We have had the oddest weather, with the river running far higher than I’ve ever seen it.
This has curtailed Rhys’ kayaking and caused consternation for many boaters. Yes, sure, we all float, but when the water comes down, so do we, and if we’re in the wrong place, we could end up with 35 ton of steel needing to be moved out of some poor farmer’s field.
We’re in the marina now for the winter, which seems safest and most sensible, except that the rain has been rendering the river crossing at Sonning impossible on occassion, so we’ve been pretty stuck in the mornings trying to get to the various drop off points.
Christmas on the boat didn’t seem very festive, somehow, this year, despite decorations and traditional Christmas fare. The poxy caravan sized oven has marked its cards and will be replaced with a proper sized piece of equipment as soon as my finances allow – which won’t be any time soon as Owen is still unable to find work so my freelance earnings have to cover four of us and the mutt.
We did have a short freeze which came and went very quickly, to everyone’s relief. The dog loved it, playing with chunks of ice. The odd weather meant that first the rain and high water levels made the nearby rowing lake spill over, and then the water froze, turning the spill into a skating rink.The resultant mess has been cars parked willy nilly around the entrance to the marina. But it is temporary and people seem to be driving more carefully to compensate.
One side effect of the high river is that many of us are concerned for the wildlife. The rabbits. foxes and badgers must all have had their homes flooded out, and nowhere to go. On the bright side, the wet rather than freeze is better for the birds, and we have seen an apparent revival in kingfisher numbers.
We have been concerned to see moves by the CRT to change the definition of houseboats – with the intention of raising mooring fees for houseboats. At the moment we don’t count as a houseboat, but under the changes might well. And what the CRT does today, EA could do tomorrow, so we’re watching carefully.