Monday, 30 November 2015

Heath Robinson



We passed this a couple of days ago and you have to take your hat off to the guy that did it. Its a true Heath Robinson contraption ,which is something you make or repair with whatever is to hand, often string and tape, or unlikely cannibalisations to make do and mend. This is so Very simple, There is just an Alternator mounted on the front of an old lister engine and then the cables from the Alternator went into the boat that was moored on the bank and I would have thought then charged his batteries. …..Just the ticket.

                                                                                                  Happy Days

Sunday, 29 November 2015



IMG_0856We pulled pins from Cowley at 10.00 which was a bit of a late start for us and soon arrived at Uxbridge lock where the side wash tries to push you into the boats moored on the opposite side. I do like a bit of a challenge when entering a lock !

IMG_0863We then get to Denham deep lock and it doesn't seem that long since we were last here heading in the opposite direction to London.

IMG_0884Below Black Jacks lock and its a good job this crocodile is chained up or the Bunny would be a goner.

IMG_0892Black Jacks mill next to Black jacks lock is up for sale and has been for sometime . It has 8 bedrooms and 3 acres of land and an asking price of £2.45 million . Maybe not the ideal retirement home for us.

IMG_0903This is Coy Carp and its where we usually stop to fill with water . I wonder what it will look like next time we come this way with a huge housing development going up on the offside. With it being well within the commuter belt to London I bet it wont be cheap.

IMG_0907What a strange name for a boat . But apparently the name comes from a quote in the book by Emma Smith which is called Maidens Trip and is about the adventures of girls working on Narrowboats in the second world war .The boat featured on the front cover of the book is working boat Ascot which is now used as a coalboat and is run by Gary Slater in and around Milton Keynes.

IMG_0917After a few hours cruising and with rain clouds overhead we decided to moor up for the night below Stockers lock at Rickmansworth. A good mooring that is opposite where Black Beauty the TV series was filmed back in the good old Seventies…

                                                                                                   Happy Days

Friday, 27 November 2015

Leaving London


IMG_0809We pulled pins (untied from the cleats) at 07.10 from Paddington basin and with the services empty at little Venice we decided to make the most of it and fill with water and dump the waste. Being early in the morning the water pressure seemed to be fairly good ,although I know it can be very slow at times with boats taking hours to fill up their tanks.

IMG_0813It was then on with our 6 hour cruise to Cowley lock and trying to avoid the odd sofa and various other objects that mysteriously end up in the canal.

IMG_0824I'm not sure if this will ever catch on with other boaters ,but you have to give them credit for their design of fender .

IMG_0827Leaving London and this is just about the best view we get of Wembley stadium.

IMG_0840What a stupid name  ……………………………….  for a boat !    (my Mum is called Joan)

IMG_0849Someone has dragged this mini moto thing out of the canal .We sometimes have a lot of trouble with kids speeding up and down the towpath on them . Not sure if someone was riding it as it went in the canal ,but if they were lets just hope the little sod person got a good soaking.

IMG_0851We see a lot more of these on our travels. Has to be one of the safest boats to be on.

It was slow going coming out of London as it was going in mainly due to the amount of boats moored on the Paddington arm .When we came here last year there were very few boats moored on the arm until we got to Kensal cemetery , but now you are on tick over passing boats for mile after mile.

After a good cruise we moored above Cowley lock on the same mooring we used a couple of weeks ago. We will now start cruising North , but we will be stuck South of Whilton and the Buckby flight until it reopens on Dec 20th after the winter stoppage there for maintenance.

                                                                                                  Happy Days

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Covent Garden


With Hamish having had a long walk we decided to take the Number 23 bus from Paddington to Covent Garden . Its somewhere that neither of us has ever been to. With not wanting to leave Hamish for more than a few hours we have to pack as much in to the short time as possible.

IMG_0791The Christmas tree in Covent garden is rather large and makes Carolyn look rather small…

IMG_0793Its not often that you get anything for free in London , but they were handing out tubs of these new chocolate Brownies … Yes they taste very good.

IMG_0795I think he should be pulling it not stood on it.

IMG_0798 After Covent garden it was then a short walk to Trafalgar square.    Ha Ha … We know how they do it. Its called Levitation !!! (Or maybe its the steel poles that run up his arm and support the seat that he is sat on)

IMG_0799There seems to be a lot more of these artist here than there ever used to be and It didn't look like they were making very much money.

IMG_0800There's plenty going on in Trafalgar square and there's always time for a selfie.

IMG_0804Even more filming in London .According to some people stood next to us these are very famous Bollywood actors filming an Indian Blockbuster movie.

IMG_0806This statue of a winged archer poised with his bow is known as The Statue of Eros and he is found in Piccadilly circus. Eros was the God of Love. The statue might really be the Angel of Christian Charity, or Anteros, the brother of Eros, but Londoners call him Eros.

IMG_0807Wow ,that's a big TV.

It was then back to Inca and Hamish who was barking his head off and in fact he didn't have much of a bark left . Tomorrow after nearly 2 weeks in London we will leave Paddington basin early and make the 6 hour cruise back to Cowley lock. As always we have enjoyed ourselves here, especially as Carolyn is in her element with the thousands of shops the capital has to visit. (and buy things in)……

                                                                                                     Happy Days

Monday, 23 November 2015

Pop up Loo


IMG_0695For some bizarre reason I have always wanted to visit a certain studio in London. From the Beatles to Beyoncé, Led Zeppelin to David Bowie, from the Undertones to the late Bing Crosby: over the last 75 years, one British studio can claim to have recorded more famous artists than any other. Less than a mile from the world-famous EMI studios at Abbey Road, this is the Delaware Road home of the BBC's Maida Vale Studios.

IMG_0693Well , there wasn't a lot to see and I didn't meet any of those famous people mentioned above ,but at least I got a selfie and have ticked off another box of the places I want to visit.

IMG_0697Its no good locking your bike to a post in London .The thieving little gits will nick everything except the frame and a buckled front wheel.

IMG_0783After meeting Ray and Diane (nb Ferndale) for lunch in Merchant square we ended up at the Dickens Pub in London street, Paddington. We had three most enjoyable hours in their company and talked about everything boating and life in general. With us all heading in the same direction we really look forward to meeting up with them again.

IMG_0785Thank goodness for this pop up loo at Paddington , as there was no chance of myself or Ray making it back to our boats after an afternoon of drinking. The pop-up hydraulic UriLift urinal can be raised out of the ground for use when needed . I did wonder what would happen if it decided to pop back down while you were using it.. Mind you I don't know what the girls are meant to do if they get caught short….

                                                                                                       Happy Days

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Fame at last (maybe)


IMG_0591This looks interesting . Filming in and around Paddington basin

IMG_0682After seeing a few more of those signs about we came across this lot in Praed street. I soon got my camera out and started taking pictures . It was then that a rather large and ugly looking security guard told me that they are filming a blockbuster movie and I wasn't allowed to take pictures.I explained to him that we were in a public place and if I want to take pictures I would. He then gave me a filthy look and walked away as I carried on snapping. Anyway, the guy with the long grey hair in the picture above is the English film director Paul Greengrass.

IMG_0678Here he is again ,but do you recognise the guy stood next to him.

IMG_0685Its American film star Matt Damon. He is over here filming a new Bourne movie which will be the fifth in the series. Looks like he has had a bit of an accident with all that blood on his face.

IMG_0686We stayed and watched for a couple of hours in which time there was an awful lot of standing around and nothing happening. In this scene Matt Damon was bundled out of a parked Range Rover and then into a van, the van then sped off down the street . Me and Carolyn were stood on the other side of the street and as the van went by the camera panned around past us .Maybe we will get a millisecond of fame. Or more likely we will end up on the cutting room floor.

IMG_0703They also had this camera car speeding through the streets with Police Motorcyclists .

IMG_0711The following day after a walk out we came back to find a film crew had set up opposite our mooring.

IMG_0712In this scene Matt Damon ran out from the left and then down along the side of Paddington basin. Hopefully Inca will be famous now as he ran past the front of our mooring with the camera crew opposite filming it.

IMG_0709This is probably the closest we will ever get to a big movie star as Matt Damon prepares for the next scene next to our mooring. We were going to ask him aboard Inca for a Devon cream tea ,but he looked far to busy. Anyway, it was all very interesting to watch the action taking place next to us and good to see how a big movie is made.

                                                                                               Happy Days

Friday, 20 November 2015

Out and about


IMG_0739Our mooring in Paddington Basin, London is FREE . My favourite word , But if you look at the buildings in front of our moorings there is currently one of the flats up for sale at £5.5 million ,We need to keep doing the lottery…

IMG_0740Being in London you just have to get out and about. A couple of years ago we got Oyster cards to enable us to travel by Bus or tube through out London . Although the tube is a lot quicker we prefer to travel by Bus as you can see all the sights and what's going on. With Hamish left on the boat we try not to leave him for more than a few hours so we need to pack in as much as possible.

IMG_0743Passing Marble Arch.

IMG_0744Oxford Street and all the decorations are already up, Carolyn promised me that we wouldn't go in any shops , but I know she is desperate to get inside them..

IMG_0749The entrance to Horse Guards Parade. The Horses are so well behaved to just stand there with tourists taking pictures and milling around them.

IMG_0750Then its down to Downing Street and unfortunately my mate Dave wasn't at home. But there was plenty of security there.

IMG_0757Me and Big Ben.

IMG_0764We then made our way to Westminster Abbey with the intention of going in and having a look around . We then saw the admission price ..£20 each. So £40 quid for the two of us to look around a bit of British history..Being as Thrifty as I am there was no way I was paying out that sort of money. They are having a laugh, we were so disappointed !!!!

IMG_0773Well its sort of a boat. But after one caught fire and all the passengers had to jump into the Thames I think we will give it a miss.

IMG_0775This is my all time hero and the greatest English man of all time.

After a few hours and with busy traffic through London we jump on the Number 23 bus and head back towards Paddington. No doubt there will be a few more days out.

                                                                                             Happy Days

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Longer in London


IMG_0600After nearly a week in London we are certainly enjoying our time here at Rembrandt gardens in little Venice.

IMG_0654The gardens where we are moored aren't that big but big enough for Hamish to have a good walk around.

IMG_0630This is something that I think is a good idea in a city. Its called a Green wall and this is how it starts off. Its basically steel shelves that are filled with soil and then planted up.

IMG_0634After a year or two the wall develops into this. It has to be a lot better than looking at a large piece of concrete wall.

IMG_0649Another good boat name.

IMG_0655With only a day left on our seven day mooring at Rembrandt gardens Carolyn announced that she hadn't yet visited every shop in London and needed more time here. So with a boat just leaving Paddington basin we she decided that we should move into the basin and get some extra time in the capital.

IMG_0659So here we are in Paddington Basin. We can stay here for 14 days if we want to , but I cant see that happening. Mind you how long does it take to visit every shop in London ???

                                                                                                                    Happy Days