Sunday, 30 August 2015

Into Windsor with friends

We’ve known Jennifer and Andy for over 40 years and it was good to see them once again. Yesterday we walked into Windsor
… and wait, who’s that over on the Brocas?  We called and waved frantically but we weren’t sure they’d recognised us even when they half-heartedly waved back!  They certainly didn’t expect to be seeing anyone they knew! We did manage to contact them later via their blog and will meet up with them sometime today.
Jen and I left the boys talking gadgets whilst we had a look around the craft shops.
Queen Victoria and Windsor Castle

We walked over Windsor Bridge into Eton High Street yesterday evening passing Eton's oldest (at least 15th century) building.  There is apparently documented evidence of the building in 1464 when it was owned by a benefactor of Eton College.

The timber framed building was until recently known as the Tiger Garden Restaurant and formally The Cock Pit because of its knucklebone floor found in an outhouse at the rear. In times past it was thought that the outhouse was used as an abattoir or for cock fighting to which Charles II attended.  In the 17th century the inn had been known as the Adam and Eve.

Alongside the building there is an original Victorian  post box and in front what appears to be stocks for two people! Click on the link for photo taken in 1929.

A little further along was this very interesting gated row of cottages,  I wonder who lives there?
The meal in the 300 year old Prince George Inn which is, by the way dog friendly, was excellent and we shall certainly come here again in the future.  Afterwards we returned to Still Rockin’ for an appropriate Eton Mess dessert and to listen to a mix of music.  All in all, a great couple of days with very good friends.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

A beautiful ‘Autumn’ (?) morning

 Best sunset I’ve seen in a long time, taken on Thursday evening and on Friday morning the promise of a good day ...
… and it was! We had friends come to visit, had an Indian meal on board, caught up with each other’s gossip and are spending the day with them in Windsor today, looking forward to that.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Just because we don’t need it … and Molly!

She’s feeling better!
She finally had a drink this afternoon, she’s eaten a reasonable amount of food, she’s done all her business and she’s out to play!

And the rest of today’s news ...

We left our mooring just after 8 cruising towards the lowering sky as we pass the Belted Galloways on the meadow

It’s throwing it down with rain as we approach Chertsey Bridge and Molly is sheltering in her box on the gas locker under a raincoat
 A very pretty boat, it looks as if it’s been to a regatta - anyone know anything?
 St Peter’s Church Staines
 … where fire fighters were very interested in this cruiser but we couldn’t see any smoke or fire.

Runneymead and trip boat Lucy Fisher moored near the new statue of our queen
 And just because we don’t need it … the best Runneymead mooring is available!
 Magna Carta Memorial taken from the river

The river started to get busy as we approached Albert Bridge where  the Crown Estate starts
 … and we see our first real view of the Castle!

Victoria Bridge has the royal coat of arms on the bridge piers
Eton College Church in the distance
We’d been warned by the lock keeper at Old Windsor Lock that Romney Lock had problems with its hydraulics, but we didn’t think it would be this bad.  The narrowboat invited us to pull alongside them, they at least had managed to ge there bow rope onto the lock landing.
Fortunately we didn’t have to wait too long.  It’s a good job that Romney Lock is big because it took all the boats waiting including 5 cruisers, the above trip boat, the narrowboat and ourselves!
It was just as bad as we exited the lock, there were 7 cruisers waiting to go down.
Arriving at Windsor Bridge
… and a fantastic view of the Castle but the queen is not at home today

It was 3:30 when we arrived and most moorings had been taken (cruisers leaving at least 30’ between them) but we managed to squeeze in just above the railway bridge, if a better space comes available tomorrow we’ll move along but this will do for now.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Molly update

Thank you everyone who has commented on my last post (here on the blog and on FaceBook) regarding Molly’s health.  She was as pleased to see us as we were to see her when we went to bring her home on Monday afternoon.

Due to her suffering from separation anxiety she had been sedated whilst staying at the vets and she was still very drowsy for the remainder of Monday.

We’ve got a low fat diet food for her for the next few weeks to give her pancreas time to heal and settle down but she really is not interested in doing anything except sleeping. She’d not had a thing to eat since Saturday but yesterday she managed to eat a small amount and was drinking well but so far today she’s had only a little to eat but not had a drink so far. She’d been on a saline drip whilst at the vets to rehydrate her and it’s a bit worrying that she’s not drunk anything yet today.

The sedative seems to be wearing off a little now and a couple of times she’s half-heartedly picked up a toy to play with then lost interest again. She is certainly not feeling like her usual playful self.  We can only hope that she perks up a bit more over the next few days and I’ll update again then.

On the cruising front … we’ve moved up to Spellthorne moorings to sit out the rain storms forecast, and boy has it rained!  Tomorrow we’ll take advantage of the break in the weather to get to Windsor where we’re meeting up with old friends.

Sorry that the video I put on the last posting didn’t work but I think I’ve sorted it now … it was just so peaceful to watch this gentleman out on the Thames at Shepparton after the flurry of craft coming and going all day ...

Monday, 24 August 2015

Off the Wey but Molly has problems

 Leaving the visitor moorings at Pyrford just before 8 o’clock on Saturday morning

 ... when we soon came across National Trust equipment which has obviously been used to back-fill to maintain the river banks - this is probably the site that the tug and flat we saw yesterday had been working all week.
These beautiful reeds swayed in the slight breeze, a lovely sight
Molly isn’t feeling quite herself today and wanted to be off the boat so I walked for a while, if I’d more time I would have loved to explore what’s at the end of this bridge and pathway
We walked to New Haw Lock and waited
… for George to bring Still Rockin’ in
We can see that Coxes Lock is open and read for us to go straight in
Alexander Raby Mill, Daniel Lambert Mill and John Bunn Mill were a mixture of industrial mill/foundry as well as accommodation for 207 years. They were commercially operated until 1983
The large Mill Pond at the lock helps to control the water depth 
… which falls 8’6” into the river but would originally have turned the mill’s waterwheel. For more information re Coxes Mill and lock click here
After all the rain of the past few days the current from the mill stream was fierce!  It caught us in its clutches and it was a hell of a job to get out of it and we could see a boat coming from the other side of the bridge! 

The steerer sounded his horn but there was nowhere we could go and we hoped against hope that he would stay where he was.  George slamed the propellor into reverse and used the bow thruster to get us into the towpath side and thank goodness the oncoming boat stayed where it was!
We were amazed to see who’s boat it was - Ray (Oakie) on nb Stronghold! He told us that for just a moment he thought that we were a narrowboat and was actually going to come through the bridge at the same time as us - I’m so glad he realised when he did, it could have been a very nasty accident!
The next lock is Weybridge Town Lock which has a very awkward bend on the other side of the bridge
… that’s the bridge we need to navigate
… and that’s the bridge we’ve just come through
… passing the lock landing where boats wait for the lock to be ready going upstream and the bow is still coming round to make the bridge

There are some amazing properties on this reach
More properties but of a very different kind at Bull Dogs Island as we approach Thames Lock which will take us back onto the river Thames just 3 hours after pulling the pins at Pyrford.

We moored up on the visitor moorings at Weighbridge and it was like the grand-prix outside, the hot sunshine had brought out every man and his boat and they were all dashing up and down past the moorings.
As it cooled down around 6pm it also calmed down outside and as I looked out at the scene this is what I saw ...
(written Sunday, posted to blog Monday)
As I mentioned earlier Molly had not been herself, she was very unsettled indeed, rubbing her eyes, scratching her face, licking her lips and wanting to be up, down, in, out but not still at all.

She woke us up this morning at 4-am and George took her out, she did her business but was also sick a couple of times and this continued all morning, all she wanted to do was to be out and graze on the grass.  I wasn’t quick enough at one point to get her off the boat and she was sick on the deck and I noticed a trace of blood in it so it was time to get in touch with the vet.

We’ve used the vet here at Shepperton before but today they could only see us at Teddington which was too far.  We managed to get an emergency appointment with a vet a few miles away at Hersham but after ringing 10 taxi companies we couldn’t get one which would take a dog! We rang the vet and she said that she’d come and collect us (as she couldn’t get the animal ambulance to start!). 

She’s had x-rays and a blood test and George waited for the results as they wanted to rule out pancreatitis, but unfortunately the vet couldn’t and Molly has been kept at the vet hospital on a saline drip to rehydrate her.  They will have to keep her sedated at she suffers badly from separation anxiety.  The vet will call us tomorrow and let us know how she is and when we can collect her.  

Pancreatitis can be caused by fatty foods (of the human kind) especially sausage and we thought about the leftover bbq sausages she’s shared over the past couple of weeks.  From now on her diet will be plain and simple dog food, no human treats and no gravy either.  I do hope she’s alright it feels horrible here without her.

{Edit/update} Monday morning 8:30 - just received a call from the vet - Molly is much brighter this morning and has been rushing around the garden there.  She has to have more medication today to stop the sickness but we can collect her after 2:30 today with meds etc., I am sooooo relieved!