Paddington and Tower Bridge Moorings 19th December

The wind buffeted us lots last night, the fixing points on the pontoon were not ideal and then the gale was quite fierce. However we managed to sleep until a motorbike in the hospital carpark next to us set off a car alarm. Time to make the morning tea and climb back into bed. At about 7am a boat went past leaving the basin. Ah ha! were they a Winter Moorer or were they on the rings that had no names on them. Mick got dressed and went out to have a look. He returned five minutes later, “We’re moving!” We winded and pulled into the last possible mooring in the basin. We had to be a little bit creative with our ropes, but once sorted we could relax and have breakfast.

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Our first view of the Thames today

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Not a special bridge in the slightest!

Two tube trains to London Bridge and a walk down to the Thames. We had been invited for a cuppa on Dora May at Tower Bridge Moorings, where my friend Kathy from college lives. We wandered down Shad Thames which was the major influence for my final piece at college and then the moorings were in sight. The tide was nearly in and it was all quite rough on the Thames, very different to a canal mooring, especially as we had to climb over the bow to get on board.

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Shad Thames such an atmospheric street

Kathy and Simon have lived on Dora May for a year and a half now. She is 101 years old and a rather lovely boat with a wheel house which has such an amazing view. After tea and mince pies we all set off for London Town. Mick stayed on one bus whilst Kathy and I headed to another then parted ways. You may think me mad but Oxford Street and Regents Street were beckoning for my Christmas shopping. Meanwhile Mick enjoyed his bus trip back to Lillian did a bit of wrapping of presents, posted some and went for a wander down Edgeware Road.

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Dora May with Father Christmas trapped in the wheelhouse. Hope he manages to get out before next Wednesday!

There is no green here! This morning I lost a bet by not getting off the boat. This evening the wager was doubled, I lost again! When it was doubled to £4 million I made sure all four paws left the boat and were placed firmly on solid ground for all of five seconds before returning to Lillian. I am solvent again.

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Kathy and Pip at Tower Bridge Moorings on one of the garden boats.

This evening some present wrapping has happened, and the silver ribbon I’d bought for presents has now become my tinsel and is decorating the boat. The guiding light has been lit and is up in the pram cover. We just need fairylights in the cratch and Lillian will be fully festive.

0 locks, 150 yards, 1 wind, 3  tubes, 2 buses, 1 slightly green Pip, 5 presents bought, 2 posted, 1 million pounds richer!

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