Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Berkhamsted...now that's more like it :-)

Definitely BURK... not BARKhamsted. Again we had stopped here over night on the way south and had the pleasure of meeting Jacquie and Stein off of 'like ducks to water' (hope you're well guys!). We've pretty well managed to get the same mooring spot along this lovely little town pound - here's a link to the last time we were here to avoid duplicating any photos. What we hadn't done last time though was to look at the local town.

The busy boat last night (Tuesday) we went for a soda and lime at the Riser (rising sun) instead a few less diners.

The view from the rear terrace for a few days

LJ moored just this side of the Crystal Palace pub - how has it got that name? well you'll just have to wait for my next blog
Talk about chalk and cheese compared to HH! Our first stop was to a local solicitors to get some docs witnessed. I had called them first expecting to wait a couple of days for an appointment, Mr Houghton came to the phone himself and said he had a few minutes spare in half an hour! Result, Deb was still hanging over the bath washing her hair but we made it on time. After a brief meeting and proclaiming our 'solemnly do declares' we were relieved of our £5 and on our way to the post  office. We'll just have to wait for the decisions with the powers that be. 

So, Berkhamsted. Pretty little town with lots of history, lots of independent shops and restaurants, not a pound shop in sight. Obviously a good degree of affluence, probably a lot of Londoners 'wot done good' wanting to move from the city to the country but still be only half an hour from Euston on the main line. The local folk are really chatty we've had some pleasant conversations with the owners and visitors of the two properties that we are moored outside of. They both have raised balcony's that are south westerly facing that have been very well utilised for entertaining, we've rewarded their courtesy by polishing their side of the boat and making sure that we didn't run the engine when anyone is home. 

The next blog will follow a brief historical tour that we took of the locality with information pamphlets provided by the local civic centre. (if I can get the pics to load - we're just on the Tring summit and there is not a lot of signal here, the MIFI is perched on the roof at the moment) 








Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Now lets have a little Dacorum...

On the way down to London we cruised past lots of places that we recognised the names of but didn't have time to stop and explore, people we meet had said that there are some really nice towns on the southern GU.

Soon after Watford comes Hemel Hempstead. We were desperate to get some printer ink as we had some important legal docs that needed printing and posting pronto! A little south of the canal was a small industrial estate with a Staples shop so that would do (I would have liked to get a smaller more compact printer but they are expensive and our old one is great for scanning and photocopying as well). North of the canal and only a short peddle away is the town of Hemel Hepmstead. A new town described in our Collins guide as having excellent shops, built around a charming old town with attractive streets' - lying buggers!

It may well have an older high street but it's nearly a mile away from the 'new' town. Oh and this newer town is probably 1960/70's vintage, how long can you go on calling them new towns! It reminds me of Basingstoke in the early 90's (I have experience), Basingstoke was a new town that was blooming 'orrible. The town centre was so bad that about fifteen years ago they knocked it down and started again. Even on a beautiful summers day I am struggling to find the positive to say about HH.

Years ago they said that the downturn of a town started with too many estate agents, then came too many charity shops, then bookies and now pound shops. Every other shop on HH is a pound shop. Some have even closed down, what comes next? 

There was one great place though, Mosaic Supermarket at the top of town. Asian market with a Turkish bakery tucked at the back. Loads of fresh fruit and veg at bargain prices, interesting selection of both fresh and frozen items (we bought some really tasty frozen Samoa's). 

The Asian lady behind the counter was impressed that I had headed straight for her pile of Turkish Lahmacun, (like a thin pizza with a sprinkling of minced meat over veg rather than tomato sauce, and no cheese - bargain at £1.50 each and always made fresh on the day) but became even more chatty when I said I was going to reheat them over charcoal and fill them with piles of salad, lots of lemon juice and my homemade smoked chilly jam! So far the only place in HH that I would gladly revisit.

And now some excerpts form one of my favorite sites (see previous blog - the back end of nuneaton) 'uncyclopedia'.

Hemel Hempstead is a new town in the south of England, created (in part) to house the homeless people of London after they had lost their homes to bombing raids. The town was also designed to be self sufficient and as an unforeseen effect, no one ever leaves once they arrive. With no one leaving Hemel Hempstead it was ultimately forgotten about by the rest of the world! With the people of Hemel Hempstead (the Hemelites) quickly running out of the essential supplies of foodwaterporncigars and hospitals. The Hemelites formed into roaming bands of murderous cultists and the shortage of supplies wasn't helping this fact. The town was becoming desperate and ever angrier with each day that pasted without any media attention since the oil storage depot disaster of 2005. You can continue your studies into the Hemelites battle of London here (link)

Next onto Berkhamsted, let's see if there's is a little more decorum in that part of Dacorum!

No pics, the camera plain refused to open its shutter in Hemel Hempstead. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

IWA at Cassiobury, worth £9 entry?

Er well no actually, even though we only paid £6.50 each as we bought in advance it was still a long way off VFM and a country mile from the excellent (free entry) Richmond festival. 

Worse still if you had brought kids with you as the attractions in the very mini fair were an extra £2 per pop.  We went on the Saturday expecting it to be the busiest day, and there were quite a few people milling around. Mainly wearing blue IWA T-shirts, I thought they must have been giving them away until I noticed that they were all volunteers! We skirted the periphery and then headed into Watford town to do a couple of jobs.

Watford town is OK, not fantastic but OK. We had stopped here on the way down to London to use up some tesco's vouchers that we had exchanged for pizza express currency. It has all you'd expect in the way of shops along its pedestrianised centre. Over all it appeared to have coped with the last six years economic clusterf##k quite well. We bought some rolls, ham and cream cheese and headed back to Cassiobury park to make our sarnies in front of everyone who would be tucking into burgers and hotdogs, at a fiver a pop I wouldn't be joining them.

The thing that peeved me about the IWA was that I had emailed them three times without one reply. Organisation, company or charity that is beyond poor service. I asked them if there was any space available on their £45 button fender making session, I asked if I paid online if I could pick up tickets at the gate, I asked again this time at the email address published for the event organiser. I emailed again a couple of days later adding a question asking why they had to charge nearly double for boat moorers booking during the final week and why the evening entertainment was closed to ticket holders and open to just boaters and campers - no reply.

There were a couple of good moments but they were more luck than judgement. We met Terry and Monica Darlington of 'Narrow dog to Carcassonne' (and others) fame and of course whippets Jim and Jess. I bought another espresso coffee maker on the boat jumble stall for £1 (once all the volunteers had decided its value) and we also met Andrew Growcoot from Beta Marine who not only remembered our boat from 2000 but also recalled LJ winning a builders award at the IWA that year (hope there was a bigger doo then). We also had a good chat about our engine, the silly prop gen and torque/power/prop thrust. It turns out that Rose boats weren't fully correct (read wrong) in saying we had a normal engine with restricted revs for the generator, we can't just rip it off and turn it back to variable revs. Andrew told us it was built for its purpose and has different internal governance. He did assure us though that it was a full powered 50hp and that 1500 rpm was maximum torque but 1800 was available at full chat. Oh and said he would do us a deal on a new one if we'd prefer.

Jess and two of Jim's remaining three limbs 

Sort of morris dancer with a basket on his head - each to his own

Ready for the fly past - Maurice insisted that North was the other way saying 'no you're all wrong'

Spitfire flypast, taken on mobile phone cam

These guys are just everywhere! - lovin the hat Doug :-) 

My new best mate for a few days, as soon as the hatch was open he'd bring me some stones to throw. 


My only other purchase was an old leaking water pump, funnily enough leaking from the same place as ours, there happened to be two others on the table all with the same fault. I was offered all three, I declined. I don't need it to replace our sometimes leaking one, I intend to cobble together a filtered, pressurised, canal fed garden hose for washing the boat down - eventually :-)


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Before we pushed the boat off...

...we thought we had better push the boat out, just one last time...

Our 21st anni was just over two months ago. We were just getting used to London and Jess was due to arrive for her visit. Unsure as to how we would like to mark the day we settled on eating, drinking and being merry (which continued for several other nights over the month or so that we were in and around one of the best cities in the world). As a little extravagance I had also booked on open dated Champagne afternoon tea for us to look forward to.

Over the last week or so we have drifted out to London's extremities having attended the IWA's national bash in Watford, we were now moored just over two miles from the furthest tube station from London whilst still being walking distance from the canal. Watford underground is nearly all over ground, and over canal in a few places. As it is in zone 7 it's a little more pricey to get back in to town, about £11 for day ticket all zones through the oyster card.

We didn't leave quite as early as expected but by just after 9.00 we were strolling towards Cassiobury park heading for the tube, we couldn't have been much earlier as we would have snuck into the peak charge time and incurred further traveling expenses. 

Ready for the off

It doesn't look that warm but it is well up in the 20's already

We had been over charged on a tube journey a few weeks before (don't know how) and had been offered the opportunity to reclaim the money by swiping our cards at the Edgeware station. Not one to look gift horses in gobs we made our way over to collect our money. Oyster cards topped up we walked over to Paddington basin for a coffee and croissant in the M&S head quarters/staff canteen. Sat outside the on the basin side the clouds started to part and we started to roast. I had planned our trip for Wednesday as that was the coolest on offer according to the Met office, a mere 25 deg C was expected after the previous days rather warm 33C. Deb wasn't too bad, she had her 'Bongo dress' on, so called because it is small enough to easily fit into the glove box of the old Mazda Bongo without displacing any of the other essentials. I on the other hand was getting a tad warm in my jeans (first day I haven't warn shorts since 22nd of June) and my poshest shirt, cuff links and all, I even took a jacket which spent the whole day draped over my arm.

How come the Ozzy's can take a simple name, simplify it further and still get it to sound better? Us back in 'PADDO'
I had been trying to sort out tickets to a show for a few days but TKTS is only available on the day, all other deals are by post but 'Lovetheatre' are available if you phone book last minute to be picked up at the theatre. Our itinerary for the day was set. After coffee head to Leicester square to pick up the tickets, spend some time chilling in the parks, afternoon tea in Bloomsbury, 7.30 show, bite to eat in Soho, an evening stroll and gelato, oh and possibly a couple of drinks before the last train.

Pre-Tea in the park

Trafalgar filling up


video

Bongo Dress
Of course plans seem to have a way of unraveling themselves some what. All was fine up until the afternoon tea but then we realised that there may be no more eating to be done that day. Our table was booked for 2.30 and suitably booted and suited (I even put my jacket back on) we arrived to a warm welcome from the maitre d'. It was the perfect happy medium between relaxed and formal, service was attentive without being stuffy. As we were cooling off from the midday sun we asked to start with our champagne and confectioner's sugar dusted strawberries, other diners looked like they were having everything at once, but I didn't want the champagne getting warm or the tea getting cold and we were in no hurry. We sat sipping and chatting for the best part of an hour before we requested out afternoon tea proper. Breaking with tradition I decided to drink coffee whilst Deb made her selection from the platter of assorted teas on offer. We knew what food was on offer from making the booking on line. I had presumed however that the cakes and pastries would be of dainty proportions. 

A nice cooling glass of Moet


Glug...Gluggg

Salt beef, egg and chive, smoked salmon and pickled cucumber sandwiches arrived in thick, crust-less fingers. The three tiered cake stand had scones (yes plural, two each fresh from the oven) with preserves and clotted cream, fruit loaf, chocolate covered strawberries, fresh fruit tartlettes and butter iced fairy cakes! All in full portion sizes. Deb tried to battle through the last of it but eventually the cakes won. After more tea and coffee we watched those that had come in after us leave before us and waddled our way back into London's heat. We needed somewhere to sit, cool off and digest. Deb did mention once or twice that she was 'so full up'

Deb looks adoringly at a pile of food

Those sarnies went quickly


A nice strong coffee

And a bowl of tea, I told you that cup was as big as your head!

Beaten, no more room for even the merest crumb
A very warm tube ride later we arrived just post high tide at the embankment, grabbed the first edition of the evening standard and found a vacant bench. It would have been nice to catch the tide at its highest as even by the time we arrived there was more water than I can recall lapping the walls. Just to our right, under the statue of Queen Boudicca is a small door, through the door is the Thames level switch that operates the Thames flood barrier. Opposite us is the old LCC and GLC building now a multi venue entertainment area including the London Aquarium. On the river wall in front of it are the old lion headed mooring rings from yesteryear, and as the old saying goes 'when the lion drinks London sinks' hopefully that switch under Queen Boudicca is working ok.

I recon it was only a foot or so off today, don't know what it would have been like further up river though
We watched the world come and go for an hour before heading off up to Leicester square. The shade of the embankment had not been appreciated and as we walked past Westminster in the early evening sun we again started to frazzle, luckily the sun being lower offered shaded sides of the streets that we made good use of.

Earlier in the day we had noted the setup of cameras and lights for a premier, we presumed it would be at the odeon and all happening whilst we were enjoying our show but it was at a cinema just around the corner - the Vue cinema premiering Steve Cougan's new Allan Partridge film Alpha Papa. There were barriers everywhere and as soon as you slow down to try and look, ushers did their best to keep you moving, one chap shouted over to Deb to keep moving but of course she couldn't hear, as soon as I told him 'she's deaf mate' he promptly opened the barriers and ushered us in!

Rob Brydon completely ignored my best welsh greeting of 'Shw mae butty' maybe he's one of those Welsh that doesn't speak any. Anna Maxwell Martin looked like she could have done with Debs left over scones and Cougan hadn't turned up by the time we had to head for the theatre. There were loads of celebs that I wouldn't have recognised if I had fallen over them but Sir Chris Hoy and wife drew the crowds and I think Alan Carr would have spent the evening chatting to everyone if he had got the chance.

ROB MUN!

Allan heard my shouts...

...but then got kidnapped by a little person!

Anna thingy whatsit, in need of a Maccy D and some sun
Luckily we didn't have far to go to get to the Wyndham's Theatre to see Relatively Speaking that is all about, well..... here is the right up - Greg and Ginny are in love and planning to be married. Greg finds a strange pair of slippers under the bed and is too besotted to believe they might have been left by another man (which would also explain the bunches of flowers and boxes of sweets filling Ginny’s apartment). 

When Ginny goes off for a day in the country—supposedly to visit her parents but actually to break things off with her older married lover, Philip—Greg decides to follow her. 
Showing up unannounced before Ginny, Greg asks for her hand from the man he thinks is her father, while Philip mistakenly believes that the strange young man is asking permission to marry Sheila, Philip’s exceedingly befuddled wife. 
Once Ginny arrives, she convinces Philip to play the role of her father. Meanwhile, Greg still believes that Sheila is Ginny’s mother. The situation is further complicated by a series of hilarious misunderstandings until no one (including the audience) can be exactly sure who’s in love with whom.
Felicity Kendal was fantastic in the lead and Kara Tointon so much better than all those years in Eastenders. Incidentally Felicity's on screen other half in the Good Life - Richard Briars, had his big career break playing Greg in the original 1960's production, spooky eh.

The Wyndham is air conditioned and leaving the theatre at about 9.30 ish London was still warm. I suppose all that concrete must act like a gigantic night storage heater and carry on building it's heat up. Well by now we should have been making our way up to Soho for something to eat. Soho was as busy as ever and by the time we had walked another mile or so we just weren't in the mood for dinner, both still full up from the afternoon tea. I did however have another wowcher voucher that I had bought though for half price gelato at a little patisserie/icecream emporium just off Goodge Street. We sat outside enjoying the gelato that was made on the premises all for a few pence more than a Mcflurry! By now we were getting weary, our feet were aching and we still had to get across London and walk the two miles back through Cassoibuty Park to LJ waiting for us just past Grove Mill.

As much as I love being in the middle of nowhere, banging my pins into grassy towpaths and waking up to the wildlife, I think any boater who doesn't make the most of London and the free moorings in other great city centres are missing a treat.






Saturday, 27 July 2013

CAPTAIN'S LOG - WEEK 20

WEEK 20


Monday 15th July
Mum's visiting today and arrived shortly after 10am, I met her up by the Horse and Barge where we would have lunch later. We had a lovely relaxing day mainly eating and drinking and taking shade by the trees next to us.  

James and Mum relaxing in the shade

Tuesday 16th July
Harefield - Br 164 near Cassiobury Park
8.5 miles and 12 locks
Our plans for an early start to Cassiobury Park were slightly delayed, I needed some extra sleep! We set off at about 10am and as there was a lock just ahead I set off to get it ready for James and LJ. There was a boat coming down so James hovered for a bit until it was his turn, As he came in he said there was a boat behind us so we waited to let them join us in the lock, I couldn't believe it when I saw the distinct blue bow of Chance appear with James and Doug, we knew they were back on the Grand Union and heading North but as quite a few boats passed us early this morning we thought we may have missed them. We worked the next few locks with them before we stopped for water (and them at Tesco), we then decided to moor up and walk up towards Cassiobury Park to see what moorings were available as the IWA festival is on at the weekend. We hitched a lift on Chance and were treated with some Pimms and nibbles along way. It was soon time to say our goodbyes and stroll back to LJ. After an hour or so rest we then headed up ourselves to the moorings just north of Cassiobury Park.

James and LJ on their way to the lock

The guys catching up on gossip

Relaxing with some Pimms whilst Doug does the hard work at the lock

Already lots of arrivals for the festival

Getting into the festival spirit

Wednesday 17th July
We spent the day on LJ chilling out and relaxing in the lovely weather.


Our mooring just before bridge 164

View from the bow


Thursday 18th July
Headed off to IKEA to get a parasol and some wooden outside chairs that we could also use inside when we have visitors, our current chairs and just a little too big to have them inside. We also got a rug for the living area , it makes it a little more homely now and will be better in the winter than just the wooden floors.

Friday 19th July
Another day chilling out, we needed to after our 2 mile hike back on the train from IKEA with all our purchases! 

Saturday 20th July
We went off to the IWA festival. Again we had lovely weather, although the festival itself was a little disappointing. James had been trying to get onto the button making class by emailing in advance but heard nothing back, he later found out that the guy taking the class had cancelled and wouldn't be going so a bit of a shame really. It was ok if you were looking to get a new engine or batteries, loads of those types of stalls, but unfortunately not one of the chandlers had made an appearance, we were hoping to be able to get a few bits and pieces. However, they did have entertainment all day, which was well organised and some of the acts were very good. 

Sunday 21st July
Another visit from Mum, we had some post that we really needed and rather than send it to us Poste Restante, she very kindly drove it over herself as we were still within an hours drive. Thanks mum, it was really appreciated.


TOTALS FOR THE WEEK
Cruising - 8.5 miles
Locks - 12
  
OVERALL TOTALS
Cruising - 217.25
Locks - 118
Tunnels - 3
Bridges - 3




Thursday, 18 July 2013

Short blog...

Short blog STOP Walked to Watford and train on to Wembley Park STOP Two mile walk through the devils armpit of an industrial estate STOP To IKEA! STOP bought too many bulky items STOP Retraced our steps via IWA festival STOP Several funny looks STOP Carrying two chairs a parasol and a carpet STOP Now have long arms STOP Yes we had meatballs STOP

She won't be so happy trying to get that lot across London in the heatwave!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

CAPTAIN'S LOG - WEEK 16 - 19

WEEK 16

Monday 17th June - Thursday 20th June
Had a nice relaxing few days at Kensal, James did some more outside painting on the boat, this time the rear rail, it had got quite a few chips so he did a thorough job of sanding the whole lot down and repainting, it's looking good - just needs another top coat. Whilst he was busy doing that I was pottering inside getting everything clean and organised again. We had a couple of trips to Sainsbury's as it was so close we didn't need to stock up and a trip to Kensal Green Cemetery which was massive. We were also getting together all the tools we may need for our trip back to Poole and getting our little rented house back.

Friday 21st June 
Kensal Green - Paddington Basin
2.5 miles
Oh dear, we are starting to look like 'bridge hoppers' but this was a must as we had to be in Poole and didn't want to leave LJ unattended just anywhere, we had already arranged a possible overstay with CR&T as we weren't sure 7 days would be enough.

Saturday 22nd June
Off it was to Victoria Coach station to get the Megabus to Reading where we would be staying the night at Mums before borrowing her car and setting off to Poole on Sunday.

Sunday 23rd June
We were in Poole at 11:30 as arranged and finally managed to gain possession of our house - oh dear what a state!!


WEEK 17

Monday 24th - Sunday 30th June
Well this week all rolled in one of very early morning starts and late finishes with not a lot of break time in between. We were busy cleaning, decorating, taking up carpets and generally getting the house back to being in a rentable condition.


WEEK 18

Monday 1st July - Friday 5th July
Much more of the same, but this week it was starting to look like a home again.

Friday 5th July
Headed back to Mums to take her car back, we were very grateful for it as it would have cost quite a bit for a hire car for the time we had it, but it was very missed by Mum. 

Saturday 6th July
At Mums it was her village fun day, so off we went to have a look around the stalls and at a couple of events going on, it was mostly the youngsters doing their dance routines (never had anything like that when I lived there!) but the things that were of interest to us was the Quack Pack, a couple of sheep dogs herding Indian Runner Ducks, and a display by the search and rescue dogs. After a late lunch at Mums it was back to Reading on the Megabus to Victoria and a hot and tiring trek across London with all our tools and luggage to Paddington Basin. 

Indian Runner Ducks

Being herded


Sunday 7th July
Paddington Basin - Southall
11.5 miles
It was great to be back on Lois Jane after two weeks away, the longest we have been away from her since January 2012. The solar panels had done their job whilst we were away and the fridge still going quite happily with the batteries at 81% when we arrived last night. We had stayed our maximum at the Basin, along with the authorised overstay and were grateful to CR&T for allowing it. It was time to leave and set off along the Paddington Arm stopping off for water at Little Venice and Sainsbury's at Kensall Green.

Peaceful mooring just outside London



WEEK 19

Monday 8th July
We stayed put by the lovely fields at Southall and as we have now got nice weather James made a start on sanding down the front doors which were in desperate need of varnish.

Hidden away


Tuesday 9th July
Southall - near Iver on the Slough Arm
6 miles
We had invited Doug and James over for dinner so they made a slight detour down the Slough Arm on their way back into London. We had a lovely evening with them, as usual, and it was good to catch up again. 





Wednesday 10th July
Doug and James were off this morning, but as the canal was very weeded up at this point it did make getting back onto the main Grand Union a bit tricky. We stayed put as we had a great spot with the bow in the shade of a tree most of the day but the rest of the boat in the sun for the solar panels, a great combination.

Thursday 11th - Saturday 13th July
We carried on getting the front doors and frame sanded and varnished and then moved on to getting the mushroom vents back to their former glory - all hard work, but certainly worth it. We did take time off to go for a little stroll through the nearby park to Little Britain Lake.

Even the tiller arm gets some attention


Sunday 14th July
Near Iver - Harefield
8 miles and 3 locks
It was time to leave our peaceful mooring along the Slough Arm, not much in the way of boat traffic and as the towpath was still closed ahead not that many people going by. We were moving on as Mum is visiting tomorrow and we need to be relatively close to a road and parking. It's good to be back on the move again and doing our first lock since the end of May. 

Bridge 0 on the Slough Arm

We passed by Sue and Vic on No Problem

And back to locks

We ended up near Harefield just up from the Horse and Barge pub





TOTALS FOR THE WEEKS
Cruising - 28 miles
Locks - 3 locks

OVERALL TOTALS
Cruising - 208.75
Locks - 106
Tunnels - 5
Bridges - 3






Sunday, 14 July 2013

A canal journey of two halves...


We had decided to move on a little from our lovely mooring on the Slough Arm at bridge one. Its rare that we find a nice quiet spot, have the solar panels in the sun all day but also have a shaded area on an adequately wide tow path and the bow in the shade during the savage heat of the afternoon. The down side is that there are no roads nearby and Debs mum is driving up for the day on Monday. 

Rather than reverse like the guys from 'Chance' we decided to continue on to the winding point just over a mile away. As soon as you are through bridge two the canal narrows and shallows. Not too bad for a narrowboat but the wide beams must struggle. Passing a couple of other narrowboats saw us both scraping through mud. Whilst the weed has been cleared there was still plenty to foul the prop and at times I couldn't tell whether the weed was slowing us down or the lack of depth. 

The bridge that closed the arm


An hour and a half later we passed Vic and Sue on No Problem (maybe you should have thought of a different name eh guys). Hopefully we will all meet up again in the year for a chill out. 

NP basking in the morning sunshine


The visitor moorings at Cowley were full as were the lock landings which made entry into our first lock since June rather tricky. Luckily only one loiterer on the water point so enough room for us as well. We were getting low on water and high on rubbish, quite literally, last Tuesdays fish heads were developing into new life forms!

First lock for a while


We had a short dash to Uxbridge because Deb had a Sainsbury's voucher to use up (£10 off £50 was too much of a lure). It was touch and go to get there in time as it is the best part of a mile off the cut so Deb cycled off first and I caught up once the boat was all locked up. It was a warm ride across town though at about three o'clock the sun was at its hottest. 

A sensible place for a coot's nest

Passed a few familiar faces

Through Denham deep lock

More summer youngsters


A very pleasant few miles up the nice deep GU has seen us get up to Harefield marina and within no more than a long stroll to the pub car park for Pip's visit tomorrow. Hopefully there won't be too many more boats past tonight, they all seem in rather a hurry!

Outside Harefield marina