Thursday, 18 September 2014

The view through the window

After a change of plan today we've stayed put in Reading, we walked into town for a bit of shopping and home again and this is the view through the window just now ...
We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A long day

 Rockin' and Rolling at half nine this morning from our cosy moorings ...
 ... heading towards Shiplake Lock ...
 ... which isn’t big enough for both boats, so we wait ...
 ... while Sue and Vic on No Problem ascend and wait for us on the water point above
 Well what luck, contractors are cutting the trees - loads of wood ...
 ... now on the roofs.
 As we were on the outside at the services we’re now taking the lead followed by a couple of cruisers which have come through the lock
 Approaching Sonning Bridge which has quite a sharp bend beyond so slowly does it ...
 ... to Sonning Lock where we didn’t think we’d fit ...
 ... but the lock keeper insisted we would - it was tight - there was just 24” between the walkway on the gate and Still Rockin’s rear canopy!
 A lucky shot!
 The unimpressive entry to the Kennet and Avon Canal
 There are still continuous moorers parked at Tesco’s ...
 ... but we managed to get pole position and there was room for NP too!

After stocking up the cupboards and then filling up the fuel tank at Better Boating we scoffed a bacon butty on the way to Caversham Lock, we’ll soon be moored up for the day.
 Through Reading Bridge ...
 ... and Caversham Bridge ...
... to the Reading Festival moorings ...
 ... with good views in all directions.
By this time it was 4pm and we were shattered!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Elephants in the garden

The farmer at Westfield Farm (our lovely mooring of yesterday) came to collect his dues at about 8:30 last night.  As we left this morning at 20 past 9 I counted the moorings he had on his land and reckoned there to be about 20 which would hold boats of 50/60’ and at £6 a night he must make a tidy sum each season as at least 12 of them were occupied when he called.
A murky start to the day as we pulled out to follow No Problem and two other boats up river
Culham Court on the east bank (a wonderful story here) was put up for sale in 2006 for £25 million but the buyer thought it was worth more than that - click on the story above to read more!
A cool £3,600.000 would buy you this property on the Thames!

And the boat-house to this property is a one-storey castle!
Joining the queue for Hambledon Lock ...
... and fuel boat Merchant getting ahead of No Problem above the lock
I just love seeing how other people live!
Temple Island - the folly was built in 1771 originally as a fishing lodge for Fawley Court
Still a bit ‘murky’ as we approach Henley
Fawley Court - a privately owned grade I listed building by Sir Christoper Wren in 1684.
Cruising through Henley ...

The sculptures of Temesis and Isis on Henley Bridge were created by Ann Seymore Damer  
Looking back at Henley Bridge
This end plot with bungalow on Rod Eyot is also up for sale a cool £1 million

All three locks today have been on self-service (no lock keeper on duty) and the same applied to Marsh Lock.
Autumn colours gradually showing
Real Hansel and Gretel house if it wasn’t for the ‘modern' monstrosity that has been built behind it.

We moored up opposite Poplar Eyot (island) on Wargrave Marsh which in itself forms an island being bordered by the Hennerton Backwater.
Soon after George was at No Problem where his wood cutting tuition/supervision from Vic is ongoing - you’ll be pleased to learn that he (George) is learning lots!
We rounded the day off with yet another bbq - fantastic!

So, did you spot the elephants?

They’re in to picture above the temple!

Not as far as we thought

Our plan today was a cruise to Shiplake - 12 miles and 6 locks ...
 ... and we set off towards Marlow Lock at 9 o’clock ...
 ... through the lock, past the weir ...

 ... Marlow Church ...

 ... and The Compleat Angler
 We’ve enjoyed our weekend here
 We passed Bisham Abbey and manor house, grade I listed buildings on the site of an old monastery and the burial site of the Earls of Salisbury, it is now a National Sports Centre for Sport England.
Both boats pulled in to use the services above Hurley Lock ...
... and we were soon passing St Mary’s Abbey and Abbey House at Medmenham, a grade II listed building restored in the 18th C by Sir Francis Dashwood, where it is said, to have been used by his ‘Hell Fire Club’ for orgiastic rites!  It is now two residences.

Just around the corner Sue spied some rather good mooring; it was only 11:15 and we’d not even done half of our proposed cruising ... but what the heck!
 We pulled in and had a wonderfully relaxing afternoon ...
... in the hot sunshine reading, talking, drinking tea - it was magic! We shall definitely be mooring here on our way back down the Thames to explore the village and possibly visit Danesfield House.

We’ll try for Shiplake again tomorrow!