Monday, 30 November 2015

It's not really Xmas (yet)!!

Saturday 21st November to Sunday 29th November 2015

We hung around in Alperton for another couple of days, mainly on account of the weather conditions before we finally headed off; we had wanted to spend a couple of days at Willow Tree Open Area but decided against it, opting to have a quite long cruising day by our recent standards and made it to Cowley Peachey where we found a lovely mooring just up from Tesco.
It is to be expected that at this time of the year the conditions will be a bit unpredictable and not the best for daily cruising, so we have got into the habit of mooring up for a number of days before finally moving.

With mooring restrictions relaxed, essentially they are all 14-day moorings (unless otherwise stated) it becomes a bit easier on the need to move-on quite so soon.

The Costa located in the Tesco store as well as the one a bit further down the High Street seemed to be a bit well frequented whilst we were around, and strangely on Thursday morning we found ourselves outside the freshly- reopened Aldi wating for it to open so that Diane could inspect and purchase her favourite Star Wars toys – really is a big kid (again!).
Crazy people - queuing up outside Aldi - and we were crazy
as well

Her spoils

It was just as well that it was open early because we had decided to move on up to Uxbridge after the shopping expedition and, of course, in the process, had to go through that locking process business for the first time in quite a while – that being with both of us there.

Luckily we managed to grab a perfectly sized mooring spot in a line of moored boats – it being virtually the last one available.
There were more through the bridge but didn’t fancy being moored outside a pub over the weekend, although we doubted that there would be much trouble.

It was quick work mooring up and a little later we walked up to the station – Diane was off to Watford for her annual diabetes MOT, but because of the early appointment time she spent the night with Maggie and Paddy – the Friday being Paddy’s birthday – cannot tell you how old he was but he was a war-time baby.
Looking fighting fit and ready to celebrate
Diane passed the testing and is now OK for another year – oil change and tyres all checked and in good working order.
We did a bit of follow-up work on some planning for a trip-away in the new year and that is now taken care of; we also went off to the movies here in Uxbridge to see “The Lady in the Van” with Maggie Smith, whom we admire as a wonderful actor – I didn’t think much of the story which, although true, showed up the gullibility of the author and also Social Service attitudes which I find condescending and in many ways blinkered.

Saturday was a milder yet quite windy day but I was coerced  suckered  persuaded to go shopping – oh how I love shopping especially when it involves Diane looking at clothes (NOT!!!) – but I survived got through it came out of my coma woke up from the nightmare.

We also ordered some tiles that we need for a new splashback in the kitchen and they are likely to arrive in another week, so we will need to come back – as we will have moved by then.

Without doubt the highlight of the week was a surprise phone call on Sunday morning from Sue (and Andy) – they had been at Twickenham for the double header the previous day and wondered if we were free for lunch.
It seems almost like years since we had last seen them both, but it was only the end of August – which in boating terms is about the same.
There is always somebody trying to photo-bomb - that big guy at
the back just wouldn't move
So we met them in the town centre and adjourned to The Three Tuns – the food was quite delicious and plenty of it; good value too; the Guinness was good and that was what counted for me; the football was on, but in the other bar area and rightly so as we wanted to talk to Sue and Andy and the football was not important (after all it was only Spurs v Chelsea).
Incredibly nice lunch but not as nice as the company - such
a lovely surprise
This was just such a good tonic for us – although we are in contact almost on an hourly basis with everyone via Viber, it was so good to catch up with them over a meal – we will of course be off to see the whole gang very soon anyway.

After we said our goodbyes it was back to the boat and out of the wind (which was still blowing quite strong) and also out of the cold – so we settled down and resisted a nanna nap.
It almost seemed dark outside at 3pm but we had only to wait another 90 minutes to really complete the process.

Just think, it is only another 23 days until the winter Solstice and then the days will be getting longer and we will be heading to summer – that season of the year with more daylight than not.

Diane is deeply “indebted” to the words of wisdom passed onto her by Gary (nb Inca) concerning the correct time to put up Xmas decorations.

In Gary’s “thesis” on the subject, he states quite clearly that any decorations put up before the beginning of December mean that an “elf is killing a baby reindeer”.
Diane is severely traumatised by all of this – walking around town with decorations clearly on display; seeing people wearing xmas clothing; avoiding even finding exactly where our decorations are currently stored.

She has however decided that we needed some battery powered timer lights to be put in place which are apparently our new security lights – on Tuesday they will be renamed decorations.
This one is by courtesy of Gary (nb Inca) and is from a couple
of weeks ago as we posed at one of these pop-up toilets.
No really we were only posing - it was too cold to expose anything

12 Miles, 1 Lock
YTD: 867 Miles (1395 km) , 528 Locks, 14 Tunnels, 11 Lift Bridges, 16 Swing Bridges

Total: 3761 Miles (6053 km) , 2649 Locks, 112 Tunnels, 45 Lift Bridges, 167 Swing Bridges

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