Sunday, April 27, 2014

Just A Little Bit……of a cruise

Sun 6th April

Last weekend we took the opportunity for a short cruise, whee hee.  The weather was not the best but as we can no longer choose the weather we cruise in and we were aboard, the waterway was finally clear and navigable to Tyle Mill, we needed to refill the water and pump out the loo (which has been waiting since Christmas no less !!!!). We gaily untied, revved the engine and made our way a whole mile upstream.  Oh, what we have been missing !  We both enjoyed being back on board and moving, even with the wind and light rain in our faces.
Looking back to Theale from Tyle Mill services

Ashdown on the servces

And one of our chestnuts decided that it was time to sprout
nut hiding under a whole lot of leaves

and growing tall

A Weekend with Emlyn – at Bibury

Sat 8th March

We also got to see my other brother Emlyn who was over here for a weekend before going back to South Africa after his winter holiday.  We spent some time in Bibury and had rather a nice lunch there.


Jody, Gina, Emlyn and Andrew


Andrew, Gina (hiding behind Andrew), Jody and Emlyn




Weekend in London

Sat 29th & Sun 30th March

We also spent a weekend in London, initially to catch up with an old workmate from our Auckland days. We ended up going to see Mamma Mia in the West End and although Andrew might have been a bit apprehensive about the musical, we all ended up thoroughly enjoying it. Andrew was even humming along with some songs.  Who thought that there was an Abba song to describe so many different parts of our lives! We said goodbye to Katrina after dinner and made our way back to our hotel. On the Sunday we had a bit of a walk around before having to check out of the hotel and making our way back home.

Hungerford Suspension Bridge

London Eye at night

The Royal Houseguards building - the hotel is in the left hand part




A Royal Horseguardsman


Guards Division memorial

 The back of St James Palace with the rear of 10 Downing St on the right

Admiralty Arch on The Mall - looking towards Trafalgar Square

The Mall - looking towards Buckingham Palace

Seen on a building on Whitehall just down from Trafalgar Square

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

and our room :)
Seen on the street corner

A Few Days in Bristol

Wed 9th April

I spent a few days in Bristol for work.  I was lucky enough to stay at a hotel very near the Clifton Suspension Bridge. All the following photos were taken with my phone so I was not able to play with settings so easily.  But still it gives you an idea.  What none of these show is the extreme cold and wet.  One of the evenings on my walk home I was completely drenched in a hailstorm. Luckily it was on my way home and not to work, so I was able to take a nice long hot bath to warm up before dinner :)  

Window reflection from my dinner table

and another one with the Clifton Suspension Bridge outside

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge again



At Home

The next few blogs are all catch-ups from the previous few months. So quite happy for you to ignore if you are not interested :)

Sometime in February

The furniture all finally arrived.
The Lounge Suite

Dining Room - as yet unused ???

Lovely bed and cabinets

And some other photos from home. Well sort of the cemetery is across the road !
Not great quality as they were taken with my phone on the way home from work.






Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Weekend - Day #3

Some early morning risers had Andrew up early himself. 3 boats before 7:30am when he appeared with my morning wakeup cuppa. Once again we were off just after 8 am ourselves. Copredy on our radar. Each day has been cooler than the day before. Today was decidedly chilly and a touch wetter. Luckily for us the rain waited until we had reached our destination at 5pm. Since then even the ducks were sheltering.

There have been a number of boats on the move today, lots more than the past two. We even saw Timothy West and Prunella Scales aboard their own boat heading in the opposite direction. Andrew naturally yelled out that he really enjoyed watching their canal journey program that aired a few weeks ago on More4.

We had more entertainment when I tried to close the bottom gate at Somerton Deep. It was replaced in the winter maintenance program, I had difficulty closing it before, now it was impossible. I could only manage a few inches and Andrew had to climb up the ladder to help out. I have filed a note to self for future reference,  next time I drive and Andrew locks. My problem is I do not like being in the bottom of such a deep lock :-(

Banbury was so quiet, it was quite eerie. Only 3 boats on the 48 hr moorings in town, yet Coprexdy was absolutely packed, with not a single spare mooring :-( not sure what was going on here. Maybe no onereally wantz to be i banbury unless the shopping mall is open ?

Well the boat is now booked in to Copredy for the week and we just need to find a way to get in to Banbury to catch the train back to Reading and pick up the car. So another day of travelling tomorrow, but not quite as much fun :-(

Easter Weekend - Day #2 (Updated with pictures)

Another early start today. We left Abingdon at around 8am. It was a beautiful peaceful morning. Just a couple of other boats on the move. We are making good time, reaching Lower Heyford this evening. Stopping at around 6:30pm. Just over 10 hrs today. The face is feeling a bit wind-burnt but still I have enjoyed the day. I have not forgotten how to do a lock, although it has been a while, we still know what we are doing. Luckily :-)
We have slowed up a bit now on the canal. First hold up was at the end of Dukes Cut. 2 boats trying to get up the lock were not able to get in as there was something under the water surface preventing the gate from fully opening. They were slightly wider than the normal 6' 10"  but as 2 hire boats got down and out we decided to try our luck. We made it and were just by the lift bridge when C&RT arrived, so hopefully the others got through too.
Passing through Thrupp, we said a very quick 'Hi' and 'Bye' to Maffi, who was doing his usual wonderful job of opening the lift bridge for all the water travellers. I wish we could have stopped to chat but spare time was not something we have much of now. Maybe we will go and visit by car one weekend :-D
After 5 months I must be getting soft ! I have only done 8 locks today (and Andrew 1) and I am feeling every muscle and my feet are sore :-(  Although we did not do such long days when we were living aboard. We were never in a hurry to get anywhere!

Looking backward out the hatch at our mooring in Abingdon

Historical rowing skiff - one of 4 that past us by

Followed by this launch :)
Abingdon Lock - early morning self service

Andrew well wrapped up - not nice and sunny like the day before

Walkway over the weir at Isis Lock

Isis Lock


Abingdon Rd Bridge

The Old Railway Bridge, Oxford