Windsor – 25th September

Up early, Jane and Mia are coming for the day, and arrived at 8.30am in time for breakfast. Scramble eggs on toast, then a long walk around the park, along the riverbank so Dougal and Oreo could have some exercise.

20160925_152747_resized_1Mia was fascinated with the ducks and swans, and enjoyed watching them being fed, and playing on the river. We then decided to walk into town, Geoff was in need of his coffee!  We found a cafe which sold  Cinnabons, so in we went, they were lovely,

After coffee we went shopping, for socks for Mia, and a birthday present for Kate’s daughter, then walked around the streets of  Windsor up to the castle, around the little lanes, stopped for a pint in one of the pubs, the cobble stones made Mia laugh as I pushed her over the bumps she was giggling.

Mia was getting bored, so we went back to the park, where she could run around chasing the dogs, feeding the swans, ducks and geese.

Later we went for dinner at an Italian, and then Jane took us to Creams for pudding, I have never seen so many choices of ice creams,
and puddings, very good.

After dinner we walked back to the boat, changed Mia ready for bed, and they were off back home. Another lovely day.

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Windsor – 24th September

Saturday 24th September 2016

Our day started with chores, Geoff checked the engine oil, weed box, and diesel, whilst I did the washing and hoovering, checked the water, and then we motored through the first lock, and onto the water point, then went to the rubbish dump.  Jobs completed we can start enjoying again.

We only had a little way to go, before we arrived in Windsor, it’s a bustling place, with boats on hire, river cruises, and lots of other craft going up and down the river.  We wanted to park near the grass, as the dogs will be with us tomorrow for the day, but the ground was higher than the boat, and the water was very shallow, so we decided to go on the rings by the bridge, not so good for getting on and off, but very good for the town.

Groceries were the first order of the day, so went looking for Waitrose, we did the tourist bit first, and meandered up to the castle, the town is very busy, with long queues to get in the castle, so we decided to go on Monday morning early.   All the best shops and restaurants are here, what a lovely Town.

Having been to shops, we bought the shopping back, before returning to the same pub as yesterday, Geoff wanted fish and chips again, so we sat in the garden and enjoyed a nice lunch. I had liver and bacon.

After lunch we went for a wander around the park and down stream, the children were feeding the ducks and swans, it was lovely to watch everything that was going on.   There were queues waiting to hire river boats, and canoes, children eating ice creams, playing on the round-abouts, and crazy golf, and like us, everyone seemed to be enjoying a lovely sunny day.

Back to the boat, we relaxed, watched Strictly, and then played crib.  What a nice day.

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Friday 23rd September

By Geoff

Woke up at a leisurely pace on our free, but excellent morning, after a cup of tea in bed, naturally.  We both had showers before our usual skimpy breakfast: dieting is not all it is cracked to be

Christine caught up with the ironing while I looked on in wonderment at this skilful task, after which we prepared to go out.

We had decided to stay an additional night, this was going to cost us £5 (it’s only free for 1 night) payable at the local lock.  Heading towards Windsor and Eton paying the lock keeper as we passed, we did a detour via Eaton Wick looking for a pint and a ploughman’s lunch, you know how it is, if you really fancy something to eat, you will go anywhere to find it.  We did find a pub in Eton Wick but the chef was off, menu was limited and no ploughman’s, well you can no doubt sense my disappointment.

1 quick drink and we were off, heading for Eton.  We arrived in time to see, many of the boys, dressed in their white tie and tails heading to the refectory for their lunch; quite a site as we walked round to the school entrance for more pictures.

We walked down the pretty high street passing several “gentlemen outfitters” specialising in selling the correct attire for the young gentlemen that attend Eton and eventually found a pub, the George; would I get my ploughman’s I wonder.

Alas no, ploughman’s were not on the menu so I had to start believing Christine when she told me (on numerous occasions) ploughman’s was so 60′s and old fashioned.  We both settled for small portions of fish and chips and for me two pints of the local Windsor brew.

After lunch we went looking for suitable moorings as Jane is visiting us with Mia for the day whilst Dave is off climbing,  we sussed out a car park for her and a convenient mooring for us close by, so tomorrow we are off there,

Having accomplished everything we (bar a ploughman’s) had set out to do we started the trek back.  Going didn’t seem so bad, probably with the detour it was around 3 miles but coming back, about 2 1/2 miles, it seemed to go on for ever and when we did get back, my feet were throbbing, much to the amusement of Christine.

A cup of tea with a biscuit helped, followed Christine fiddling with the aerial trying to get a picture:  I am told it is not easy to get terrestrial TV in the Thames Valley.

My turn to cook tonight, “bangers & Mash”, it was OK, well I would say so!  I was going to do the maintenance today as well, checking engine oil, pipes, weed box etc, etc., but it will now get done tomorrow before we leave.   Everything had to be sorted in time tonight for the opening programme of “Strictly”   By and large the TV signal held up so managed the see the whole programme.

The weather has been excellent today, sun most of the day and generally quite warm, what’s happened???

Off to bed for another good nights sleep

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Outskirts of Windsor – Thursday 22nd September 2016

Today is Tyla’s 19th birthday, and we had a long conversation with her, it was good to catch up with all the news.

We left Marlow, and went through the first lock, we have found a mooring place on the way back, to enable us to catch up with Liz at Bourne End, hopefully it will be free. We travelled onto Cookham lock, where we filled up with water, the washing machine has been working since we left , so good time to fill up. After Cookham we headed to Maidenhead, another lock, the houses are fantastic, I am really enjoying the Thames. One more lock, when we decided to stop, we are next door to Windsor Rowing Club.

We sat outside on the chairs, and watched the children being put through their paces in their skiffs and skulls, lovely sight.

Ideal mooring tonight, firstly it is free, last night it was £12.00, tonight will be very peaceful and idyllic.

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Marlow – Tuesday 21st September 2016

Another peaceful night, we are staying here all day as we are meeting Liz at 10.30am.

Having walked through the lovely park, we met Liz, and went for coffee and cakes, we then showed Liz over the boat, and had drinks before lunch, we decided to go Italian today, and try Zizzie’s.

Marlow is a lovely town, you can tell it is a rich area by the designer shops, really lovely place. We found Zizzie’s and had a lovely lunch, so much for the diets. King Prawns and Tagittella really tasty.

We walked backed to the Railway station as Liz was going home on the train, we then meandered along the river and back to the boat, lovely day, and good to see Liz again.

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Reading here we come.

Up early, as we have no water, and we needed to fill the tank before we leave. We know it is Sunday , and the marina doesn’t open till 10am, but we thought we might be able to fill up and get on our way. Well it worked, the owner of the boatyard came over unlocked the water, and we started to fill up, we also put the washing machine on, I had a shower, and cleared the dishes from last night. By the time he reappeared at 10.00am the tank was full, washing done and I was clean, so a good result.

We made our way through 11 locks, sometimes we had help from another boat, but mostly we were on our own, the scenery is magnificent, with the the Autumn colours, we also had to learn how to do the swing bridges, that worked by a key, which we didn’t know we had. Some of the locks have bridges which the general traffic use, so we put the key in, the traffic barriers come down to stop the traffic, the bridge then swings to let the boat go by, and then the bridge swings back and eventually the traffic continues. It’s a good feeling to be able to stop the traffic!

We found a mooring, the only one in a place called Tyle Mill Lock, most of the moorings were private, but one was kept free for people who wanted overnight berths.

Monday 19th September 2016

After a good night, we once again took showers, then went across the canal and fills the tanks up again, at least we will be clean for today.
We travelled through four locks before we came to Burghfield, where there is a pub called The Cunning Man, we had been recommended to try it, so we did. A beautiful looking place with thatched roof, Geoff was able to catch up on the local ales again.


As we travelled on, the fine drizzly rain started, we wanted to get to Reading, so we kept going, the only problem was we couldn’t find anywhere to moor, we found ourselves in the middle of Reading, with traffic lights, on the waterway, very strange, anyway we pressed the button, it changed to green and we were off again, by this time we really wanted to stop, well through the light system at the end, we found mooring rings, so we hooked up in them, and there we stayed. By this time it was raining quite hard, so we weren’t moving for anyone, we had a very comfortable night.

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