Yesterday, Wednesday, we had our last day on the Grand Union.
With London only a few hours cruising away there was still an air of peace and tranquillity about. Black Jack’s Lock was very pretty with the old mill house beside it and a beautiful old thatched cottage above the lock (couldn’t get a pic.)
With just one more to go after Denham Deep Lock. As it’s name suggests, the deepest on the GU at just over 11 feet.
There are always interesting and novel things to see – some more so than others. This is a genuinely paddle powered boat as the chain drive take off from the gearbox is clearly visible.
Our last lock of the season – Cowley Lock, and just a little wet at this moment. After this it was another five hours cruising before arriving, and finding a space, in Paddington Basin. James has a hospital appointment at St Mary’s Hospital next week so, apart from it seeming to be our second home, the basin will be extremely convenient.
This morning we were able to view the recently redeveloped (and almost complete) end of the canal basin. Back in the spring, when we were here last, this was just a building site. Now it has fountains, grass, seating and a very swish bridge. The bronze statue sitting on the seat beyond the fountain depicts Sir Simon Milton, (1961 – 2011) Deputy Lord Mayor of London (2008 – 2011) and a major driving force in the regeneration of Paddington.
Although we met up with several friends last night (and hence a late night!) we were still out in force today. While shopping in and around Tottenham Court Road, we found the best view of the Telecom Tower we’ve come across.
Oh the joy of a London bus ride! This is the view from the front seat on a new “Boris Bus” (with yet another in front). They are very quiet and comfortable and ideal to hop on and off – just like the old days. Well done Boris!
The weather today has been superbly warm and we took advantage of it by lunching al fresco at “L’ ulivo” near Leicester Square ……..
……. where they laid on a Scottish pipe band for us right outside the restaurant.
After lunch we popped into the Whitewall Gallery just off Bond Street. We’ve been invited next week when the Argentinian artist Fabian Perez unveils his new collection in the UK. Olivia and gallery manager Anna were in the middle of unpacking and hanging all the new paintings for next week but they still had time to welcome us and offer us a glass or two of champagne! Thanks girls for the warm welcome and we’ll see you next week.
Tonight we are off out in town again, to bolster the capitals economy!