Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back to the Bear

We stayed put yesterday and apart from wanting to watch the Qualifying and the football we didn't do a lot.

Today however we decided to move and after watching the Indian Grand Prix we set off for London City Centre. We still can't believe how easy it is to get into town and we pondered over how busy it was going to be. We arrived at Little Venice and it was just so quiet. The winter moorers were all in position to get on their moorings for the 1st November. We managed to get on the water point under the bridge and it took a hour for Derwent6 to fill up. We then pulled into the basin and noticed an old blogger Ernie on "Ten Bob Note". I'm sure we will see him later to catch up on a few things. We made our way to the end of the arm and there were loads of spaces. We turned Derwent6 in the breezy basin with ease and moored up. It was nice to be back in the City and watching everyone do their Sunday thing. We can't get telly here due to all the apartments and offices, but that doesn't matter, we're in London! It was also getting dark at five o clock as the clocks went back last night.....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Westfield for the Day

We were still a bit hung over from last night but we wanted to get out early with so much to see. We got the train from Kensal Green and got off at Stratford, and the Olympic Park. Al wanted to go the the new shopping centre, Westfield. It was nice and quite when we arrived and we managed to have a good look is huge. It has all the quality shops you need and backs right onto the Olympic Park. You still can't get to the stadium but you can see it will be fabulous. We stopped for a bit of lunch at the Mexican restaurant Wahaca. When we came out it had got very busy and we were pushing our way though loads of people. We wouldn't want to come here on a Saturday or just before Christmas!
We left about 3.30pm just before the rush hour on the Underground. We arrived back on Derwent6 in daylight and it wasn't long before we lit the fire.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Afternoon meeting in the West End

We had a very quiet morning as we had a few things to get sorted on Derwent6, but it was nice. We left for Piccadilly Circus at 2.00pm and had a walk round the West End. We met up with friends Joy & Steve who had also been in London all day. We went to a restaurant called Benihanas. It was booked by them and it turned out to be a really good night. It is Japanese food which is cooked at your table but in a style that you would have never seen before. This picture is a pile of onion rings which is set on fire and then cooked to perfection. The food was superb and blew us away. After we said our goodbyes we went to TGI Friday's and watched them throwing glasses and bottles around making cocktails. We got back to Derwent6 at around 1.00am after a great night......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Locks and Rocks

We left Brentford at 9.00am and plonked ourselves on the pumpout station, and also topped up with water. The minute we moved, a winter moorer here jumped into our space. We wouldn't mind but they never even asked if we wanted to go back into it......manners!At 10.00am we made our way up the Grand Union, and soon got to the Hanwell flight. We hadn't done locks now for so long we had to take it well steady. We passed the old Asylum; it's funny how we always pass this place near to Halloween. We did ten locks in all and managed to pick up some wood on the way. At the top we then took the turn at Bull's Bridge onto the Regent's canal. We had been greeted by showers all day, some of them heavy, but we did get sunshine now and again which was nice on our backs. Al sorted out Derwent6 while we were on the move, with a lovely warm fire going, and she made some of Del's favourite rock cakes to keep him going.
At one point the sun and rain created a lovely rainbow and Derwent6 went straight through the middle of gold thoughWe carried on till we couldn't feel our fingers on the tiller, and managed to get a mooring at Kensal Green cemetery. It wasn't long before it got dark and after a long day (15 miles and 10 locks) it was an early night for us.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Go with the Flow

We got up early as we were booked in for the tidal Thames today. We were going to diesel before we left but at £1.30 a litre and no self declaration we decided against it. We passed through Kingston and then made it to Teddington Lock. We checked in with the Locky and he gave us the all clear for 11.30am. The weather was being kind to us again and the sun was out and it was a bit warmer but the wind was a bit stronger than yesterday. After a cup of tea we made our way up to the lock, where we were joined by another boat. The length of the locks here are amazing. We took the lead out into the wave waters of the estuary and Derwent6 was in salt water again. We slowly watched the tide turn and go into our favour and flow back out towards the sea with us. We passed Twickenham and Richmond and soon got to Kew gardens where we knew we had to turn. It was difficult to see the turn as there are no signs pointing you in the right direction. This is probably on purpose so you don't cut the corner going in and become a hazard to anyone coming out. As we turned in Derwent6 slid sideways but the power of the Beta 50 straightened us up, in line with the lock. Phew! It all seems so peaceful when you get up to the Thames lock and we're back at idle passing the moored boats. The gates opened as we approached, as the lock keeper knew we were coming.

We then made our way into Brentford and had to do the lock ourselves, still it was electric and easy to operate. We were joined by the boat we travelled down with.We were both lucky enough to get a mooring here.
We then had a walk along to Morrisons and picked up some cheap steaks for dinner tonight.

It got dark by 6.00pm and still boats were arriving here, ready for their passage down the Thames tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Quiet Day (we thought)

We planned not to move and watch the traffic go by, and make it a quiet day today. The sunshine was fantastic for the time of year and we didn't need the fire. Del spent the best part of the day doing the brasses and some last minute polishing for the winter months ahead. Al was planning what we needed for the next few months. It was lovely to have some time out in the cratch soaking up the sunshine.

It was all good till it got dark and Al was watching Strictly on telly. All of a sudden there was a lot of commotion out on the towpath with Thames Valley police vans and torches flying about. They ended up cornering a guy and six coppers laid on top of him. We couldn't take photos as we felt we just had to keep our heads down! The police then inspected a boat on the other side of the Thames from us, by getting a small motor boat and going over to it. They climbed up the side and barged their way in, it was all Police, Camera, Action, stuff. We still kept our heads down and surprisingly we weren't asked any questions.. Still we might be on telly!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A move to a freebee

We lit the fire again this morning as it seemed so cold here (or we're both going down with something). We are moored here on the free 24 hour moorings but after that you have to pay five pounds a night; still a bargain, but we haven't paid on the Thames and we weren't going to start now. Del went for a short ride on his bike and noticed a mooring about a mile downstream. We quickly got going and after two attempts we managed to get Derwent6 close enough to the bank to get in. We have nice views here, and it should be good enough for the weekend, and it's free. We made our booking in with the lock keeper at Brentford tidal lock and hopefully we will be going through on Sunday at about midday, but we have just heard that the winds are getting strong on Sunday...Oh well!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

All ending up in Court

We woke up to another frost last night and we decided to make our way further up the Thames. So with hats and a few layers on we pointed Derwent6 into the sun. It was beautiful, but we had trouble seeing where we were going with the sun reflecting on the river and the roof.We soon got to Staines and it was warming up nicely, there are some lovely houses on the Thames in this area. We decided to stop for water and just top up while it was quiet. Things were all going well till we got to Weybridge. The lock had been closed due to divers inspecting the lock floor. They also inspected the lower gate hinges. We ended up having some lunch and it held us up for a hour. As we arrived in Hampton we passed David Gilmore's (Pink Floyd) recording studio or galleon and yep we went and had a good look. It was getting cold again as the sun went down, so we moored up at Hampton Court. Right outside the gates in fact, and we then lit the fire. We get a good telly signal here so the evening was sorted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A great day for cruising ( but chilly)

We got up quite early as it was another beautiful day. We were going to see the changing of the guard, but the weather was so good we decided to go for a little cruise. After bacon butties we set off all be it a bit on the cold side, still you can wrap up can't you. We took a steady speed through the locks back to Bray.We had a good look at all the posh houses and then made our way back again. Bernie took the helm on the way back and it was nice for Del and Al to sit out on the bow with the peace and quiet of no engine noise. Five hours later we were back on our mooring in Windsor. We soon lit the fire as it was getting very cold and it had started to rain, can you believe it! Al cooked a nice chili to warm us all up. So with full tummy's Bernie and Sarah left at about 6.30pm and we said our goodbyes. It was nice to see them again. We then walked over to the pub to watch the Arsenal in the champions league football.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A few more beers with friends

It was a cold night, and for the first time for a long time we had a very slight frost on the roof of Derwent6. It was a nice day, but windy, so we had a walk into Windsor. We picked up some food shopping and just had a wander round. We got back to Derwent6 at around 2.00pm. Later in the afternoon we were met by Bernie and Sarah (the 25th guys), who had decided to come up and see us. We all had a few beers when they arrived. We then set off back into Windsor where we went to the King and Queen pub, where we had a few more beers. We then went to Bella Pasta, because we had a two for ten pound voucher. We had a lovely meal and walked back across the field to Derwent6... After another night cap we all crashed out into bed, sozzled!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

mmm the nice smells of winter

Well it was a lot colder, so for the first time after the summer we lit the fire. We cleaned out the chimney flue first and also gave the ecofan a service, well a clean and a lube up. The fire door is a bit tight to close after fitting a new glass and rope but it should free up a bit when the fire is going.

We soon had a roaring fire again and that lovely seasoned wood smell all over Derwent6......lovely.

Del then did the brasses ( so it will rain tonight) and watched Derwent6 get covered in leaves as the wind picked up. It was then on to his bike as he got a puncture last time out. Al was busy doing some work around the interior of Derwent6.

With the fire going we don't use any gas, and a chicken casserole was in order, more nice smells around Derwent6.

It was so hot in Derwent6, we ended up eating our casserole by candle light out in the cratch, with the side up looking at the planes taking off into the stars.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A 25th Wedding Anniversary with good friends

We have been off Derwent6 over the weekend as we had a special occasion to go to. Del made the most of it and met up with the boys to do a spot of gliding. The weather was just fantastic for the time of year and they had a good day Saturday after watching F1 and the rugby.

Al went off with Hannah for the day and sorted out balloons and things for the party for Sarah and Bernie's 25th Wedding Anniversary, and we all went to The Beeches restaurant for a big celebration. We had a fantastic time and it was lovely to catch up with their side of the family and all their friends. We stayed the night at Steve and Erica's who looked after us with food and drink and oh so much chocolate! On Sunday we were up early to see the F1 race and more rugby before we made our way back to Derwent6. We arrived home at 3.30pm and relaxed in the sunshine in the cratch. After something to eat we got in an early night after that early start.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To visit the Queen

With mist on the roof we set off early again. We dropped down the two locks and we had to do these ourselves (well push the buttons anyway). The locks here are still so pretty with flowers, it must be all the good weather we've had. The trees are just trying to change and are putting a small blanket on the Thames. We soon got into Windsor with the low planes on their approach to Heathrow. It was so quiet compared to the last time we were here. We had the pick of the moorings at four pounds a day but we moved on to our freebie round the corner. On our arrival we were pleased to see that the fishing club had put some lovely steps in for us to get up the bank. We settled in and Del went out on his bike to suss things out while Al sorted out Derwent6. On his return a fisherman called telling us we couldn't moor here. Hmm funny that, its marked in the Nicholson's guide as a mooring and there are no signs saying "No mooring" He wanted us to move for a fishing match they have over the weekend, and we don't move weekends. With twenty four bays and only ten fishermen playing we couldn't see a problem. Anyway, we exchanged phone numbers. Fair play, he called us back and said it was no problem, but it looks like we will be losing this mooring in the future, as the signs were being made for next year. Still you can't get a telly signal here anyway!