Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Saturday 7 August 2010

We had a 'g(r)ay old time' amongst the flintstones!

Yet another late start on Friday - we're making the most of it before we venture onto the Kennet and Avon at the weekend where we've been advised to rise early, journey a distance and then get moored up before the evening, as there's not many places to moor and it can get busy.  Rightly or wrongly we don't hold too much sway of well-meaning advice from fellow boaters, mainly because much of it can be negative and  we're a little rebellious and child-like in our fifties with a quest to discover challenges for ourselves - so the chances are we'll still be starting out and mooring up late!  However, we've arranged to meet Barry's daughter Jamie in Bristol on the weekend of 20th August so we may find we'll have to do some longer days depending on progress.

It was a gray day when we set out to investigate Goring, but had only gone as far as the Mill next to the lock when Barry got chatting to the occupants of narrowboat 'Tobias Maximus', which we'd been criss-crossing for a while.  Once he discovered that Tony was a fellow photographer and had a career as such in the RAF for 15 years, it was like old friends meeting and I had to literally drag him away after half an hour or we'd never have got anywhere!  Lovely to meet you both Jill and Tony and we hope to catch up with you again soon ...

We loved Goring, it's a gorgeous place which was unsurprisingly voted the 'South of England Village of the Year 2009/10'.  We weren't certain which house was George Michael's though from the information on an internet search it looked like the one close to the river, but there was so little security apart from CCTV cameras that I thought it doubtful.  Thank you to one of our readers though for confirming that it was that house - good on you George for not hiding away behind high fences, though I suspect he mostly lives in USA.  And if you were in on Friday 6 August I wish I'd knocked to say 'Kia ora'! .

One of the distinguishing features of the buildings around here is their use of flintsones, they're so unusual and very attractive ...

P1300631A Flintstone inlayed into the brickwork - or vice versa



              Well we just had to see for ourselves                           Look at the size of his feet! 



Goring Lock and weir



We're pretty certain that this is George's delightfully unpretentious riverside home - Kia ora bro!


Tony and Jill on narrowboat 'Tobias-Maximus' heading on the same route as us albeit at a slower pace  - hope we catch up along the Kennet and Avon near a pub!

P1300652  Goring High Street

P1300656A Estate Agents, Antique shops and lots of flintstone covered buildings












Now that's just clinched the 'Village of the Year' having New Zealand lamb on sale








The recently renovated interior of the quaint Goring Parish Church next door to George - I suspect he doesn't sing in their choir!



Leaving Goring we crossed the bridge to check out Streatley, where they're doing some road widening but it was still a charming place ...


 Looking across the river to Streatley and The Swan pub, restaurant and hotel

P1300672A Walking up to Streatley - a thatched cottage nestles in between the flint houses





Barry normally tries to avoid people and cars in his scenic photos as they can date images too quickly, however there are exceptions - this chap yelled out he would gladly swap his car for Barry's camera as at that point as it wasn't the most comfortable of rides - Barry was ready to swap but the traffic lights changed!






P1300678 A range of architecture apparent - this one's looking more Georgian





Looking down the street at Streatley







  Neat window boxes


An abundance of flintstones make up this residence

P1300682AAnd back up the road to Streatley  



The flinstone is really attractive

P1300691A Leaving Goring, Tobias Maximus on the right just past the entrance to George's house



             More massive houses ...                And a rather unique 'conservatory' over the river!


Gatehampton Railway Bridge

By the time we returned to the boat it was after lunch-time so we grabbed a bite to eat and set off - due to our time-keeping we passed Pangbourne without stopping, which was sad as it's the place where Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, retired to Church Cottage. He died there in 1932, and E.H. Shepherd's famous illustrations of his book are said to have been inspired by the Thameside landscape here - it's not difficult to see why ...

P1300709A More cute boat houses

P1300717APassing through Pangbourne

P1300721A Beautiful houses - shame about the grotty old boat in the river, maybe abandoned by Mr Toad?

P1300723A This one's awesome - so many differing styles of windows, chimneys and eaves






Can't be boathouses but must house something boat-like inside







Looks like another Swan Hotel, this time in Pangbourne

P1300739A The 1880 Victorian Whitchurch Bridge - the other remaining toll bridge on the Thames - but this one charges 20p for cars

P1300741A Hardwick House, just before Mapledurham

P1300742A Geese and goslings all in a neat row

We eventually moored near to Mapledurham House, not far from Reading, next to a couple of extremely large boats, one of which looked like it should've been on the European canals and other the 'African Queen' from London, a hotel boat.   It was an even more precarious mooring than the previous one, being tied to a couple of tree trunks and the only way off was to shimmy down one of them - needless to say it was only Barry who ventured out ...

P1300426A Must be a relative of the sunflower?  Spectacular colours

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sandra and Barry, Yes you found Georges house, (Pictured) it has a few CCtv cameras but that is it, hes not there very often though, its very similar to his LA home he used to have you could walk right up to that as well. Best Wishes