Thursday, 18 September 2014

Our News

Sheena's mum passed away peacefully in her sleep on monday morning.

I've just completed an epic three day journey downstream. Day one: Abingdon to Beale Park. Day two: Beale Park to Temple Lock. Day three: Temple lock to Bourne End. A lot of hours at the tiller. But, the river was kind, the engine behaved and the journey went without incident. Apart from mister scuffing up the bed in Marsh Lock. Why that particular lock should annoy him so much, I don't know.

Oh, and such was my desperation for pork pies, and wanting to say hello to Vic No Problem (at Reading Tesco), I ever-so-slightly bounced off of Still Rockin's bow. Oops. Sorry. And then attempted to take off while still tied up! Classic. Managed to catch up with Sue near the milk, and conveyed the news to her. It was great to see them both, however briefly. Sorry I didn't have time to stop and chat, George.

To sum up the 2014 season, I would say that it's been "very quiet". There have been the usual manic bursts around the bank holiday periods, as per usual. But boating conditions have been near perfect. With hardly any flow, and beautiful weather to accompany it. Upstream of Osney bridge, it was practically deserted. For, me, personally, there hasn't been the stress of finding somewhere to moor up this year. And with the river being so gentle, manuevering single handed hasn't been that much of a problem, either.

So, that's me for a while. Don't know when I will be back. Sumo is fine, and seems to have forgotten all about his operations. We're needed down in Devon now. Cheers everyone. As my grandmother used to say :-

"Make sure you live every day".

As a liveaboard on the Thames, you get to see this every day. What the picture doesn't convey is the total absence of modern day noise. You can hear the birds sing, and the wind in the trees. There are no car alarms, police, or ambulance sirens. If there is a road or a railway track, it is tucked away at a considerable distance, discreetly behind some trees. Before I moved onto the river, I didn't think such a thing was possible.

That is, until a "Le Boat" hireboat decided to moor right up my arse, and then run their water cooled inboard generator (splash rumble splash rumble) *and* engines (loud rumble rumble rumble x2) until 23:30. I blame the hire fleet for not explaining to them that such behaviour would get them labeled as "inconsiderate assholes" by other boaters.

Abingdon WW1 Historical event
The young lad on the white horse was a nice touch. Very poignant. There were a number of other people in period costumes and uniform. Unfortunately, all of them far too old for military service. And rather (shall we charitably say) portly. The event, appeared to my eyes, as more about charitable donation than rememberance. It would have been nice to have seen more young people involved in it. Though, all credit to Abingdon, for putting on something out of the ordinary again.

Autumn is coming
Stopped off briefly at Wallingford, so that mister could stretch his legs. The willows are starting to moult.

Beale Park
He always has a whale of a time here. The perfect place to run around like an idiot.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Pinkhill Panorama

Tucked up, yesterday

Tail-Up swim sesh

Northmoor Beach

Pinkhill Lock ~ Self service

Ye Olde Lock Wheel

Trip Hazard

I love this bridge at Oxford Cruisers, Eynsham. It's amazing it's stayed up for so long. Or is even allowed in this health and safety obsessed day and age. Looks like it was made by a concrete hobbyist with astigmatism. "Oh f*ck it, that will do", I imagine they said. Brilliant.

Not a puff or ripple

Basically, I've just "fannied around upstream" for a bit.

I wish I could say it was "without a care in the world", but our lives are such a juggling act at the moment, it was nice to tick a few days off the calendar in such a relaxed way. With parts of the world in complete turmoil, I fully appreciate that I am lucky to be able to just put things to one side, and bimble about (or not) as the fancy takes me.

Anyway.... No accidents, No dramas, Nothing broke. We had enough food, and the milk didn't curdle. Hard to believe it's nearly mid september, because the sun was full on shorts and t-shirt style.

On the busiest day, I think I saw three boats.

Every time I come up past Osney bridge, I'm struck by the completely different character of the river. The pace is considerably slower, because you're not getting bumrushed by GRP cruisers racing to the next lock. The upper reaches have a lot of wide open meadows, which are in stark contrast to the curtain of willows further down. When it's raining, and you have the wind full in your face, it's not quite so lovely, sure.

But we had sunshine and dragonflies.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Getting the Sniffs

Pinkhill. All to ourselves. Not a cloud in the sky. Awesome.

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. The connection between iPhone and laptop has been tempermental. And the sky has often been overcast with a blanket of grey. The boat is fine. We are fine. Just waiting for Sheena to come back, so we can have some quality time again.

PS. We met the boater who disposed of the "Mooring Fees" signs at Cliveden Islands, all those years ago. So, I stand corrected.