Sunday was fine but breezy, Monday was wet, wet, wet. Tuesday the rain passed sooner than forecast. When the sun came out the central heating was switched off and the bath towels dried in the continuing gusty wind on the back deck and then it rained cats and dogs again with thunder and lightning thrown in and a rainbow for good measure!!!
Later in the evening the rain passed over and left a pretty sky behind.
Wednesday morning and we're up at 5 and out before 7 winding to head back downstream passing Sheena and Ken, nb Dogma hoping they'll still be there when we returned later.
Approaching Whitechurch lock and we're dressed for winter. The outside temperature is about 10° and the wind is gusting
We'd not noticed before that these houses built close to the bank had gardens up at the top of the hill although it's a long climb to get up there.
They look quite pretty from the river, but we walked past here into Pangbourne the other day and saw that a couple of them are rather dilapidated and dark
We're cruising into the sun and it was difficult to see whether or not the lock gates were open. The last boater through hadn't closed them once out but it saved time for us. They are of course still on self service, it's far too early for a lock keeper to be on duty.
Looking out towards Pangbourne and Whitechurch Bridge as I operate the lock mechanisms ...
... to take Still Rockin' down the lock and by 8 o'clock we're using the services at Mapledurham Lock to empty the nasties
My favourite flowers at the seating area above the lock ... beautiful!
While George was busy at the Elsan Point I locked down nb Penarrow which had arrived a few minutes behind us. In the sunshine I could see the spray coming from the weirs being blown about in the windy conditions.
nb Penarrow go on their way
A busy Heron looking for breakfast
... and another high in the tree in the relative warmth of the sun
A few years ago, before that postbox appeared on the wall, we watched birds flitting in and out of the drainage pipes, can't remember now but they could have been sand martins or swifts.
Historic Humber Keel 'Hope" (for more information see Peter's comments below)
Back in Reading ... why?
Round the back of Fry Island and a sharp about turn at the end under the bridge and back upstream
... noticing there were mooring available when we're finished ... what?
Visiting Caversham Boats, that's what and why. We've emptied the nasties at Mapledurham and now were filling with the good stuff ... diesel, water and gas. We're now set up for another week or so. We rounded the island once more, moored up on the park and hung out the two loads of laundry, very well pegged, to dry in the wind while George popped into John Lewis to collect a new printer as ours gave up the ghost on Tuesday evening after giving us 10 years of service. Hopefully the new one, another HP all-in-one, only cost £36 will give us the same good service.
By 12:30 the washing is just about dry, the printer is onboard and we're leaving Reading again.
A jaunt in a steam boat ... a real pleasure to see.
The sun is warm now, if we could just get out of the wind we'd be warm, it's gusting almost continuously now directly into our faces at over 50 mph ... see those trees move!
This is a bit of in icon when cruising downstream into Reading, it's in process of being repainted and I'm pleased to see that they have changed the colour of the wooden embellishments from red to turquoise, it looks so much better.
I don't think this canada goose has thought this through ... how on earth will she get her babies into the river?
I tried to tell him that collections from this box cannot be relied upon but the wind blew my words away.
Approaching Mapledurham again
This look like very recent damage, probably from last night's storms
3pm and we're back where we started
Unfortunately Ken and Sheena (nb Dogma) have left, hopefully we'll catch up with them later in the season
The views are as good as ever - a favourite place for us.