Monday, 2 June 2014

The Asda Man cometh

When we got up on Friday morning the river had risen about 4 inches and I needed wellies to paddle on the bank when I took Chico out.

When we got to Shifford Lock it was on self-service but with a new sign

and the lay-by/lock landing was about 6ins under water

This is an insect lodge which has been built in the shrubbery beside Shifford Lock. It's a fascinating structure but I didn't see any insects anywhere near it!

We moored up beside the field at the Ferryman Pub at Bablock Hythe and I struggled with an extremely poor internet signal to book an Adsa delivery for Saturday. Eventually I managed it and we went to the pub for a pre dinner beer. What a dump!  It must have been recently flooded as it reeked of damp and mould and the beer was pretty poor too. Although it's a Cask Marque pub the beer was not in good condition. Roger's 6X was a bit cloudy and my stout was sour. We only had the one and went home to the boat where Roger finished off our last bottle of Old Speckled Hen. Thank Heavens for the Asda man, who arrived on Saturday and brought new supplies of food and beer. The cupboards were bare as I'd been using up all our stash of tins. I like to have a good clear out at least once a year then we don't end up with anything out of date.

On Sunday we walked 2.5 miles along the Thames Path to The Plough at Appleton. It's a good walk through sheep fields and Chico was extremely well behaved. By the time we'd done the 2.5 miles back home again I was shattered, but it does prove that I'm getting fitter again as a couple of months ago I'd have struggled to even get there never mind back again.

We're still coming across some unusual boats here on the Thames.

This punt went past late one evening. The river's about 5 feet deep in the centre, judging by the length of his pole.

This one looked like a bath tub and is peddle powered. He peddles like crazy and that moves the paddle at the back of the boat.

This rowing boat came past us on a blind bend. We didn't know what to expect until he came into view as we'd just seen the flags coming round the bend over the bushes. We slowed right down for both these boats and another couple of rowing boats that followed them, but they don't seem to like narrowboats on their river as they were all miserable and glared at us even though we'd given them plenty of room.

Yesterday we moved to Newbidge and went back to the Rose Revived for lunch. It was a gorgeous hot, sunny day and this woman decided she was going for a swim from the boat-hire jetty behind us. Despite having all the gear, wetsuit, flippers, hat and goggles, she made a huge fuss of actually getting into the water and screamed that it was too cold and promptly got straight out again and went home.

Today, we've gone back up-stream sharing one of the locks with this hire boat. It was crewed by 10 men on a stag weekend. They were really nice, some teachers and a couple of policemen amongst them, but that hadn't stopped them getting told off by one of the lock-keepers for speeding. He'd given them a bollocking and then phoned the hire company complaining about them. They'd misjudged the current going down-stream towards the lock landing and crashed into it. They were now over compensating and going so slowly up-stream that they were hardly moving at all and would probably be late back to the hire base.

We've gone back to the meadow mooring above Rushey Lock as there's a good Internet signal here and I want to Skype my grand-daughter. She's growing up far too quickly but the Skype calls make it easier to be so far away from her and her baby brother.

In the bank beside the boat lives a crayfish.

It's about 6 ins long and lives in a hole, popping out every time a fish comes close. It's only got one front claw so I don't know how successful a hunter it will be.

It's a shame the Thames river water isn't clearer. When we were on the River Avon we could watch the fish swimming past, almost like having our own aquarium, but here it's just too cloudy. Maybe it'll clear a bit as the level continues to drop.

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