Our second day at Bletchley Park proved as interesting as our first and then we moved on to Leighton Buzzard/Linslade where we met up with the charming Alan Partridge from Vancouver. As he put it the only partridge not to fly!

Thanks to Ian on Kiskadee who helped us through so may locks and the volunteers at Soulbury locks.

View of Whipsnade Zoos Lion

We cruised on to Cow Roast Yes, it is a real place!   Notice the sunbathing heron!

As the temperature rose we moved on to Berkhampstead and moored in the shade opposite the park. Our neighbour had this amazing mermaid at the bow and an octopus at the stern!

 

It has a castle motte & bailey and classic high street with wonderfully sinful strawberry tarts from Simmons the baker.

We stayed three days and fitted in a train trip to St Albans. Did you know Alban was the first english saint?  That day we walked 10,840 steps 3.92 miles. At 20.04 the temperature was 27.7degrees.  Alan Partridge caught up with us.

The 21st we explored Hemel Hempstead and the old town is very pleasant. We had tea at a cafe called “Elbows off the table.” The name amused me.  The new part of the town is like any other recent shopping centre- very dull. They have taken limited advantage of a river flowing through, but with large trout surviving! At 4.40 it was 31 degrees and at 9.59 was just getting dark.

An unusual vessel!

This is the M25 supported by scaffolding near Maple Cross. It inspires you with confidence…..

This is the path from the mooring to Sainsburys store at Apsley Mills. I complained at Customer Services, and was told it was the councils responsibilty. If I was the manager I’d have it cleared up.  It doesn’t encourage me to shop there. Inside they have a huge wall poster about all their volunteering efforts  – a pity they don’t volunteer to litter pick this path.

From Abbots Langley the water level was very low and the first lock had so little water we were unable to proceed. We informed the CRT but tired of waiting (rang back after 1.7 hours) we dealt with it ourselves, as just above the lock water was escaping over the weir. Other boats were approaching to below the next lock.

We moored just below Springwell lock 83 and took on 118 litres of diesel from a passing fuel boat. On Saturday 24 we moored in Uxbridge – the end of the tube line! We walked into the town to find the underground station facade unchanged from when Tony worked in Uxbridge 40 years ago. A lot of new shops and Malls adjacent now.

Turning into the Paddington branch, with signpost, unfortunately Braunston removed. Just beyond is where Tony moored briefly in Blue Samba when starting work in Yiewsley, approx 42 years ago.

Immediately to the left of this picture is yellow notice saying do not leave any food waste or litter. See the gulls on the house roof just waiting………

On our journey today we encountered a sewage farm, walkers and cyclists doing a charity event, a fight between cormorant, moorhens and coots, increasing amounts of rubbish, rats (encoraged by rubbish on the bank) and a gasometer! Never a dull moment!

Now we are moored up for the night in Greenford and thinking of Lionel as a young boy living here with his mother and siblings, approx 84 years ago.

 

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