Monday, 28 September 2015

Beautiful days

Friday at Pangbourne dawned cold but later the cottonwool clouds in the perfectly blue sky ... 
… were reflected in the Thames.

We walked with Ann (ex nb Moore2Life) and Sue (nb No Problem) to Pangbourne Station and said our goodbyes to Ann who is returning home, it has been so good to meet up with her again.  We collected provisions from the local Co-op and when we got back the meadow Sue’s daughter Wendy and hubby Danny had arrived to stay, it was good to see them again too.

 The temperature on Saturday morning was even colder; at 7:30 it was just one degree above freezing and the trees are now starting to be dressed in their autumn colours
We had stayed at Pangbourne longer than expected and on Saturday decided that there was no longer any reason to stay and as we will need to top up the water tank soon and the nearest water point is upstream at Cleeve, we decided to wind (turn) and head back to Beale Park; once Wendy and Danny had set off for home No Problem would join us for a quiet weekend.

Well, that was the plan anyway but I cricked my back just before we left Pangbourne but did manage to hold the bow rope as we ascended Whitchurch Lock and moored up at Beale.  Unfortunately my back began to feel worse so although Sue and Vic will move on today to collect their next family visitor we’ll stay here to allow my back to settle and hopefully continue tomorrow.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Sunshine, showers and visitors ...

… the sunshine and  showers deluges ...
 … created some spectacular rainbows and atmospheric lighting on Tuesday here at Pangbourne, it was a good day to stay indoors!

On Wednesday we hired a car to visited family and collect packages and post and yesterday to take George to his final dental appointment in Hemel Hempstead - he can finally smile now - no gaps!

I stayed on Still Rockin’ as visitors to Pangbourne were expected, Sue and Vic together with Ann (ex nb Moore2Life) who we’d not seen since 2013 so it was great to catch up and show her around our new home.
 Sunset last night
… with very good friends!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Goodbye, goodbye, we’re leaving you, goodbye ...

… well, not everyone, not completely!
When we returned from our cruise on Sunday for water we moored facing downstream as we’ve decided that it was time for us to start heading back downstream.

Goodbye to Lesley and Joe yesterday morning, they’re off to see if there are moorings available above Days Lock
 … and a cheerio from them to Lisa and David, I’m sure these two boats will be meeting up again in a day or so.
 I’ve seldom got my camera on sports setting when I need it!

This morning it’s our turn to leave, we reversed alongside What a Lark and sounded our horn to make sure they were awake! David was obviously up and dressed but not sure about Lisa, she would only ‘show’ her face from behind the safety of David. These pair are new friends this year introduced to us by the Yarwoods and I feel sure that we’ll spend many more laughter filled hours with them in the future.
 Goodbye Beale Park, a very favourite River Thames mooring, though it’s a shame it’s now raining
 Goodbye George’s favourite cottage in the woods
 Tiny patches of blue in the sky, let’s hope the rain clears
 Just the one lock today at Whitchurch and it’s on self service where the last boater through had left the lower sluices and gates open.
We’ve only travelled for about a mile
  … in the now heavy rain
 … to Pangbourne meadows. It’s going to be more convenient here to park the hire car overnight.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A joint venture

 6:30 this morning and the mist was more like fog and hadn’t cleared much by 9:20 either
 The cobwebs on the roof were like strings of pearls
 Shouldn’t he be on that boat over there?
 We’re staying at Beale Park until Friday but needed to top up there water tank and as Monday looks to be wet, wet, wet we decided that today was best.  We invited Lesley and Joe to join us as Joe had expressed a wish to have a go with a steering wheel and I have to say he’s a natural and I think he enjoyed it too.  We went upriver through Goring and Cleeve locks, filled with water, winded (turned)  and came back to Beale Park and pulled in behind Yarwood as our spot had been taken.

We had heard during the journey that Mo (of nb Balmaha) had sadly lost his battle with cancer last evening, he will be sorely missed by his and Ness’ boating friends.  His dry humour, and cheeky grin made time in his company a joy and our condolences  go to Ness and the family at this very sad time.

Just a few minutes ago Lisa and David arrived and the six of us are now sitting with drinks on Still Rockin’ - we’re in for another great evening after a great day too.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

High rollers!

 Yesterday was sooo relaxing, fantastic weather, wonderful view from the stern and to finish a perfect day a splendid meal with the Yarwoods!
 And today has been just as glorious, we’ve spent the afternoon by Yarwood’s tug deck with an assortment of drinks, chat, laughter and a game of crib. Lesley and I started well and sped ahead but those cheating boys overtook us and took great delight in calling us ‘losers!’ Just wait for the rematch, we’ll get our own back.
 Paragliders enjoying the thermals, one just a few feet above the water having a great time.

Friday, 18 September 2015

And we’re back!

One of the engine belts kept squeeling a few weeks ago and when George looked at it it was covered in oil which he discovered was coming from a leaking pulley and as we’d also been having intermittent problems with the tacho, it was time to do something about it. 

The weather on Wednesday was forecast to be very heavy rain and thunder to add to the excitement, but fortunately it didn’t start before we moved up Caversham Lock to keep the arranged appointment with Marcus a Beta engineer opposite Caversham Boat Services.
It took a few hours for him to fixed both problems and managed to  find a couple more which he needs to speak to Beta about and we’ll meet up with him again on our way back down the Thames.  

So just before 9 yesterday morning we were ready to go.  Pictures above are the new pedestrian/cyclist over the Thames just upstream of Reading Bridge, the contractors are widening the towpath leading to the bridge on this side.
 Approaching the rather elegant Caversham Bridge
There are still moorings on the park just downstream from the bridge

… and further up by the festival site (our favourite Reading mooring) the signs appear to be a bit mixed, but we would moor there too and ignore what some of those signs say!

 Ugly or what!
 Reading reach is lovely, looking forward and behind us
Again the weather forecast was for possible heavy showers so we set off with the hood up, it was chilly but the sun was on our backs. Molly decided that it was far too cold in her usual spot and asked to come down onto the deck in the sunshine … job done!
 Approaching Mapledurham Lock and there’s a great deal of water cascading over the weirs
 If the cafe is open (and it’s only not been open once when we’ve been this way) we always enjoy a bacon and mushroom bap!
A flock of very noisy Greylag geese over on the Mapledurham Estate side of the Thames as we leave the lock on yet another spectacular reach
 Well, blow me down!  Fancy pulling out in front of us!

Do they want to get to Whitchurch Lock before us?  If so they were unlucky in as much as the lock was unmanned (self-service) and there was a load of cruisers going up! (only kidding Yarwood!)

After seeing Lesley and Joe and nb Flying Pig up and out of the lock and then Still Rockin’ up too we leave passing more river side properties
 So, this is our exciting reach above Whitchurch - absolutely stunning views
 … just around that bend in the river
… we’re back where we were exactly 12 months ago today celebrating the event with Sue and Vic and last night with the Yarwoods sharing a bbq and drinks and lots of chat and laughs.
 We are of course at Beale Park in our very favourite spot with wonderful views around us
Out for a short walk round the lake with Lesley, George, Fletcher and Floyd and of course our Molly!