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  • clivenmel

May 17th

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;} Did I say peaceful and quiet???   A very noisy boat cruised past us around 11.15pm and all those aboard were carousing.  There was raucous laughter, shouting, singing, you name it!  However it disappeared around a bend a little way upstream and we thought that was it but Clive could still hear them some time later from behind the trees!  Anyway off we went to bed.  Clive went straight to sleep but I was reading for a little while, when all of a sudden there was the most enormous bang, which frightened the life out of me and woke Clive up!  This was followed shortly by several more!  I finally realised that we hadn�t been ambushed by terrorists but were being subjected to a firework display!!!  Now I actually love fireworks and thoroughly enjoy watching them on Bonfire Night and even on New Year�s Eve, which has now become the norm but why, why, on a perfectly ordinary Saturday night in the middle of May is somebody letting off extremely noisy fireworks at midnight!  I am sorry, but I don�t think it should be allowed!  Apart from waking up unsuspecting boaters like ourselves, think of all the animals who are terrified of them, at least when people know to expect them they can make suitable arrangements for their pets.    Ok now I�ve got that off my chest � where are we?!   Ah yes � we�re still here, by the Eton College boathouse!  When we woke up yesterday, although it was fine and sunny to start with it was extremely windy and within half an hour of us getting up it was teeming down � yeuch!  Not nice weather to be cruising in when you don�t need to.  So we stayed put.  During a lull in the weather Clive decided to nip around the back of the boathouse and see if he could get a shot of the boating lake � he was not prepared for what greeted him����������.   It turned out to be a triathlon!  There were hundreds of people there just watching, never mind all the competitors.  It was quite amazing that all this was going on just behind the trees from our mooring and we were totally unaware of it!  It was quite fun to watch.  First of all the competitors have to do a swim, then as they are leaving the water they start stripping of their dry suits, which is quite comical, then they have to slip on their cycle shoes and jump on their bikes and do a circuit of the rowing lake, then they have to change their shoes again and this time run round the lake � quite a gruelling race!  Some people have just too much energy I say!   We did at least get to see what we had come for, the magnificent rowing lake which is going to be used during the 2012 Olympics.  It will be great watching the rowing events taking place on the TV knowing we have been here.   We finally went back to the boat and couldn�t really make our minds up what to do.  We really want to go to Windsor but would prefer it if it wasn�t raining.  Should we go this afternoon, should we wait till tomorrow � decisions, decisions!  Then the phone rang!    We have had a problem with our cooker ever since we set off.  At first we thought it was just its newness and it needed breaking in, however it just hasn�t got any better � it is an absolute pig to light the oven!  You are supposed to push the knob in and turn to Gas Mark 9, hold the knob in and press the ignition switch, then keep the knob depressed for a further 15 seconds before releasing it by which time it should be lit � you must be joking!  It can sometimes take anything up to 10 minutes before the damn thing will stay in!  Then as if that isn�t bad enough, once lit you close the oven door, it goes out!  You go through the whole process again and it goes out again!  By this time you are ready to throw the damn thing in the canal and have a salad!  However, we finally got a to know its little quirks and can actually get the thing to light and stay in but you have to keep opening the door a tad every few minutes because the flames start to �caterpillar� along the burner, sort of waving up and down, the flames actually leaving the burner � if you don�t just catch it in time by opening the door it goes out!  So as I say, we can get it to work now but it takes far too much time � the whole process can take half an hour before the oven is ready to put the food in to cook � not good!So we contacted the manufacturers last week and explained the problem and they said they would send a man out to fix it.  It was him on the phone asking if he could come on Monday to sort out the oven?  So we decided to stay right here as he can park right next to the boat when he arrives.  We are being a bit naughty though � these moorings are 24 Hour Max � we have already been here 48 hours!  Ooops!   Oh well, if anybody challenges us we shall just tell the truth � we have a problem with the boat and an engineer is coming to fix it (they don�t need to know it�s only the cooker!)   Monday 18th May � well it is now 12.30 and there is still no sign of the cooker man!  We gave him directions to the rowing lake yesterday and explained that there is a car park just over the trees from where we are moored and a track leading from that that he can drive down.  He is supposed to phone us when he arrives so that we can go and meet him � ah the phone has just rung � he�s here!   Well � Roy has sorted the oven � it took him no time at all.  He could see what was wrong as soon as he looked � the thermocouple was loose!  So he got that fixed properly and lo and behold it lit straight away, in seconds!  So I now have a fully functional oven � brilliant!  Thanks very much Roy!   He was a case � he�s from the Midlands and had a real Midlands accent.  He also informed us that he was going to be 70 on his next birthday!!  He was teasing us about visiting the �toffs� in Eton and Windsor!   We are going to set off and cruise down to Windsor now he has gone.  We would like to have a look at the castle.  Obviously our invitation for tea at the castle didn�t arrive yesterday after all and Her Majesty is busy today at the Chelsea Flower Show so she won�t get to meet us � what a shame!

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