Journey through Europe
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We love to have family and friends on board who also enjoy life floating wherever we may be in the world, somewhere in Europe (not Australia!). Below covers our southern England journey (2009) - but we have also saved our page on who visited in 2008, and the latest in Belgium and France.

Here we include a few more photos and notes to spark you into action, if you're not one of those mentioned already.

Friday 2nd January: Our friend from New Zealand arrives in the UK

Louise is on her way to take up a teaching position at Matthew Arnold school in Oxford and called in at Limehouse Marina where we are currently moored. So our first visiting friend of the year came all the way from New Zealand. We're looking forward to seeing Louise again, when we are in Oxford in our boat... low bridges allowing.

Stewart, Louise and Lesley
Monday 5th January: Lesley's brother and sister-in-law from Cornwall

Jonney and Felicity have joined us for five days at Limehouse. They took a break from their pub (The Cornish Arms at Pendoggett) so we took them to our local, The Grapes! We're planning a bit of site seeing around the city and perhaps a few more pub visits .. for market research.

Felicity and Jonney at The Grapes
Wednesday 7th January: Friends and neighbours who live at Limehouse, just around the corner. From the left: Jonney, Felicity, Lesley, Graham and Stewart.

Lesley and Graham walked over from their 18th century house in Newell Street to share some wine and cheese with us .. and a long discussion about the history of this special area of London. Lesley's sister Nicki is now back in Australia enjoying 30º C (+), while we are frozen into the Marina! But it was a very cosy evening on board Endellion.

Wine and Cheese with Lesley and Graham
Friday 16th January: Friends Bob and Janice from Sydney and their daughter Janice with two of her three daughters (Bob and Janice's grandchildren), Scarlet was at school.

Bob and Janice have been in England visiting their daughter Sheridan, son-in-law Tim and grand-daughters. Bob and Stewart spend several hours every month on a telephone (con-call) for the Executive Committee meeting of the Owners Corporation at our apartment block in Sydney. It was special to catch up face-to-face in old London town.

Bob, Janice, Sheridan and grand children
Monday 16th February: Alex and Louise called in to see us at Limehouse making a detour on their way from home on board 'Riccall', currently moored in Ghent in Belgium, to their visit family.
We met Alex and Louise over the Internet! Well, we were introduced to their blog through Jack and Mandy who own the brilliant chandlery at Castleford. This year Alex and Louise plan to head south from Belgium to cruise northern France. They have been very generous to us with lots of help and advice and it was special they took a major detour to come to see us at Limehouse Basin on their car trip back to the UK.
Alex & Louise
Sunday 1st March: Stewart and Lauren: his second-cousin (youngest daughter of cousin Joy and husband John) in England for her gap year.
Lauren crossed the city to visit us on board Endellion and updated us on the latest Cameron and MacLennan gossip from Australia! She’s loving her school, where she is an assistant teacher during her gap year, and adopted family and friends here but is excited about her trip home in April for her sister Kate’s wedding. Stewart & Lauren
Saturday 21st March: Lesley and Graham, our friends and neighbours at Limehouse (see January Guests) - No, they didn't wear the same clothes!! It's a shot from the January visit.
Lesley and Graham brought a scrumptious meal to our boat, again, this time a beautifully home made Italian style main course with home grown purple broccoli and herbs. This is our farewell to Limehouse dinner but we're seeing Lesley and Graham again, and Graham joins us tomorrow for the trip to Chiswick. Lesley and Graham
Tuesday 24th March: Stewart's God-daughter and her mum: Pollyanna and Sandra.
Quite a journey for Polly and mum, Sandra, to come to see us at Chiswick Pier and we're so happy Pissarro's, just up the ramp from our mooring, had such fabulous food. Sandra is here from Australia to see Polly and Polly is 'down' from Manchester and mostly working as usual! Pollyanna and Sandra

Wednesday 25th March: Our young friends (and Lesley's nephew) Ben and Nicky came over after work from their home not far away. (Photo from N&B files Xmas08 at Limehouse)

We're at Teddington - the limit of the tidal Thames - right by the weir just above the lock. It's been a day of rain but by night when our friends arrive it's eased up a little (thankfully). To the sound of the crashing water in the weir we had a great evening together sharing lots of chatter, spaghetti bolognaise, fruit pie and a few glasses of wine. A delight!

Ben & Nicki at Limehouse
Thursday 2nd April: A serendipity meeting with Aunt and Uncle of Stewart's friend from the Australian Foundation Five Million who are committed to raising $5M for MS Research.

When Stewart's friend Neil heard we were approaching Maidenhead he dashed off an email saying you must meet up with my very dear Aunt and Uncle. After a few phone calls it all came together and we were soon sharing a bottle of champagne (thank you both) and then dinner in Marlow. A delightful sunny afternoon and evening in more ways than one!

John, Ron and Stewart
Sunday 5th April: Lesley's brother Dean and sister-in-law Gerry (also mum and dad of Ben above) joined us in sunny Henley-on-Thames
Knowing we will soon be off to France Dean and Gerry drove from their narrow boat Polveithan to see us. Another sunny day and, after almost six months, we are putting our stern deck into great use. The BBQ is alongside and it's the cosiest of spaces - boats, people, dogs, ducks, geese all pouring by on port and starboard. Dean & Gerry

Sunday 12th April: Our friends from Limehouse joined us again .. this time in Oxford for an overnight.

Graham and Lesley were on a tour of the west, from their home in the east, of London! They arrived with croissants and a bottle of champagne .. first the champagne and then off to The 'Head of the River' in Oxford for dinner. A fabulous night ending with a moonlit walk back along the towpath, dodging bats. And a scrumptious breakfast the following morning. Graham, Stewart and Lesley
Wednesday 15th April: Terry and Mo with Stewart at the Leatherne Bottel above Goring Lock - we stepped out from our boats on the restaurant mooring for our drinks and nibbles.
We met Terry and Mo way back in Doncaster (early November 2008) but didn't remember this until they rescued us! Coming into Shillingford we struck a sand bank and luckily for us, around the bend came Terry and Mo in their narrow boat Motex. They wouldn't move on until they had pulled us off and we spent the next few days chatting at various times about all sorts. Our first gathering was a fabulous evening at the Leatherne Bottel restaurant gardens with our own food and drinks (with their permission). Stewart, Terry & Mo

Saturday & Sunday 18th & 19th April: Our friend Louise joined us at Pangbourne for her first overnight on board Endellion and a short ride down river the following day.

Louise (on the right) came piled up with food inspired by her language learning holiday in Italy, just completed. It included home-made frittata (we now have the recipe thanks Louise), biscotti, grissini, pastrami .. chocolates (always so welcome by Stewart) and a great bottle of NZ Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. The Swan (photo from our night out) by the weir in Pangbourne was a great night. The sunshine we're having made the trip down river to Caversham the following day absolutely glorious. Lesley, Stewart and Louise
Monday to Wednesday 20th to 22nd April: Lesley's brother Jonney and Felicity are back to help us prepare (emotionally perhaps) for our next big step: Taking Endellion to Belgium and then into France.
Jonney and Felicity were our first overnight guests back in what seems years ago at Mirfield - they made the first trip with us and now the last one in England, before our mostly French adventure. In brilliant sunshine we had two full-on special days in Sonning - a highlight being the tea garden beside the lock with home made cakes, weir water crashing and the smell of blossom everywhere. In this shot Endellion is stripped of her canvas ready for her lift onto the lorry (Monday coming) - Left to right: Felicity, Stewart, Lesley and Jonney. Felicity, Stewart, Lesley and Jonney
This is the last guestbook entry for the Southern England section of our travels.








  Safe and secure    

We love our time on board Endellion being mostly just the three of us (Stewart, Lesley and our mate and vessel Endellion) but our days are joyfully broken and refreshed when family and friends come on board. Often they are not far away and come for lunch, drinks or dinner. Sometimes they stay a few nights or we plan a holiday together for longer.

Our request to everyone is to please be in touch; come on board when you are traveling nearby and/or stay a few nights. Talk to us and plan where, when and for how long.

Before you decide to join us we thought it would be helpful to hear about our first overnight guests, Jonney and Felicity (Lesley's brother and sister-in-law from Cornwall). They were perfect because they

  • Wanted a short break and a bit of uncertainty in their lives, but some rest and excitement too!
  • Brought food, wine, beer and laughter on board from day one.
  • Disposed of the empty bottles and rubbish.
  • Tidied and finally stripped their bedroom of sheets and towels.
  • Brought the most delicious home cooked food and helped cook what we had.
  • Were on hand to crew, cast off and tie up.
  • Didn't hesitate or question instructions from the captains.

Safety is a major concern, all guests must

  • Know where the fire extinguishers and exit hatches are located
  • Undertake safety training if staying overnight
  • Wear correct attire when crewing

We don't ever want to have to get our life-ring out!