Friday, 23 September 2016

She's flown off again and I get hit!

Saturday 17th September to Fiday 23rd September 2016

A day that had been “ringed” on the calendar, but not a day that we especially had to be up early for.

The packing had been almost completed and the timetable set – we would be leaving latish in the morning but still plenty of time to relax before heading off – where to, you may ask.

Well it wasn’t a combined trip; Diane would be off on her own to meet up with our daughter, Sam. This time it would be in Barcelona, so now she only had to get there.
Ready to go.
I dropped her off at Victoria Station (we took the tube, I didn’t hire a car or anything like that) and after a coffee she caught the Gatwick Express and then a flight to Spain.

Luckily for her, Sam was there to meet her at the other end – Diane had only found out a day or so earlier where they were staying, but that then changed as well – so, mother and daughter let loose for fun and tapas.

All of the following I have, has come arrived in dribs and drabs.

Breakfast the following morning was a hearty one – well a well balanced meal was available, but Diane chose the churros and a couple of strawberries on the side – it was apparently the one to bulk up on before the walk with cases to the ship.
By adding a little fruit, it does not become healthy
They were off on a 7 day cruise around the Med – stopping at Naples, Rome, Livorno, Cannes, Marseilles and then back to Barcelona.
This one will do me - hurry back

The weather was slightly warmer than back in London; there was the mention of an alcohol-included package that had been arranged and apparently they were trying out the Black Russians (the drink, not well-tanned Cossacks).

Naples and Pompeii was quite exhausting; Rome much the same, but I suspect that the latter was due to some running by both to get back to the bus before it left without them; they decided to have a rest day in Livorno and get the spa treatment on board and today they have arrived in Cannes where disembarkation is via the tender – hope the sea is calm for them.

The weather has been wonderful for them – around 23-25C, sunny and no rain – gee, another summer for Diane.

Meanwhile, I have been trying my best to get enthused about the list that has been left – I know for sure that it won’t be finished.

I stayed on in Alperton for a few more days after Diane left – most of the boats that stop around here are now mooring on the new rings (west of Bridge 11A) and closer to the new elsan point, but I preferred the usual spot outside Sainsbury’s – it has been lovely and quiet.

I moved along on Tuesday to Old Oak Common (near Bridge 7B) and apart from the odd sound from the railway lines below, it has been very quiet and, of course, the sun has been out most of the time – along with a bit of rain.
It is easy to see the autumn is with us; the boat is a little colder in the mornings and the condensation is starting – before we know it there will be snow on the roof.

Now this is not the start of a joke but there was a Grenadian, a South African and an Australian talking about boats and being in Britain, and there was general agreement amongst us all about a lot of the same things that we had all seen, heard and experienced whilst we had been here - none of us had been born here, none of us were wealthy, but none of us were collecting any benefits either - we had been supporting ourselves all of the time - we concluded that we must not be true immigrants, but then none of us could recall meeting anyway who was from outside Britain and who was in this country and not employed and working.
And we all agreed that there were some strange practices here, that we wouldn't entertain or tolerate back home.

Had a bit if a nasty incident on Thursday morning - decided to take a walk down to the Sainsburys near Porta Bella bridge - the pathway is nice and wide - good width of concrete pavers have been laid and then a strip alongside - easy wide enough for pedestrians and bikes - and then grassy bits on each side - widest towpath I recall seeing.
It is used by a lot of cyclists - going both ways - many of them at speed as well, but with due care - no problems.
Anyway, I am on my way back to the boat - it is after 9am and the level of cyclists has dropped off a bit - about a hundred metres away I see a cyclist coming down the same side as I am on; a couple of cyclists appear from behind me and are on the concrete paver pathway. This lone cyclist is coming closer and I could tell that it was quite fast, so I stopped and waited for them to pass.
I had been talking to a cyclist just the previous day and commented about the number of bikes and he said that everyone is in a hurry and if you are walking and it gets a bit awkward, then just stand still, it is better than trying to move and the cyclist is not sure where or what you are doing or going.
So I did - closer and closer - until it became evident to me that I was the target, so harking back to me Aussie Rules days, and knowing that the hit is coming, I braced myself.
It was a hard glancing blow - my left arm was a little sore, but the cyclist got the worst of it.
Their was a lot of swearing from the bike and telling me I should have got out of the way - certainly not the way you would expect a young woman to behave - yes, a woman.
She was decidedly lucky to retain control of the bike and not crash - for me, I was fine - I have been hit harder by Diane.
Funny though, all of the guys have been good; in fact the vast majority of cyclists were great - bell ringing, slowing down - but there is always one and she was it!

I saw her again this morning as she passed the boat - I think she may have learned her lesson - going much slower and a bit more polite to other users - she didn't say anything; she may have recognised me.

Today it was a case of moving the boat along again, this time down to Little Venice and onto a mooring at Rembrandt Gardens for a week.
The two girls will be back on Monday, so there should just be enough time to get the boat back into shape and all tidy again.

It was a lovely slow cruise down to the Pond, then around into Paddington Basin, winded and back to the new water point - nice to have another one around, but it is flippin' slow - 350 lt in about 90 minutes.

Anyway, being a lovely sunny day and on the warm side I was happy just to wait for a bit - a lovely young girl (at my age they are all young) came up with her dog and wanted to talk about boats, so who am I to say no - nothing else to do - she had a small Tjalk (35') for a year and wanted to just know a bit more about things in general - nice day for some - well nice day for me then!

7 Miles
YTD:  609 Miles (980 km) , 358 Locks, 6 Tunnels, 14 Lift Bridges, 3 Swing Bridges

Total: 4404 Miles (7088 km), 3057 Locks, 118 Tunnels, 59 Lift Bridges, 170 Swing Bridges


  1. Appalling behaviour. Neil says you should report this Ray. You should email Darren dot starling at canal river trust dot org dot uk (taking out spaces etc). He is the guy in charge of the towpath Rangers and wants to hear about incidents like this. Mention that Neil told you to contact him.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

    1. Cath, if Darren wishes to read the blog he will see it all there, but as I had tried to explain there were so many cyclists going along the path and doing the right thing; I have explained the manner in which I have dealt with it for this one cyclist and hopefully she will have learned from it - I think it will have a longer lasting effect than someone recording the incident and putting up a sign about it.
      I appreciate your thoughts and the suggestion, but for me the incident is over and I know that something more constructive has happened


    2. Marilyn,

      I have seen your comment and yes, I am still at Rembrandt Gardens, so hopefully you see this and we can meet up


    3. Hi Ray,

      We are about to see out from Pimlico via Tube to Edgeware Road now (11.50). How about lunch when we arrive. Please text me on +64 21 847888. Looking forward to meeting up in about an hour, I guess.
      Cheers, Marilyn

  2. We are missing you and glad that you have safely arrived after the nasty altercation. We have now moved on to mudslides with our unlimited drinks package it's Sam that is leading me astray. Xxxxxx