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Boat Blog: Christmas shopping by boat….

Posted by indigodream on 22 December, 2011

Saturday 17th December

We had a gentle start to the day – somewhat unfairly I, who had not had a drink the previous night, had a headache, while Richard, who had drunk substantially, did not, though he seemed a little quiet! There’s probably a moral there somewhere 🙂

The hounds eyeing up the hog roast stand...

I like these moorings so we relaxed for a few hours drinking coffee and eating pastries – I was reluctant to move, not least because it was raining hard! But Richard had bumped into the mooring warden while he was walking the hounds – the warden reminded Richard that the first 24 hours were free and thereafter we’d have to pay £5 a night. Actually, that’s very reasonable but we’d decided to move back to Teddington Lock in the afternoon ready for Sunday morning’s early start. The boat was regularly rocked by speeding boats – speeding skiffs that is! The rowers were out in force even though it was bitterly cold and pouring with rain. I was musing that some of the Thames rowing clubs (especially the nearby Thames Ditton) will be training Britain’s Olympic rowers so let’s hope that their dedication pays off.

Once the rain had stopped we moved over to the John Lewis moorings – we were surprised to find them unoccupied, but by 1pm they were full. We started out by having a bobble round the main department stores in search of the posher items on our Christmas lists. We were shocked by how empty Kingston was – we’d expected to be crushed but it was no busier than a normal Saturday. We then went back to the boat to let the hounds out. We had intended to take Lou and Lynx round Kingston’s Christmas market and leave Ty behind, but he was keen to come along so we took all three. Ty was alarmed by passing buses but was otherwise very calm – this is a great improvement in his behaviour. All three hounds got lots of fuss – there was a certain pattern – Lou broke the ice by smiling endearingly at people and doing a waggle-bottomed approach for a fuss, then, as the conversation progressed, people would find out that Ty was a big wuss and give him extra fuss- in return Ty would lean on them (all 5+ stone of him!). Lynx was very aloof, as befits a celebrity author of his status!

The John Lewis moorings in Kingston....

We all enjoyed a german bratwurst for lunch – Lou, Lynx and Ty were perfectly behaved but I felt a little pang of sorrow for old boy Blue’s panache -when we were here 2 years ago he hoovered the streets clean – no sausage was safe. But the current pack waited politely to be fed and didn’t think about foraging.

After our brief visit to town we went back to the boat for another relaxing coffee before wrapping ourselves up for the trip down to Teddington. We conveniently vacated our mooring just as nb Oliver’s Dreams pulled in – what timing…

View downstream to Kingston railway bridge...

We had a good trip and were soon moored up at Teddington – Richard went to see the lock keepers to pay the mooring fee and make arrangements for our passage tomorrow. In the meantime I took the hounds for a walk around the adjacent park. The squirrels were out in numbers so the hounds were very happy!

After this burst of fresh air, the boat’s sofa and the promise of a little snooze seemed very enticing. But we had to force ourselves to move for a complicated car shuffle. We had two cars in Teddington and we needed one in Limehouse; there were many options, but in the end Richard took my car to Limehouse (being the emptier for dog transport) and I took his car (full of stuff) back home! Then we both caught trains back to Teddington – it’s so much easier to do the car shuffle where there is a comprehensive network of public transport.

In a testament to fate, Richard and I, entirely by chance and with NO planning whatsoever, caught the same train to Teddington – he got on at Waterloo and I joined him at Clapham Junction – result!

Teddington High Street has some very nice restaurants we, rather contrarily, wanted a chinese takeaway. I didn’t think there was one on the high street, but we found a little “hole in the wall” takeaway. Admittedly the food was not very good but it was what we fancied so it went down well. We caught the end of Strictly but by now the migraine I’d been brewing for 2 days became overwhelming and I was cold – we’d turned the heating off when we left to do the car shuffle and the interior temperature had dropped 6 degrees in three hours. An early night with a hot water bottle beckoned……

We set the alarm for 6am-ish and settled in our beds for a good night’s sleep. Alas, Lou did not agree to this plan and spent most of the night pacing – she was hungry, she was cold, Lynx was on her sofa, the sheepskins had fallen off the sofa – all major dramas in Lou’s world which needed our urgent attention right through the night…….


That floating bungalow would do nicely for my mum - shame it's not for sale - I wonder if I could persuade her to move to Kingston...

What a perfect day for cruising...

This grand house belongs to a wealthy somebody or other who hosts fabulous fireworks parties - we saw his display from a mile upriver few years ago - amazing!

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