Even A Kitchen Sink. 4th August

Lock 89 to Ontario Bridge 205A

Cowley Lock with Mike and Pam

Time to check that the drier still worked, thankfully it does and it finished off our bedding and towels wonderfully during todays cruise.

Two Jays-Bray

Our nearest neighbours Mike and Pam on NB Two Jays-Bray got chatting to Mick, our whirligig and pram cover had caught their attention. New to boating life they have come over from Cape Town to live a life afloat for a couple of years, they’ve only been on board full time for just over two weeks and are still adjusting to living afloat. It was nice to meet you, maybe we’ll bump into you up the way somewhere.

With all the washing brought inside it was time to move on. Back passed the Slough Arm and onwards past Bulls Bridge where the Scout boat had just come out from the junction and was headed for the water point. We waved to Rod and Nor, but no one was looking, maybe we’ll see them on the Thames.

How does all that stuff fit on their roof?

At Norwood Top Lock a volunteer lock keeper was tending to plants and helped with the lock gates. A second lady in blue appeared assisted by her four legged litter picker, she went down to set the lock below for us. Were we heading all the way down, both of them asked. Well it was lunch time, so we planned to pause for something to eat after the top two locks before carrying on down the Hanwell flight.

Norwood Top Lock

We paused just before Three Bridges for food then carried on to the flight. Today’s photo of Oleanna, MIik and the bridges wasn’t so good, think I peeked a month ago!

The ladies had said they’d had two boats go down the flight earlier on today and every lock we came to was empty. From the top lock I could see a chap below opening the bottom gates of the next but one lock. He must have been single handing a widebeam I thought as both gates were open, he then headed back to the previous lock for his boat. We waited a while but then decided to drop our lock, there was lots of water coming down.

Lock Cottage!

Leaving both gates for him we headed to the next lock where he was just arriving. Not on his own, he was actually accompanied by a lady who looked quite heftily pregnant and a dog, hence him doing all the work, she positioned a chair by the lock and sat to watch.

I waited for instructions, the chap wanted the gate paddle lifting. I checked he didn’t mean the ground paddle first, oh no! His cruiser sat well back in the lock and the gate paddles opened gradually, the boat should be okay. So I did as asked. I don’t think he had any intention of opening the ground paddles, until I suggested it might speed things up, his partner looking rather hot and in need of some shade.


He said they’d started the flight at 11 this morning it was now about 2:30! No wonder if he’d only been opening one set of paddles. One lock he said had taken forever to fill, about an hour! Oh well, each to their own.

Making our way down

We carried on down in the ever increasing sunshine. My mind had decided a few days ago that it was now autumn and I hadn’t bothered putting sun cream on. With a shorter sleeved t-shirt on today than normal the paler tops of my arms gradually became a good shade of pink!


The bottom lock was turned as we came into the second to last chamber, we waited for the crew below to start filling before dropping the water from ours, we then swapped in the pound inbetween.

Going downhill is that bit quicker than going up, but we’d done the flight in an hour and a quarter, wonder what time the cruiser finished?

Duck weed

We pootled our way along. Should we stop here near The Fox or carry on that bit further? With supplies onboard we’d not be eating out, but space can be at a premium in Brentford so we pulled in just about where we’d been moored after the tideway cruise and let Tilly off to explore.

Pie Good! Sweetcorn not so

With the last of the roast chicken from Saturday I made a pie. A couple of leeks, tarragon, white wine sauce, mushrooms and some feta cheese were added to the chicken. All topped off with a chestnut flour short crust pastry. All very very tasty, just a shame the sweetcorn that accompanied it wasn’t up to scratch. What did I expect, it’s not as if it’s in season yet.

8 locks, 7.6 miles, 2 straight ons, 2 lady lock keepers, 1 canine lock keeper, 3.5 hours plus! 1 familiar outside again, 2 pink arms, 1 wizened corn on the cob, 1 of the best homemade pies ever (hence recording what went in it for next time).

PS. If you happen to be around Huddersfield, pop up to the Piazza Shopping Centre where Dark Horse have an exhibition of The Garden which became their online production last summer. All my illustrations are on display and every hour you can get to see the final animated production.


4 thoughts on “Even A Kitchen Sink. 4th August

  1. Mike Todd

    We found that in many of the GU locks, the top gate paddles were very blocked – in some cases added nothing to the flow. They were hardly worth the effort of raising!

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