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Goring on Thames

Ah, Monday morning! The best morning of the week now that I have retired. We decided to move on, Wallingford was nice but we didn’t think that there would be too much to hold our interest for another day. It was again around eight o’clock when we set off and after taking on water at Cleeve lock, we dropped down through that and Goring lock and tied up on the visitor moorings there. Goring also turned out to be a beautiful village so we decided to spend a few days there, apart from anything else we wanted to try out the NHS electronic prescription service. We explored the village and had lunch in the John Barleycorn pub; my Steak & Ale pie was an amazing home made affair and well worth the money. After visiting the local pharmacy and getting their details, Sue called our surgery at home and ordered the precriptions. On Wednesday morning we were able to collect them without a hitch so no complaints about that service at all.

There are a selection of small shops, pubs and cafes in Goring but we decided on Tuesday that we would catch the train into Reading because we weren’t planning to stop on our way through. The village station is only a ten minute walk from the river and the trip to town is a short one.

We had a look around the town centre and spent a bit of time in the museum, there’s an interesting collection there including a copy of the Bayeux tapestry. Our favourite part was a section dedicated to Huntley & Palmer, the biscuit making company. By one o’clock, the temperature was baking and there was no respite from the heat of the sun whether directly shining or radiating from the masonry.

Reading church and town hall.

We wandered through “The Oracle”, a bright modern shopping mall and ended up next to the river Kennet. There are a number of bars and restaurants lining the waterside including a beach bar. It’s difficult to know how well it does normally but on days like this, it really looked the part.

The beach bar on the river Kennet.

Reading waterfront.

We passed it by and took cover in an air conditioned restaurant where we had a long, leisurely lunch.

When we eventually returned to our mooring, the sun was beating down directly on the cratch making it unbearable to sit out there. The coolest place turned out to be inside with the slight breeze blowing through the boat. We went for another walk later on when the heat was starting to subside and discovered George Michael’s house which is adorned with tributes from fans from all around the world.

George Michael’s house.

Fan’s tribute to George Michael.

Our second discovery was the Swan at Streatley, a hotel which is undergoing a major refurbishment but which also has an air conditioned bar. Too late to be of much benefit that day but with Wednesday forecast to be even hotter, Sue was forming a cunning plan.

Wednesday dawned much as the forecasters had predicted so after getting ready, we walked up to the village and collected the prescriptions. Next stop was the Swan for lunch. They are now at a point in the refurbishment that means that they can’t actually serve food but they are selling sandwiches and salads prepared in the cafe on the Goring side of the bridge. We weren’t really bothered about lunch, we just wanted somewhere to escape for the three or ¬†four hours that would bring the most heat – 33 C as it turned out!

Interesting boat outside The Swan at Streatley.

After malingering in there for most of the afternoon we returned to Caxton and sweated out the rest of the evening, the only comfort being the knowledge that the following day would bring fresher weather and lower temperatures.