Monday, 19 June 2017

Astwood (fancy going to London in that heat!)

Friday was the first day of the current hot spell and poor old Buddy is still not coping with the heat.  We try and take him out in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day but he would still rather laze around outside the boat.

Later on, on Friday, Karen and I took him for a little walk as we wanted some eggs and new potatoes that a local farmer sells from his house.   He laid down in each bridge we went through to have a rest and at one point stood in the water for about five minutes to cool his feet down – he even ended up just lying in the water.

Cooling down

Welcome sign

Fan keeping the eggs cool and a note to leave notes through the letterbox (I assume it's refering to monetary notes rather than their handwritten ones)

Buddy’s favourite position seems to be in the middle of the towpath so we are constantly moving him from speeding cyclists.

Favourite position

In the evening we drove to Birmingham International airport to pick up Matt and Marie who were staying with us overnight.  I know it sounds mad in this heat but we had a lovely curry in the evening that had been in the slow cooker all day.

Matt and Marie’s first visit to the new boat

We couldn’t believe that within six weeks, us and some of the family, will have been to Matt’s graduation in Prague followed by their wedding in Norway that the whole family are going to.

After a full English breakfast on Saturday morning, we dropped Matt & Marie back at the station and spent the rest of the day lazing around as it was a bit warm, like a lot of people I expect.  Even though it was hot we got the barbecue going and cooked some salmon and vegetables.

Sitting and barbecuing in the shade

The Sonic Rock Solstice had been going on since Thursday just down from our mooring but as the bands were playing indoors we decided to give it a miss because of the heat.  We had a good wander around the site which was quite respectable considering the music that was being played.  I can’t remember the name of the band but we listened to them for a while as they had a couple of old Pink Fairies members playing including Russ Hunter on drums – sounded just like we were back in the mid-70s.  Apparently past members of Hawkwind appeared over the weekend too.

Probably only 2-300 people staying in the festival campsite

Sunday was our friend Peter’s 80th birthday celebration in London. We drove down to Reading so Buddy could stay at my daughter, Lauren’s, for the day and Karen and I caught a train into town.  We hadn’t realised until we got to Paddington that most of the tube lines were out so we had a tortuous route to travel what should have been five easy stops – we even ended up getting a cab for the last bit.

Peter cutting the cake whilst showing off his talents as a public speaker after blowing out his candles

It was a brilliant afternoon and so good to catch up with so many friends, young and old.  Sadly, some of them we hadn’t seen since Peter’s 70th birthday celebration.

As the tubes were out we Uber’d back to Paddington.  Our first experience, so London friends had to set us up and show us what to do - quite a slick operation.  Our journey back to the Midlands was trouble free considering how many people must have been travelling back from day and weekend trips to the coast.

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