Lazy Days

27 Jul

Not just my favourite thing in the whole wide world but Lazy Days is also the name of a boat.

A very special boat in fact. A Dunkirk Little Ship.

You may have heard about them on the news recently and, indeed, know their history but if not you can see/read about them here.

That saves me a whole lot of work will fill you in a whole lot better than I can. And because Boatbird would much rather rather be telling you about her time spent aboard Lazy Days recently at the Thames Traditional Boat Show at Henley on Thames.

006

So how come I get to be so privileged?

Well, it’s like this:

John’s brother-in-law bought and restored Lazy Days and keeps her on the Thames to use as an apartment during the week while he works in the city, so he, John’s sister, niece, nephew, cousin  and various other bods would be at the rally to show her off.

But the star of the show, who lives in South Africa but currently on a visit to John’s sister (who lives somewhere oop north in the UK) was John’s dad, Terry. Who just happened to have a birthday that very weekend…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

…his 89th!!

Terry went along on the recent trip to Dunkirk with Lazy Days – there really is no stopping him! He has a sailing boat, Fling, back home, which he regularly still crews along with his mates. I think it must be the Pilates he does twice a week that keeps him so fit.

I’ve stayed at John’s dad’s several times at his home in Port Elizabeth so was good to see him again, but I’d not met any of the other relatives so this was an ordeal I couldn’t escape also a pleasure.

So many good reasons to be there.

Not that I need a good reason to be on the Thames; it’s a lovely river where we had a lot of fun cruising with Hobo some years back…DSCN1437Approaching Tower Bridge

23100_1600Always a joy to be there and the best way, in my view, to see the city.

But this isn’t about  the Hobo’s adventures. It’s about Lazy Days.

We left Hobo early on the Sunday morning, hit the M25, then the lanes – lovely ride. Easy venue to find, parking at Fawley Meadows no problem – the mark of some good organisation.

Now we had to find our little ship so strolled along the bank, taking in all sorts of craft along the way, and just when there was nowhere left to go – up pops John’s cousin Robert. Not wishing to confuse you but he was actually on a plastic boat/gin palace very smart cruiser being skippered by John’s nephew Tom, who was on a pleasure cruise with a bunch of mates and had stopped by.

Typically, we’d chosen a left turn when it should have been a right so were as far away as we could be from our intended destination, Lazy Days, which was moored at the other end of the allotted stretch of river.

Never mind. We had a lovely meander through the boat jumble stalls, a good look at the classic cars…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

…TJ likes a good engine.

This one had a split personality…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Is is a boat? Is it a car?

These looked like fun…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Zoom in, just right of the lead rider, to see a little girl getting a flying lesson.

And I could swear this rider is none other than Peter Kirby…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

What say you Josephine?

And then there was this…

005

Remember Bluebird? Donald Campbell? Sure you do.

She looked so small. She’d been on the water the day before but a miserable bloody crane driver wouldn’t lift her in on the day we were there. Shame.

Still, John (screen left) had a nice chat with the boys in charge of her. He loves to talk engines.

After another good leg stretch we found Lazy Days, boarded, did the intros/re-unions and got the guided. Superb.

Best news of the day though, we were in time to join them as they did the parade thing – down and up the river, taking in a loop of Temple Island…017

Another boat ride for Boatbird – that’s two in a week – excellent!

John loved it too…012

Not least because of the aerial activity…020

Some low-level aerobatics.

As well as several sightings of the Red Kite…018

…which reminded us of flying in to White Waltham airfield when Hobes was on the Thames before. There’s a lot of them around here.

Some interesting craft about…014

Love these amphicars…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Though getting back up the slipway looked a little tricky, but with a good head of steam…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

And a lot of luck nerve and good judgement…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

He made it…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Would love to take some unsuspecting person for a ride in one then plunge into the river! I know someone who was taken on just such a ride, as it happens, who said it was darned scary! These were not, by the way, his actual words.

But back to the parade….

008

And as we came back to the main event, TJ spotted us and got busy…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

…as we pass Liz’s barge.

We had our very own Naval representative…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Then we spot TJ…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Well some of us (notably the female variety) did. Wave everybody.

The guy on the microphone gave our history to the crowd. Back in the day, there was mutiny aboard apparently!

But we were a good crew, seen here re-deploying the fenders…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

…that we were instructed to disappear as we set off. Spoils the photos it seems. I agree – look back at the previous two shots and you’ll see what I mean.

John’s son, TJ, had driven here too – fresh from working in Wales. Unfortunately he just missed the boat – literally – but was at least ashore to take the shots that we couldn’t/didn’t. I’ve credited them to him by way of a caption (though BB did the cropping) because they are so good. Well done that man!

Once re-birthed and after the tea party, we got busy putting Lazy Days to bed…

taken by TJ

taken by TJ

Well the boys did.

A fabulous day and a big thanks to our hosts – and of course, Lazy Days.

And here we all are…

taken by an innocent bystander

taken by an innocent bystander

L to R: John, BB, TJ, Birthday Boy, Alice, Jill and Kevin.

Smiley faces all round. Aaahh.

Was lovely to meet you all/see you again – including the ones not pictured, who were by now heading down river to Windsor.

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