Yes, we're off the K&A and back on the Thames. We exited Blakes Lock at Reading last night, making it a 13 day trip back from Bristol. Not bad going because apart from our mad day at Caen Hill we haven't been rushing.
Though we are heading down river to Brentford we turned upstream to moor up. Reading isn't the most encouraging place to stay if you're boating. Riverside outside Tesco at the junction of the canal and river is a favourite if you need shopping but not otherwise; it's a grimly, unlit spot with a curious collection of shanties and semi-derelict boats across the river. When we we there earlier in the year drunken revelling and noisy middle of the night narrowboating (including someone falling in) from there kept everyone awake.
This time, the riverside was deserted so we headed up through Caversham Lock to moor just the other side of the bridge - a convenient stop for Mrs B's Lidl substitute, Aldi.
Thames lock-keepers go off duty at 5pm in October so the lock was DIY operational. Simple push-button stuff...except that once I had pushed the buttons to get us and a following boat in, the electrics failed and we couldn't get out except by opening the top gates manually with a thousand and one turns of a wheel.
Today it has p***ed with rain so we stayed put and Mrs B decided to cook a Sunday roast instead followed by blackberry and apple crumble. Bad weather certainly has its compensations!