Saturday, 31 October 2009

Day 16 to Oxford

I managed to clear up some of the mess at last nights mooring. I filled three bin bags with some very toxic garbage, then I run out of bags, but its a start. If you should happen down that way please pick up some of the rubbish and try and leave it nicer than when you arrived.


I made Abingdon early and deposited 7 bags of rubbish at the boaters dump place. Moving up to the park I moored to go to the Wonderful World of Waitrose. Yummy cream cakes.

I arrived in Oxford about 3 o’clock just as Henry was closing the pub. DOH!

And from there on life went to ratshit!

The Stalker

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Day 15 Clifton

I moored this evening at the top of Clifton Lock right at the end of the lock cut above the weir. Its a nice place quite peaceful and away from everything.

Which is why people can get away with this.DSCF1534 DSCF1535 I will get out my old gloves and tidy up before I go tomorrow

Friday, 30 October 2009


Day 14 Wallingford

Its after midnight. I am awake, Why?

Well its all my own fault really. I had a case of pressonitus this evening and finally made it to Wallingford about 6 pm having originally planned to stop after Cleve. A very nice chap in a Tupperware boat kindly moved his boat down a bit to get me in. I had dinner, went to the pub, came home, tried getting on line but to no avail; I dozed off in the chair and awoke an hour or so later and went to bed.

It was about 6 minutes after the witching hour that the boat in front of me started his engine.(He'd had his lights on all night and now he wanted every on to know he was a prat. Well now I know and I cant sleep.

I don't have a problem with him running his engine after midnight as long as he doesn't mind me painting his boat green. Oh I feel a yawn coming on, nite nite.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Shiplake Lock need to load water and unload well err …….. There I was at the water point (actually washing down the side) and a nice narrow boat passes. ARUN I remember but not like this. I did recognise the driver though and called out, “Are you Terry.”. “Yes,” he says, “and you’re Maffi. Its always nice to meet up with old mates who you haven’t seen for sometime. The last time I saw Terry was in Thrupp way back in 2007 April/May time I think and previously in Wallingford and before that Brentford and then at the bottom of the Marsworth flight. In Thrupp I was on my way trough to Banbury. I shared an evening with him and his partner Chris at the BOAT INN. It is sad to say that his partner Chris died recently.

His boat has had a repaint since I last saw it and is really looking good

DSCF1394 Well done Phil Speight.

DSCF1395Terry hadn’t wanted the painted panels on the doors but Chris insisted. DSCF1396


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Kingfisher Day

Today was a Kingfisher day. First I have seen for a long time. Not quick enough with the camera though.

However I did manage to capture these. The bottom one is a Lesser Spotted Bog Trotter, I think! :-)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

What is doing this?

This is a screen capture of my TMOBILE web 'n' walk downloading some stuff. The problem I have is at this time I had nothing downloading. Is there a program that can tell me who is doing this to me and what they are downloading.

The Eton Boat House

Behind the river at the Army Rowing Club is a new rowing facility. I say new because its not in my Nicholson’s. 25-10 131 The jolly old chaps at Eton have not only built a fabulous Boat Centre, but they have built a huge boating lake in to the bargain., no narrow boats allowed!25-10 132 This didn’t happen overnight. Even if it is only three feet deep, which I doubt, every cubic yard equals roughly a ton That has to be about a million ton hole.25-10 134 And across the other side more development going on building god knows what. I would hazard a guess they didn’t have any trouble getting planning permission.

All the road signs are low impact and as such I would imagine are for decoration only. I haven’t seen these in the highway code.

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St Mary Magdalene, Boveney

Sunday I moored up on public moorings by the Army Rowing Club which is just above Boveney Lock. Just back from the towpath is a small a church St Mary Magdalene, Boveney.

The church is owned by, would you believe, The Friends of Friendless Churches who bought it in 1983. A church has been on the site in one way or another since before the Norman conquests.

The earliest part of this building is circa 12 century. Its a strange looking building, of Chalk, Brick, Flint and Wood with a red tiled roof.

25-10 138 It is well known as an example of Galletting. Galletting is the hammering of slivers of flint in between the building blocks.This has quite a decorative effect

25-10 142 The doors as you can see need a whole lot of TLC to stop the rot! 25-10 14725-10 145

This window has a replacement fibre glass panel fitted as have all the windows. The bell tower, if that is what it is, looks in remarkable condition. It must be a new piece of renovation25-10 144 25-10 139

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If you want to see around inside you only have to ask the Lock keeper for the key. What’s inside I don’t know I didn’t look. I got some idea about the lock being too far away, but apparently it isn’t .

Monday, 26 October 2009

Addendum Runnymead

The benches that can be seen in the middle distance shot of the MCM are I think new this year and look like this:-

There is one on each side of the entrance placed so you can see the MCM and one either side of the Memorial which is very thoughtful because you can use the arms to rest your camers and take a delayed shot. That way some of my pictures give evidence I was there.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Runnymead, Runnimede, Runnymede

Yesterday after the shenanigans at Bell Weir lock I moored almost at the Magna Carta Memorial (MCM), though I didn’t know it. National Trust Property it was , but just a strip between the river and the road. Molly had a good run and tired herself out.

In the morning we set off down river at about 8 (no one had come to collect my mooring fee) to the public moorings at the edge of Egham. I took Molly for a long walk in the park there.

25-10 007 I met a very nice chap from Latvia who was fishing. We had quite a long talk while walking along the bank. On the way back to the boat I found a good piece of 5x1 in a skip so retrieved that. There were a lot of 4x2 off cuts but they were treated so I didn’t take those, not good firewood.

Back on the boat I set off upstream. Reading Nicholson's on the way it said, “The Magna Carta Memorial can be seen from the river while the JFK was hidden in the trees. Well I had come to see the Airforce Memorial so I could do them all in one day!

25-10 042I saw the MCM in the distance and moored up. The mooring left a lot to be desired and I wasn’t too fussed that no one came to collect.25-10 041

25-10 015 Molly and I walked across the road, which was quite busy, and a cross the field to the MCM. I somehow I expected to see the MC chiselled out of a slab of granite maybe.

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It is interesting to note that members of the America Bar Association funded its building in 1957 and return to lay another tablet every so often to make sure we haven't sold it. Of course the presence of the tablet could also be used to validate their expense claims.

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Molly thought it was grand then went off and found a stick to play with.

The JFK memorial was some distance away and up a hill. From the MCM you pass a tree planted by Aunty Bessie in 19 canteen and an Oak planted in honour of . . . well see for your self.

25-10 030 This is the very tree

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And then of course further along through what seems at first like a gap in the hedge you come to the start of the JFK memorial which unfortunately is up hill. A neat pathway is laid out with cobble stones till it gets steep then the gently rising path turns cobble stone steps to the top.

At the top a 6 x 4 foot slab of stone set on its side with an inscription.

25-10 036The memorial includes an acre of land given to the American people. It is a beautiful setting,

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but it needs some attention, which is a shame. 25-10 038

I remember the Cuba Crisis. I was 11 or 12 at the time. I also remember the assassination. I remember being stunned and very upset. I found the memorial to be very moving. Moving in its simplicity and moving in my memories of the time.

The date of birth at the right hand end of the name seems to have been added later.

25-10 033 By the time I got down off that hill my leg was hurting so I will visit the RAF MEMORIAL another day.

Saturday, 24 October 2009


25 years 239 days is the time I spent in the Royal Air Force. I thought it might be nice to visit the RAF Memorial at Runnymead. I set off after a lazy morning.

All well an good until nearby contractors at Bell Weir Lock cut through the power supply cable to the lock. No problem you might think just revert to manual hydraulics. Nah that had failed too. The site foreman called the lecky board who said they would call back in an hour and tell him how long it would be before they could come out, expect it to be about 4 hours.

Well the EA engineer turned up about the same time as the lecky man arrived. The EA man set to on the hydraulics while the lecky man sat in his van on the phone.

The EA man had sorted out the hydraulics and managed to close the lock gates drop the paddles with 7 boats in the lock. Then following a drum roll the top paddles raised. Woo Hoo! And in no time at all we were on our way.

This was the offending machine

and the damage.