Hello, My name is Edward and I’m on a weekend break with my parents and their 2 friends. I think this is going to be the most boring holiday in the world.
This is my diary of our trip.
Wow! I never thought this boat would be so big. I’ve even got my own room and the bathrooms have got showers. Some cool geezer told us how to use the boat and of course my dad thinks he’s the only the only one that can steer. I can see him and mum having rows later.
Mum’s really impressed by the kitchen – it has everything in it we have at home. The sitting room area has a TV so I can watch the footie later.
We went to the Barley Mow at Benson for an evening meal which was great. Food was good and only a quick walk from the boat.
We all slept well in our beds…
Dad has called me the Assistant skipper and bought me a cap – he’s never asked me to help him do anything before like this. The houses around here are like mansions and even have garages for their boats – like mini hotels and really posh. I wonder if we will see any celebs round here - I read that George Michael lives in Goring as its only 60miles from London. When I grow up I would like to buy a place like this for my mum and dad. Dad mentioned too that Kate Bush often does her Saturday shopping in Goring – not that I’ve ever heard of her but he seemed quite keen to stop off at Somerfield in the centre just in case! Mum preferred to go the local organic shop and buy some local produce as she is planning a lovely lunch back on board at lunchtime. Beats McDonalds any day.
Our friends found a lovely pub in the centre of Goring – really old and quaint and very typical of villages around here. Although they look at bit like something out of Henry VIII’s time, they are starting to grow on me.
We sat down and planned our route together, which was cool. It’s easy to see where the locks are and where mum and dad can stop by a pub.
It was awesome going through a lock for the first time and really not that difficult. The lock keeper helped us and showed us what to do, I even got to open the lock by myself!
I have been playing on my psp but I soon realised that I was missing out on everything that was going upstairs and around us. I feel that I want to be part of the grown up crowd on this holiday.
I was impressed by the huge range of wildlife we have seen so far. Today we saw cormorants, herons, grebes, kingfishers and even llamas!! I’d never seen any of these before so it was a real treat. Mum keeps pointing out all the different trees and flowers along the river banks and dad chats with all the fishermen to see what they have caught – apparently salmon, trout and pike are the most common and really good sizes!
We stopped at Beale Park for a picnic and a kick-around as I was getting a bit restless. There are loads of animals to see and it’s a great place to chill out for a few hours. Deer, peacocks, wildfowl – all sorts you don’t normally see back at home. All along are National Trust Meadows which means that members get special discounts here if they stop.
We went through several locks en route – they look pretty intimidating as you approach them but really are not too bad. Dad had a few problems mooring alongside but the bow thrusters on the boat made it much easier – we just had to press a button and the front and back of the boat moved in quite easily. While we cruised along taking in the scenery, mum made tea for us all and we had cake from a lovely Deli in Goring – but Dad just wanted a beer. Good job there are loads of supermarkets along the way and a fridge on board to keep them cool.
At Pangbourne you can hire a canoe for the day and this was a great way to spend an afternoon.
We went to the local pub for a bite to eat and sat in their garden next to the river. The food was ok but I spent most of my time looking at all the fish.
We also found out that Graham Greene, author of Wind and the Willows and Winnie the Pooh lived near here. Nearby Maple Durham House is supposedly the setting for Toad Hall and the game ‘Poohsticks’ was invented off nearby Whitchurch Bridge. If you’ve never played Poohsticks before – have a go. You’re never too old!
On the way back to the boat I was allowed to have an ice cream which I finished off down a small secret spot next to the river whilst Dad spend 20 minutes choosing a piece of cheese!
I think next time we come I’d like to bring my BMX, there were lots of cool cycle tracks and Mum wouldn’t get worried about me being on the roads.
At Whitchurch Lock there are flood marks on the lock-keepers house which show the flood levels in 1894 and 1947 which were way above the level of the canal. We are learning about global warming at school and so this made me stop and think about our planet and what’s happening to the waterways. Crown Blue Line only sell bio-degradeable products such as toilet paper and washing up liquid, so I think they are doing their bit to help the environment.
Dad was most impressed to stop and have a drink in the garden at The Swan in Pangbourne – the recent BBC TV series Three Men in A Boat stopped here and I think he thought he was personally friends with Gryff Rhys Jones!
There was even chance for us to have a go at fishing. Although Dad told me we were only allowed as we had bought our licence, otherwise we have been fined!
We travelled back up the river to the town of Wallingford, passing all the places we stopped at & the lovely things we’d seen on our trip up the river.
Wallingford has an outdoor swimming pool and as at it was a lovely day, we went for a swim. Then later on all we all had a meal in a pub on the river.
One thing that was really neat was all the people who actually live on their boats. Some of them have really great hand painted designs. I wonder if I’ll ever get to live on a boat? Everything is so relaxed and there’s always new stuff to do.
Unfortunately the trip had to come to an end and we had to return the boat back to the base.
I was wrong. This hasn’t been boring. It has been unexpectedly great!
NOTE: The above account is fictional and was written by us to demonstrate the different activities from the point of view of a child.