The forecast was for a very wet and windy morning as the remains of hurricane Bertha arrived. However we awoke to a lovely morning with the sun breaking through the clouds when I took Jimmy his early morning walk. As we got back to the boat the first shower arrived and these continued throughout the morning. At lunch time the sun came out and we went a walk up the River Gade on which we are now moored and which forms this stretch of the Grand Union Canal.
The River Gade is a chalk stream. It is a tributary of the Colne and feeds into the Grand Union Canal. The river gathers rain water that has soaked through the chalk. It becomes alkaline and rich in nutrients and is cooled by its journey through the chalk to emerge at a constant temperature of 56 degrees, regardless of summer heat or winter freezing. Away from the canalised sections rocky ridges in the riverbed cause little waterfalls and natural places where the river could be dammed for mill runs and for the watercress beds. Watercress, which is very rich in iron, has been grown in the Gade commercially for centuries, with great amounts packed and sent for the London market. Harvesting watercress was cold wet and tiring work.
We had not been back from the walk more than 20 minutes when the sky turned black and the wind started to blow. We had rain and three lots of Thunder and Lightening and then it was over. For the rest of the day we had bright sunshine with an odd shower but increasing winds.
For Jimmy’s evening walk we went up to look at The Grove Hotel and Golf Resort. What a place, the enormous car park was full of cars including Rolls Royce and Ferrari, some with covers on them to protect the paintwork. Valet Parking was the order of the day and the Golf course was well manicured and set up for golf buggies. A round of golf here costs from £165 - £185 unless you are a resident when it cost £140.
The complex is set in 300 acres and has a walled garden and a lovely water feature outside the Golf Club House which has a cedar tree planted in 1777. There are also spectacular views over the Hertfordshire countryside.
Later in the evening the wind dropped and was just a mere breeze.