Sunday, 31 August 2014

A change of mooring and the good times role ...

Friday morning we moved just a mile or so round the corner to the more rural moorings at Runneymead ...
... and as is our want, cooked a bbq in the rain!  That’s Meg and Penny keeping guard.
 Saturday we walked with Sue and Vic and the three dogs up to the Airforces Memorial ...




... and back down the hill ...







... to the Magna Carta Memorial.
 Lovely views up the river ...
... and a busy kingfisher over the other side - beautiful.

Last night Sue and Vic came onboard and we played ‘the stupid game’ (Vic knows all about that!) but oh, what a laugh we all had as well as putting our collective brain cells together to solve the problems - it was great!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

A successful challenge ...

... at Runneymead
video
Ice Bucket Challenge done and dusted!
Donation made to the Alzheimer Charity.
Over to you now Amy and Matt Palin and Kenny and Steve Malpass.

Friday, 29 August 2014

The Wonderful Thames!



9am Wednesday morning leaving ...




Hampton Court ...




... and approaching Hampton Court Bridge ...




... and Molesey Lock, that’s me doing my fair share!



The start of a long line of interesting house boats ...



... and Hampton Church in a lovely leafy setting

 The much photographed Dave Gilmore's boat but not the man himself!
 Very nice!



We’re going to the right of Platt’s Eyot today where between 1948-45 170 torpedo boats were built by Thorneycrofts ...




... and there are still boats being built and renovated here today









... and knot gardens





To the left of Sunbury Island ...





... with its beautiful chalets ...




... and what looks to be a rather grander building behind them



Sunbury Lock  with one narrowboat waiting for us ...




... and us waiting for another one to come in



After all the heavy rain we’ve had Monday and Tuesday the river is rather fresh.  We’d let the two narrowboats out of the lock before us and watched as they both had their sterns dragged over towards the weir by the strong current.



This barge gave no indication what-so-ever before turning across our bow into Shepperton Marina!




 This suspension bridge was being built when we came by last, just look at those huge (whatever they’re called) which hold the bridge up! 



These kids were having a great time but I couldn’t help thinking that they shouldn’t be on the roof of the boat, life jackets or not.
 Moored up at Weighbridge for the rest of the day watching the cruisers in and out of Shepperton Lock and trying to dry all the wash loads that I’d put through during today’s cruising.

Yesterday (Thursday) we left Weighbridge at 9 only to be beaten to the lock by the Thames Venturer



Nice house to our left - Sailors Mission Home set. 1802
Chertsey Bridge after which comes ...



Chertsey Lock which was on self-service and busy, so we wait ...











... for this shed/boat to exit.  The guy in pink on the roof is using a large fender to prevent the shed/boat from scraping the side of the lock







The Thames Venturer returning towards Shepperton
Through Penton Hook Lock and we soon see the skyline of Staines




The Swan Hotel always has a lovely show of flowers




Bell Weir Lock the last for today can be seen under the motorway bridge ...



... and who’s that then?




Goodness me it’s Sue and Vic waiting for us!
George and Sue and the galley slave Vic

Lovely views out onto the Thames from here.

It’s so good to meet up with friends again and we ended a great day with a curry round at ours, lots to drink and to talk about.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Love scandal and intrigue

I shall miss the early morning meetings of birds opposite our mooring, swans and cygnets, canada geese, mallards and a great crested grebe ...










... and this cheeky crow that pinched 3 croissant from a plastic bag left unattended on the boat in front!



I spent a good couple of hours wandering around Hampton Court Palace yesterday.  I love the old buildings and their uses ...




Fish Court was built as a narrow, tall alley so that the sun didn’t penetrate fully and so keep the fish cold and fresh for longer

I know a lot of boaters including ourselves, who would like just a portion of this gold for winter fires!



Henry VIII’s kitchen fire was burning with a rather elaborate stone behind to protect the wall ...










... and with the fire guard in attendance!





The kitchen was busy as  the cooks prepared food from old Tudor recipes. The chap on the right is mincing pork and making a fried pork pie - the raw meat goes into the pastry case and is then fried.








I also visited the newly discovered Chocolate Kitchen ...



... used by Thomas Tosier personal chocolate maker to Kings George I and George II
Hampton Court’s magnificent clock shows the hours, days of the week and month, the tides and moon’s phases as well as the signs of the zodiac, all set to show the sun travelling around the earth.
A large part of the Tudor buildings are under wraps as conservation work is under way (click on the notice above for more information)

This is my 3rd visit to Hampton Court and I’ve always enjoyed the glimpses into the past with the re-enactments ...


... here Tudor King Henry VIII meets the recently widowed Lady Latmimer (Katheryn Parr) his soon to be 6th and final wife ...
... meanwhile in the new Georgian apartments in 1717 ...

... the new German King George I has not managed to ‘fit-in’ as king and the relationship between him and his son (later to become George II) and daughter-in-law Caroline was strained as was the eventual relationship with their own son Fredrick (who became Prince of Wales and father to George III)
Fountain Court designed by Sir Christopher Wren and surrounded by the new state apartments for William of Orange and Queen Mary II
One of my favourite views is the Kings Staircase in William III’s State Apartments painted circa 1700 by Antonio Verrio.

Enough of the inside ...

The Privy Gardens ...





... and the best of the Pond Gardens.... 
Pond Garden looking towards the River Thames with the banqueting house in the background ... 
... and again looking towards the palace of two halves - the Tudor on the left and the Hanoverian to the right.

The two sunken gardens were originally ponds holding freshwater fish but these had dried up by the time Queen Mary II arrived at Hampton Court and being sheltered and south facing were ideal for her collection of exotic plants.  The planting today is vibrant though no longer exotic.