Sunday, November 17, 2013

Froud's Bridge Marina...and Back Again !!

On thursday we made our way west.  Fuel was needed for the tank and the fire, gas for the cooking and a pump out was required.  So we started off at 10am on a fairly sunny but windy day. Only 5 miles to travel but as many locks and swing bridges to get through.

Going up these locks is time consuming. They are wide locks and the paddle wash is fierce. So it was slow and steady but I still managed to throw the boat from one side to the other on occasions. Poor Paddington Bear took a swan dive to the floor a few times. Eventually I left him sitting comfortably on the chair instead Big Grin

The wind was picking up and turning decidedly chilly but we eventually made it to Aldermaston Wharf.  Only it was 4 boats deep along the whole section between the locks, with no space for pulling in for a pump out and diesel.  Although there were some folk around sorting out the hire boats they did not seem particularly interested in our money. So we pootled on to Froud's Bridge Marina. By this time Andrew was really feeling the cold, I was the one doing all the strenuous exercise and keeping moderately warm in the process. Froud's Marina relieved us of quite a few leaves from the money tree, which is looking well on it's way into winter but we are now stocked up with coal for another month or two (depending on the weather)  Sigh. Andrew decided that a night hooked up in the marina was called for, as he was not keen on travelling any distance back again.  From my point of view this was great. I got 4 loads of washing done, leaving the boat looking like the inside of a chinese laundry Laughing. In the morning we refilled the water before leaving, without even having to move, bliss.

We had hoped that on the route up to Aldermaston, we could find more spots to moor over winter. We were amazed at how shallow the edges were, leaving very few decent spots for mooring. Not only was it shallow but also very shaded.  All along the towpath were tall trees shading the boat from the sun. We need as much sun as we can get to keep down the running hours on the engine to charge the batteries. Not only that, access to groceries would require a trip by bus or train to get to a supermarket. So decision made, we would return to Theale and should the rain persist and the river rise we will take the boat up to Tyle Mill or just above Sulhamstead Lock. Both seem to be reasonably ok. Two of the other boats moored near us were in this same area last winter and said that they were fine. The water level rose and the flow increased but other than that no real issues. Well we shall see but I am hoping for a nice dry winter this year Praying.

So sorry Allan, for now we are staying east and with the sun. I rather like our little spot here by the lake. I will take a picture on the next misty, sunny morning and you can see why.

Until then folk, take care and keep warm Wave

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It Must Be Time Again...For An Update

Once more I have been very lax in keeping family and friends up to date with what we are up to. (Hand smack taken)

We made it safely through the great storm that never was for some.  We on the other hand were battered around a bit but only for a few hours. We had selected our spot well and were protected from the worst of the winds. Leaving our spot a couple of days later we saw just how bad it had been in some spots with trees down all over.

We have made our way on to the Kennet and Avon and have basically ground to a halt not far out of Reading. Theale has both a bus and train service into Reading and a co-op for food supplies, convenient for us. Water and pump out is just a lock and swing bridge away. A bloody tough swing bridge though, Andrew had to tie the boat up and help me with both opening and closing the bridge. That one lock and bridge are not on this years maintenance stoppages so we are happy about that. We have a couple of spots in which to moor and only a few other boats sharing those spots, so plenty for all.  No problems with continuous moorers around this end of the canal it would seem.

Tomorrow we shall venture a little bit further as we have need of more bags of coal. So to Aldermaston Wharf it is.

Our other news is that the job offers are just not flowing in, actually considering the number of jobs I have been applying for they have been dramatically non-existent. It really is quiet depressing. This is one of the reasons for remaining as close to Reading as possible without being smack bang in the middle of town. Mid town was not so great for the sun, when it shines. So being a bit further out we get the batteries well charged when the sun is out, which I must admit has only been for a few days here and there but at least it helps keep down the diesel consumption.

In hind-sight we wished that we had stayed further up north where we have more boating friends, as it is getting quiet lonely here. We are running out of conversation between us, especially as we are not on the move every other day.

So looking forward to tomorrow and some new views for a day before we move back down to Theale. Andrew has struck up a bit of a morning friendship with the lady from the house by the Theale swing bridge, but this all takes place before I even get up as she is an early morning walker and I would rather be tucked up in bed.

Andrew has been 'forcing' me to go out for a daily walk, just to stretch out the muscles and stop the onset of cabin fever :D 

Other than that i am keeping myself busy, reading, playing games on my tablet, knitting, watching tv, applying for jobs every morning (except saturday and sunday) and enlarging the number of people on my family tree. The tree is coming along nicely with the discovery of the marriage certificate of my dutch great grandfather. It has only taken me 10 odd years to get there, but that is what happens when you only rely on internet sites for information. Next on the list is the Swiss / Italian side, which is even more difficult to come by. 

So that is enough of the boring stuff, Andrew is fine and most of the time so am I. one day the phone will ring and that dreaded job will be offered.  I have to say I am not looking forward to being back in an office, but it is too late to teach and old 'dog' new tricks, so there will be no re-training for me.  One day someone will see that I am the person that they really need and want to work for them. Then life will take a different turn again.

Well I have been advised that dinner is ready, so I am off to partake of some sustenance.

Cheerio everyone, until next time :D