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Archive for October 3rd, 2012

Boat Blog: Autumn Odyssey – Day 1

Posted by indigodream on 3 October, 2012

I am several weeks behind with this blog so rewind to….

Monday 10th September

……when the sun was still shining!

Teddington to Kingston

Henry Beanz (who likes his food) helping me to check our stock before going to Waitrose…

Well, as you can see from the header, it hasn’t been the most momentous day’s cruising – we spent so much time alternately relaxing, then faffing around, at home that I was beginning to doubt whether we’d actually start our cruising holiday today….

But by 2.15pm we finally stopped dithering – everything was packed, including the dogs, there was no more to do, so off we went. At least the mid-afternoon start meant that we missed any traffic through Kingston and arrived soon after 3pm. It didn’t take Richard long to walk from the car to the boat with the first load of stuff; it took me much longer to walk there with the three hounds!  Lou, Ollie and guest hound Henry Beanz, were all intent on sniffing and weeing on every blade of grass – this all took a long time! Henry Beanz was taking Ty’s place on board for a week, much to Ty’s relief – he was enjoying the security of Sarah’s home and BIG greyhound pack!

We met up briefly with two of the Stop Smoking team that came to collect the gear that I’d taken to work (Cambridge Road Estate Fun Day) on Saturday – it’s a shame they didn’t have time for another cruise – I think they had such a good time on Friday.

We eventually set off at 4pm, having checked whether Thames Marina in Thames Ditton was open for long enough to fill us up with diesel – they weren’t – they shut at 4.30pm and we were 3 miles downstream. This set the plan for the day – we were very short of diesel so we decided to do a brief run to Kingston and fuel up in the morning. We initially stopped off at the John Lewis moorings (just downstream of Kingston Road Bridge). We popped into Waitrose to top up our boat supplies, though we were disappointed that there is no easy access to the store from the river. Just as well we didn’t need very much food – the shopping was only just a manageable carry from the store to the boat. I must write to them and ask them to make more of their river frontage!

Lou’s drug chart – she is on quite a complex medicines regime and you can’t mess with the chemotherapy – this is why she had to come boating with us – I wouldn’t want to pass this responsibility on to anyone else…

We had uhm’d and aah’d about where to moor overnight – the offside moorings in Kingston or the excellent Albany pub’s moorings near Hampton Court? In the end we decided on Kingston – the ‘park’ side moorings are free for 24 hours and are adjacent to a lengthy strip of parkland towpath which we think extends as far as Hampton Court (though we haven’t walked that distance ourselves!) – it’s perfect for the hounds, despite the access lane for the riverside houses that runs alongside.

We took the dogs for a walk – it’s not unusual for us to walk as an asymmetric pair now – Lou can’t walk any distance at all, but Henry is in his prime and Ollie is keen to keep up with him. Richard and the boys were soon shooting ahead while Lou and I just had a little bobble and headed back to the boat. Unfortunately, Lou has no stamina after her cancer treatment and she is suffering with her arthritis and several muscle strains. She has been in quite a lot of pain today – I think I’ve mentioned before that what she needs is anti-inflammatories, but they interact with her chemo so she can’t have them; she has tramadol (an opiate painkiller) which is good for acute/sharp pain but less effective for generalised aches, which is what she has. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can manage her pain so that we can continue our holiday.

With the dogs walked, we went off to Jamie Oliver’s Italian in Kingston – we’ve been there before for Richard’s office Christmas party but never as a couple. It has a very pleasant ambience, good service  and the food is subtly flavoured and delicately seasoned, making it both light and satisfying. We had planned to stop off at the late-night Patisserie Valerie on the way back to pick up some desserts – their pastries looked delectable, but they looked as if they’d closed some 5 minutes earlier – we may go back there for a breakfast (make that elevenses) croissant!

All Olympic Gamesmakers were encouraged to wear their t-shirts today as a celebration of the Games (many thousands were invited to be part of the audience at the athlete’s parade through London). So we wore our Gamesmaker T-shirts with pride – it became a topic of conversation with passersby (as if 3 greyhounds wasn’t enough) as well as with the waitresses at the restaurant. Richard’s eyes still shine with joy when he recounts his experience as a volunteer – it was a truly great thing to do…

But Lou doesn’t know she’s on medication – she just gets to eat thinly sliced beef with cream cheese every day 🙂

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