Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Bridge at Reading

The new pedestrian/cycle bridge at Reading was officially opened last Wednesday and last night the lights which change colour were on for the first time.  These photos were taken this morning
 Reflection in the Thames
The suspension bridge has a span of 123 mtrs and had not yet been named, a competition has been declared for a suitable name.
It really does look good.  For more info click here

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

All sorts Friday to Monday!

Sunset last Friday
Still lots of wild flowers on the meadows

The windows of Still Rockin’ are quite high inside and these were the views looking up through them from my sofa on Saturday - a worm’s eye view as it were!

On Sunday afternoon we went to an exhibition at the church of St Bartholomew in Lower Basildon to see the painting of Polish artist Katarzyna Karpowicz. They were well executed but I’m afraid not to my particular taste.

After the exhibition we pulled the pins and made way as the weather is set to change quite drastically over the next few days.  We need to be at Caversham Boats in Reading early on Wednesday so we thought we’d do some of it while the sun still shone.
Very colourful - nb Rock the Boat!
Passing Hardwick Stud
… and Hardwick House dating back to before 1066 and owned by Sir Julian Rose, 5th baronet
It was dusk by the time we put the pins in above Mapledurham Lock opposite The African Queen cruising hotel and restaurant
Early start on Monday, this is Mapledurham Mill we’d not noticed it before today, it looks as if it’s not changed at all in many, many years.  

We were using the services at the lock when George took a call from the engineer (Beta) who wanted to change our appointment from Wednesday to NOW!  Fortunately he was only a few minutes away and it was deadly quiet at the lock.  Marcus came and changed the leaking fuel filter housing, but found that the pulley, which George thought Marcus had sorted, was in fact still a problem and needed to be replaced, so that’s another arrangement we need to sort in the hopefully not too distant future.
We continued to cruise into Reading mooring on the park through Caversham Bridge
This is me this morning touching the ‘Le Boat’ (hire fleet) moored in front of us
They couldn’t have got it any closer!
 Between the very heavy showers today we walked over the new pedestrian/cyclists bridge very close to where we’re moored
 Taken from the bridge

 We both liked the rusty railings as you leave/enter the bridge on the town side of the river
Mooving on again tomorrow. 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

A walk to Lower Basildon

Went for a slow walk yesterday to strengthen my back, we know that there is a church somewhere here
Across the meadow we went, through the kissing gate and over the next field, turned left into a lane and came to a junction and car park where this notice is displayed.  It’s difficult to read (click to enlarge) but gives information re injured swans and suggests a call to 01753 859397 obviously I’m not sure how old the notice is or if the number is still available but may be worth a try if this situation occurs.

To the left of the junction is the now redundant Church of St Bartholomew’s a 700-year old flint and brick building which is allowed to hold up to six services each year.  The final one for this year is the Harvest Festival on Sunday which follows an exhibition of paintings (see below) by a Polish artist and in turn is followed by a hog roast harvest supper.  We shall definitely attend the exhibition but it remains to be seen if we can take Molly with us to the service and supper.
In 1886 teenagers Harold and Ernest Deverall who lived at Church Farm (the building behind the memorial) were paddling in a branch off the Thames.  They hadn’t realised that it had been deepened for sheep dipping when one of the boys got into difficulties and his brother tried to save him, sadly they both drowned.  The exhibition of paintings tomorrow will be the artists representation of what may have happened on that fateful day.

Jethro Tull famed for the perfected horse-drawn seed drill in 1701 was born in Lower Basildon and is also buried in the sealed crypt at St Bartholomew’s.

Beautiful stained glass windows dating back to around 1280
Looking towards the tower of this very simple but elegant and well kept church
The chancel
The church was in the throes of being decorated for the harvest service when we visited and the ladies were very welcoming and informative
1689 tombstone
Memorial to Sir Francis Sykes, 1st Baronet by John Flaxman who was known for his Wedgwood designs

Timber framed roof dating back to 1420

The sun through this window created a rather special light inside
Church Farm House
Walking back to the junction is the exit from Beale Park - a lovely row of old mellow buildings
and back to Still Rockin’ tucked up on the edge of the meadow
Molly has found a ‘beach’ just opposite the ferry cottage close to our mooring and enjoyed a paddle and a game of ‘fetch'
Watching the fun on the Thames from the bow when we returned.
A bbq supper was the order of the day - and it was delicious!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Bloggers come and go on our hunt for water

Sue and Vic leaving Beale Park on Saturday on their way to pick up Vic’s daughter Louise.
My back was still playing up so we stayed on our mooring and as it was getting no better so on Wednesday I phoned an osteopath in Goring in the hope of arranging an appointment.  I left a message and she called me back, asked for my details, past history, how I’d managed to injure myself and what I was doing to make it better.  She apologised that she couldn’t see me and informed me that she didn’t think it was necessary, she advised me to stop using a hot water bottle as although it would help the muscles it wouldn’t reduce the inflammation, ice packs for 15 minutes every hour would soon get me feeling better.  I’ve taken her advice and am starting to be able to walk short distances without so much discomfort.

Our water tank is just about empty and we must move back up river to fill the tank and over the last few days we’d been half hoping that someone we knew would come by and help George to crew up the two locks and back again instead of me, but we saw no-one so yesterday morning there was no other choice but pull the pins and set off.
… and just as we did so John and Fi passed us going in the opposite direction.
Passing a nice replica dutch barge moored at Beale Park
Sparkling sunshine on the River Thames
… and a beautifully kept garden
A full house as we ascend Goring Lock; that’s me standing on the lock side with the rope as it was easier on my back to be upright  (more-or-less) instead on hanging onto the bow rope down in the boat.  I did the same at Cleeve Lock where we refilled the water tank and descended both locks once more.
We pulled in onto the visitor mooring below Goring for lunch after which George walked into town to the post office and shop for essential provisions.
… and back at Still Rockin’ we spent some time talking to local character Des with his parrot Tia.
Gatehampton Railway Bridge built in 1838 by Brunel and was originally for twin rail lines and a few years another bridge was built alongside.  The bridge now carries trains on four tracks. 
Fantastic views as we head downstream by Lower Basildon and just as I was taking these pictures George decided that this would be our mooring for the weekend - brilliant idea.
… and just as we pull in Sheena and Ken cruise by!
The view over the river from our mooring
I’ve sat looking at this view all morning today, I want to know where those paths and gates would take me, it looks sooo lovely.

Going for a slow walk later and a bbq is also planned - a good day!