Thursday, December 11, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
On Wednesday morning we awoke to find a good 1/2 inch of snow covering the boats, docks and park lands and any vehicle which was left outside. It was of excitement to Rhonda who had never experienced anything like this so for the first time she was up and dressed ready to accompany Harry and I on our walk through the park land opposite. Unfortunately, within an hour it had rained and so the snow disappeared but we are assured there will be more as it is colder than usual for this time of the year apparently but the bookies aren't buying into this and in fact have dropped the odds of us having a white Christmas from 8 to 1 to 6 to 1 so we will see who is right.
Rhonda's Comments: Sign of the Month
I think I will get this sign made up for Ken for the boat as a Christmas present. What do you think - very appropriate?
On Saturday we awoke very aware that the final All Blacks versus home unions was to take place just down the road really at Twickenham against England so as it was to be only shown on Sky unlike the three previous games against Scotland, Wales and Ireland which were on BBC TV, we needed to find a pub which would be showing it, so off we set on a mini pub crawl to our nearest main suburb and eventually went into a run down establishment. The publican said yes, I will put it on for you so we settled down in the "lounge" with a pint of Fosters shandy and a glass of Lindemans" no Kiwi beer or wine was available. He pulled down a large screen from the ceiling and away we went cheering and shouting as the Poms got dealt to. The publican only showed an interest for about the first 20 mins then retired to read his paper over at the bar.
We sure enjoyed the result and hi-fived and celebrated a clean sweep but felt a little let down when the lights went up. We had been the only two in the whole pub. Nobody else was even a bit interested to call in so I suppose the 20 pounds we spent on food and drink for the afternoon was better for him than nothing. It was a great effort on the AB's part and we were very proud of them for sure and then for Wales to deal to Australia just added to the great feeling of the weekend because as you know I only support two teams, New Zealand and anybody playing Australia.
Rhonda's Comments: Ken and the old owner Ross taking Somewhere up to Shepperton Marina.
As we have mentioned earlier in our blog, we have been unhappy with some of the way the boat has been wired and the capacity of the batteries so it was decided that the simplest way to get the work completed would be to take the boat down the Thames some 3 hours to Shepperton Marina (this suburb was famous as being one of the UK's great movie making centres, Shepperton Studios, for many years after WW2 making some of the great English classics until the mid 70s). So on Tuesday morning with the guidance of the old owner we set off down the river including 2 locks to complete the journey without incident to the marina base where the engineers have been working to get things changed so we can be worry free when we are away from shore power for long periods of time etc. It has almost been completed but the change of venue has sure been interesting and on top of that as usual at this time of the year, I got some bug or other so have been laid pretty low for about 7 days and only today have been out for a drive around the local area etc.
As the days are still drawing in, so lights are on at 3.30pm each afternoon the nights have got colder particularly over the last two days which have been crystal clear and sunny with no breeze but temps only reaching 7 or 8 degrees and the nights dropping to -2 to -7 so as a result the lagoons which link on to the main marina here have become completely iced over so to watch sea gulls and ducks trying to land and or take off is fascinating. We have had to stop Harry from chasing out onto the ice after them as well. To give you an idea of the thickness, today I threw a rock about the size of a golf ball up into the air expecting it to break the ice but it only skidded away to a stop. Amazing for us to see, however, I am sure the kiwis living in the south like Maureen and Stephen Stock who live and work in the Lake Te Anau area are pretty familiar with this sort of condition.
Even Harry is feeling the cold but of an evening he snuggles into his sleeping bag and cuddles up to "Pinky".
While here at Shepperton we met up with a couple from Sydney who had their Dutch Barge of around 18 m arrive on a transporter ready to be lifted onto the water for their adventures after having it built up north so they were pretty excited as they had actually lived on it while it was being finished for the last 5 weeks as their builders were behind schedule. If you think that is reasonable, how about this. The husband, Stewart is confined to a wheel chair as he suffers from that dreaded disease MS so they actually worked around him. He could not get off the boat apparently as the hydraulic lifting ramps were not hooked up so his chair could only be moved around in the cabin. I tell you we will moan and complain about our own lot from time to time but we don't have a problem when compared to Stewart and the amazing efforts that Lesley, his wife have to make to overcome all the difficulties of boating/barging both here and in Europe which is what they are off to do like ourselves over the next few years.
Their barge is designed beautifully to be as user friendly for disabled folk as is possible but as you can imagine they have to be able to berth at ideal locations to get Stewart off in his wheel chair and then without car or other travel assistance they must make their way around and if you think they see this as being difficult, not so, they are looking forward to it and already tackled many obstacles which would stop fully abled folk from doing things. We hope that we can keep in contact with them as we both make our way around Europe next year.
At this time we will say cheerio and send special thanks to those of you who have responded with your comments about the blog page. Particularly to those who have added their photo to "Our Followers" above as we get quite excited to see another photo added.
Kind wishes to all.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Rhonda's Comments: My main argument for not doing this job was can you imagine what my nails would look like!!!
The Royal Standard Flying at Windsor Castle
Part of Eton College
Friday, October 31, 2008
Rhonda's Comment: A furry, woodland creature just to make a move on Ken's wallet.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Well here we are at the going down of the sun in the west or is it the east. I am confused daily by being in the northern hemisphere but as Rhonda says I am always confused anyhow.
Rhonda's Comment: When did I ever say that!!!!
Thanks to those good people who have responded to our emails and blogg page as it makes us feel so much closer to home as they say. To those who have put their pics on the blog page, a very special thanks.
We look at the Herald on-line and the news in Kiwiland is about as dark as it is here re financial matters except we don't appear to have so many rascist attacks or comments but that might only be a feeling at this time. I can't believe some of the rubbish which is printed, however, I am sure we will get the same here.
Just to let you know what marina life is like, we have a South African family here with two small boys who are being schooled aboard boat with some lessons being given by a blind man called Thomas who is amazing really, he lives on a nearby boat. He has a seeing eye dog, black labrador called Magic who is wonderful to watch guiding Thomas around the marina fingers. Thomas sails his large dutch styled ketch with the help of his wife. They have two small children whom will also be home schooled. This fellow has amazing hearing and other non sighted skills, so much so, when Rhonda was introduced to him this morning with Harry he asked if all was well on our boat so she replied that we were concerned about the water pump and he said yes it has been sounding off colour for some time so needs attention. His boat is about 30m away from where we are berthed so it just shows you. One of the other people who were in the discussion pointed out that he has these amazing skills to hear when mechanical things are not right, tell you what needs to be done but cannot do his own. There is an amazing mixture of folk living aboard their boats so look forward to meeting them as time goes by.
There is a Club at the marina, The Penton Hook Yacht Club (very toffeee nosed), however, as they will let Harry in we will probabaly become members so we can buy a meal from time to time and get a drink. The other day, I had a pint of Fosters and Rhonda had a small scotch and coke. GB 6.50 which we reckon equals NZ$ 15.50. How does that sound to you kiwi drinkers who know the prices?We have also been asked to join the local community club nearby who operate on some nights only and then on the weekends however, we have been warned if we go there on a Monday night which is Bingo night to be sure we don't sit in someone elses place as it can turn quite nasty so we will have to arrive late to see what seats are left over I guess. Most of the locals have little or no knowledge of New Zealand but are slightly ahead of the Americans who thought New Zealand was part of South Africa. or Greenland and so on. We as a nation still have a lot to do to bring the world up to date eh.......
A couple of days ago we visited another marina who have a larger chandlery than Penton Hook. Well when I say it is larger it is rated as the biggest on the Thames but would fit in the rear corner of Smart Marine, Burnsco or Sailors Corner. However, they did come down here yesterday to tell us what we needed in water pumps and TV set ups so $10,000.00 later we are somewhat ready to get organised we hope. After taking two buses and then walking 20 mins from the last bus stop and then repeating it to come home, we have decided we may look for a small runabout car for the winter but we will have to see what the market is doing. While prices have fallen here like in new Zealand, MOT, Insurance and Road Tax is heavy, so we will have to weigh it all up. Just the thought of walking the streets in the winter frosts which have already started on the odd night is not appealing but we will see. It is possible to rent a car long term for about GBRP 1600.00 for 6 months with free monthly mileage of 2000 miles and all we have to do is pay for petrol , so that is looking tempting at this time so we will have to do our homework.
Rhonda's Comment: We had to stop for numerous cups of tea on this mission to Shepperton Marina and back.
Last night, Saturday, some folk who have similar barge to ours invited us over for drinks and nibbles which was just great. Their barge is so well set up and was finished off by a special bespoke company so it is quite magic inside. I will get some pics when the opportunity arises. The wife is a semi retired school mistress and he is a full time excec winder upperer as he calls it liquidating companies throughout Europe for the big company he works for. In addition to our selves they invited another couple from another boat. He was a big striking fellow who sure enough turned out to be a retired Bobby. One of the old school I would think and then another fellow came along who is employed by airlines to work on cabin crews training with the new hand held computers which records all the inflight sales of drinks etc and automatically re-orders from base scource etc. At this time he is with Easy Jet so is really busy. He related some great stories to when he was working out of Auckland for Air New Zealand on several 3 month stints and what a great time he had. He is a great rugby follower so we got on well. He chooses to live on his boat here as it is so convenient to London central and to Heathrow. A couple of the fellows were relating when they had the big floods here a few years ago when instead of walking down to your marina you had to climb up steeply to get onto your boat. They also recalled when the marina iced over for a couple of days and also when they had over 5 cms of snow over everything. None of these things we are looking forward to, but will have to grin and put up with it if it happens.
Rhonda's Comment: Just check this Bread and Butter pudding made by the clever hands of me - really, truly.
As promised here are some local supermarket prices for food so you can do you own homework doing conversions etc
100gms honey roast ham 1.69