Sunny Shepperton

June 30, 2009

We have added some more furniture to our boat, an oak stool which we will use as an occasional table and two oak trays, both from Habitat.

We are now moored up at Shepperton, but boy does this hot weather bring out the noisy rabble, we are surrounded my fifth or sixth formers who are totally oblivious to any boaters that may be around them, they communicate by shouting at the top of the voices in what appears to be an earlier civilisations entry into language. We had two groups last night at Kingston, one male and the other female separated by about 200 metres and shouting drunkenly at each other about who knows what, and this was at 3am. Fortunately they were on the other side of the river.

We came back up the river and straight though Walton as we felt that we could not in all fairness moor up there after having stayed there only a couple of days earlier. For Pink Floyd fans everywhere we think that this house boat belongs to Dave Gilmour.

Houseboat

Houseboat

I have to say that anyone either blogging or reading blogs in this weather deserves a medal or maybe having their head examining.

Today we did 8.97 miles and 2 Locks

Statistics so far:-

577.75 Miles, 466 Locks, 47 Swing Bidges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.

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Tropical Kingston

June 29, 2009

Kingston has been very tropical today, it is very close and there is a definite feeling of a thunder storm in the air. We could be in the Caribbean.

We intended to set off on our bikes early this morning, but what with breakfast, a bit of reading and some catching up in the blogging world, we did not set off until 10:30.

We cycled up to Hampton court and then around to Bushy Park, which you do not hear much about but it is a royal park, in fact it is the second largest after Richmond Park. It started off in the hands of Cardinal Wolsey, but Henry the eighth took a shining to it and chucked him out so that he could have it himself and the rest as they say is history.

Being a royal park it is full of deer and we came across quite a few family groups sitting in the shade to escape the midday sun, when only mad dogs and Lazy Day cyclists were out and about.

Deer enjoying the shade

Deer enjoying the shade

We were watching one group when a lone stag decided to wonder out of the group and have a bite of grass along side of us.

Royal Stag

Royal Stag

We returned back to the boat thoroughly whacked and as Frances has said just a few minutes ago, ‘We don’t need to go for our walk tonight’ to true.

Statistics so far:-

568.78 Miles, 464 Locks, 47 Swing Bidges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.


A return to Kingston

June 28, 2009

A latish start today, well it was Sunday, and how do we know it is Sunday? Pain au chocolat with coffee to start the day. We were just pulling the pins and saying good bye to the boat in front when Ursula and David came by on their boat, we accompanied them through the two locks and they continued on to Richmond while we moored up at Kingston.

I went to an avantgarde concert with David last night, the girls did not fancy it. It was absolutely brilliant. The most notable being a piece by Peter Maxwell-Davies called Eight songs for a mad king. The singer was incredible and the experience it will always stay with me. There was also pieces by Ligeti and Schonberg.

I am not sure of the origin of the name for Kingston but here is a stone from 900 AD which was used for the coronation of 7 Kings.

Coronation Stone

Coronation Stone

We had a walk around the town, which was very busy, this is the market square.

Market square

Market square

We also came across this interesting piece of art called ‘Out of Order’

Out of Order

Out of Order

Today we did 7.32 miles and 2 Locks

Statistics so far:-

568.78 Miles, 464 Locks, 47 Swing Bidges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.


Internet connection

June 27, 2009

You take one of these:-

3G Router and wireless access

3G Router and wireless access

This gives you Wi-Fi on the boat so that you can have your computer anywhere and not have to worry about the best place for a signal. This is because you plug one of these dongles into the USB port of the Router.

3G Dongle

3G Dongle

Now although you can hang the dongle on a long bit of USB cable and stick it outside, it is far better to use the external antenna connector and keep the dongle safe inside. IT is surprising how many of these dongles come with an antenna port that you just don’t notice. So you can then attach an antenna which can be situated outside and in the clear, hopefully to give a good connection.

Antenna

Antenna

The pictures are now uploading normally so the router seems to make things better.

We were off on another bike ride today, the bikes don’t know what’s hit them.

Statistics so far:-

561.46 Miles, 462 Locks, 47 Swing Bidges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.


Still at Walton

June 26, 2009

I forgot to mention yesterday or the day before, that we had an incident with some hirers. They were doing the Oxford ring plus Letchlade in two weeks. Anyway we were waiting at the pontoon at Teddington lock and there was another narrow boat behind us, in the distance was a cruiser hovering and waiting for the lock to open. Appearing around the corner came the hirers, at great speed, they did slow down as they bypassed the cruiser and came along side the boat behind us only to head straight for our bikes and the back of the boat. Their boat pushed our bikes aside and took a great chunk from the new paintwork, oh the joys of owning a boat. They were very apologetic and said that they would pay for any damage, and that we could sort it out after going through the lock. This we duly did, the bikes were fine but the bike rack was a bit of a wreck. We straightened it out and left on good terms, after all they were very friendly about it and the bikes are a bit vulnerable stuck out at the back, although a bit of caution would not go amiss when manoeuvring your boat.

We had a great night out last night and more to follow tomorrow when I go with David to hear Pierre Luniere and Frances watches a DVD with Ursula, Mamma Mia no doubt.

This afternoon we did go for a bike ride and did three geocaches.

Statistics so far:-

561.46 Miles, 462 Locks, 47 Swing Bidges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.


Walton

June 25, 2009

We did some shopping in Kingston and then moved up to Hampton Court to meet Gaby, Sam and of course Ralph. We had a good look at the gardens but didn’t do the house, a) it wasn’t the weather for it and b) we have been there before. G,S and R had to leave around 4 to get back home in time for the little fellas tea so we then headed on up to Walton which is where we are now. We are going out to tea with David and Ursula.

I will be picking up my new internet connection from them so hopefully we can start to upload pictures again, without having to wait until morning.

Today we did 7.32 miles and 2 Locks

Statistics so far:-

561.46 Miles, 462 Locks, 47 Swing Bidges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.


Kingston

June 24, 2009

We spent the morning with more graft, Frances waxed the outside of the boat and I rewired the lost mains socket and did some more internal waxing. I also made a shelf for the stereo, and I have to say that we should have just used beeswax with no varnish, unless someone can say otherwise, it was so much better and matches the existing woodwork. Of course this doesn’t help with the old wood which wasn’t treated.

We set off after lunch and filled up with water before entering the gauging lock and then on to the Brentford Lock. I have lost the art of tantric falling, see Tantric Falling. When we entered the lock I got off the boat and the Lock keeper said we were going down so I jumped back on the boat and lost my footing, taking chunks out of my right leg and left upper thigh and for some reason bouncing my chest off the roof of the boat and releasing my glasses which fell onto the deck as I slithered down the side of the boat. The chap in the adjacent boat asked me if I was okay, of course I was and in true Walter Mitty style we set off for Teddington. Frances patched up my legs as we moved along and at Teddington the said chap said that that looked painful, I can only agree.

We are now at Kingston and have just had a very enjoyable meal at Frere Jacques. Sorry no pictures as I know that it will be a waste of time trying to upload.

Today we did 7.97 miles and 3 Locks

Statistics so far:-

554.14 Miles, 460 Locks, 47 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridges, 6 Tunnels.