Monday, 30 April 2012

Red Boards

Too much water.
Red boards everywhere.
Nothing moving.

Stuck at Abingdon lock, for the foreseeable. Got logs, coal and water. Within walking distance of shops. And we're tied up on a safe mooring. Fully aware that things could be much worse, so we're making the most of it.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Low Flyers

I asked the bloke on the riverbank what it was all about... "Something to do with the Olympics", he told me. "But you didn't hear that from me". Apparently, they're filming the whole of the Thames.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Wow.... I never knew that riverbanks and floating pontoons could be slippery, when they're wet. Thanks for pointing that out, health and safety. Much appreciated.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Today, I discovered that taking a perpetually hungry labrador to view a bun throwing competition wasn't a very good idea. Sumo ended up scoffing three of them. The last of which, he snatched out of an unwary child's hand. Thankfully, the judges gave him another one, when he said "a dog ate it".

Virgin Balloon flights are popular. They drift really low across the river, and land in the meadow next to the narrowboats.

Good throw, Sir!

Abingdon's Town Crier enjoying a pint. "People are weird", said the bloke on his left. Forgetting, that he was standing next to a man carrying a bell, and dressed in a long green frock coat.

Sumo calculating the bun trajectories.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Perfect Lifestyle

oh yes...
ok. will do.
Stopped over at Abingdon, because Sheena has to visit her mum again. Lovely place to just sit back, and wander about. Tomorrow, there is a world record bun throwing competition. The winner, gets to throw buns from the roof of the newly cleaned and unscaffolded museum. We all had a nice easter, camped out in the bushes above the lock, but are now back down by the bridge, so we can get our supplies easier.

The poster is for some new luxury apartment boxes, which have been built inside the Old Gaol. Small windows with bars. Lovely. I do like that 'aspirational' cruiser they've plonked in front of their uninspired brickwork though. This could be you! LOL.

Here's my version...

If you can view video, the computer generated Virtual Tour is highly recommended. Zombieland, UK. It looks more like a research facility inside, than a place you would want to call "home". Still, each to their own, I suppose.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


We've done about 7 miles today. Travelling up to Abingdon, from Dorchester. Passing through Clifton, and Culham locks. Not as busy as we thought it would be. And plenty of places to moor, when we got here.

Not our most favourite reach of the river, because you're confronted with Didcot power station from a variety of ever-so-slightly different viewpoints along the way. All of which are pretty ugly.

At Culham lock, we discovered Roy living in our chimney!

I was holding ropes at the blunt end, and didn't catch all of the conversation, but Sheena tells me that he and Sue are transporting 'baglady' over to Ireland with a lowloader. Roy's been on the Thames for so many years, he doesn't find it interesting anymore. And he doesn't even bother to look out of the windows of his wheelhouse. We'll miss seeing them about, but glad to hear they'll still be enjoying their barge.


Maybe this is common news. But it was a surprise to us. Yesterday, at Days Lock, chatting to the relief lock keeper, we discovered that the environmental agency have a shortfall in their budget of £800,000 this year. Their solution to this, is to sell off all of their lock cottages, and leave the majority of the thames locks unmanned.

I personally, think this is stupid. And will lead to a fatality. What price a human life? Less than £800,000. Obviously. Some of the crews on the hireboats we've seen haven't had a clue. They've been a danger to themselves, and other boaters. Also, with nobody around to check licenses, the problem of nonpayer's could also balloon. Causing the EA even more revenue loss.

I don't have a solution. But I do feel that "flogging everything in sight" isn't the way to go about things. It's a short term fix, which completely ignores the future. Very narrow thinking.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday

We cruised up from Wallingford to Dorchester this morning, so I could have a wander around the Wittenham Clumps. It was a bit grey, misty and overcast by the time we got there, but the climb was well worth the effort.

4 plastic yachts incurred the wrath of Sheena at Day's lock, when they didn't say thankyou to her for doing the gates. They then whizzed off and pinched the meadow mooring spots, so they could lunch. I met a bunch of ignorant weebles at the top of the clumps, too. They were the type of people who will turn their back to you, rather than say "hello", or even acknowledge your existence. City folks, I guess.

Nevermind. We are tucked up and warm, with Roast Chicken for tea. Stuff 'em. Happy Easter, everyone. I know times are hard, and everybody is feeling the squeeze. But there's no need to lose sight of your humanity.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Tucked up in the bushes at Wallingford for a couple of days.

The launderette here is closer to the moorings than the one at Shepperton. So it's a perfect opportunity to tackle our washing pile. Shame we've only found two, on the whole length of the thames. But we are glad there are any at all.

Sad news today, from Nb 'No Problem'. Their collie Lucy died, aged 13, from a mysterious illness. She was a lovely dog, who greatly enjoyed a good fussing. So pleased we all got to meet her, after reading about her exploits for all these years. Naturally, our thoughts and condolences go out to Sue, Vic & Meg.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Sumo is 8 today. Happy Birthday!

It feels like only yesterday, when we brought him home. But he's enjoying his new life on the river, and we're glad he doesn't have to climb up and down stairs anymore. It's just stepping on and off the boat, which has to be good news for his hips.

We cruised up from Reading to Beale park, in the sunshine. Passing through Caversham, Mapledurham and Whitchurch locks. Only Mapledurham was manned. Not that we minded.

We all enjoyed today. With it's full-on spring gorgeousness. There were very few boats moving today. A few narrowboats, but mainly "le boat" holidaymakers, who rush from one lock to the next. I didn't ram anything, and we got the pick of the peachy mooring spots. Currently tied up *alone* at Beale Park. Loving it.