously heard that there were problems here at Cleeve.
... and just look at George's face, I think he's pleased to see him.
A mole has been busy here as we wait for the lockie to reset the electrics to the lock and then he'll see us down and get back to Goring before we arrive there.

I'd got my camera ready to take a photo of the lovely Virgina Creeper but who should come into sight ... yes that's Sue and Andy on Festina Lente.  One of these days we'll be able to do more than to wave as they cruise by us.
That lovely creeper with the sun behind it
No apologies for yet another photo of Goring Lock which from upstream looks wonderful
When we came out of Goring Lock we had to squeeze ourselves between two large barges as there was no other spaces but less than an hour later this was the view behind us.

We're staying here for one night ... we've having a weekend away ... a very special weekend so watch this space.