Thursday, 30 April 2015

I thought we weren't moving!

Wednesday 29th April 2015

With a forecast of wind and rain for today, we had more or less made up our minds that we wouldn't be moving today, and the predictions came true just after 8 am with some driving rain - heavy at times, and very cold outside.

At least there wasn't the snow that Dot and Gordon as well as Elaine and Paul had been getting around the Macc.

So Diane was settled in bed comfortable and warm, well supplied with coffee and reading material; I had plenty to get through as well.

After breakfast we decided that we needed to send a few cards - one birthday and one for Mothers Day in Australia (2nd Sunday in May), which meant a short walk by recent standards - about 1/2 a mile, but it did mean that we found a nice long row of shops that we hadn't seen before.
Amongst them were a couple of laundrettes, which got Diane thinking. Instead of running the engine just to do some washing she would take care of the two loads with another walk back to here.

So once again I was left on my own - today we had made sure about BSL and tablets before letting her out.

An hour and a half later it was all done, with most already dry; the weather had also improved so we weighed up some options about what we might do.
Filling the water tank didn't rank high on the list, even though it was 6 days since the last fill, there was still over half a tank left - we did however smell a bit because of that.

Eventually we thought we might just cruise down a few miles towards Black Horse Bridge - firstly as part of the journey to the junction where there was an elsan services block - eventually what goes in will come out and fill up the cassette - again it wasn't a high priority but might be by early next week; secondly we thought a change of scenery would be nice as well; and thirdly we would just check out to see if the water point at the bridge was now working - which it turned it was (so we did fill up).

Along the way we were also thinking that we should moor within an easy walk of an underground station because we would be heading towards Paddington/Little Venice to see the IWA Cavalcade.

Black Horse Bridge is about the limit, after which we thought that we are nearing more of the National Rail stations which don't use the Oyster Card, so after filling the tank we decided to wind - the winding hole being right there as well.
Diane took control of the tiller to turn Ferndale around - something she has done many times before, but never with a boat in the near vicinity (well actually it was on moorings in the hole as well) - and it was a wide-beam with the occupants on there.
Looking well pleased with herself after winding.
The wide-beam (left) and winding hole (right) now behind her.

Well so proficient was she that you would be hard pressed to know that she wasn't a professional - expertly around without a care at all.
The wide-beam was safe, the bird life were safe, even the drinkers in the pub garden were safe. After that we headed back to a new spot we had seen earlier - the problem was the fat-backside of Ferndale wouldn't clear the bottom and we cruised on for another 1/2 mile where we have found a nice peaceful spot for the next couple of days.
We just feel that this boat should have been painted red

A dead parrot you say - dead or not, this is a big one

3 Miles
YTD: 312 Miles, 180 Locks, 6 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3206 Miles, 2301 Locks, 104 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 162 Swing Bridges

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Diane does London despite the mishap.

Tuesday 28th April 2015

Diane deserted me today and decided that she would leave me on the boat out of harms way, where I couldn't possibly get into any trouble whatsoever, and head off into London for a bit of a look around.

Little did she realise that it was not me that would get into any sort of trouble, but it was to be her -

leaving the boat...

... I walked her to the station - still no problems
She caught the underground service - Piccadilly line - to Hyde Park Corner and a walk down Constitution Hill; it was around she spotted a few blokes out for a bit of a ride on their horses

Wellington Arch

Such a lovely day in the sunshine, ready for....

...all of the crowds at Buck House - the lone police officer (centre) had spent
15 minutes convincing the people that they couldn't cross, but...

...they could wait no longer - the toilets were on the other side...

...oh and some wanted to see this.
including this young lass

'ere you go then

Liz wasn't at home today - not the Royal Standard flying above

Looking down the Mall
 After the excitement at the Palace, she had to retrace her steps back near Wellington Arch to recover a lens cover she had left there earlier, and found the war memorials for Australian troops and New Zealand troops

The NZ memorial -gotta love that they have included a rugby ball - third post
from the left
 Further down, opposite the Palace, were some of the world's press and TV stations, apparently waiting for some young tyke to come along - cannot see what the fuss is about.

Diane just liked the look of this building

The AA building - they've done alright for themselves

The memorial for the Crimean War...

...and of course to Florence Nightingale
In amongst all of her escapades, she managed to have one of her diabetic episodes - she had eaten her "just-in-case" reserves but was still low - when that happens she cannot make a sensible decision, but she got through it thanks to Costa - coffee and a panini - the coffee didn't help much, just wanted the caffeine.

She found the cause of the problem - one too many pills in the morning; she is of concern and now I will have to buy a length of rope to make sure that she doesn't stray away from the boat without me - it can also double for her to pull the boat along when we move.

No travel

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

It's a big day for Mitchell

Monday 27th April 2015

First and foremost, a big Happy Birthday to our son Mitchell, he is 26 today and has the best present and only present that he wanted - he has finally secured the visa for America and has in fact landed there and is with his wonderful wife Sara - finally they can start their lives together in the US.

Can't get any better than that for both of them.
Where did it all go wrong - this cute little guy.... this one on the right (that is Speedie on the left)

The precinct around Little Venice is being cleared for the IWA Cavalcade next weekend and therefore we needed to be gone by 8 am this morning - we were off before 7:30 and headed out as far as Kensal Green where we moored up to do a shop at Sainsbury's and had some breakfast before continuing on further.

Ironically we only made it as far a Alperton where we moored up for the day - right outside another Sainsbury's - could have kept going earlier if only we had known.

A reconnoitre of the area found us a Chinese restaurant which does Dim Sum , which we visited for lunch.
The style of food was the same as we have been used to from home - the Singapore noodles were great, as was the dumplings, the beef balls, the salt and pepper squid and the chickens feet (Diane won't touch them which means all for me).
a nice little collection of dishes

mmm - chicken's feet - the best

We spent the rest of the day resting and just catching upon a couple of things - for me, it was a public holiday back home for Anzac Day, so a day that I could take it a bit easier - it won't be like that tomorrow.

We have a rough plan for the next 10 days before we head back into Little Venice and looking forward to seeing a few other places - weather dependant.

6 Miles
YTD: 309 Miles, 180 Locks, 6 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3203 Miles, 2301 Locks, 104 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 162 Swing Bridges

Monday, 27 April 2015

A Day out at the Race

Sunday 26th April 2015

Now for the benefit of our little "friends"from yesterday - here is the CRT sign that confirms the mooring arrangements

Last line of the top part - 

Triple berthing is not permitted (maximum of 2 narrowboats or 1 widebeam boat only)

Can't be simpler than that - doesn't require too much counting or real knowledge - just the ability to read and of course know that it applies to everyone.

Not 2 narrowboats breasted up.

It is not a case of not liking Londoners - I just simply do not like people who believe that they are better than others and have a right to do whatever they like.

Today we decided to head off to watch the London Marathon - the 35th "running" of the event and the last by Paula Radcliffe.

Train down to Tower Hill and masses of people all around, which must be the norm for the English public.
Still it was a fun time - everyone seemed to be having a good time and enjoying themselves.

Found a good position just before the 23 mile mark and got some shots of a few of the disabled athletes - their efforts no better/no worse than the professionals - perhaps more praiseworthy.

After that we moved down a bit further for a better view; not long after the leading group in the men's section came through

The fellow in the light blue top was the eventual winner, but just to be going that well would be good enough for me.

Superheroes mixing with mere mortals are always good and spiderman was certainly inside the top 50 runners.

We had thought that the women had gone through earlier - Diane googled it and it appeared that they had started an hour before the men, and that we may have missed Paula Radcliffe, but no sooner had we saw that, than a motorcycle with cameraman was in front of a group which included Ms.Radcliffe (below)

Even though the leaders were finished, marathons are about individual effort and performance; the race went on - thousands still beating out the rhythm on the road

The party atmosphere was there - at least for the spectators with bands along the way keeping the music flowing and encouraging all runners

We moved away as it made us feel a bit inadequate seeing all of these people far fitter than we were, so we headed over towards the Thames

Tower Bridge

The Shard - why haven't they finished
building this

For Diane's favourite sister

We then trained it down to Limehouse to have a bit of a look around down there - you really have to love the DLR - driverless trains; not the first time that we have experienced them either in England or elswhere - the announcements are more easily understood; the travel is more smooth - just having a nice little dig at Diane's cousin Phil who is a train driver on the Metropolitan line

If they are driverless, then why do they need
windscreen wipers?

After checking out the basin at Limehouse, the race was still going on around us, so a few more shots of competitors - this time the more zany ones was appropriate.

Let's remember that so many of the runners are doing this to help raise money for their nominated charities and the pain that they are going through to do this is deserving of the end result

notice the beard!

There were a few of these Rhinos around

Minions unite

Big bird and friend - Diane 

A little further on we found where the course double-backed on itself and runners were a bit thicker on the ground

And the band played on - this time a band of drummers - putting out a very good beat

Back to a few of the stragglers - we need to encourage all people with a Welsh leaning - keep going girls -

And all good things must come to an end - somewhere the line is drawn and those behind this car have to move to the footpath.....

...before they get cleaned up, along with the lines marking the course.

We found a set of steps leading down to the Thames - at water level - the tide was out, so we couldn't resist the chance of a few photos...

Now with over 10,000 steps on the pedometer ourselves, and not having had lunch yet, we ourselves saw the need to start heading back - the nearest station was Shadwell - was a little way off, but we found it and used the Overground.

Still find it strange that the Police block off half the entry points to the stations and force everyone into a slow queue - that doesn't help move people away quickly from a crowded area - a bit like having a huge stadium try to empty with half the exits closed.

Amazing how everyone jams themselves into the carriages near to the platform entrance and others are near empty, we found a section at the front of the train occupied with only one other person and started a conversation without any problem, and he turned out to be a driver on that line - Hammersmith & City. A really nice guy called Gino, who it turns out has a bit of a phobia with spiders, sea-snails and sharks - but maybe only those that are in Australia.
What a really nice guy.

Gino - on his way to work for the evening. Diane was
coveting his nice orange Underground bag - he did take
good care not to let her too close to it.

After leaving Paddington, it was time for something to it and we found ourselves in The Sawyers Arms just around the corner - a lovely meal and not too expensive even for London.
On the last walk for the day, there were a group of people crowding around admiring this..

Today was far more enjoyable than yesterday and maybe we are starting to get a bit more used to the pace of the city - we can never get used to nor condone bad manners.

No travel