Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Goldfish Bowl

Saturday 7th June to Sunday 8th June 2014

Boats had been slowly leaving the basin; part of the reason was that the river had receeded from red and into yellow; other boats had also left to head up the Stratford Canal.
In any event we found a nice spot just near the entry bridge with our starboard side moored against solid ground and not on one of the floating pontoons.
Moored in the basin

We met up with Croc and Emma (nb Shelby) who are traders - Vinyl Cut - selling images cut into/outof old vinyl records - I have to say that the effect is really quite brilliant and worthy of a good look and some patronage.
Sunshine and Pimms - very English

Saturday had been forecast to be a bit of a not-so-nice day with showers throughout, so the appearance of the sun early on was pretty pleasing.
We were up for a reasonably early walk around the town; made even better with it being too early for any of the crowds to have descending on Stratford as yet.
On two previous occasions that we had been here we had wanted to see inside The Trinity Church and have a peek at Shakespeare's Grave - both times being thwarted by the staging of other events at the church.
This time however we were even earlier than the tourist buses.









Wandering back Diane came across Barry the Butcher where she picked up some sausages to try; we saw the Saturday market - more provisions - bread and cheese; the fudge shop - in particular Roly's Fudge Shop - no chance of not stopping there.
Laden with her purchases I managed to just make it to the boat.
Roly's Fudge - delicious and all gone

The sausages made it to the frypan, not immediately, but in combination with some bacon and the aforementioned bread provided lunch for she - the outcome being that a second trip to the butcher was made for more of the same.
actually the HSBC Stratford branch

We had already purchased tickets for the play Arden of Faversham at the Swan Theatre (RSC) for the 1:30 matinee on the basis that a) we had wanted to see a production there and b) the forecast had predicted a miserable Saturday afternoon.
We did enjoy the show which included a great cast - all good of course - only one we knew of any screen renown - Sharon Small.



Our surprise was that the rain had not made any appearance and it had, in fact, been a very nice afternoon - it didn't detract from our enjoyment. We ventured skyward to the RSC Rooftop Cafe for afternoon refreshments and an outdoor table overlooking the parkland and further to the basin and town.

such a lovely view for afternoon tea

Sunday was full of brilliant sunshine and we were out early again to have a look through the market stalls still being setup; then for a Maccas breakfast; a walk up to Aldi and Lakeland before relaxed a bit prior to the French Open Men's Final.

Our mooring position; a lovely day; a huge number of people around; and us being outside meant that there was a constant stream of people stopping and chatting away about the boat; is it heated; does Ferndale refer to the Welsh town (2 people asked about that Boy-Oh); but the best one for the day was the following:

Man wanders up (speaking like he a has a mouth full of plums): "I say old chap can you make a booking for your boat to come in here (referring to the basin)".
Me (minus any fruit references): "No, first come, first in"
Man : "Oh really, so one just brings the boat in and then you tie up?"
Me: "yep, if there is a spot it's yours"
Man: "then a little man comes around to collect the money, does he?"
Me: "nope, it's all free"
Man: "How long can one stay?"
Me: "48 hours and then you have to leave"
Man: "is there a rota system to go down onto the river - do you have to make a booking with a little man somewhere?"
Me: "nope, just head over there and get the lock ready"

by this stage I had had enough of the condescending attitude and when his wife asked the question (which we had only heard a 1000 times) - after seeing that we were from Melbourne: "Did it take you long to get all of the way over here?"
to which I answered: "24 hours - we flew".


An hour or so later when we were hit by a huge storm and it absolutely pelted down I did remark to Diane (with a fruit embellisment) - "I do hope that one didn't get too wet seeking out the Merc in all of this".

We are usually very happy to chat with most people, as we did during the sunny part of the day, but this couple just got on my goat - but that is the nature of places like Stratford and we do choose to want to moor in places like this.



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