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  • clivenmel

May 15th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Well guess what!?  At 7.30am there was a loud knocking on the side of the boat and I nearly jumped out of my skin!  Clive quickly put his trousers on and went up on deck to see who it was and it turned out to be the man collecting the mooring fee!  Well so much for a lie-in, that was it we were both wide awake!    The other thing to mention is that the weather forecasters got it wrong yet again!  The rain that they had "arranged" for Friday arrived on Thursday night with a vengeance!  It was hammering down on the roof of the boat from about 8.00pm onwards.  Actually I rather like hearing the rain pounding on the roof, it takes me back to my childhood when I was at the caravan with my parents.  I remember loving being inside the caravan, with the gas fire on, the windows all steamed up and the sound of the rain on the roof � it made me feel all cosy and safe!  I still feel just the same!!   However, after our rude awakening, we looked outside and it wasn�t raining at all, in fact it was a lovely morning.  Everything smelled fresh and clean, all newly washed!  It wasn�t sunny, in fact it was quite overcast, but pleasant nevertheless.  So we decided to push on after breakfast.   We were moored up just before Hurley lock so it only took a couple of minutes to get there and the lock keeper saw us coming and had the gates open in no time.  It wasn�t long before we were out the other side and cruising. I spotted a pair of ducks which looked different from the usual Mallards and so got a shot of them and on closer inspection they turned out to be Tufted Ducks, the first ones we have seen so far.  I could do with an �I-Spy� book of birds so that I can tick them off when I spot them!   We soon arrived at the next lock, Temple Lock, and once again the lock keeper opened the gates without us even having to stop � I could really get used to this!  In fact I could get quite fat and lazy if we stayed on the Thames! After the lock we were gently pootling along when we saw something by the left bank that gave us a bit of a jolt and reminded us that one must never, never become complacent when on a boat of any sort, especially on a large river.  Obviously we don't know what happened here but it was a tragedy for somebody.     A short while later we passed a marina on the left hand side with moorings all along the bank, not a narrowboat in sight, just dozens and dozens of �gin palaces� (cabin cruisers)!  As we have said before, we see all sorts of craft on the canals and rivers ranging from the very tiny to the extremely large and one of the latter came churning towards us a little while later, it looked absolutely huge to us but fortunately the Thames is so wide that by the time its wake reached us we barely felt it.   It wasn�t long before we were passing through Marlow and we knew that there were some visitor moorings here, albeit attracting a fee.  We finally spotted them and they looked very nice so we pulled over and tied up and it was only 12.30pm!  The moorings are very nice indeed, they are next to a lovely green park area with some gorgeous big trees.  Much to our delight this afternoon Clive spotted a Muntjac Deer amongst the trees and managed to take his photograph.  We like these sweet little deer, we used to get them in the garden at home � my only problem with them was that they are rather partial to bluebells and one year they bit all the heads off mine just as they had come in to bloom!   We have had a nice relaxing afternoon, we are in no rush at the moment, in fact we are trying to slow down again as the kids are coming to join us next weekend and we plan to be in Brentford when they arrive.  We could actually be there in two days if we put the pedal to the metal but we want to do a bit of sightseeing on the way, so we are just going to dawdle. We have some very well heeled neighbours just across the river judging by the size and quality of the houses!  I hope they don�t mind having itinerant boaters in their neighbourhood!    Just as I was getting the dinner ready this evening Clive was looking out of the window and he started chuckling.  I went to see what was amusing him and saw a troop of scouts (again girls and boys!) in rowing boats.  What a shambles � they were all rowing totally out of sync with each other, it�s a wonder they weren�t going around in circles!  I forgot to mention that it had started raining this afternoon after we moored up and we have had intermittent showers ever since.  As the scouts were rowing by it was absolutely teeming down and they all looked rather bedraggled!   One good thing is that we won�t be expecting a rude awakening tomorrow morning as the mooring fee collector came round this afternoon and demanded his �6 � but he did give us a receipt!  So, all being well we can have our customary lie-in before we head off for pastures new in the morning.  By then the rain should have moved further North hopefully (sorry Yorkshire!)     

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