One of the many nice things about cruising on rivers is that the locks are often manned
with someone keeping an eye open for those brave enough to pass through
and invariably a doddle compared to canal locks even if the lockie isnt on duty
The Upper Thames lockies use a long pole and hook to open and close the far side. Its very impressive.
But what’s also impressive is that the lock keepers job comes with a cottage,
Which is ok until you remember these guys are also only paid for a working week but are on call 24/7 – Unless its lunch time from 1 till 2 every day. However the river seems quiet with not much traffic which is probably why they have enough time to keep their gardens looking good. We think there must be a degree of rivalry over who can have the best topiary Although it looks like the frog wants to eat the tulips.
Not sure if this is a fancy haircut, or work in progress, either way it made us chuckle
But the winner surely has to be the grafton cat ready to pounce on the swan
Whilst we were cruising back downstream we became very aware of the air traffic. The escorted jet was bringing Boris back from India, or might have been, because moments before we saw an identical entourage, so one of them must have been a decoy. We think the two flying in parallel might have been in training for mid air refuelling because they really stuck close by each other for the best part of a morning. And the jet on its own, was one of many that we saw, including the Awax reconnaissance planes, checking we had paid for a Thames license. Once we looked at the map and realised how close we were to several RAF bases, the quantity of planes made sense.
The swan by the way is sitting on 8 eggs, and the cat is actually hoping for some tuna to swim past.