Saturday, 4 July 2009

Marlow to Henley -on-Thames

What a most marvellous week!!! I know it's been very very HOT and I mean HOT HOT HOT, but we surely must be thankful for all this lovely sunshine and the warmth on one's skin and the amazing blue skies that last all day and into the evening when they change to pale turquoise after 9 pm and gradually darken after 10.30 pm......BLISS!!!

Last weekend the forecast was rain but we had sunshine and I fell asleep in the garden and turned very brown, so much so that on Monday several people asked where I'd been on holiday.... Such a lark to be able to reply: nowhere this was just in my own garden at the weekend!! Of course we have had a hot house, with kids sleeping with fans on either side of the bed and windows wide open..... The dogs have been going stir crazy becuase we can't walk them until after 9pm it was just too hot. Even then on Tuesday it was still 28 degrees C at 9pm!!!
Just like a night in Southern Turkey in May, but this is Oxfordshire.
Bedrooms stayed at 26 degrees and my car reached 39 degrees C after being in the sun 9 am- 3 pm. Morning school runs were at 24 degrees C and rising and we could not walk home as the kids thought it was too hot at 3pm in Thame high st. ( 32 degrees C and above)

Today's forecast was rain again and again the BBC were wrong: we had blissful sunshine for most of it and by afternoon it was hot again. My weekend treat came in the form of a pasta machine and I spent the morning cycling into town to buy the ingredients and then made fresh wholemeal and egg pasta: thin sheets and also tagliatelle: EXTREME FUN!!!

We had agreed as a family to go for a walk and Marlow was chosen as a lovely riverside walk, but it took 2 hours for the kids to get ready and then there were tantrums and sulks until at 5pm I gave up waiting and consoling/bribing to go walk the dogs by myself.

5pm it was when I left and after the 30 minute drive I arrived here: lovely sunny Marlow. Roughly 25 degrees C in the sun but there were lots of shady spells, some shade on the walk and an occasional breeze. I LOVE love love the THAMES PATH and we have now walked some sections at Oxford and Henley recently so I wanted to explore a new bit( new for us).

After a bit of a walk a break to give water to the dogs: I carry water bottles for them as well as myself and a bowl for them to drink out of. Lucy always sits while I take photos too, but Pippa is a bit less patient.

The view on the right, on the left is the river Thames. Into the sun so you can't see the hills and the trees and the sheep, but imagine the lovely golden creamy tufts of tall grasses wafting in the breeze. The seed-heads are a lovely lace pattern against the sky: delicate and intricate . They undulate towards the hillsides, a sea of waving feathery fronds.

I see families on boats, families walking, families at a picnic, couples fishing, cuddling, reading, walking lots going on . Lucy gets lots of attention and many ask what weird dogs I have, what are they? Wirehaired dachshunds are quite rare in these parts you see.

We walk a long way and come to a lock: Temple Lock it is called. There is a weir too and more houses have appeared. Then on a beautiful high wooden bridge which arches gracefully over the Thames I take these photos I think I am close to Henley now. This is looking back towards the lock and the 3 shots should be joined together at their sides, they go from left to right.

YEP so this is the middle one.

And this is the right -hand bank.

Now I have turned around and looking Henley way into the sun again I'm afraid.Right-hand bank on the far right.
Straight into the sun: left-hand bank.
We turn back and the dogs, who are tired and hot, run into the Thames for a paddle at the nearest opportunity of an easy beach access.....

Lucy gallops in and splashes about with great abandon.
Both still on leads due to the attraction of: the greater crested grebe,geese,swans,ducks, rats etc etc they are hunters after all. Lucy is here under the greenery checking out a hole in the bank:
Does Moley live here? Mum looks on indulgently.
AAAAH the peace and tranquility.....
Lots of boats actually but this was a quieter moment.
At this point Lucy has stuck her head under water and is looking like a drowned rat but hasn't found Ratty yet.
Yes it really is Dachshund-in -Thames.

Almost back at Marlow again. It's now after 8 pm and cooler but still very pleasant, but both myself and the dogs are hungry( I had an onion baguette for lunch at noon and nothing since) so we pop into Marlow town . I have Tomato Kettle crisps and buy the girls a beefburger at Wimpey.....''Yes that's right : can I please have it without the bun and uncooked and as quickly as possible as my girls are tied to a tree outside''......Can you hear that whining? That's the puppy.

One last look at the river... No we're NOT going back in at this point: time to go HOME!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Susan, Lovely photos. I'm glad you enjoyed this stretch of the river. I know it well..I live just downstream from Marlow. The strange thing is that although I love the river, I
    enjoy my trips to Thame every other Tuesday for the Market, especially the Farmer's Market, just as much.
    I like it so much that I am thinking of moving to the Thame area when I retire (again). If you ever walk your dogs on the old road, back of the church, on a Tuesday..... could well see us having our picnic by the bridge over the River Thame.