Monday, 28 September 2015

No Trolls

Sloooowly does it....

Snug and Comfy

All of the moorings above Days lock were completely stuffed when we came through on saturday. Well, it was late afternoon, and we should probably have known better. Maybe we will be able to get on there next year...

Thanks to Brian (Nb Harnser) for pointing out that we can moor just around the corner, on the mouth of the River Thame. A really snug and comfy fit under the bridge. Sometimes, being only 53ft has it's definite advantages. Had a great night's sleep, undisturbed by any trolls. Something of a novelty too. Had our picture taken so many times. I guess it's unusual to see a boat here..

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Thames Treasures

Sheena's latest haul
 We found a dredged spoil heap. Which has been supplying Sheena with many an afternoon's amateur archeological entertainment. It's fun and fascinating to imagine how these artifacts ended up in the river. Where they deliberately thrown? Or did they fall overboard? No Saxon horde this year. But we will keep looking..

Misty morning at Abingdon Lock

I enjoy this time of year immensely. There is still no flow on the river. The going is easy. And there are plenty of moorings to go around. 99% of the ignorant 'in a hurry' folk have buggered off back to wherever it is that they came from. So, it really is quite peaceful out and about. It's also been good that Sheena has been able to enjoy a whole summer with us. Naturally, we miss Nora (Sheena's mum) and Sumo (our previous lab) very much. But we are also enjoying our new life chapter together.

4 in a bed
 Bryn has a nice folded duvet dog cushion to sleep on. Olly has his own little house. But, last night, they both decided to camp out on our bed. Notice me.. stuffed up under the gunwales. Not the best night's sleep ever.
Little Ols
Cute... while he's asleep.

You awake yet?

Sadly, there will be no lab party this year. Lesley, Joe, Floyd and Fletcher (Nb 'Yarwood') were in a hurry to get back to Thrupp for sunday. Lesley says they will be back on the river again next year. Hopefully, we will be able to bump into them then. Sorry we missed you, guys. Hope you had a nice time on the Thames.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Top Chap!

Delighted to see that great uncle Millican possessed the ability to keep a lit cigarette burning between his toes, while he sorted out his coffee and campfire with his two free hands. Priorities, sorted. The person who said that men are unable to multitask properly, are definitely misinformed. :)

Trying to track down the rest of the film footage. It's from a 30 second newsreel clip, apparently. Stored in the imperial war museum, because it was shot during the war years. They also have the budget to restore old film stock before it disintegrates forever and the images contained on it, lost.


Today, we have seen seven different types of rain.

All Wetness Outside

Closed the hatches.
Lit the stove.
Snug and cosy.
Not a problem.


Brave Olly

Today, Olly overcame his Gephyrophobia (fear of bridges).

Not so brave Olly
He'd baulked at this one last month. Today he was offlead. We all just bimbled across, while he mustered up the courage. After he'd seen that we'd all gotten across safely, he gave a couple of woofs, pawed the ground, then went for it. With no commando crawling or apparent anxiety. On the way back, he was in front of us, and did it again without any prompting. The next one to try is Wallingford road bridge. He didn't like being able to see over the sides.

Today must have been an enormous boost to his confidence levels. He's also figured out how to clamber up the back steps and off the boat. And how to jump on the kitchen work surfaces. We are going to have to watch him.

Sunday, 20 September 2015


BBC Countryfile...

Eh up!

Ratty's House

How to get through Benson Lock
The lock keeper at Cleeve gave us this handy map, for how to negotiate the buoys at Benson lock. It reminded me of the pirate treasure maps we drew as kids, and I personally, found it confusing.

However, when it came time to negotiate it.... I...

Steamed straight through it

Waiting for Sheena to open the Gates

Hi everyone. We're upstream. Moored up next to our favourite coriander field. The location of which, will have to remain a well guarded and precious secret. Sorry.

The last week has been very nice. A mixed bag of rain on the roof in Wallingford, with a comforting fire in the evenings. Or days where the sun has been out, and bimbling upriver on tickover has been good for the soul. Stopped at all of our favourite places on the way up. Mostly, wide open meadows, where the boys can run around to their hearts content.

Sadly, we could not stop anywhere near Day's lock. Or climb the Bubs of Berkshire. But hoping to do that on the way back down.

Wallingford Meadow sunset

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Relaxing Upstream

Left Reading after stocking up on supplies, and headed up the river again. There's hardly any flow on at the moment, and there were about 3 other boats moving. It is all very leisurely and a marked contrast to the height of summer. Spent a couple of days at Beale park, then bimbled our way up to Wallingford. The boys, of course, don't give "a monkeys" that it's cloudy, rainy, and that the sun is not out. They're enjoying running around the meadows like idiots. And hogging the heat of the stove in the evening.

Countryfile ~ BBC1

This sunday, BBC1's Countryfile program will be showing an infoblip about Sheena's great uncle.....

From what we gather... They've visited the cave he used to live in. And they have some previously unseen family photos, including one of Sheena's dad as a young lad.

Millican Dalton

Friday, 11 September 2015


The mooring situation in Reading is deplorable. On our way down from Beale Park, I noticed dozens of new "No Mooring" signs had popped up on the Caversham meadows. The shiny new pedestrian bridgework has gone into overtime, and all of the continuous moorers on the park have been shooed off. Result: They've relocated themselves outside Tesco for most of this year, inconveniencing boaters who just want to do a quick shop and be on their way again.  Today, we were very very lucky. I managed to squeeze our 53ft boat into a 54ft slot. The last space in town.

By Caversham bridge, the iron mooring rings outside of the EA building have also been removed. I guess the local people's objection on the grounds of "historical mooring" have been overruled, or more likely, just simply ignored.  There is nowhere else for 'people who don't want to move' to go. I doubt there will be any official 'mooring allowed' places anymore in town (or the immediate vicinity). It's not looking good. A couple of years ago, Sonning was similarly swept clean of it's free short stay boat moorings (looking at you, Uri Geller), and now it seems that boats are not welcome in Reading either.  It's all tremendously sad. Every year there seems to be some other place that you cannot use.... or must pay an excessive price for.

What people who post "it's lovely here" on their blogs neglect to tell you, is that as soon as you put your pins in, somebody pops up and demands money from you. Or wakes you up at 'stupid 'o' clock' in the morning to do the same. To tell the truth, I am pretty annoyed with boaters being seen as " money". We're not all millionaires.

There are exceptions, of course. There are still *some* lovely lovely places, where you can stop and NOT be hassled by another soul (greedy or otherwise). The tragedy, for me, is that such places are continually shrinking year on year. Whether there have been overstayers there or not. A general mean streak and nastiness seems to be on the increase, which is the very worst of British. It's not "live and let live" anymore, it's "they're getting some thing for nothing. I'm not. I shall complain."


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Beale Park

I spoke too soon. Had to carry on further than we'd anticipated, due to "the picnic posse". That will teach us to cruise in the afternoon, I suppose. Turned out for the best though, because we found Beale Park meadows completely and utterly deserted. The river is nice and wide here, with no (big assed) trip boats rocking us about. It's lovely. Hard to imagine that we are only 4 hours (at our speed) out of Reading, too. The loudest thing last night, was an owl.

Ubiquitous Geese

The Red Arrows

Oil change needed

We all love Beale Park


Good Deed for the day
Christine, the rather embarrassed owner, was very thankful to get it back. Did I mention that I'd managed to lasso it first time. With my extraordinary rope throwing skills. While both vessels were moving.  Did I ?

. Kingfisher
People often say to us "I've only ever seen one in my life". Which is a shame. It's a slow day if we don't see at least six of them. Never take them for granted though. They are beautiful.

Bimbling ~ Not a puff or ripple

Tuesday, 8 September 2015


Boathouse at Wallingford - Photoshop filtered

Big pile of BBC propaganda

Bryn is innocent!

Poor Tigger

Cruising Stations

We all like Wallingford

Things get a whole lot easier for us now that the sun has gone in. We can cruise at tickover without getting bumrushed. And there are plenty of mooring spots to go around. We're slowly heading downstream, with the intention of meeting up with Floyd and Fletcher (and of course, Lesley and Joe) on Nb Yarwood.

Olly's started to lose his puppy teeth (hooray!). Unfortunately, he seems to be allergic to bridges. Big ones, small ones... he baulks... and has to be picked up. Not sure how we are going to cure that one. A pocketful of treats, I suppose.

We've been tucked up at the Wallingford fishing holes for a couple of days. The meadow walks are spectacular, and fenced in. So, safe, to let Olly off lead to run around like an idiot. The low bank has also afforded an opportunity for painting our scruffy side. It's all been very relaxing. Think this is my favourite time of year. A nice fire in the evenings, too. What more could a person ask for.