Until recently there was an old Thames barge moored outside my window, but during the week it slipped its lines. It's a lovely old boat which I'll miss looking out at.
What I'm hoping is that it just head off for this weekends Thames Sailing Barge races which looks amazing (see picture above). Alas won't be able to go to the estuary to see it but for those interested there is more information here which gives the following background:
"The event originated in 1863 through the initiative of Henry Dodd (1801-1881) who was known as the “Golden Dustman” of Victorian London. He was immortalised as “Mr. Boffin” in Charles Dickens (1812-1870)'s novel Our Mutual Friend (1864-65). It is now the longest running, regularly organised, national racing event for traditional sail in the world."
I'll have to make do with reading the book I bought yesterday, namely "Mate of the Caprice" by Gordon Brown (who I'm reasonably sure is a different one that our current PM), which describes life aboard these remarkable craft.
If you follow the link to the Amazon page for the book you'll see there is a review, and unsurprisingly a very positive one, from none other than the granddaughter of the author!