Instead of the one day as planned, it’s taken us two to get to Reading. We had a stop in Pangbourne to take Meg to the vet, she’d got an infection in her right fore-paw. She’d been licking at it so I trimmed the fur back and removed a grass seed that had got embedded in the flesh between her toes. There was some swelling there too, and bathing with salt water and applications of antiseptic cream didn’t seem to be doing the trick. A job for the professionals.
The vet was very good with her, Meg wasn’t impressed with the good squeeze she gave to let out some of the fluid, but she also got another grass seed out that I’d missed.
Just 36 hours into a 5 day course of antibiotics and she’s so much better, the swelling is going down and it’s not so angry looking. It’s not the first time this has happened, and it probably won’t be the last.
The vet said it’s very common this time of year, and regular checks of paws, ears and eyes are a good idea. She also said trimming the hair around the toes on woolly dogs helps prevent seeds getting lodged and makes it easier to see them if they do. Good advice, I reckon.
Sue and Vic’s Meg has had the same problem, but in her case it developed into something more serious. But with professional treatment she’s mending, too.
Anyway, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. We left Beale Park yesterday morning, heading down the wide reach towards Pangbourne and Whitchurch Lock.
Looking back at Pangbourne College Rowing Club as we approach Whitchurch Lock
Strangely, I didn’t take any pictures of the lock, but, lets face it, we’ve seen a few recently, haven’t we.
We moored on Pangbourne Meadow, and I took Meg up to see the doggy-doctor. George and Carol had arrived by the time we got back and it was getting hot again, so we made the decision to stay put.
When we get back on the canals we’ll miss the varied wildlife; a trio of Pochards came visiting, hoping for a crust.
These small diving ducks are very attractive and make a pleasant change from the ever present mallard.
George and I took the pooches for a walk to Whitchurch on the north side of the river. The bridge connecting Whitchurch and Pangbourne was built in 1902 and is showing it’s age. Major reconstruction work is planned for the near future.
The church of St Mary-the-Virgin is a lot older than the bridge, being founded in the 9th century by the Saxons.
Since then it has been “developed by the Normans, refurbished in 1470 during the reign of Edward IV, rebuilt by the Victorians in 1857, and refurbished again in 1901. Originally a Catholic church, it switched allegiance from the Pope to Henry VIII during the Reformation (whether willingly or not, we don't know; certainly the priest and his parishioners didn't have any choice in the matter).”
Quote from http://www.langtree.org/whitchurch_onth_history.htm
The mill has been converted for residential use, but the waterwheels remain as a feature.
The working pair NBs Archimedes and Ara came by in the evening, so we filled up with diesel at a good price of 88p. We’d intended to fill in Reading anyway, so that saved a job.
It was a very muggy, humid night so we slept with the back and side hatches open. The gentle through draught made it bearable and we got a better nights sleep as a result. Meg is struggling a bit, I even tried to get hold of a dog groomer in Pangbourne to see if could get her clipped but had no success. It this weather persists I’ll find somewhere. She should grow back by winter.
We were on the move again by 09:30 this morning, with about 2 miles to cruise to Mapledurham Lock.
Leaving Pangbourne Meadow
We filled with water and emptied loos and rubbish before dropping down the lock.
On the water point
Half a dozen boats in the lock.
The large cruiser behind us was in a hurry to get past the slow narrowboats…
Look behind, George!
Not a nod, wave or a hint of acknowledgement as we hugged the right bank to give him room. I guess we were beneath his notice… Ignorant sod.
The other cruisers in the lock all went past, and without fail gave us a wave and a smile.
There are some fine properties on the north bank as the river heads towards Reading.
And some are “work in progress”
Caversham Bridge is the first crossing since Pangbourne. A modern concrete span, it was opened in 1926 by Edward, Prince of Wales.
Reading Bridge, just downstream, is also recent, opening three years earlier.
Under Reading Bridge, the lock cut to Caversham Lock is just beyond
We managed to find a space each near Tesco’s to do a stock up of the cupboards, then turned around and retraced our route, through the lock, under the bridges and moored on the edge of town near Coombe Bank.
We’ll be staying here tomorrow, we’re expecting Chas and Ann (Moore2Life) and Del and Al (Derwent 6) to arrive at some point. Party time!
This is the furthest we’ll be going down the Thames; after the gathering we’ll be heading back to Oxford and the canal system, then points north, aiming to be in Ripon in September. The Rockers will be staying on the river, probably including a trip on the River Wey while they’re down here.
Locks 4, miles 10½ (2 days)