This lovely lady sailed into our lives, and the man who sails her let the boys take a look at her working steam engine, a magnificent feat of engineering from a different age.
And for the real engine buffs out there….
An early start for Morgan and I meant that we were stationed on Battersea Bridge fairly early to see the pageant - in passing, rather than in it as we had initially hoped.
Whilst Owen took Rhys to his kayaking Haslar, Morgan and I froze waiting for the boats to come.
It would be churlish to say anything about the spot the we were in other than it was a great vantage point, and we saw many boats that we know and love pass.
The photos can all be seen as part of a Flickr set.
This week’s updates are mostly rained out – got lots of herbs to plant but it’s been soggy or I’ve been away.
Our swans had built their nests up higher and higher to protect their eggs from the rising waters. Now the waters have receded (and the river’s finally off red boards and sailable), they look as if they’re on stilts. (Amazing how that greenery has come back – it was stripped bare.) Our babies are due any day – a friend Gill looked it up and calculated that the first eggs were due to hatch yesterday. I hope this just means she got her calculations wrong, not anything more sinister.
Some friends from a neighbouring boat were offered live pull straps from a plane ejector seat and thought of our boys – who were absolutely made up. Just goes to show that there’s more value in imagination than in money!
I have been sent a fantastic pack by Streetclub. I’m hoping that the people on the marina will let us do a couple of things – maybe a goods exchange and a Jubilee street party. I’ll keep you in the loop.
Next week we’re back with the book club. The book for this month was Again All Odds by Paul Connolly. I’ve finished it and am wondering what others thought. Next month’s book is The Hunger Games. I’ll report back later!
The Thames is flowing really fast. We’re been buffeted for the past couple of nights, but today we can see that the river has risen by around a meter.
It’s on red boards so there’s no kayaking, and two boats that we know of have hit bridges in the past few days.
We’ve taken haven back on the marina in the company of good friends and good broadband. It was never really our intention to be here all the while, but for the moment it’s better than being dumped in a field by flooding waters!
I asked today, in response to a question asked by Son One, what feint means, as in feint ruled: dictionaries were letting me down.
In summary, in paper,’feint’ is a lithographic term and is denotes the narrowest of lines that is used in the production of lined paper. It was apparently the ruler used in printing to set the correct separation.
This is as distinct from faint (not very dark), or feint as in sport (pretend).
So now we know!
With big thanks to Debbie Davies, Baxter Tocher, Patrick from Joshua PR and Rob Shepherd.
Oh dear: there’s trouble ahead and I wish I hadn’t gone along to the Tingdene Thames and Kennet meeting over the boat fees.
A contingent are claiming they didn’t know about the changes, and in fairness the whole consultation process was utterly flawed, so it was easy to miss people out. But they are now arguing that they should pay nothing, as they always have.
My own take is that those days are probably over, but that they should be able to ask for concessions if boats are off the river, and the whole ‘not paying part of year’ nonsense is outrageous by anyone’s standards. (If you buy a license in October, you still have to pay for a full year and renew in January.) There should be provision in the same ways as a SORN so that if boats can’t get out on the river/are mothballed, the fee doesn’t need paying.
But some people are spoiling for a fight, and I can’t put my name to it because of the tactics they want to use.
Let’s get out and run ‘poll tax’ type protests, they suggest. That worked. Mmmm. Two big issues with that. One, boaters are a small and insignificant group rather than an entire country. And two, we didn’t get a poll tax, sure. We got council tax instead.
They have a point, and I think they’re right, but I don’t think they’re thinking through what they’re doing.
The meeting ended in chaos, disarray and lots of bad feeling. Not very boaty at all!