Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grrrrrrr ..... no grass

So, this week from Uxbridge we continued south on the GU and then took the Paddington Arm at Bulls Bridge Junction; through Southall, Northolt, Perivale, Alperton, North Acton, Kensal Town to Little Venice and then into |Paddington Basin.      We then turned around and have made our way back and tonight are moored about 3 miles north of Ricksmanworth  in Cassiobury Country Park.

As expected, no moorings at Little Venice but plenty in Paddington Basin.    We were here about 5 yrs ago on a hire boat when a lot of redevelopment was happening and - guess what - it still is !    We moored across the canal from M & S Headquarters, right by St.Mary’s Hospital.    We stayed there 2 nights but Foxxie didn’t like it much - no grass !     On the Sunday we walked up the Regents Canal to Camden Market which is a most fascinating place - hundreds of stalls selling mostly retro clothing which was so bright and colourful.   There are also loads of stalls selling food from all around the world.  

On Monday, Dai, Foxxie and I had a conflab and voted overwhelmingly to leave Paddington - no greenery (except for a handful of young trees) and no birdsong in the Basin, too many tall buildings and too much glass (although we did spend a happy hour having breakfast watching people in the M & S office scurrying about like mad things and so thankful we don't get the Monday morning blues anymore!)

We had our first visitor to the boat since we Set Off which was great - our friend Lyn Jack came to see us while we were in Paddington and we celebrated with champers and an Italian meal out.    It was lovely to see her.

Weather still quite cold and this morning we woke up to a covering of frost on the roof and then during the day a couple of hail showers!    Where’s all that hot sun we had in April ???

Today we filled up with diesel from a working boat whilst in a lock -  and then was delayed a time as we met her again at another lock whilst the man was delivering coal to a lock cottage !

I read somewhere this week that a study has shown that exercise in green places is good for you.    Oh yes, I can definitely vouch for that !   I have never felt fitter since living on the boat.

Since last blog we have done 48 miles and  13 locks. This makes total since Setting Off ….. 307 miles and  214 locks. with an average of 2.6 lock miles an hour (includes charging and days when we haven’t moved).

At least sharing a lock with a diesel boat meant we could take advantage and get the tank to full

The most famous and photographed bear on the Grand Union !

Lyn - our first visitor on Jandai since the Setting Off

Jandai in night lights in Paddington Basin

Paddington Basin by night

water ballast being "craned" into a gravel barge ready for return journey to pick up more gravel

A canal lover's view of Wembly Stadium !

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