Sunday, 12 July 2015

Snakes Alive!!

Thursday 9th July to Friday 10th July 2015

Thursday was classified as a rest day and now I can say that it only seems to have been a rest day for the engine - on a day when quite clearly it was marked next to it "Not required" the engine sat idle.

On the other hand, by the end of it we had logged up 17000 steps.

It all started first thing - well after 9 am anyway - all four of us were off into Egham - Diane and I wanted to show a ship's decanter to Sue, which subsequently she declined but we purchased it - at a further reduced price; there was coffee to drink and shops to be shopped in - no milk required today.

Oh, and by the way, the sun was gloriously streaming down increasing the heat we were generating just walking there and back.

After a break for lunch, it was time for some more walking - this time we wanted to see the memorials to Magna Carta and also to John F Kennedy; and then further on there was the Royal Air Force memorial to the airmen and women who did not return from WWII.

The sun had not reduced in intensity; we did our best to avoid a herd of cows, satisfying the bovine-ophobic amongst us.
The Magna Carta memorial was organised and paid for by the American Bar Association as a mark of respect to the influence of this document on their own constitution.

The field alongside was implanted with a sculpture of 12 chairs representing the jury system - an important part of Magna Carta - the legal right to having the opportunity to defend accusations made against you.

A little further along we visited part of the United States - a 1 acre section of land granted to the US and formally part of the US, where a memorial to JFK has been created - JFK being a proponent of the virtues held in Magna Carta.

It was at this point that we left Sue behind, the next part of the journey being well and truly uphill.

The walk itself is not too bad, but coupled with all of our earlier travels, the top of the hill was very pleasing to see and just a little bit around the corner we came across the RAF memorial.

We have seen a number of these memorials to people from both world wars - in Britain, in France and, of course, back home, and it continues to highlight the futility of war, but it never lessens the value of the lives lost forever.

There is an upper viewing level from where we could see from Windsor and beyond in one direction, all the way across the Thames Valley to London; including Heathrow and Wembley - icons of Engand today.
London in the distance and Heathrow in the middle 

Windsor Castle 

Fortunately, the return trip was all down hill and in much less time than it took to go up, we were down again and Andy was reunited with Sue, we all rested for a bit before heading back to the boats.

Whether it had anything to do with the amount of walking from that day or talk about what might lay in the grass through which the public footpaths traversed, but Diane woke up with tales of the appearance of snakes in great numbers - all in her dreams.
It did take her most of the day to eventually get over it, but not a case of Snakes on a Plane, but clearly Snakes on a Boat.

After a "rest" day it was more cruising - this time as far as Windsor and hopefully a mooring - we would like to visit the castle and be able to cross that one off the must-do list.

Just a few miles and a couple of locks - we found a spot to moor up; Andy and Sue were able to get in close enough; with our fat-bottomed boat we were not so lucky and decided to breast up next to nb Festina Lente.
The Boathouse - built on Queen Victoria's request

No it's not Doug and James, but these boys are having fun anyway

approaching Windsor

The swans are gathering for the swan-upping to take place soon - and probably
for food from anyone near

The view from the back of the boat
Again a warmish day, but being Friday and work over for the day, there was really nothing to stop us having a bit of a wander around and stopping off at The Two Brewers for a bit of lunch.
Behind the girls and disappearing into the distance
is The Long Walk

This Morris Cowley was outside the pub and as we showed some interest in it,
the owner came over to show us a bit more about ...

...including the small engine with its 7 gallon fuel tank (small black box just under
the engine cowling)

6 Miles, 2 Locks
YTD: 540 Miles, 318 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3434 Miles, 2439 Locks, 110 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges

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