Fish 'n Chips

There's nothing nicer on a warm and balmy evening to take a gentle cruise down the river pausing for a while to buy fish and chips from a nearby fish and chip shop then to moor in the sunshine to eat them. Which is exactly what my young friend and I did last Friday evening.

On the following day with a promise of really hot weather (28 degrees) after morning lightning and thunderstorms we crossed the river to pick up friends Brian and Jane from their mooring. (It's great having friends who live on the river). However, in view of the stormy forecast, I had consulted Mr Google the night before to check on what to do in an open boat on the middle of a river when thunder and lightning strikes to avoid being killed! From the instructions to remove all flagpoles and pennants, to avoid touching metal steering wheels, and to quickly get to the shore and lie in the bottom of the boat, it seemed we'd be undertaking a hazardous journey. But luckily we missed the storm and were on our way by 10.30. I kept the bow cover up to shield Jane from the wind. Having booked lunch at the French Horn in Sonning for 1pm I was hoping to arrive around that time as there is only two locks to navigate. In fact we arrived at five minutes to one.

The French Horn is my favourite restaurant and as we approached the hotel's private little mooring at the end of the garden we were met by a smiling and very nice man who helped us tie up. Even though the day was warm (not 28 degrees as my companions kept reminding me) we made our way to the lounge where two ducks were roasting on a spit over a roaring fire. Drinks and the hotel's very special cheese straws welcomed us. In the restarant with lovely views of the well-manicured lawn sweeping down to the river i had the best fish meal I've ever had (and thorougly recommend it). For the record if was a Dover Sole Caprice - fillets of fresh Dover Sole pan fried with banana and laced with a mango and curry dressing. This the view across the lawn.

And here's the boat.

We had a little nose around under a very low bridge to see if we could see George Clooney's house but it was too well shielded by trees. So we just ambled back in the ever increasing sunshine to Henley, stopping at Wargrave to have a word with the boatyard.

What a good day.

Myf and I went to the Regal last Tuesday to see 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Very, very exciting with incredible CGI effects. But I must admit I couldn't follow the story and I was never quite sure who were the baddies and goodies and which planet they came from. Didn't matter as myf explained eveything over dinner later at the Catherine Wheel restaurant.

Over the past couple of weeks I've painted rwo miniature portraits in readiness to exhibit them at The Royal Society of Miniature Painters forthcoming exhibition in London. This one is of Fon Windsor Clive - a friend who lives in Bangkok.

And the other - Fergus Heuston Holmes.

The bowling season has started and although both my knee and hip are painful with osteoarthritis I am enjoying myself at the bowling club.

I played today and with the help of my new ball picker-upper did well. Not so last week when I lost my game.
Last weekend we spent time on myf's garden. Her jungle area has been augmented by canna lilies, dahlias and a lovely tree fern. Great to watch the fronds unfurl. I'm always impressed by her hosta corner. The slugs haven't found it yet - for the fourth year. It's pristine.

on Sunday Val and. i went to a barbecue at Louisa, my neice's house in Marlow. Scrumptuous.