After the nightmare of Woolhampton we made the decision to carry on as we have an appointment in Newbury that we cannot break. We poodle down the K&A and come across Monkey Marsh Lock at Thatcham.
|Very clever design but didn't catch on|
|The lock now full.|
|It was very strange........|
It is one of only two remaining working examples of turf-sided locks on the canal today and it is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage. We carry on passing through Thatcham Reed Beds a 169 acres Site of Special Scientific Interest, nationally important for its extensive reed bed, and species-rich alder woodland and fen habitats (quoted from Wikipedia, those that know me know that I am not that knowledgeable). The only other SSSI that I know of is the shore line and marsh area at the Esso Refinery where I used to work.....swiftly moving on as I've gone all cold thinking about work!
We arrive in Newbury and it's time to say goodbye to Tony and Doreen as they have to crack on to Bristol and we have a very special visitor coming........Hooray, after being on Swamp Frogs for 17 months my brother Graham gets to see our home. Graham has learning difficulties and does not want to leave his home overnight and Newbury is 45mins away so John (Graham's carer) very very kindly bought my brother Graham, Brian (another of John's boy's) and my Mum to visit us, we know that John was also desperate to see the boat "in the flesh". The following pictures really is the main reason for us coming to the K&A and we are so glad we made it.
|John, Graham, Brian,my Mum and me.|
|Graham and I on the Tiller|
|Graham, Mum and me|
|John with Brian and Graham, 2 of his 3 boy's|
|Graham and Suzie, what a lovely photo|
So it was cheerio to Mum, Graham, Brian and John and once again THANK YOU JOHN for doing this for us it means so much to us.
The next day we decided to hire a car a pay a quick visit to Suzie's Mum. The previous week Joan (Suzie's Mum who is 89 by the way) ended up in A&E after a fall, she was the goalkeeper in a game of football in the garden!!!! How good is that eh? and to quote Sandie Hawkins (my stepdaughter) " I am so very happy that this situation came about because Nanny was enjoying herself, doing something she wanted to do, and not because of an abusive member of staff or an accidental slip out of a chair she had been sat in for 6hrs!" that quote says it all I think! So after a 40min drive to Southampton we met Mum from the ferry and took her for lunch and a wander round the shops as even at 89 years old she loves nothing better than window shopping.
|Suzie with Mum Joan.|
So, there you go a very short blog, really it is just about Graham who is my very special brother.....
|The Frog that my brother bought us and we have named GRAHAM|
Since the last blog we have done 6 miles and 9 locks this gives a grand total of 680 miles 100 yards, 359 locks and 9 tunnels (tunnels over a 1000 yards only)