The Islington Kevin James has lots of visitors…

Kevin James on the Tidal Thames.

Four days ago I fulfilled a childhood dream of mine…

At 12 Noon on Sunday the 1st of May Mum and I pulled into Regent’s Row, London to sign the papers for our very own canal boat. At 60ft by 10ft she is a beast, all glistening and glorious in the afternoon sun! Many of my fondest childhood memories are holidaying on the canals with my family… and since those days I have always dreamed of one day ditching solid ground for life on the water. As we step aboard the formerly named Gertrude, to me she already feels like home… This is a shared dream with my Mum and a big achievement for us both; her and Dad had always wanted to own their own Narrow Boat but sadly never got to realise that dream before he past away. So of course there was no question when it came to naming the boat; one phone call to the Canal and River Trust for a quick sex change; She becomes a he and is fittingly named Kevin James (after my dad).

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With A Little Help From My Friends we managed to get him spick and span and all settled in in no time. With the first fire (lit by yours truly) roaring we popped open the Champagne! Women make fire too you know, we just do it in style…

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The next morning consisted of dragging my friends to IKEA on a bank holiday Monday (thats love) to purchase a corner sofa bed that resulted in getting picked up by and UBER driver with a people carrier as, surprisingly it didn’t fit in Serena’s Fiat 500! This may seem excessive but it was an important buy for all the visitors we have coming along the way to join in the madness! Sofa bed made up, food and supplies stocked and we are ready to set sail (I know there is no sail but you know what I mean).

 

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We have a long journey ahead to get him all the way back to Bristol which is where we intend to moor my new home for now. Planning our route weeks before with the help of my new boating friend Bob we decided to tackle to the Tidal Thames and out to the Kennet and Avon Canal that way for what promised to be an epic adventure!

After a relatively short trip from Broadway Market we moored up for the night at Limehouse, right outside the Thames Lock. This proved to be a somewhat sleepless night; Muchly to do with the copious amounts of cheese and Port we consumed, which finished up around 1am! But also the realisation of what we were about to tackle the next day; Mum, whilst excited was somewhat apprehensive. I on the other hand was blissfully blinded to the dangers by my thrill seeking over ambitious brain that just jumps in head first without a second thought of the risk. But the butterflies kept me awake…

I lived in London for 9 years of my life and it will always hold a special place in my heart. This journey is much more to me than just us bringing our new boat, my new home, back to Bristol. It is a little farewell to the place I called home…

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Police escort under Tower Bridge no less! (Just a coincidental convoy I promise!)IMG_4703This is by far the best way to see London! What a beautiful view:
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Farewell Tower Bridge…You always blow me away with your beauty, especially on a clear night when you light up the Thames!IMG_4736

My knight in shining armour! We could never have taken on this trip without our Pilot and now, dear friend Bob:IMG_4749 IMG_4770 IMG_4778 IMG_4787

Albert Bridge, a beautiful bridge that holds a very special place in my heart. Sunrise from this Bridge is worth the early morning!IMG_4802

Brecon the Border Collie loving life!IMG_4828

Barley the Border Collie wondering why he is on such a short lead… Crazy pup! Hang in there buddy in a couple of years you will have earned your stripes.IMG_4829

And finally we reach Teddington which marks the end of the Tidal Thames. What a ride!

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Needless to say it all went swimmingly and is without a doubt up there as one of the best days of my life!

Our journey continues…

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