Thursday, 31 May 2018

Another hot bank holiday weekend

This is twice now that the weather forecasters (in this area) have got the holiday weekends wrong ... thunder and lightening was supposed to happen on most days. 

Instead we had glorious days except on Saturday morning when we walked into Egham for a few supplies and got soaked on the way home.

 It cleared up shortly afterwards and stayed that way until evening
Saturday night and well into Sunday morning we had an enormous storm, lots of thunder and lightening and I hoped that it would make the day a bit less humid, but that was not to be and Sunday was hot once again.  On Bank holiday Monday (28th May) there were still yellow storm warnings but was very cloudy and humid again.  We spent most of the day on the back deck, reading, chatting and watching the world go by ...
 Nice privately owned boats
 The Lucy Fisher trip boat
 Small boats
 Oh, and the National Trust cut the grass paths too
 Speedy boats who put their brakes on when the saw us watching
 and leisurely cruisers
 Boys and their toys
 Families having fun
and hire boats too.

Hope all my readers enjoyed their weekend no matter the weather.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A good day for a clean-up - 25th May

Whilst moored at Cookham Still Rockin' was under some large trees and as a result the roof, sides and canopies were covered in tree sap and bird droppings, both of which had dried fast in the hot sunshine.

It rained really heavily during the night and was very warm too which meant that we didn't get much sleep but George was up early ...
with a bucket of hot water and a scrubbing brush to clean up ... it took a while!
For the rest of the day we relaxed in the shade of the hood on the back deck not venturing out until about 8:30 in the evening 
when it was a bit cooler to watch the sun set
and the moon rise
Fly me to the Moon  (turn up your sound!)
A good day.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Down, up, down, up, down ...

... but for the moment it's up ... but not for long!

Our intention this season is downstream to Kingston (last stop before Teddington and the tidal Thames) and upstream to Oxford probably Sandford Lock or maybe just beyond Iffley Lock, time will tell!

It's rather dull and cloudy this morning (23 May) and the wind is definitely cold but by 10 past 8 we'd pulled away from our mooring at Cookham ...
winded and ...
headed back downstream, under the road bridge, quietly passing NPXL still hiding away under the trees as we turn left ...
into Cookham Lock cut
It being before 9am when the lock keeper comes on duty, George dropped me off on the landing and I walked down to operate the lock where someone had once again left the lock gates and sluices open despite the large sign on the lock console. 
Canada Geese with 6 goslings
Canada Geese with at least 34 goslings - is this called a crèche?

Passing the Magna Carta once again, he's taking on water ...

at the National Trust site at Cliveden

Through Boulter's Lock at Maidenhead and ...

approaching Bray Lock

... to Bovney where the lock keeper saw us coming and had the gates open

... and on through Windsor Reach where the underside of Windsor and Eton Bypass Bridge was being inspected.  I hope all was ok with it.
The powers that be have eventually removed the fallen tree from the river on Bath's Island moorings, about time too.
I can't resist a photo of Windsor Castle whenever we pass this way, but this time I noticed something I'd not seen before ...
Men at work on top of one of the towers
Waiting for Romney Lock to empty of boats
... and also waiting at the pretty setting of Old Windsor Lock

where two new lock keepers were undergoing training
By 12:30 we could see that there was space at one of our very favourite moorings ... Runnymede and were so happy that what we call 'pole position' was also vacant. It's here we shall spend the Bank Holiday weekend.  The weather though doesn't sound too good though with threatening heavy rain and thunder and lightening ... a typical bank holiday perhaps?

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The weekend

Friday (18th May) from the lock landing at Cookham.
We've seen quite a number of EA boats out on the river over the past week or so.  They are part of the security arrangements for the royal wedding tomorrow advising boaters about where and where not to cruise and moor etc.  They've also been checking licenses and warning speeding boats too.

If you click on these two photos to enlarge, you'll see a queen bee trying out the holes in the concrete on the wharf-side where we're moored.  She's after a new nest site.
Saturday just after 6am it looks to be a good day weather-wise.  Some naughty boater though has left the lock gates open!

By 8am we were in the hire car (Enterprise) and heading north to the West Midlands for the weekend.  Our first port of call was to see our daughter-in-law Ange and business partner Julie in their new venture in Newport, Shropshire ...
 Currently called Harts Vintage Tea Rooms although this picture was not taken on that day!
 ... we partook of a tasty cooked breakfast whilst watched Harry marry Megham on the television placed discreetly and quietly for that special day.  What an interesting ceremony that was.  It brought a tear to my eyes and I enjoyed it immensely along with several of the other customers.   
We managed to resist the delights of the home made cakes on that day but returned on the Monday when we sampled a couple of them - delicious!  We wish Ange and Julie the best of luck in their venture, they have waited a long time for this opportunity and deserve to do well.

If you live near Newport or are in the area, please call in and sample their delicious food and drinks.  The tea rooms are on the cobbles of St Mary Street, Newport in a very distinct Georgian building, or go to their facebook page and click 'Like'.

And the main reason for going north ...
my brother Garry and wife Sue are over from their home in Perth, Australia and we're meeting up with them at our son Mark's house on Sunday evening for a Palin bbq!
Taken at 10:30
We had a great evening ... good food, good company and liquid refreshments, lots of catch-up conversation and tons of laughter until well after midnight!
... and no, that's not George's cuppa, his is the wine in his left hand!
On Tuesday by 2:30 we were back at Still Rockin' having returned the hire car, unpacked the Tesco shop we'd done on the way home, put a load of washing on, topped up the water tank and pulled away from Cookham lock landing.
As we exited the lock cut we were surprised to see No Problem XL moored very discreetly at the end of the lock island ... we'll remember that mooring next time we're this way so long as the solar panel are in the sunshine it looks like a good place for a few nights.
We could see that there was room for us on the visitor moorings
A great sunset after a brilliant weekend with the promise of more good weather to come over the next few days.