Monday, 2 April 2018

Leamington Spa (and a few days in London)

No, we haven’t had a lightning cruise to London and back, but we did take a house in the East End for a few days over the Easter break.  We stayed in a quiet little oasis in the backstreets of Bethnal Green just around the corner from Catherine’s (Karen’s eldest daughter) flat.  
 
We were also only about a 10-minute walk away from the Regent’s canal at Broadway Market.  Our children always comment that Karen and I seem to have a sixth sense for being near canals, e.g. when I visited Sophie in Hamburg recently we found ourselves at a lock within quarter of an hour of Sophie taking me on my first walk in the city.

We had a wander along the canal at Victoria Park and then along the Hertford Union canal (Duke’s cut) over to the River Lea.  We were expecting it to be absolutely rammed with moored boats, but it seemed to be similar to when we moored in the area for six weeks or so over the summer in 2014.

For two of those weeks we moored right outside the entrance to Vicky Park and when we walked past on Friday the same spot was free.  In fact, there was room for two narrowboats our size, well four really as you tend to double moor in this area.

Not sure what all the fuss is about – plenty of room for four boats here

Mind you, we do love the way people moor in London – if the gap isn’t wide enough then do the best you can, even if you can’t step onto the towpath:

The blue boat had a boat breasted up to it too

On Saturday we went to meet friends and more family (Lauren & Lewis) in Fulham for lunch.  It’s been a little while since we last saw Peter and Miranda and Miranda’s mother, Dorothy, so it was really good to have a long leisurely lunch with them. 

  
The street we were staying in was off Columbia Road where the flower market is held every Sunday, so we had a stroll round there in the morning and ended up buying yet more plants for the boat!

  
This coming week is Karen’s last week in the office although she has two further weeks to do after that but will work from the boat then.  Next weekend we will be on our helmsman’s course, a pre-requisite for moving to France.  

The course is based at Nelson’s Wharf which is just under eight miles east from here, so I will slowly cruise there during the week to arrive by Friday.  I say slowly, as there are 20 locks to go up and I’ll only do half a dozen or so a day so not to overdo things 😉 

It does mean that for this last week Karen will have to drive to and from work, but at least we’ll be going through places we have stayed at many times before, so we know the best places to moor and where to leave the car overnight.

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