Tuesday 15th December to Thursday 24th December
We had spent enough time moored here in Croxley and thought it appropriate to move northwards for a bit – but not too far – just up to Cassiobury Park – Phil joined us for the first part of it before needing to return home – something about going to work.
Anyway we moored up just for Lock 76 where we had adequate TV reception and it was quiet and well away from other boats – we fancied a bit of peace and quiet.
The weather has continued to be very unseasonable – almost like an English summer – there being rain and the occasional glimpse of sun.
Our intention was to continue north heading towards Hemel with the objective to spend a few days there before winding and coming back south again.
Stoppages are starting to limit where we can head to – if we were really going to head a lot further north it would not help our plans for later in the month and for January.
So the slow and stopping a few days here and there approach is how we have been progressing.
Stopping at Kings Langley was a first for us, as usually it has been getting from Hemel through to Watford that was the priority, but for once we did stop and explored up the hill where there is a lovely range of shop – we found the country market and parted with some hard-earned; then a little further on was a nice little charity shop where we found some real bargains – a couple of Spode Blue Italianate pieces for a fiver (total) and a lovely set of old scales for a tenner.
Moorings at Hemel were fairly full in the popular places but we managed to find a spot between locks 65 and 66 – a short pound subject to random leakage overnight as we found out a couple of times but with no worries.
A lengthy journey up the hill to the cinemas was rewarded with Maccas (just for the ice-cream) and seeing the new Star Wars movie – enjoyed both very much.
The beauty of going uphill first is that the trip back is downhill – much easier on the body.
We both like Hemel and uncharacteristically, we found that over the days that we were around the area, there were not the huge crowds that would be expected at this time of the year – that is except for the supermarkets, where you would think that the apocalypse was approaching.
People were loading trolleys with anything that didn’t move – Diane was smart enough to make sure that she held tightly to my hand as we picked out the few items that we actually needed.
The highlight of our stay was the trip to the pub to watch Watford beat
3-0 – a very nice pub, and whilst they didn’t serve food, they had no
objections to you bringing in anything from the adjoinging takeaways.
One downside was some crazy character who wanted to chat whilst we were watching the match. Eventually we had to ask him to move somewhere else – he thought that I was telling him to f--- -ff, but I was quite polite and only thinking it, not saying it!
Eventually we winded and headed back south again and made it as far as Abbots Langley to more up for a few days – weather considerations played an important part in how much we would cruise; TV considerations made up the other part of the process – what with Doctor Who and Strictly airing on Xmas Day, the reception was important.
Lastly, and I know that this is after the fact, my very favourite Mother-In-Law (Millie aka Dot) celebrated her birthday on the 23rd – not getting it out of me how many years around the sun she has been – else she would be over here on her broomstick and after turning me into a newt or other such creature, she would be using my organs straight into her cauldron.
I do love her dearly and we were able to wish her a happy birthday over the phone (on viber) – she loves all of that stuff.
....and finally from our crazy kids who got together in LA - some of this years Santa photos - the ring-in is Joey Turner - practically a family member anyway
|That little white sign in the background between Sam and M itch is|
the HOLLYWOOD sign
12 Miles, 23 Locks
YTD: 887 Miles (1427 km) , 561 Locks, 14 Tunnels, 11
16 Swing Bridges
Total: 3781 Miles (6085 km) , 2682 Locks, 112 Tunnels, 45
167 Swing Bridges