Saturday, 30 April 2011

In the basin ...

... Paddington Basin, that is!
 Mooring at the end of Paddington Basin are surrounded by high rise ... cows????
On Wednesday Sue, Vic and I set out for Covent Garden ...
... to watch some street entertainers ... we came across just this guy who was taking so long trying to get an audience around him we got fed up of waiting and left him to it!
So we walked on - American TV network outside broadcasting in Trafalgar Square for the royal wedding on Friday 
Nelsons Column
Bunting, flags and barriers at Admiralty Arch
Sue and Vic checking out the cost of coffee at the Supreme Court of Justice! ...
... where the carving over the doo is out of this world!
from the right - Portcullis House, London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament
(for more pictures of this area from our last trip to London go to my blog archive on the right,  click on 2009 then click on Thursday 8th October - another warm sunny day) 
Westminster Palace
BBC Radio Outside Broadcasting unit at the rear of Westminster Abbey.
Entrance to Black Rod's Garden at parliament buildings
Emily Pankhurst's memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens
Sue and Vic looking down the Thames across the choppy water - will it be like this next weekend I wonder?
London Eye, Westminster Bridge and County Hall ...
... and the Tower of London.
More media cameras at Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace
Temporary TV studios of the British Press for Friday's big event.
a real garden wall at the athenaeum hotel park lane london!

Monday, 25 April 2011

A long day!

Saturday 23rd - we need to wind today (turn around) and cruise back to Tesco Direct at Bulls Bridge, Hayes to collect the new vacuum cleaner.  Goods ordered this way are supposed to be available after 4pm on the day of delivery but in my experience they are usually ready from just after lunch; so we didn't rush to set off.  We cruised the 5 miles very slowly and arrived just before noon, I did my shopping and asked at the desk if today's delivery had arrived - 'not yet' - oh well, we'll have lunch first and try again after - still 'no'. I asked for a direct number to save time and just before 3pm rang the store - no answer - sounds good, probably sorting the delivery so off I trotted and collected my Dyson DC 26 - the smallest of the range.  Great.
We backed up through the filth on the canal and went once again through Bulls Bridge back onto the Paddington Arm. We hope to reach Paddington Basin before it goes dark - 13.5 miles; I took these pictures on that return journey.
A Coot's des res.
 I spy, above the trees ...
... on top of a pole ...
 a Cormorant  .. panting in an attempt to stay cool. It really was a scorching hot day.
 5:30pm and the sky is getting dark over there - isolated short sharp showers have been forecast!
 On the playground at Horsenden Hill near bridge 13
It was a few minutes after this that the heavens opened!  Up with the back canopy, rush down the front to close the front flaps and the lightening came with the thunder following immediately - a long time since I've been in a thunder storm.  Some of the lightening was amazing!!
We turned into Paddington Basin at about 7:45pm; the rain had eased off a bit but the visitor mooring appeared full - luckily Sue had rung us to say that there was a space opposite them and thank goodness it was still vacant.  We'd not eaten since 1pm so we were starving so frozen breaded cod and home baked chips went quickly into the oven and scoffed!!
 9pm - Sue and her daughter Wendy catching up with events as well as the wine as I loaded the dirty dishes into the sink - to wash tomorrow!
 Sunday morning nearly 7:30 - No Problem in her mooring
 and the reflection of Rock n Roll in hers.
 George and I with Molly set off and walked through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park - this is Serpentine bridge taken from the cafe.
 and the boat houses on the opposite shore - you can see that it's another scorcher of a day!
 The air pollution is not good at all just now in London - this is Kensington Palace and the Physical Energy statue in the distance through the haze.
 The Italian Gardens ..
 are lovely as we pass them towards Lancaster gate.
When we got back to the basin No Problem had gone!  We found them round the corner, they'd been lucky enough to find a pontoon mooring.  It's the May Day weekend Carnival here this coming weekend and all boats not on pontoons must leave the basin on Wednesday as the area is needed for events.  We walked round to find them and fortunately also found a space big enough for Rock n Roll, so George hurriedly went back over the bridge to bring her down while I waited hoping that no-one would pinch it meanwhile!.
 Safely in our spot - the water is so clear you can see individual pebbles on the bottom.
Sue and Vic came round for a glass or two and we discussed our summer trip, but more about that at a later date.
This Cormorant landed on the unused pontoon opposite us - he's drying his wings in the sunshine - the gulls were flying at him too to make him go away!
 Bank Holiday Monday and this is now the state of the water outside the galley hatch this morning - exactly the same place as the picture taken yestereday (above).
Across the scummy water of our mooring looking towards St Mary's Hospital.
We've no plans today - we'll just see how it goes!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Early on Wednesday morning (20th April) Sue and Vic pulled their pins and moved off, they have to get to Uxbridge to get a new flue fabricated for No Problem (click here for a warning re carbon monoxide); we decided to stay put for another day.
 We took Sue's advice and climbed the style below Denham Deep Lock to walk in Denham Woods - the first thing we saw as we crossed the footbridge was the Frayes River - very pretty.
 Looking across the Frayes towards the top of Denham Deep Lock
 There are numerous lakes here in the trees
 I couldn't believe my eyes - there is a poster which states that the proposed HS2 will cross this point ...
 ... how could 'they' even think about it?  I must admit I really do come down with the NO campaign - why should peoples lives and livelihoods be in jeopardy (let alone beautiful areas like this one) so that the few who use rail transport can get  to their destination 20 minutes quicker.  I agree with all the reasoning put forward by the NO campaign.
 It is so difficult to realise that this could disappear.
We walked back towards the canal and the crossover bridge ...
 ... and continued walking to ...
 the visitor centre of Colne Valley Park
 The River Colne
 Back to our mooring opposite the boaters boat - diesel, gas, coal, pumpout (of toilet tank)- in fact just about everything a boater needs on his travels, we're pleased to support canal trading.
George washed one side of Rock'n'Roll whilst I cleaned the inside - until my vacuum cleaner burned out that is - so everything stopped while I looked at Tesco Direct for a replacement.  I had hoped to be able to collect it from Bulls Bridge store on Friday but unfortunately there's no delivery as it's Good Friday, so we'll have to collect it on Saturday.
 Upped sticks early the following morning (Thursday) and continued south - allsorts of boats - big ones ...
 replica Golden Hind?
 A Mallard family in the grimy water
 The stretch of water between Stockley Bridge and Bulls Bridge ...
 is thick with rubbish - horrible!
 We turned left onto the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union - where the police patrol in threes!
 This is an unusual sight (for me anyway) ...
 We watched this man catch the swan and wondered what he was about to do ...
 It became clear that he was 'ringing' the young Mute swans.
When we came this way in 2009 there were Cormorants nesting here!

 Perhaps they've moved to British Waterways Marinas Ltd (BMWL) at Engineers Wharf Marina ...
 where this heron blends in nicely into the boat behind it!
 The sky went dark over me as this Heron flew over and landed in a weeping willow tree.
 The railway bridge was getting a makeover; barges were being used to hold the scaffolding ...
 and clay had been piled on the edge to keep cruising boats away from the workings ...
 All wrapped up!
The arch of Wembley Stadium in the distance.
We're currently moored at the Black Horse Pub, Greenford in Northolt and are hoping that our son will be able to meet us here today.  Sue and Vic will be joining us later this evening with Sue's daughter and grandchildren.  Tomorrow we (RnR) will wind (turn) and head back to Bulls Bridge to collect the new vacuum cleaner and the hopefully turn again into the Paddington Arm and reach Paddington Basin before dark.