Thursday, 25 August 2016

Life Continues, but Diane misses the football

Friday 19th August to Thursday 25th August 2016

It has been a particularly tough week just gone – not too many moments have drifted by without at least one of us thinking about Elaine and of course Paul, but there have been so many wonderful memories of times spent together with them and with so many friends that you cannot help but smile at what has happened over the time that we have known them.

Our plans now are for getting together with Paul and saying our goodbyes to Elaine – just such a wonderful lady – Paul, you certainly were punching above your weight there!

But as we all know, the sun comes up the following morning and we have things that we have to get on with.

We stayed at Willow Tree Open Space until Monday, with a few longer walks to different areas that we hadn’t seen before and just generally relaxing a bit -  a bit of rain accompanied our time, but it didn’t give away the change in weather that we were about to face.

Cruising on Monday was very pleasant to begin with – a bit of a chill in the air until the clouds let some blue show through and that yellow thing in the sky and after filling the water tank at Black Horse we decided to head into Paddington in the hope of a mooring in the basin.
Sadly, all moorings were full, but we had made a mental note of possible other mooring points on the way in. Surprisingly, there were at least 3 available out in the stretch of Little Venice, very few boats were breasted up, so we knew we could get in along there; Diane in her infinite wisdom surmised that the set of rings closest to Bridge 2 were in fact for a public mooring – she had seen other non-permanent moorers there; there were no signs saying otherwise; and most importantly, there wasn’t a boat there.
So after cruising into the basin and then winding we pulled into the aforementioned spot and we have been here since.
OK, it is a little noisy in the early evening, but actually we have got a bit used to some of it and during the night it is not too bad.
The only problem that we have encountered is that infernal sun shining just too brightly and the temperature that goes along with it.
We came here to escape the heat and here it is with us again.
Careful management of the boat – closing curtains to keep the heat out; open windows on the shaded side to allow cooling breezes in has meant that it has not been too hot inside, except when we have had it closed up whilst we have been out.
Tuesday was time for a stroll through Regent’s Park day – which is not very far away at all.
We had never been there and it never ceases to amaze at the vast areas of public parks that are set aside for the benefit of the people of the capital.
Never-the-less, if you were a boy (or girl) between the ages of 8 and 15 and you wanted to kick a football around, then forget it in here. The land we saw was all reserved for organised games (with a fee payable).
Anyway we had a stroll around (I kept the football safely in the bag and out of sight) – I had to placate Diane and divert her attention away from wanting to have a bit of a kick.
Ornamental Gates for Regent's Park - these for George V

The large parkland - obviously this was before I told Diane that she couldn't
kick the football - she is still smiling

I couldn't believe this - hourly hire of the deck chairs was
one thing, but a season ticket ?? and 110 pounds at that.
I am sure I could buy my own fleet of chairs for that!

Diane overcame her football disappointment by sneakily
using one of the chairs without paying

On Wednesday we took the No.46 bus from Warwick Avenue up to Hampstead Heath and viewed two National Trust properties.

The first at 2 Willow Road and was a creation of the architect Erno Goldfinger in the late 1930’s.
It showed off the use of concrete as a medium for building houses and how great use of space could be made by careful planning – of course, the concrete allowed greater strength in the structure which meant more flexibility with placement of internal partitions.
We couldn’t take any photos inside the building, but you could certainly see the effect that this would have had on people at that time – some would marvel, others would be horrified.
2 Willow Road - not much by our standards today, but in 1939, it was ground-breaking
Our second property was in Fenton House, a little way up the hill – just the thing to do on a bloody hot day, but it was very much in the style of the 17th century, with some changes down the years.
The more traditional entrance - this time to Fenton House

the backyard - bet you wouldn't have been allowed to kick a football here either.

The view from the top-floor balcony - that is St Paul's there in the middle

A traditional garden, orchard and plot of land for a vegetable patch were part of the property.
lovely pattern-cut lawn - but no goal posts

She's a brave girl - getting over the disappointment

At first I though this might have been a barn - but later I think it was stables
on the bottom and servants quarters on the top

The lovely flower shot!!

There seemed to be an incredible collection of pianos and harpsichords in the house, although these were not necessarily part of the original furniture with the property.
Did I say that there were a few pianos and harpsichords...

...and some more...

...not the last, just the last you will see

A chinese foo - a guardian over the property

Being a mighty warm day, a couple of quick icy cold pints seemed to be appropriate – at the pub, literally just around the corner, before we faced the bus trip back – no air conditioning and coming onto later afternoon traffic.
Watford on her mind even in Hampstead Heath

Spot the mistake with this picture....

....that's right, the car is in the garage - that doesn't happen in this country

On advice from Dot (nb Ewn Ha Cul) we took Thursday to track down a 24-hour bagel salon called the Beigel Bake in Brick Lane, Shoreditch.

We were catching the first train, but heaven knows where the third one was going,
I couldn't see that station on any of the lines.

Took the Underground to Liverpool Street Station and then legged it onto the establishment concerned – yes it is open 24 hours a day, but it wasn’t a service that we needed – although it might have been a bit cooler at 3 am instead of 3 pm.
The bagels were very good – Diane had the Salted Beef and I had the Tuna, mayo and sweetcorn, all washed down at the pub on the next corner with a couple of cold drinks.
Would we go back again – probably, but I think we would need to be moored a bit closer – by the time you add the cost of getting there, the bagels became a lot more than they were priced on the board.
Salted Beef Bagel with dill pickles - wrap your
laughing gear around that one

Whilst wandering around there were so many people handing out free samples
- mainly food items - just some of the spoils of the trip

We have been a bit of the centre of attention during these days moored here - on Tuesday, Diane was chatting away to a couple from New Zealand – Shona and Joe – who have been over in this general part of the world for a few weeks but have managed to buy a yacht in Greece which Joe will be sailing back to NZ with his mates; and just this evening, she was at it again, talking with a couple – Sophie and Peter – from Melbourne – who are flying back tomorrow night.

Shona and Joe - there seemed to be a bit of checking it all out for a future adventure,
- a very heppy couple

Peter and Sophie - very surprised about the invitation to look aboard.

Both couples were busy asking questions about life on the boat and everything else that goes with it; they were both delighted when we offered to show them the inside of the boat.
Just nothing like that first look inside a narrowboat – I mean the very first look inside – and seeing how much is in there and how much space perhaps there isn’t or is, depending on how you view it.
Anyway, four people pleased to get a peek inside and have a chat about a way of life that is a bit different to most people.

18 Miles
YTD:  514 Miles (827 km) , 322 Locks, 4 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4309 Miles (6935 km), 3021 Locks, 116 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges


  1. Get a grip It is summer it doesn't last that long , before you know where you it will be winter again let's enjoy the sun while iit's here

    1. I'm with Ray on this one I'm afraid. London has just been too darn hot for the past few days! Just personal preference I guess