The Old Copper Kettle, a familiar retreat for lunch

Further day’s cruising through Baits Bite lock then stopping short of the narrow Jesus Green lock opposite the playground for the girls to play and then to spot our old boat Utopia II brave a very congested Cambridge in the holiday season before The Copper kettle for lunch and then to the Cinema with Daniel until it was time to cruise through Bottisham to Upware where we met the Chambers aboard their own boat. The Commonwealth Games opened today with countries withdrawing up to the final moment

Slept very well during a cooler night and awoke at 7.00am to encourage Di to make the morning tea. Not a peep from the girls, who also seemed to be well settled by now. Breakfast and then started The Lady & cast off and cruised upstream to Baits Bite lock, where we were the first boat up today. The exorbitant price of £4.50 for the day’s lock fee. Found out that the Jesus Green lock was too narrow at 10ft and so we moored at out customary place opposite the children’s playground. A brief play for the girls, who liked the seesaw and swings best, and then the walk across the park for coffee at Eaden Lily. Cambridge was very crowded with tourists speaking every conceivable language, which I suppose is good for the balance of payments, but annoying because of the congestion. We spotted Utopia II moored in Cambridge and Patience (The Lady’s 35ft sister craft) at Upware.

The rendezvous was at the Copper Kettle for lunch and we enjoyed the roast beef and somehow managed to cope in the crush – god knows what the city is like on a Saturday these days. This afternoon I took Daniel to see a film (Police Academy III) for which he was grateful. Back to the boat for a poor tea of egg pie and peas, but some nice strawberries after, then the rush downstream to get through the Baits Bite lock, then Bottisham before 8.00pm. We made it and then moored at Upware at the pub ‘5 miles from nowhere’, taking a drink in the bar to legitimise our stay. Jason Chambers and family were also there and he came out to fish with Daniel and they each caught a Dace as it got dark. News today was of Thatcher’s Press Secretary and Cabinet Secretary being harshly criticised by the all-party Defence Select Committee in a report accepted unanimously by its members. She will ‘butt it out’ again (in American slang) as she is quite insensitive to outside opinion. There will be no opportunity for the Commons to properly debate the issue, as the report’s results were deliberately announced when the House was breaking up for the summer recess, but there was a stormy ‘question time’. Zambia’s President, Kenneth Kounda, sees Sir Geoffrey Howe on his second visit to Africa today and was even more critical publicly of him and the policies that he represents on behalf of Thatcher. Wendy Savage, the persecuted Gynaecologist, was reinstated in Tower Hamlets again today, in what is seen as a victory for natural childbirth. The Commonwealth Games was declared officially open today, but the participants were withdrawing right up until the final moment. Despite this, the games managed to get away with 31 countries running, but with spirits reasonably high.