Thursday, 30 July 2020

So ... what next?

Sunday (26th) was a great day for us ... our first visitor onboard since lockdown ... our son Mark came to visit and stay overnight ... it was wonderful!

The following morning ...

we took down the windbreak, pulled the mooring pins and left our mooring of three months at Medmenham Meadow, turning to head downstream ...

First lock since the end of October 2019 at Hurley where Mark is waiting to open sluices to let us down ...
There's another boat waiting to use the lock so we don't need to close the sluices and gates.

Arriving at Temple Lock where a single-hander is in the lock and I see him through and set the lock for us ...

Lucky again ... here comes another boat so we hop back on board leaving the gates open
Cruising through Bisham.  I phoned ahead to see what the situation was with the moorings at our destination and had been told by Sue, No Problem that the moorings at Bourne End were full ... oh nooo!
and approaching Marlow church and bridge ... I love this scene!

We pull in at the lock landing and although the self service sign was showing there appeared to be someone operating the locks, he turned out to be an EA (Environment Agency) worker, not the lock keeper.
Waiting at Marsh Lock Marlow
There were two cruisers coming towards us so using the zoom on my camera I had a look to see what was going on at our proposed mooring and could see that there was just one boat there now but right in the middle.  Fortunately a few minutes after pulling along- side No Problem the boat left and we were able to moor up.
I would love to live here.

Later in the day I could see something that appeared to be stopped in mid-channel ... not sure what it is but it certainly wouldn't go through a lock like that!
Noisy geese, I hope they don't hang about for long!

So, what next for George and me?  

We're currently packing up Still Rockin' and will move all our belongings to our little bungalow in Loggerheads tomorrow (Friday 31st July).  We will return here afterwards to clean through the boat and do some last minute little jobs and on Tuesday 4th August will take Still Rockin' to Tingdene's Thames and Kennet Marina in Reading to be put into brokerage so that we can get on with our new adventure.
So, what is our new adventure I hear you ask?

We're going to retire!

When we decided to retire from paid employment way back in 2006 we wanted to 'get out of the rat race' and do something different ... to go boating ... and what a wonderful time we've had over the years both on our narrowboat Rock 'n' Roll and widebeam Still Rockin'.

So now ... we want to experience retirement from the land.

We've purchased a car and rented a property, and when Still Rockin' has sold will buy a property hopefully somewhere in the Midlands not too far from a canal so that we can meet up with some of our blogging/ boating friends and maybe help them through a few locks.  

Having a car will enable us to explore the countryside, visit National Trust properties and non-blogging/boating relatives and friends (we both come from Stoke-on-Trent).  We'll be able to visit the likes of York and other cities for long weekends without worrying about finding a safe mooring to leave Still Rockin' and do whatever, and go wherever we want.  

That's the plan!  So all you boaters our there ... contact me via the blog if you're going to be on the Shroppie, Caldon, Staffs and Worc, Trent and Mersey so that we might meet up, help through locks and have a boating fix ... have no doubts ... we will surely miss boating ... but are now ready to try something different ... for us.

We shall continue to read the blogs and I'll update mine from to time, so it's not goodbye ... just cheerio for now!

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Finally ...

You my readers, have been very patient!  We are finally in a position to give you our news ... but before that ... a quick catch up!

My last (proper) post took us up to July 11th with a trip to our granddaughter in Buxton (9th) when I mentioned we had a car ...  initially it was an Enterprise Hire Car to drive north but at Buxton was there was something for us to collect ... a car of our own! George is so pleased with his purchase, a 2007 Golf GTI, this is the start of our next adventure.  

Still Rockin' is still for sale.  
The sale of Still Rockin' is taking far too long, so we're taking things by the scruff of the neck to make events happen.

Fast forward to Monday July 20th when the satellite dish on Still Rockin' decided to give up the ghost and George did a round trip the following day to Kings Lynn to get it fixed and refitted.
6am (I did say that we are early risers in the summer didn't I?) on July 21st and again on the 22nd where George is disappearing into the mist on his way to his car to take the dish for repair. 

It was going to be another very warm day.  I had a busy day too ... I was packing boxes on Still Rockin'.

We've rented a small (pensioners!) bungalow in the Midlands ... in Loggerheads to be exact, just a few miles from Market Drayton.

On Friday (25th) we (that is George) drove his car up to Loggerheads to give the bungalow a deep clean helped by George's brother and sister and sister-in-law. The adage 'many hands make light work' worked a treat and four hours later we were on our way home ... for the next week or so Still Rockin' will still be 'our home'. 

We drove through some torrential rain on the way home ...
 followed by ...
an amazing rainbow ...
 at about 8pm ... followed by ...
 these amazing cloud structures.
Another early start on Sunday morning too ...

 on our weekly trip to Hurley Lock to relinquish our rubbish at the boater services.
 This is the last time we'll return to what we'll fondly refer to now as 'our mooring at Medmenham Meadows'.

Back at our meadow mooring ... the day continued with the packing of boxes ... and we're very tired!.

This brings me now to my last post where we moved to Bourne End ... but more of that ... and our plans ... tomorrow morning, as it's now time to get up and start more packing.

Patience please ...

Monday, 27 July 2020

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Living life day by day ...

Although we're keeping busy (lots going on in the background) our life on Still Rockin' doesn't change much day by day ... 
here are a few things that caught my eye over the days ...
5am sky over the meadow on Friday (July 3rd) ... we're always early risers in the summer ...
and half past midnight looking at the moon and the stars over the Thames on Tuesday (7th) when I was having difficulty getting to sleep.

On Thursday (9th) we had a car and went to Buxton to visit our eldest granddaughter and her fiancé, passing Jodrell Bank on the way
The following day, still having the car, we made a surprise
visit to Sue and Vic
Penny Pup never gives up hope that someone will play with her!

and Saturday (11th) the day dawned at 5:30 with a temperature of just 4 degrees c but soon rose as the morning wore on.

Hope to have some news for you in my next post ... watch this space!

Sunday, 5 July 2020

To Hurley and back ... and an amazing sky ...

Wednesday (1st July) our weekly cruise ...

No need for bow thruster assistance today at 7am as the actual wind winded Still Rockin' to face downstream

Wild water swimmers braving the cold water from the slipway at Ferry Lane

Danesfield House, now a hotel, sits high on the hill and has an interesting past

Cygnets are growing up!

A new mooring has appeared on the Hurley Lock cut - £7 per night but we thought it may be a tad too close to the bridge to allow for boats coming and going.

When we were ready to set off again after depositing the rubbish I had to distract this swan family to the other side of Still Rockin' so that George could turn the engine on and reverse out.
The boat on the mooring I mentioned above is What's the Hurry ... we met Jools and Nick back in August last year when Nick very kindly helped us out when I wasn't feeling well. Pity it was too early to catch their attention for catch-up chat.

Although the two young crested grebes are old enough to catch fish themselves, Mum was still feeding them too.

Staying alert!

Just over an hour later we're back at our mooring.

and the sky?
Sundown at 21:30 ... stunning!