Before we return to the final Herbie awards in a couple of days time, some quick feedback on our London trip and the mooring situation.
The picture is a bit mixed. The boats with patrol notices on at Paddington have not moved. Surprise surprise. No one in the Basin has moved as far as I can tell. At the 14 day Little Venice moorings though, there has been a bit of coming and going and if you arrived right now you would find somewhere to pull in, albeit alongside another boat. It is evident that the CRT moorings team are active in the area, but the problem seems to be that the patrol notices have little effect in the short term. I don't understand all the details but according to Sorwar it takes 28 days to go through the full process of getting someone to move. I guess the miscreants know this and hang on until the last minute, by which time they have had up to five weeks in the same spot. We did discuss some ideas for improving the situation and when we get home I'll do a write up for the Herbieplus blog.
Although the situation in the basin is not good, there are benefits to being at Little Venice in the form of the closeness to two very good pubs, the Warwick Castle, which last night was standing room only, and the Bridge where the beer is excellent and the ambience good.
Last night we got an unexpected treat in the Bridge (or is it the Bridge House?). We were sitting in there enjoying a particularly nice pint of Windsor and Eton Guardsman, when a friendly chap came to sit next to us and we struck up a conversation. Miraculously it turned out that we both went to the same school, although many years apart, and he was in fact going to spend Christmas in my old village in Worcestershire. Anyway he was at the pub because his friend was acting in a play in the little theatre upstairs. To cut a long story short, we bought tickets to the play two minutes before curtain up, and had a really enjoyable experience. The Play was called Room at the Inn, and was a modern day tale about a porn film actress who winds up having a baby in the back room of a pub. I can't go into all the details here but it was very clever and very funny. I'm told that the standard of productions at this little theatre is generally very good. Cheap tickets too.
Yesterday afternoon we went down to Trafalgar Square to show Grace the Christmas tree from Norway. Not very impressive as it happens, but she did enjoy the street performers in front of the National Gallery, before we went inside to look at the van Goughs, Constables, Turners, Manets and all that. I think Grace was a bit embarrassed by all the conspicuous nudity in the older masters. She' s back home with mum now.
I'm once again writing this courtesy of the wifi in the Black Horse at Greenford, where we rest before returning to our Slough Arm mooring tomorrow. I suppose I should mention that we are drinking diet coke!! Well, we supped rather too well last night.
So all in all, a good visit to London in spite of not being able to moor in our favourite Paddington.