Sunday, 19 May 2013

We're getting close now, but I have to mention a vital tool, here it is:

It's a small thing, but my own!  Well to be fair it's not really my own, that is, it was a kind gift to me from a fellow bargee who had prior experience of its potency, owner/captain of Rangali.  Like me he had bought a nice jar opener, as recommended, to unscrew the oil filter, and like me it had snapped right apart.  This tool doesn't take prisoners, it just takes it off.  Thanks again Rangali!
That was my main task before the birthday weekend, but back to more recent journeys.  Did we hit the bridge?

No we didn't and they both survived.  This is a bit too far forward, as it misses the fact that we swapped our Leonberger Burdock for youngest son Marius, with the aim of his joining us on the cross Channel trip and into France.  Well!! No chance of that.  Before this swap we met up with more fellow bargees and friends on Grizzled Skipper (btw, it's a type of butterfly) with whom we shared some customary sundowners:

There's the captain giving a friendly wave!  Oh, the reason I mentioned bridge height is that I used our 10 foot barge pole to measure how much space there is below and above the boat, then for good measure I drove it under bridges that should be just okay.  In case of doubt then Nik took the helm and I undid a pin on the mast and sat with the cruciform across my shoulders ready to raise/lower to check my calculation.  Amusing but pretty heavy!  Some were good, others not, they keep raising and lowering the water you know!  Another test:

Is it wide enough too?  Will the captain sneeze from all the roof pollen and lose control.  Oh yes, he did, but not at the wheel.  He fell downstairs didn't he, all of them, twice (just to check it was the shoes and not just the alcohol) while moored at the Shepperton Marina and with guests aboard!  It was on the bad side of not good, but arnica, more booze, analgesics and rest helped for some days, until, until... he sneezed.  Oh dear, that was bad.  Next stop the doctors, which was during a 7 (yes seven) night stay at Windsor, look:

That flower garden has moved back, making a nice foreground to her little pile, well HM wasn't there then but she's back now, so that invite could come at any time....  The weather has been good here, and Windsor is really nice, like our own Carcasonne, lots of French, many patissiers (to be checked out) and pretty fair weather.  Well it was an accident really, because crossing weather did not appear, so we thought it'd be a nice place to go now we had Marius aboard - quite right too.  Here he is helping:

The herb gardens you see are birthday presents from friends and family - really useful and elegant.
Did I mention the broken dog ramp?  No?  We'd been mighty impressed with it, and then suddenly:

What was that?  Not me guv!  We can only assume that there was a little weakness near the handle or that Burdock had an extra bounce in his step.  Anyway we're hoping the supplier will honour the guarantee - you'll soon hear if he doesn't.  Meanwhile it sort of works with care, but no longer telescopes (oh dear!).
Then on Tuesday night our eldest son Tad came (late, after giving a personal training session) which suited well as we'd just been to see a play at the Royal Theatre (oh la la!) in the cheapest seats, well I say seats, they call it a bench, well it is a bench.  But it was just fine.  Here's the last pic on this entry of the family:

They've all gone back now, so I'm up to date, well I've missed out lots of boring details, but that's good.  Tomorrow (Monday 20th) we plan to go downstream again, but a crossing is probably out of the question before Friday, mainly because we sort of know the forecast up to Thursday!!  We'll let you know.  Ooh, one more pic, our mooring at Runnymede, beside the usual Burdock field, on our way down to Shepperton, i.e. out of order, but never mind!


  1. What was the cause of your leak on the electrics and did you fix it ?

  2. Fingers crossed you have good weather. It's all looking wonderful and it's so exciting for you. Stay in touch, I'm so glad the blog is up and running again. xxx