Friday, 18 August 2017


Me @ Spade Oak
Me @ Spade Oak

Fast becoming like Reading. Full of gits who do not move their boats. They've deliberately clustered themselves close to town too, making it a long old trudge to the shops for folk who just want to top up on supplies, and actually, you know.... cruise. 6 hour journey and nowhere to moor? Great. Thanks guys.

I was fortunate today, in that I got the very last space in town, way up in the fishing holes. A narrowboat that had burnt me off on the way had "moored like a twat" right in the middle of the town wall. LOL. Awfully considerate that. Cheers.

So now I'm behind a dutch barge that runs it's generator all day. I'm considering stopping a couple of nights, because the castle grounds are great for the lads to run around in. Also, the words "fat" and "chance" spring to mind, when contemplating finding somewhere to moor in Abingdon for the weekend. Ha, I love summer. So relaxing.

The journey itself was fine. Dogma behaved beautifully and it was a joy to push her up the river. Big reward of the day was being able to watch Kingfishers diving for their lunch.

Tune of the Day..
** Cheers for the pic, Sue. You caught me looking happy. LOL.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Sonning to Beale Park

Took just over 4 hours. Which translated to 3 classic punk albums and a bit of locking. Nothing popped, rattled or fell off. And I didn't have to change the fan belt. Did not make a tit of myself bouncing off any lock walls, and did not fall in. All in all, an excellent journey.

Reading was dissapointing. Still absolutely nowhere to moor there (even if I had the 100 english pounds necessary). Sad to report, the same old scrotes (who have been buggering things up for other boaters for years).... are still there. there are a ton of yoghurt pots with sheds on them taking up all the little gaps now too. Cheers guys. Thanks very much.

Pangborne meadow was stuffed with happy picnic people. Beale park was busy too, but not where we normally moor up. I guess people panic, and tend to cluster around the entrance more. The lads can run round and enjoy a nice jump in the river later, though it is too hot to take them out at the moment.

Festival season is also upon us. Sheena and I had a laugh at the "inflatable yurts and gypsy caravans" I saw in Henley. LOL. that will be 140 english pounds please (and a tenner for your tofu burger).

Tune of the Day...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The whiff of Fanbelt and Diesel

seven hours today. set off at 10am from Temple lock (fortified with "Oats so simple", instead of normal and preferred triple espresso). stopped in Henley briefly so that the engine could cool down a little and Olly could have some ball chucks. a couple of places on the Sonning reach called out with the Siren song, but I continued with my resolve to get through Sonning lock before calling it a day. Guess what? That was stuffed, too. I am tucked up in bushes, wrong way round, with the plank deployed. Some kind of lunacy seems to have infected people, because there were joggers everywhere.

I am hoping to get to Beale park tomorrow, where we can all have a much deserved chill out and run around like idiots.

had a very weird conversation with the owner of Nb "la Luna", who claimed that he knew the boat. and that it was moored on the river Lee. that is the third time I've heard this now. first time, three years ago. but now, twice this month. the first people said the lettering was exactly the same. the bloke (wb 'sixpence') who introduced himself at the Bounty pub, said he'd met me at Milton Keynes. also, the boatpeople in Reading think i'm a paramedic called John, for some reason. it is all very odd.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

It's been a while

Diogenes the Cynic

I feel like I should say something. It's rude to just bugger off, without offering up any kind of explanation or satisfactory ending to the story. Happy or otherwise. For anyone still interested, things are fine. We got walloped with a whole lot of death. A big chunk of love torn out of our lives. So, we've had that to deal with. Which, I have come to understand, isn't unusual for people of our age.

Our boat still floats. And that massive 23hp Bukh engine is still pushing us along nicely. This year, our insurers are requesting that we have her out for a hull survey. I suspect some minor plating will be necessary, but we are not currently in any danger of breaching our hull. When she's out of the water, I'll probably have to redo a lot of the jobs that this blog started out with. But this time, as least I will know what I'm doing.

Today, I had a nice lunch with Sue and Vic at Spade Oak, then saw Andy and Sue at Marlow lock. I thought...."I used to enjoy writing the boat blog. Happy Days."... so here I am...

Cruising singlehanded upriver, in the height of summer, with two labradors. Wehey! Sheena will hopefully be re-joining us at Abingdon.

The mission is to get up to Oxford cruisers for a boat safety examination, without blowing the head gasket on the 6-8 hour non stop stretches that are now necessary. Seeing no boats at all on the Tesco moorings at Reading is going to be a shock. Even though I'm prepared for it.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Darkblue Narrowboat

I'm sorry we didn't let you moor up next to us. 

We have been kind and allowed it in the past, only for the mickey to be severely taken. Enough for us to vow "never ever again".

If, as you said, you'd travelled up all the way from Staines, you would have passed Windsor, Dorney lake, Maidenhead, Cliveden and Cookham. I appreciate that it is high summer, and many places are jam packed, but i severely doubt there wasn't at least one mooring spot for you anywhere on the whole of your journey.

Summer Protip: if you see a mooring, stop at it!

Please don't think too harshly of us. And I hope you found a spot, eventually.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Family Tree

Sheena says she does not want to hear about my "working class roots" ever again. I did try to counter this, with the 300 years of cockney geezers I'd discovered. But the 2000+ years of my ancestors living in castles did the argument no favours at all.

 24th Great Grandfather King John.

** We're all fine. Still floating. news update soon.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Hey Hey..

Not the Monkees

We made it back safely. There were a couple of brown trouser and "barely moving" moments. Particularly around Cookham lock, where the two weir streams meet. But no loss of control. If something had gone wrong, it would have been very wrong indeed, because there is a large amount of water flowing through the cliveden reach at the moment.

The islands are nearly submerged, and it's also very choppy, with a high swell. Heard the exhaust complaining a couple of times when it got swamped, but once we hit the Bourne End reach, it was relatively plain sailing. Even Cookham bridge let us through without argument. Used a single rope for the towing. Our bow to the tug's stern dolly. Gave us a slimmer profile, than being breasted up. Worked, thankfully. Mr Bukh didn't let us down either. Worked flat out all the way, without anything popping, falling off, or belching out black smoke.

Should also mention that the hirefleets are still sending boats out. Saw 'Caversham' and 'Le Boats'. I know they have big seaworthy engines. but jeez...  I wouldn't risk it. it's madness out there..