Saturday, 15 December 2018

The BIG day!

The lead up ...
actually started on 10th November when I had an early present of a weekend of water colour painting for my birthday.
Things have now moved on ...
We've always put up the Christmas decorations the weekend before my birthday and this year is no different except that we shall be away for the majority of the festivities. So on Sunday (9th) I only put out a fraction of the usual, my little collection of Christmas trees and snow globes ... I'm quite pleased with the result.
On Monday Chris from fuel boat Merchant brought us a coal and kindling delivery; George had asked around the other winter moorers if they wanted to add to our order so the total of 14 bags made it worth while for Chris to delivery by road.

Stanley was soooo pleased to see me ... or is it just the biscuits he knows he'll get?
The day was icy but the sun was warm and there was a faint mist over the weirs.

Jumping forward a few days ... 

to December 14th and a big birthday ...
cup of tea in bed (not unusual) open cards and presents, listen to son Mark sing happy birthday to me and generally start the day slowly ...
outside the temperature is -1°c ...
and not expected to rise above 3° all day
but the sun is shining and we decide we'll go for walk to Medmenham meadows, one of our favourite moorings about 2miles along the river and then catch the bus back ... but I was informed that we couldn't leave before 12 o'clock.  I love surprises so no questions were asked as to why.

Whilst I patiently waited and George paced about ...

the pheasant was calling ... he looks very festive!

and a crow came to sit on George's head ... how rude!

And a moorhen and coot had a face-off!

Lots of birthday cards, several of which were beautifully crafted by family members.  I think I said that it was a BIG day!

Midday arrived and went and I waited ... it was 1:15 when we saw a man walking along the pontoon to Still Rockin' and delivered a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my sister-in-law Diane and husband Paul ... a lovely surprise!
Painting  box/easel complete with mixed media, brushes etc, from our daughter and son and their families and of course those lovely flowers.  I'm well pleased!

... so now we can go for that walk ... we didn't get far ... I'd forgotten my bus pass so George offered to go back for it ... in the meantime I took some photos at the farm ...

now with my bus pass in my pocket we continue just a short distance ...
when we met with this horse who was more than ready for a stroke of his forehead during which my phone rang and I rummaged in my pocket for my mobile ... it was daughter Sharon to sing to me and wish me many happy returns and we (Sharon and I) talked as we (George and I) walked ... for 25 minutes.
It was about here on the meadows in sight of Danesfield Hotel that I needed to get a tissue from my pocket and realised there was something missing ... my bus pass  ... oh no!  No bus pass + no cash = no bus back!  I said cheerio to daughter, we turned and retraced out steps.  I reasoned that it had come out of my pocket when I was scrabbling to get my phone out before it went to voice mail when  we were talking to the horse just a few hundred yards from the marina!  I was right and fortunately the said pass was lying in the mud just there ... phew!

Back at Still Rockin' we relaxed for a couple of hours and then got changed ... going out for a birthday meal at Cote Brasserie in Marlow ... and we're going by bus.
We were greeted warmly at the restaurant with complimentary fizzy white wine followed by a delicious meal (we both had steaks) and a chocolate pot pudding for me.  We talked and laughed and drank the red wine (a very nice Merlot) and then caught the bus home.

Sooooo to sum up ...

my 70th birthday was a great day, one of the best in fact.  I've received numerous calls from family to wish me a happy birthday both in words and song, I've had some excellent gifts and cards and lots of greetings via my facebook page.

Thank you to my family for making this day the best of days.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Same walk ... but ...

... there's always something different to see!
By the time we were up and about this morning (Sunday 9th Dec) the sky was bright and blue ... and the swans had come to have a word with George!

Time for our walk before our day becomes busy ...  

I mention white water rafting yesterday and today the canoes were out in the mill stream (taken from the weir bridge) ...

 Only 50 seconds long ... but turn up your sound for the full effect!

So good to see the sun and there was warmth in it too!

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Amazing light ...

 After seeing the squirrel looking up confused when I moved the feeders and saw that the small birds weren't visiting I've put them all back in the old apple tree ... the squirrel is delighted!
 After the deluge of rain we had yesterday morning (7th December) the dark, heavy clouds start to move away ...
 and the sun is valiantly trying to break through
 First time this winter that a pheasant has come to visit ... could it be because George dropped some of the bird seed under the tree?
 The sky has cleared and the sun is shining on to clouds ...

as we take a stroll in the cold wind along the weir ... two sluices open today ...

the river is rising a little
 Anyone for a white water rafting?
 I love winters' light

Hambleden Marina through the trees as we make our way back home.

As I write this (Saturday) after more heavy rain overnight the River Thames condition has risen to 'Stream Increasing' between Marsh Lock (Henley) and Boveney Lock (Windsor) and orange warning boards are being displayed at those locks/reaches that are affected. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Warm, wet and windy!

 That was the weather on Monday (3rd) when we had a lovely visit from George's sister Di and hubby Paul.
The rain was very heavy at times interspersed with patches of blue sky; sometimes blue sky on one side of the stream and dark rain clouds on the other ... so we saw a couple of rainbows during the day.  It was good to spend some time with Di and Paul as they will be moving from the area in the next week or so and we'll miss their company which we've enjoyed immensely over the past three winters.  We wish them happiness in their new home.
 Tuesday dawned coldy coldy! Only 2°c, with a hard frost ...

but the sky soon brightened although the temperature didn't rise very much.

We took a three hour bus ride (two buses each way) towards Aylesbury to keep an appointment to have an excess of wax (sorry if that's too much information!) removed via micro suction from my ears as most doctors' surgeries no long offer any type of service for this affliction!  We arrived early and I was soon seen, the actual procedure only taking a few minutes.

 We caught the bus back to High Wycombe and had a wander around the shops before picking up a few essentials from Tesco; it was getting dark as we heading for home.

A long day, but useful obviously!