We moored outside Tesco's at Reading and popped in for a quick shop. The banks of the Thames were quite high here so we secured Oakfield between two trees and it was a bit dark on-board. I was awoken early by the the Cabin Boy telling me that he could hear a Cuckoo. Sure enough it’s call was echoing around the tree tops, so not much wrong with his hearing then! It was a very wet and windy night, but surprisingly quiet. On climbing up onto the bank for an early start the boat was covered in flowers, leaves and bird poo, ugh. Nothing we could do about it here though for fear of slipping down into the Thames. Off we cruised turning right around the corner into our first lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal. The paddles on the gates were opened by turning a big wheel letting the water gush in. Everyone was busy scurrying along on their way to work, poor things. The canal cuts through the main shopping centre of Reading, but there were no mooring spots. I thought the huge plastic Dinosaurs there were hideous and in their space boats could have been accommodated. Reading was not a very welcoming place at all.
Seven locks and one swing bridge later we took the first available nice mooring at Theale opposite the restored ruin which was Shenfield Mill. Within it’s grounds canal side was one of many pill boxes en-route, part of Britain’s WW2 Blue Defence Line. As soon as the boat was moored The Cabin Boy and i set too with brush, mop and cloth to clean all the detritus off the roof, bow, stern and cabin sides. This took us about an hour, luckily it was a cool damp day, so it hadn’t been baked on hard by the sun. I walked into Theale to see what it was like, there was a Co-op and a charity shop along with several other small individual shops. Luckily this was a very pleasant mooring, nice and quiet overnight. We were all in need of a good nights sleep i think after a long hard day. We had heavy rain during the night which rinsed the boat off beautifully, perfick.