Category Archives: Knitting

Eastward Bound. 23rd September

Brunels Quay to Ferris Railway Bridge 211

Oleanna with the SS Great Britain

This morning I noticed a natty little thing on the ferry that crosses from our mooring to the SS Great Britain. On the bow of the boat is a metal hoop which pivots, controlled by a cable from the helm. As the ferry is brought in and lined up to the jetty the metal hoop is lowered over a post. The driver then walks to the bow flips down the ramp which covers the watery gap, passengers get off or on, she then flips the ramp back up returns to the helm and lifts the hoop off the post and away they go. This means that the ferry can be a one person operation as nobody is needed to tie ropes. Here’s a link to a video I took of it this morning (warning it’s 35MB!).

A close up of the bridge

Two more loads of washing were put through the machine, hoping to use up some more electric before we left. This helped pass the time whilst I composed a long email to the theatre in Vienna with photos of the model for A Regular Little Houdini. With the final rinses happening we headed to the nearby Tesco for a few supplies and then we were ready for the off.

About to cast off

Once the ropes were carefully untied from the wobbliest wobblesome pontoon, the wind helping to push Oleanna away from it, we winded and set off for a little tour of the harbour before we left.

Still westward bound

Down towards the Underfall Yard where we turned, mow eastward bound.

Rigging on the SS Great Britain

We headed back past the SS Great Britain, we then cruised down past the electric cranes and turned into Bordeaux Quay and The Waterfront winding at the far end before then passing under Prince Street Bridge, leaving the harbour.

A concrete boat having a house built on top

We would have liked to stay for longer but sadly time is limited before I start work and the cost of mooring here is a little off putting. A week would cost us around £160, cheaper than a hotel and we’d get all our washing done, but still a touch costly.

Straight through Netham Lock

As we cruised our way out of town storm clouds gathered behind us. Waterproofs were gathered from inside. Straight through Netham Lock and we were back onto the river. Gradually more trees surrounded us, gradually the sky became darker. The forecast originally had been for rain at 4, then 2, but it got started at midday. We hoped for a mooring as soon as we got back onto C&RT waters.

Starting to rain

Hanham Lock was in our favour so we rose the 15 inches or so. There was a space on the pontoon at The Chequers Pub, but we’d have had to shrink a touch to fit. Onwards in the rain, waterproof trousers were now required. Mick valiantly stood at the helm whilst I made tea and lunch to have on the go, but his sandwich stayed inside for fear it would get too soggy.

Keynsham Lock and some kind sole had left the top paddles open, so this very slow lock took even longer in the rain than it needed to. Mick hung back away from the lock whilst I emptied it, the flow from the lock would have necessitated mooring up fully on the lock landing. Then we rose slowly, very slowly. The last 2 foot taking a life time !

?

It still rained. Not even an inch spare on the pontoon here. Onwards to Ferris Railway Bridge where thank goodness there was space for two next to the one that had taken up residency. We settled down and started to dry off.

There was just enough phone signal for me to have a chat through the props list for Panto with Jo the prop maker. Good job I don’t really use my phone much as it took us a good hour and a half to work our way through the show. Jo will start work on collecting materials in the next week then she’ll start by making the prop car and mod scooters.

This morning I received photos from Australia of the knitting project I was busy with earlier in the year.

Billie at 1 week old

This is Billie at a week old with the blanket I knitted for her. Billie is the great niece of my bestest friend Emma. Nellie, Billies Mum, was very pleased with it, so was Chief their woofer.

Dad and Chief look on

3 locks, 1 straight through, 11.41 miles, 2 more loads washing, £3 left on the post, 1 tour of the harbour, 2 misleading forecasts, 2 soggy boaters, 3rd mooring lucky, 1.5 hours talking smash, pub stools and mod scooters, 0 shore leave for Tilly again! 1 sour dough woken, 1wk old Billie all wrapped up.

Stretched out on my blanket

Working Down the Thames. 1st September

Day’s Lock to Beale Park

Lovely

With the sun out again this morning our mooring was lovely. Lots of sky, sun glowing on tree trunks, views, a lovely spot, maybe one of our favourites.

The orange buoy in the water is a swimmer. What’s left of Didcot in the background

Time to crack on again. We waited for a couple of swimmers to pass before we pushed off. there was quite a distance between them and when we arrived at the lock the first lady was sat on the bank having a snack. Hope her friend got to have a break when she arrived. They were swimming down to the next lock where they had left a car, another four miles!

We were joined by a cruiser on a bit of a mission to get back to their mooring at Cookham, once we’d dropped down the lock we let them head past us, although we caught them up again by Benson Lock.

Benson Lock

Maybe it was change over day at Le Boat, quite a few of their cruisers were in but the waterside cafe was heaving! Not one table spare, do they do a very good Sunday breakfast or were people just taking advantage of the last sunny Sunday morning before the schools go back?

Here we caught up with our canoe friends with the crocodile. They are paddling their way to Pangbourne for their silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, today their last day.

That ridge with the chains kept us both pushing Oleanna out from the side

Dropping down Benson Lock we seemed to keep getting slightly caught on the chains as the water dropped. This turned out to be due to a change in profile of the lock, not enough to cause us to get hung up, just a little disconcerting.

Wallingford
Six deep

Over the weekend Wallingford had been busy with Bunkfest. A free music festival. The town moorings were very full and further out boats were six abreast. We were later joined by a couple of cruisers who’d been to the festival, the music was great, but the drinks a touch expensive.

Goring Lock with the canoe coming in last

I bobbed back from working below to hold ropes at Cleeve and Goring Locks. The lock keeper at Goring being a touch too officious with a canoe that were holding onto our gunnel whilst waiting for the lock. They were in the way of everyone! This they knew, but there was nowhere else obvious for them to go. They moved to where they were directed to so the lock could empty then bigger boats could enter the lock before they were finally waved in to join us. I suspect if the Lockie had used Please or Thank you his instructions would have come across even more rude.

I love this boat house

Now to find a mooring along Beale Park. The first spaces were occupied, then one with a tree in the middle, we kept going. In the end we pulled in between a couple of boats with not much view on the park side due to friendly cover. Tilly was given six hours which at first she was reluctant to take, but after an hour she was being far far too busy to even come home for some Pocket Pillows.

One of the Newport transporter bridge legs

Most of the day I continued working on my model. The section of the transporter bridge has taken quite a bit of working out from reference photos from the internet. Now I understand it that bit better. It has taken a long time to build, this nearly always means it will take a long time to build in reality too! I’ve been to literal with it and now need to adapt it for strength and ease of building, which will mean a new version. But for my white card model this will do fine.

Quick take a photo before it’s all gone!

Tonight we’ve enjoyed our lamb shoulder. I meant to take a photo of it when it came out of the oven, but forgot. Then I forgot again and started to eat, so here is my Sunday dinner half devoured. I found the last beetroot from Hampton Court Palace today. so that went in with the roast veg. Yummy. Looking forward to cold lamb tomorrow.

4 locks, 13.76 miles, 1 croc, 2 forward wild swimmers. 1 backward wild swimmer, 6 deep, 2 portacabin boats, 901 miles in total, 1 of four legs, 1 lamp shoulder, 6 hours, 1 cat called at DingDing time, 1 cat home quickly, phew! 1 cardigan bound off.

Seventeen to Twenty. 30th August

End of the Oxford Canal to East Street

With a delivery slot booked for Saturday morning at East Street we needed to time our arrival at the moorings well. Too early and no body would have moved off, afternoon then the spaces would have filled up, lunchtime people would stop for lunch at The Punter. We opted to time our arrival at around 11am.

Our mooring last night was surprisingly quiet, we only just started to hear people passing us as we got up. Or was it that we’d had quite a few glasses of wine and a late night! It’s a shame the road is so close here, meaning no shore leave for Tilly despite there being some very good looking trees.

Do-si-do

The windlass was brought out again and we made our way back towards Isis Lock. A lady was just bringing her boat into the lock to come up off the river. I gave her a hand whilst she clung onto her boat. She was interested in where we’d been moored, so on exiting she moved out of our way and then started to reverse down the arm. With a breeze and no bow thrusters (mechanical or man powered) this was going to be hard. As we were just dropping down to the river she asked how far it was to reach the space at the end. A quarter of a mile. She decided to abort her idea and see if she could find a space up ahead.

Back on the river we turned to head downstream, as we came under Osney Bridge the moorings looked full. But then we were passed by a boat that had been moored towards the other end, there was hope. In fact there was more than hope. Our shopping was booked to be delivered to 17 East Street and there was a long space just there, Bingo! The bollards didn’t work for Oleanna’s length so we nudged up closer to 20 leaving a space not quite big enough for another Oleanna behind. This was soon occupied by a 55fter, perfect. All we needed to do now was alter our delivery instructions from 17 to 20.

With more shopping added to our virtual basket it was time to get some real shopping. Blog reader Steve last year had pointed us in the direction of Osney Food Shed, a fish market and Meat master Cash and Carry. From the moorings on East Street both are very close, we needed something to eat tonight and I fancied getting a lamb joint to roast with plenty left over to try some of the Charlie and Ivy’s Raspberry and Beetroot dressing that is meant to be a perfect accompaniment.

Half a pig

First we headed for the meat. Here there were joints the size my Mum used to get when she bought half of half a cow. Giant gammons that would have strained the sides of my mums biggest catering pans. Amongst the big joints there were more domestic sized joints, we found a suitable lamb joint, some gluten free sausages and some bacon.

Fishy fish

Next the fish. Two sea bass, some smoked mackerel and a few veg bits. We really must get the freezer back on so that we can stock before we head north after Panto. Mick returned to the boat with our food and I carried on to Hobbycraft to pick up some bits for my model. A couple of balls of yarn might just have jumped in my bag too!

Unpacked veg

I called into Waitrose for a few more bits to keep us going until our delivery arrives tomorrow. Here the veg and fruit isles are doing their very best to go plastic free, Unpacked. Large displays of containers greet you as you walk in and crates of pick your own fill the displays. Strawberries and Raspberries in cardboard punnets for you to put lids on yourself. There was still quite a bit in bags, but a lot better than most supermarkets.

Now there’s an idea

Along the back wall was a section of dry essentials, beans, nuts, grains etc that you can purchase loose, an up market version of weigh and save shops, although those had plastic bags. You can also refill your Ecover washing up and clothes liquid bottles. One thing that I did find amusing was that you can also buy wine and beer unpacked. Bring your bottles for a refill. I wonder if they’d refill a wine box?

1 lock, 0.73 miles, 150ft in reverse, 20 not 17, 2 sea bass, 16 pork sausages, 1 joint lamb, 3 fillets, 1 lemon, 0.5kg potatoes, 1 bunch basil, 70grams olives, 1/4inch thick balsa, 1 sheet tracing, 1 blue ball, 1 sheet card, 1 red ball, 4 boxes on order, 1 bored cat, 2 apologies to Kath and Clare, he wasn’t much of an Adonis!

At Long Last. 22nd August

Swinford Meadow to Moreton bend

Tilly opening up the curtains in the morning occasionally has it’s advantages. The light streaming in through the gap today needed more than a tug together with my toes. When I peeked through to check the outside the sky was shades of pink and purple, so much so it required me to get up and find my camera. Thank you Tilly.

What a start to the day

Not far to the first lock, Pinkhill. The Lockie was jolly, happy that the weather was looking up for the Bank Holiday weekend and he was going to be off work too.

Our rendez vous

A couple of miles further on and we rounded a bend filled with static caravans then just passed The Ferryman’s Inn was a moored boat, a fat boat. We came in alongside slowly, this fat boat had fatter fenders than ours, I had a touch of fender envy.

Sat out the back was Sue, who shouted inside to Vic to take the bow rope. At long last we were going to meet the No Problem crew. We passed them in Parbold about three years ago when they were still narrowboaters, back then we were both in the process of having new boats built, us Oleanna and them No Problem XL. We’d been on a mission so couldn’t stop for the day, today we’d planned to meet up.

Spotted by a woofer lookout

Tilly really wanted to come outside and say hello too, but that really wasn’t going to be such a good idea as Meg and Penny, two border collies would have also wanted to greet her. After some persuasion I was allowed out the back on my own. A warm welcome all round and we were invited on board for a cuppa.

Blimey, widebeams are weird, they are just so wide! So much space!

Sue, Vic and the girls lived on No Problem from 2002 before up sizing to No Problem XL and retiring from narrowboating. Sue may well have been the first narrowboat blogger, her site is full of useful information, from good places to have deliveries, to a guide to the Nene, to where to buy diesel. It’s all there along with a long list of boaters blogs.

Sue

It was great to finally meet up with them and enjoy a natter, having a few nice wild moorings that Tilly might like suggested to us for our trip upstream. All too soon their Asda delivery arrived, so we left them to take it on board before they carried on back down stream.

The river is getting narrower and narrower

Northmoor Lock was to be our next lock, this was on self service, boats having just come down and a hire boat was already refilling it when I got up to the top. What would they do? Oleanna was on the lock landing, how would all their crew get back on board? I said I’d open the gates for them so they could all get back on board before it got too low, Mick came up to help.

We brought Oleanna into the lock as a cruiser arrived above, the chap came down to help with the gates.I closed my gate, walked round to secure the bow rope as the chap closed the other gate and then started to lift the top paddles. There was about two foot of water in the lock when a chap appeared from below, steam coming out of his ears.

Northmoor Lock

‘Why didn’t you wait?!’ he said in a raised voice to Mick. ‘You saw me coming, you looked straight at me and closed that gate!’ It took a while for the chap to understand that that hadn’t been Mick but the other chap who had nothing to do with us, he just happened to be filling the lock for us. Neither Mick or I had seen them coming. He did apologise in the end, but talk about a short fuse. Life’s too short, why shorten it even more!

Hart’s Bridge

A space we’d hoped for was taken so onwards to find a suitable spot. Round one slight bend, there was a hard edge, quite high up but it looked like it should be deep enough. It was and we were soon tied up. Not the best views in the world, but at least one of us was happy.

Wow! Trees, friends, friendly cover, birdies. I had a busy afternoon ahead, a whole seven hours. When I remembered I came back to say hello, one time my accompanying friend wasn’t welcome, Tom closed the doors and then put my friend somewhere safe for me. At 7:15pm I came back, bang on seven hours.

I may be sometime

The afternoon was spent doing a bit more work and then whist things dried I decided to tackle my knitting. Still 3 too many stitches, how many rows should I go back. I tracked back each decrease and eventually came to the conclusion that another ten rows would have to be pulled out! I ran a length of wool through the row I was going back to, one stitch short! Grrr. By the end of the evening I’d found the one missing stitch and managed two rows without messing it up again.


No new properties for sale, sorry.

2 locks, 6.08 miles, 2 very fat fenders, 1 rendez vous with XL, 1 hour constant chat, 2 lovely woofers, 140 over 90, 2 steaming ears, 1 apology, 1 shaded mooring, 1 very happy cat, 1 birdie, 1 English mud bank a touch more Welsh, 14 rows pulled out, 2 rows completed, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.

Yesterdays Answer

£849,950. It looked like some remodelling was going on when we passed, maybe those chairs will get some cushions.

https://www.waterview.co.uk/property-for-sale/house-for-sale-in-hythe-end-road-staines-upon-thames-tw19/5143

Sorry Joa, you’ve lost your touch!

Dripping. 30th July

Guildford Big Willows Meadow

Ahh the smell of Willow

I’d had chance to explore this outside yesterday evening in the lovely sunshine. Fantastic willow trees with long sideways branches, brilliant for running along, I made sure that they were all mine.

Today the outside turned wet, then wetter still. It didn’t put off the people in the long zoomy boats or me. She and Tom were quite happy for me to be outside, out of the way, they were trying to put things away. She says they’ve got too much stuff again and need to get rid of things, I thought it best to keep out of arms reach just in case I was classed as stuff.

Rain never really bothers me, I quite like how it makes my fur glisten but today it played a trick on me. There I was wanting to gain some height for a better vantage point. I did my calculations and prepared my potential energy, converted it to kinetic energy leaping up. All had gone well and my landing position was looking suitable, no split second alterations of trajectory for landing. Paws set for landing only to discover the grab rail, named for it’s normal grabability, was the slipperiest thing in the world!

Instead of landing with grace, I all of a sudden, had to dig more kinetic energy out of my back legs and launch myself back onto dry land! ‘Tilly’s gone in!’ But I was out already! Tom opened the back door for me. My then chosen position on the sofa to dry off not a popular one. ‘Good job you’ve got lots of towels Tilly’ as I was She handled into the bathroom and unceremoniously rubbed down whilst trying to get back under the bathroom door. 

By the time I had stopped dripping everywhere it was someone elses turn. There was a knock on the slippy roof, it was Tom Adam. He wasn’t quite as soaked as I’d been but he’d made a good go of it, maybe he was too big to fall down the gap between Oleanna and this outside.

Me (just), Tom Adam, Tom and She

Tom Adam sometimes lives on a boat called NB Briar Rose and sometimes lives in a house, he also works for the BBC in that there busy London outside. I let them all sit around for ages chatting boats before I came through to say hello. How come he wasn’t told off for making the dinette soggy, wrapped in a towel and then dragged into the bathroom?!

Three new flavours, Yumm

Tom Adam was the reason I got on the cover of Canal Boat Magazine. Once he’d dried off too I was given lots of Pocket Pillows, three different flavours! Was this my fee for the cover? Or just a present? I don’t mind which, he can visit us again.

The rain stopped for a while so we all went outside to say goodbye, I made sure I showed him the best branches to climb should he and Tom Adrian tie up this outside in future. Really hope he got back to his car before it started to rain again. What a drippy day!

Yesterdays sunny opposite to today

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 tidy boat, 1 soggy moggy, 1 soaked sofa, 1 cat towel, 1 hour drying, 1 damp Adam, 2 hours drying, 3 cups of tea, 1 packet biscuits, 3 packets pocket pillows, 4 chin rubs, 1 nice Tom, 1 sprint up the willows, 1 sour dough pizza, 1 head mended, 2 pockets ( not edible) added to my cardigan.

All ready for the pockets

Edwin and Gertrude. 27th July

Godalming

The Pepper Pot, once the town hall

Godalming Museum is small but crammed full of information. Quite often such places are all about face, information here and there all jumbled up. Others consist of someones collection of bits and bobs and not much else, these range from mildly interesting to far far too much eagerly collected information that over powers you and to appreciate them fully you’d need a year or two of concerted effort. Godalming Museum is very well thought out, packed with information should you choose to look it up.

Lutyens with his T square and Jekyll with spade and cat

There is a room dedicated to two locals, Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Lutyens was a famous architect who adapted traditional architectural styles to the needs of his times, designing numerous country houses in the Arts and Crafts style, the Cenotaph in London and much of New Dehli, India.

He was commissioned by Gertrude Jekyll to design Munstead Wood, a house for her and this was a start of their professional partnership. Gertrude would design the gardens that went long with Edwin’s houses, quite a package, if you could afford them.

A model of a statue of Gertrude sadly never made

The room is filled with sketches, cartoons and a scale model of what would have been a wonderful statue of Gertrude had it been made.

Maybe some of this would help with my back

Upstairs are rooms about the history of Godalming. Shallow places on the River Wey encouraged the Saxons to settle in the area. The river also became a natural barrier for King Alfred holding back the Vikings and in WW2 pill boxes were built along it’s length. Mills played a large part in Godalmings history, with corn, fulling, paper, gunpowder mills and tanneries. In 1881 the River Wey powered the worlds first public electricity supply, but sadly due to flooding and technical difficulties the town returned to gas lighting three years later.

Stitches

From the 17th Century Godalming became the centre of the framework knitting industry. Framework knitters worked long hours producing stockings in wool, silk and by the 1760’s cotton. Several framework machines are on display far more complicated than my knitting machine back in Scarborough. How I would love a sock knitting machine, giant french knitting for grown ups!

Please Father Christmas

A wall of magnetised photographs of local people ‘The Peoples Gallery’, all collated as Artists, Heroes, Writers, Booksellers etc caught our eye. Just browsing through the photos you want to know why they were important. A computer and large lever arch files hold a lot of information about everyone. From Jack Philips the junior wireless operator on the Titanic, who learnt his skills at Godalming Post Office. To Galton and Simpson who wrote Hancocks Half Hour and Steptoe and Son. To Chennell and Chalcraft who were hung on 14th August 1818, on the Lammas Lands for murder and parricide. To Mary Tofts who gave birth to rabbits!

Mick managed to find details of Charterhouse School, where his Great Uncle Norman taught mathematics from 1909 to 1945. Sadly he wasn’t famous enough to manage to get on the People’s Gallery.

At 15:58 we stopped what we were doing and waited and watched as the clock mechanism from the old Town Hall wound itself up to chime 4 pm. Chains, whirling things and of course a bell sounded the hour.

Church Street

A large map adorned a wall of one of the archive rooms. This showed the layout of the town with illustrations of the buildings to be found there. On leaving the museum we decided to have a look at a couple of the streets that had looked interesting, so we walked down Mill Lane towards the station.

Sugar coated cottage

Pretty house after pretty house. The roses on the house at the end of Mint Street such a picture.

Different textures, angles nothing at 90 degrees

Further down one skewed property made me want to get a sketch book out to record it’s uniqueness, my photograph doesn’t do it justice, the lense removing the gingerbread quality it had.

Property Game

A semi, it possibly floods every now and then.

An old mill sits by a mill stream, maybe this was where electricity was generated. The station sits proudly on the other side of the narrow valley, a KX telephone box from the 80’s spoiling the view along with modern ticket machines outside.

Choices!

Plenty more properties delighted our eyes as we made our way back into the main shopping area. A sweet shop with chilled medication naturally drew us inside. Over the last few hot days we have had a distinct lack of chilled medication, so it was time to make up for it. Both opting for Salted Caramel cones, mine a gluten free one, the first I’ve tried. Despite the usual shrinking factor that tends to come with the lack of gluten and an extra 50p (!) it was just as crispy and tasty as a standard waffle cone.

Gosh mine looks bigger than Mick’s in the photo

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 trips into town, 2 hours at the museum, 8p short! 2 many knitting needles to count, 1 caseless clock, 15th century buildings, 2 many famous people, 1 very pretty town, 1 museum well worth a visit, 3rd shore leave in one day, 1 packet boat back on it’s mooring, 1 pram cover re-erected.

Planning Ahead. 2nd July

Cassiobury Park to Black Jacks Lock, 85

As nice as this mooring is for both Tilly and us it was time to start moving again. Just as we were about to start rolling back the covers NB Augustus with Alan and Sue on board came past. They had to reset the lock which gave us enough time to catch up with them to descend together.

NB Augustus leading the way

Our sharing was short lived as they only planned to cruise into the next pound after filling with water. We also needed water and planned on going further today so carried on down the next lock and under our first underground bridge alone.

External garden shed

This being our fourth trip into London the more eccentric boats are familiar to us. One was moored just above Common Moor Lock. The bath tub at the stern has more than just a mannequin in it now, the roof top paraphernalia seems to have changed a touch too.

Wise words

A boat was following us with two chaps on board, I opened the second gate for them to join us. Just as we were about to wind the bottom gate paddles up the chap from their stern disappeared below. The other chap was a bit surprised that I wasn’t doing anything, until I pointed out that his mate had vanished below. I wasn’t going to wind a paddle with nobody at the helm. After he’d sorted the kettle he bobbed back up and the paddles were wound up.

The paddle
Nice name

Lot Mead Lock needed topping up and I took great care with the ground paddles. This is where I found out why you should never try to stop a windlass from spinning should you loose grip. Some of these paddles just want to go down and take quite a bit of effort to lower them steadily, this one had got the better of me and necessitated a cab ride for an xray on my forearm a few years ago. Luckily my radius had enough give in it to just flex with the impact and not break.

The new education room

The chaps stopped for lunch and left us to carry on to Batchworth. Here the lock cottage, if it can be classed as one, is up for sale with planning permission for a large extension. Across the way on the River Chess new buildings are going up and if you are like us eager to see the model canal in action you have missed your chance. It has gone, replaced by an education building with kids eager to go on the boat through the lock.

Danger Weir

We stopped and filled with water whilst a Continuous Cruiser told us about his range of miles on the Grand Union and he did his best to put us off going into London. Unless things have changed drastically over the last two years we know what we are heading into, we’re under no illusions about London. Anyhow this morning luck had been on our side and we’ve managed to get a mooring.

On next to Tescos. Yes we got lots of shopping the other day, but fresh perishables were needed. Also without the freezer at the moment we need to shop more often.

Stockers Lock

In the afternoon we decided to take our time a bit more, no rush to get into London now. We worked our way down the next few locks.

Still there
above all our heads

Passing the hanging monkey. Just how much longer can he cling on for? He’s been there for five years at least!

Approaching Copper Mill Lock

At Copper Mill Lock I had to close the bottom paddles properly, they’d been left up by a few inches, hard to spot at a quick glance. Then on past the rapids and found ourselves a spot just before Black Jacks Lock.

What at first look is an idyllic mooring, is one of the noisiest! Parakeets swooping and squawking, kids playing and screaming at each other, dogs barking and cyclists zooming past. We’d remembered the towpath as being wider here, but sadly it’s not, so the barbeque will have to wait for another night.

New lick of paint for the arc

This evening we started to plan the next few months. We’ll be needing transit licenses, will a week be long enough on the Basingstoke? How long on the Wey? Where do we need to be for easy access to Chippy in three weeks time for my final panto model meeting? There’s lots of new water planned, places to see and explore.

I’ve just received a review for the pair of socks I sent off the other day.

“They say a picture can tell a thousand words but in this case no picture or words could say just how much it meant to me that Pip would take on my difficult request, to spend more time than money could buy, and on carefully crafting these very special socks for me. What a generous and beautiful woman you are Pip! And how I will cherish these darling socks you’ve made for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart 🙂 x” I think she is happy with them!

8 locks, 6.52 miles, 2 lock buddies, 1 handy tip, 1 more reason to go into London, 1 full water tank, 16 life jacketed kids, 1 Tesco mooring, 8 cool hooves, 1 monkey, 1 annoyingly busy towpath, 2 many squawking green birdies, bet they are all squawk and feather! 1 cardigan arm almost completed, 1 very happy customer.