Post diluvian travels

Today’s guest picture shows two contrasting transport systems  as recorded by my brother on his recent visit to Spain.

Tramvia Blau (in Catalan)

We used a combination of rail and bus ourselves today.  After a convivial breakfast with my nephew Dan and my son Tony with his partner Marianne and her son Dylan….

Not at Tiffany’s but at St Pancras

…who were all getting ready to go north and back home, Mrs Tootlepedal and I met our daughter Annie at Paddington Station and took the train to Maidenhead.  Our aim was to change there for the little single track railway line to Marlow where Mrs Tootlepedal’s brother and mother live.  However, Sunday on the British rail network is often beset by engineering works and this was the case today so we were put on a bus for this part of our trip.

We arrived safely at Marlow and walked through the town.  A few weeks ago, Marlow was figuring heavily in the news as part of reports on serious floods in the Thames valley and Mrs Tootlepedal’s brother had water only a few feet away from his door.  Today the river looked full but benign.

Thames at Marlow

We had a beautiful day for our trip and it was unseasonably warm for early March.  So warm was it, that we were able to eat our lunch outside in the garden….

March lunch
Not a usual scene in early March

…and the excitement of the floods seemed a world away.  In fact though, a short walk after lunch…..

Ladies walking
Mrs Tootlepedal’s mother strides out while Mrs Tootlepedal and her sister-in-law are deep in conversation.

….down the lane to the landing stage beside the river showed that the river was still much higher than it should be.

The landing stage is under water in the foreground.

While we ate, we were being inspected from above.

red kite

I wished that I had brought my good camera and lens with me.  The birds above us were red kites. Between 1989 and 1994, kites from Spain were imported and released into the Chilterns.  They started breeding in 1992 and now as you drive along the motorways or walk through the towns in the area, red kites can be seen lazily circling in the sky above.  Many householders will put out food for them and they will swoop down to get it.  Our hosts put out a little meat and sure enough a kite swooped down and picked it up.  Sadly though, I was looking the other way at the time and had to be content with a shot of a hopeful bird circling round looking for more food.

red kites

They were great fun to watch.

My sharp eyed daughter noticed a promising lichen glowing in the sunshine on a branch of a camelia bush in the garden.


The bush itself was getting ready to burst into flame.


With butterflies and bees in the garden, it was hard to imagine that there is still plenty of time for late frosts to arrive.  Today it felt like summer as we sat outside chatting.

All too soon, it was time to walk back across Marlow Bridge.

Marlow Weir
Marlow Weir: The river was so full during the floods that there was hardly any drop at all on the downriver side of the weir.
Marlow Church
Marlow Church seen from the bridge.

It was still a lovely day when we got off the substitute bus and arrived on the platform at Maidenhead station….

Maidenhead Station

…but the curse of Sunday rail travel struck again and the sun had almost disappeared by the time a train arrived to take us back to London.

Maidenhead Station

Still, we arrived in time to have an evening meal in our hotel with our son Alistair and his wife Clare and this concluded three very good days of family meetings.

The flying bird of the day is one of those red kites from Marlow.

red kite


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Post diluvian travels

  1. I hope that the kites have the manners not to make any deposits of the unwanted kind on the people who put food out for them.

    The greens of the grass and trees, and open water are a sight for these sore eyes!

  2. So glad you had such lovely weather for your trip to Marlow – great photographs of the river. Exciting to see the kites swooping about.

  3. Like your own church, the one in Marlow looks very beautiful set by the water. A wonderful thing to be able to eat lunch outdoors!

  4. It’s lovely down in that part of the world. My friends used to live in Windsor and I used to go there a lot.

    Good for cycling on quiet roads around Windsor and on the canal path on the river Thames. In the summer you can go to the Henley Royal.

    Unfortunately my friends went to live in the in Eastern Europe so I don’t go down to Berkshire now.

  5. I’m glad you had such a fine visit. The red kites were a treat – I’d never heard of them before and they’re quite impressive.

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