Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Nose to beak with a kingfisher

Tuesday 12th July; Newbridge to Chimney

The forecast was for rain later on today, so Dave got up early to do a bit of painting and give it time to dry.  While I was making tea there was a bit of a squawk from the back of the boat – Dave had been quietly painting a bit of the stern deck when a kingfisher suddenly landed on the dolly right next to him.   Not sure who was the more shocked – the bird shot off straight away and of course the camera was inside.  

After breakfast he cleaned out the shower pump – rather overdue, as it turned out –

1 cleaning shower pumpwhile I cleaned through the boat and shook out the rugs and the dog’s bed.  The early start didn’t quite work out though, as it started to rain earlier than expected and the paint wasn’t quite dry ….  but it didn’t last long and in the end didn’t cause too much of a problem.  We set off to Newbridge.  New bridge?  Nicholson’s says the bridge is 13th century!

5 newbridge

The pub on the left bank going upstream – the Maybush – has a posh-looking caravan or possibly an outdoor food place, and what looks like a hot-tub outside. 

7 hot-tub at newbridge pub

Parts of the river are almost like a canal, and some are extremely sinuous -

10 winding section

Others were out today enjoying the sunshine, such as this small part of a large walking group, on the way to the pubs at Newbridge we reckoned!

9 walking group on thames path

Shifford Lock was on self service and I was glad I had paid attention yesterday at King’s lock, as nb About Time was hot on our heels and didn’t know what to do at all.  The heavens opened as we rose up the lock but everything went ok.  Look at those two chaps gassing!

11 shifford lock on self-service

About Time stopped for water, and we went on to find a fabulous mooring at Chimney, which we snaffled pronto.  Lunch included these two radishes from my little salad leaf pot.  (Yeah, ok, not very impressive but they were crisp and tasty so there!)

12 boat radishes

After lunch we set to outside.  I swept, scrubbed and rinsed the roof while Dave started on the port side, washing, rinsing and finally getting the Carnauba Wax out.  Once I had done the roof I got an old toothbrush and cleaned all the window frames on the port side.  It took us a good three hours.  While we were working, a group from a boating club in Oxford came by.  Various methods of propulsion, all based on human power;  ordinary sculls; these ladies with Venetian gondola paddling;

13 venetian gondola punting

and these very sedate gentlemen, but they were too close to the reeds for a good picture.

14 rowing to oxford too

Meanwhile, Dave got on with the waxing and Meg got very bored.

15 getting the polish on  16 bored dog

And I made a Marmalade Cake.  Normally, this is a foolproof recipe, but the oven is much hotter than the one at home and I have to make various adjustments with temperature and shelf heights.  For baking I have to put a baking sheet under the tin – but I forgot.  So when the outside thought it was done, the inside did not agree and this was the result -

19 failed cake

I scooped out the uncooked innards, covered the outside with some baking paper and put it back into the bottom of the oven to dry out.  The mixture in the pudding basin I put on a higher shelf to carry on cooking! It wasn’t pretty but it tasted absolutely fine.  Just as well we didn’t have any visitors to impress!  Dave finished the polishing while this mini-drama was going on.

17 reflections in polish

As we had our tea later on, an immense black bank of cloud crept up from the west.  Someone clearly was getting a downpour, though we didn’t have much rain where we were.  But being the scaredy-cat that I am where rivers are concerned, I stressed rather about heavy rain in the Thames water catchment area and didn't sleep easy.

18 hope that rain isnt on thames catchment

At dusk, Dave saw an owl flying across the field behind us with a mouse in its claws.

3 and a half miles, 1 lock

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