Cruising down the River on a Saturday Afternoon

On Saturday my cousin Paul and Em joined us for an afternoon on my boat. My young friend made a lovely picnic. We found a nice mooring place at Shiplake. Here I am with Paul and Em on Marsh Mundy by the riverbank.

And I don't know what I'm saying to Em here!

After our lunch we travelled upstream to the Loddon. As the boat has a draft of two feet we were able to navigate the fairly shallow water. This long abandoned old houseboat met its demise many years ago I think.

We still managed to hit the bottom of the river when we turned round but no damage was done as we were on fairly soft silt. The other week I mentioned that I would need to make a little mast for my Phyllis Court burgee at the front of the boat. As my effort would have been very amateurish I asked my friend Alan White if he would make one for me. And as you can see he made a really professional job of it

Last weekend myf and I visited Christine in Norfolk. I especially wanted to visit The Urban Jungle again. It's a place where they sell every kind of plant - both small and very large. Also you'll see some rare tropical plants. A nice little restaurant is tucked away in a jungly hideaway with a dozen small eating places.

Big Koi carp too.

And lots of colour.

We took a trip to Wells-next-the-sea, had an ice cream as we walked along by the harbour looking out to the sandbanks.

West Acre garden centre nestles in a little haven of peace.

And finally to yet another little garden centre. This one at Mileham - a village near Stanfield where Christine lives. I bought ten lovely begonias and a couple of trays of dark blue lobelias which I'll plant on my balconies at the weekend. My young friend bought a canna lily and a couple of white foxgloves for her white garden.

Last Thursday I just about finished my larger than life oil portrait of Norman Topsom - a few bits of touching up to do before I varnish it.

Still having a problem with Talk Talk. You'd think they'd be able to change my broadband service to my normal phone line but after three weeks of interminable phone calls it's still not done.

I spent all today typing out my annual income tax return.

Off to my second game of bowls tomorrow. Because my legs are still being difficult I bought a bowl 'picker-upper' the other day. Great. What a wonderful help.