Tuesday, 19 January 2010


oh dear
Had to get up early to empty the beast (who won't be able to wander in and out whenever he feels like it anymore). The river had risen another few inches overnight. No wellies, so we had to wimp out and turn back. Relit the stove, listened to some tunes, and drank lots of coffee for the rest of the morning.

lunch ~ co-op special offer
Stuffed some mini melton mowbray pork pies, and nipped out for supplies, while the beast was having his after-lunch nap.

Went for a nice ramble through 'Well End' to 'Spade Oak' in the afternoon. A "massive marshy nature reserve owned by the National Trust", apparently. But the no wellies situation meant we couldn't explore very much of it. Got chatting to a bloke out walking his beast, who said that Amy Johnson used to land her plane nearby for the Bourne End regatta.

Amy Johnson
Her wiki page turned up this interesting information..
She drowned after bailing out into the Thames Estuary. Although she was seen alive in the water, a rescue attempt failed and her body was never recovered. The incident also led to the death of her would-be rescuer, Lt Cmdr Walter Fletcher of HMS Haslemere. There is still some mystery about the accident, as the exact reason for the flight is still a government secret and there is some evidence that besides Johnson and Fletcher a third person (possibly someone she was supposed to ferry somewhere) was also seen in the water and also drowned. Who the third party was is still unknown.

Spent the evening experimenting with coal and logs on the fire, and pondering on the time when it was permissable to just plonk one's plane down wherever one jolly well felt like it. (as Cecil Lewis does, in his memoirs 'Sagitarius Rising').

Then tidied up, scrubbed down, and generally made sure the boat didn't resemble a sh*thole when Sheena turned up.

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