Thursday, 3 August 2017

Half a day out with Paul and Carol

Last Saturday we were warmly welcomed on Paul & Carol's barge "La Finisterre" at Abingdon Lock. First we were greeted by their super sweet dog who gave us a huge smile (honestly! - she does show her teeth when she greets you!). I wish I could show you a picture of that. 😁

What a lovely couple! We had a beautiful time with them, chugging up the Thames to Sandford Lock and back. We were kindly offered cheese & biscuits and I brought my German cheesecake for pudding.

Up the Thames it was Ewan steering ....

..., which he did confidently - I was impressed. And backwards I had a go. Gosh was I nervous. But I got the gist of it after a few hundred yards (or was it miles?). Still - I'm finding the steering into the mooring very challenging and we both left it to Paul. 

Our Jack seemed to be relaxed most of the time. But once we found him off the boat when we were in a lock. He must have thought "walkies 😀".

I loved watching Paul & Carol's dog Milly (I hope I got this right). She always sat on the edge checking out the river, and mostly wagging her tail.

Obviously, we loved seeing the wildlife. We saw at least 3 herons. It still gets me all excited when I see one heading off. Not a very good pic. Forgive me! The weather was rather wet and windy.

So, do we feel any clearer about moving onto a houseboat? Yes. And we're being given a fantastic opportunity by Paul and Carol to try it out for a week in September. They say they've never looked back, having done it for about 20 years. All they say is very inspiring and it's motivating us to go ahead. We might even rent their boat for a while when they go travelling for a year. We'll see how the house sale goes. We haven't even put the house on the market yet. That will happen in September.

So far, it's all going well - so many nice connections already, and still lots of support from all our friends and family. When we speak about our dream-come-true project, we always find ourselves smiling. Ewan asked if we were still going ahead with it if we won the lottery big time. We agreed that we would; possibly on an even bigger scale, though 😉 - And Ewan would retire immediately.

Life's exciting.


  1. So it turns out there are two 'Paul and Carole's' !! Wow.

    We did not meet you at a party (shame, I like parties) but no matter.

    As you follow Still Rocking's blog you'll know we are almost on the Thames now at last.

    When we get to Abingdon we'll let you know.

    One condition ... you sort out your boating terms please :))

    A house boat is what it says, a house that floats ... it does not move under its own power and is not a barge or widebeam or anything else.

    A barge is (typically) a cargo boat, with the exception of Dutch Barges.

    What you seem to want is a wide beam canal boat, ie a narrowboat with a wider beam but a similar design.

    Hope that was helpful?


    1. Hi P&C - Whoops ;) I am so sorry to have to the terms wrong. We'll learn soon enough. What we want is a wide-beam barge, not a canal boat. We'll live on the river, and we'll try to get one that can go on the Grand Union (is that spelled right?). We're aware that with a WB Barge we can't go onto the Oxfordshire canals.
      It will be lovely to hear from you and meet you, so, please keep us posted.
      Thanks a lot for following the blog and commenting. Hugely appreciated :)
      All the very best
      and hopefully till soon ....
      Silvia & Ewan