Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Beale Park

Much needed Shade

Hot Dogs

Tiny Terror

Venus Jupiter Conjunction

Wayyyy too early

Beale Park

We found some much needed willowy shade for the late afternoon. But moved onto the meadows a couple of hours later, in the hope of copping a small breeze. Never happened. We baked until the sun went down. Sadly, the meadows were far too hot to take the boys for a ramble. Maybe we'll be luckier on our way down.

Olly is waking me up at 7:30am on the dot. He's drinking a whole bowl of water at a time, which as his bladder is not yet fully formed, necessitates 20,000 visits to the outside. Thankfully, he reluctantly uses puppy pads on the well deck while we are going along. As there have been quite a few places where it has been impossible to stop (too full with other boats).

This morning however, I was able to witness the grand narrowboat exodus upstream. All of them going flat out. All of their engines sounded really rough. I've no real wish to get baked again, the glare off the river is really quite fierce. But I'm glad I'm never in that much of a rush that I have to cane our engine.

Monday, 29 June 2015


I was genuinely gobsmacked to discover that a long term overstayer had moved on from shiplake college, and we were able to tuck ourselves in there while it rained and blew a gale yesterday. The lads enjoyed running around on the rugby pitch, and Bryn got his first mega towpath walk up to Chas's boat (3 miles). Unfortunately, I slipped and fell into a swampy bog (up to my waist) on the way back. Sheena was not terribly impressed with my muddy shorts and squelchy waterlogged boots. But later saw the funny side.

Set off this morning in absolutely beautiful weather. Just a hint of a cooling breeze and the river as calm as a mirror. The reading tesco moorings were completely stuffed when we got there, with double breasted boats everywhere. Though thankfully (with skilful boat handling), I managed to reverse us into the last spot in town without ramming any trees.

Aiming to be at Beale park this evening, hopefully under the shady Willows. It's very hot now, and I am a bit concerned that we might bake out on the meadow, even though it is ultra lovely up there. With many happy Sumo memories. I miss seeing him sat in his chair when we're cruising along. But am very glad we have Bryn and Olly along for the ride. They both loved Sonning when we stopped off for water. Bryn was running around like an idiot in a figure of 8 pattern and a big grin on his face.

It's a shame that Uri Geller (with his ridiculous house as big as his ego) has the monopoly on moorings there now. It used to be such a lovely place for an overnight. But I guess nothing is forever. And at least we got to enjoy it while it was still free.


Saturday, 27 June 2015


Left the marina yesterday. stopped at harleyford overnight, so that the boys could step on and off easily. Awoken at 8am by a farmer banging on the roof, wanting his £5. He first turned up at 7.30, but banged on the wrong end of the boat, causing me to believe I'd dreamt it, and I'd gone back to sleep. Sheena was not terribly impressed by this, but that's the way it is on this stretch of the river.

Enjoyed a very pleasant cruise up to Henley today, in perfect conditions. The lock keeper at Hurley chuckled, when somebody on a cruiser was jealous of our blue flag. And the lock keeper at Hambledon complimented me for my steering into a completely stuffed lock without ramming anyone. Wehey!

The river at Henley was mostly roped off, with everybody preparing for the forthcoming regatta. It's £50 for an overnight mooring while that is going on (complete with a free ton of goose poo). Thankfully, we will be nowhere near here then. luckily, we got the last mooring space in town (thanks to my masterful boat handling). :)

A quick shop, and we will be off again.... It's nice to be moving. Especially in this heat.

(Pictures turned out disappointing. Sorry).

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Shiny and Red

Keep your feet off the upholstery, Ronnie

Cleanest Bilge in the West

"Take me out!" hassle

"Where's my treat?" hassle

Bilge painted. Toot removed from roof. Engine oil changed. We are finally ready to move! Looking for some shady spot upstream, because next week is supposed to be stupidly hot. Even the magic wind (electric fan) brings little comfort, when the sides are too hot to touch at 9am. It's also regatta and festival season on the lower reaches (increased mooring fees and fewer places to stop). Definitely time to go..

Olly's toilet trained. He goes to the back steps and woofs. We haven't had any 'little mishaps' for a week now. Learning not to poo on the boat came really quickly for him. His bladder control took a little longer, but we're mostly there now. And he's letting us sleep in until 9am. Bonus! He's growing quite quickly and turning into a gorgeous little chap, even though he is still dangling off of Bryn's ears given half a chance.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Olly likes...

Spagmum Moss
Windblown Leaves

First outdoor walk ~ Cliveden Towpath
Tiny Terror
Best Buds
Conked out

Bryn discovers Swans

The swan hissed at Bryn.
Bryn thought "I'm not having that", and headbutted it.
The swan, quite annoyed, thwacked him with it's wings.
I called him away.

Last week, we saw that same swan drowning ducklings.
So Bryn got a biscuit.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Narrowboats Sod Off!

That's the message Marlow council appear to be sending, by having the affrontery to charge TWELVE ENGLISH POUNDS for an overnight with NO SERVICES WHATSOEVER. Even Henley only has the neck to charge nine for their water tap.

We pitched up there today, hoping to do some food shopping, but were quickly shooed off. The whole of Higginson park has been blocked, because of the regatta and (f)unfair. Well, sorry Marlow, you used to be such a nice place for an overnight and a meal. But with your new found greed and nastiness, you will now never get to see another penny of our money ever again. raspberries in your general direction.

On our way back to Bourne End, we saw this...


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

New Recruit

Olly has a bendy tail, so he's been allowed to come and live with us. Lucky chap. Bryn loves him, but is glad he can escape to the sofa away from the puppy fangs.