Monday 28 October 2013

Dorchester to Shipton on Cherwell

Big gap again but still having time and signal problems where do the hours disappear to! I love the village of Dorchester on Thames

I'm surprised this hasn't invited a smash and grab!
'I'm coming out,'  'No, I'm coming in'. 'Just sit and admire the view for a bit then shall we?'

 Waiting for the lock to get back onto the South Oxford and here comes No Problem - whoops, has Sue forgotten about this turn? Yes!!
 No harm done and it teaches me that everyone can make mistakes and the world doesn't end - everytime I make a mistake it knocks my confidence; I must learn to take them in my stride 
 bit of a hold up here whilst they worked on the lift bridge and we all had a cuppa and a natter whilst the job was finished off

 soon on our way as they worked through their lunch hour to set us free
somewhere along the way we picked up more wood and then stopped and sorted it before mooring at Thrupp and eating at The Boat with Sue and Vic, Brian and Diana and Bones and Alex. I was absolutely shattered; far too long a day for me but the excellent company gave me a second wind (no rude comments please). We moored on the little road (first time ever) expecting an early morning coal delivery that didn't come which meant Daisy cat had to stay in for two nights-not a happy bunny!

Monday 21 October 2013

The time has come the Walrus said... think of other things, of stocking tops and knicker legs and other naughty things of narra dykes and sacks of coal and getting off the Thames (my apologies to Lewis Carroll!).
I have, of late, been very remiss with the blog but we've had a brill time back on the Thames and down to Dorchester. The river is rising and we have 5 days of rain forecast so G wants to be off, under the low Osney Bridge and back onto the ditches

 Some seriously wild moorings (more abandoned than parked!).
but the weather is making life on the river a bit faster now
we've had some fabulous walks
but kayak opportunities are becoming limited as the flow is now too fast to come back upstream 

I love Abingdon - it was once my local town but, when you work all hours, it's just a place to shop or use a dentist/doctor. Coming back as a tourist has been fabulous.

A random photo (taken by G) that I just had to throw up

Friday 11 October 2013

No-one was up to much today

We'd never parked at Osney before and I had anticipated a noisy night (adjacent pub) and a noisy morning (brick and mortar neighbours leaving for work in the early hours). In fact there was not a sound and (for once) I had a pretty good night's sleep.I didn't crawl out of my pit until 9.00am.
G has sinusitis, Sue has a rotten cold (Vic is fine) and the wind was still blowing a hooley so, when I walked the dogs this morning, I dropped off a fiver for each of the boats with the lock keeper to stay another night.

We trundled into Oxford at mid-day.
 Passed the old prison (where I used to play guitar with a choir to entertain the prisoners as an 18 year old - ahhhhh) and County Hall. It's now all been developed into a tourist attraction with loads of eateries.
 and we then introduced the No Problems to the Turf Tavern for lunch
 by the Rialto Bridge
 you have to know where it is as it's hidden away down a discreet alleyway - one of many pubs that were heavily featured in Morse
 We then had a date in the covered market for meat, fish and veg but, much to my horror, it's been 'ponsified' into a sort of British equivalent of Pier 39 in San Francisco! No more pheasants (in feather), rabbits (in fur) and hosed down broken concrete - it's all tiled floors and Radley handbag shops

 having said that, I loved the fancy cake shop!
 Such clever work in these!
 I guess we're getting close to Hallowe'en
The only person who has really suffered from a little bit of city living is Daisy. I thought she'd just stomp up and down on the roof but, each time I let her out, she did rolly pollies down the middle of the road so she's been confined to barracks: cuddles and canellini bean chasing in the shower tray. It won't hurt her until tomorrow.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Today didn't go as planned

They rarely do.
 A short hop through Godstow Lock, down passed Port Meadow and into Osney (Oxford) for a Tesco delivery. That's as far as we went as the wind was evil so we called it a day

Last night was full of dramatic skies
 as the predicted front came through
 and this morning a boat passed as we were about to leave so we suggested NP went through with them with a Tesco delivery imminent - I locked both boats through as, inevitably now it seems, the locks are on DIY 
 the light and shade this morning was so intense

MR on the lock landing whilst I work the lock
 a fair old assortment of derelicts
 and look at this tree felling going on - Vic and I were apoplectic. The piles sorted by lengths of wood of similar diameter - producing a Hannibal Lectar salivation from me

 Nice, but unusual, decoration on the side of this narra

 and then a long circular walk up to the South Oxford Canal and Wolvercote Lock before returning across Port Meadow and the Thames Path 
 a lovely walk and, with Sue's good planning, the majority of the wind at our backs
 we met a fair few cyclists today that I would have gladly dunked but, sadly, Muttley didn't perform

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Muttley has put a cyclist in the canal

Now; before those of you, like me, who have been innumerably pissed off with cyclists running you off the towpath start giggling - this was a lovely elderly gentleman who only fell in because he was being nice to a terrorist Muttley.

The  cyclist approached us (me and the two dogs) slowly from behind on the towpath and stopped dead because Baxter stopped to eat a mouse (don't ask). He wished me a good day and continued slowly on his way where he encountered Muttley fart arsing about in the middle of the path, so I called Muttley back who stopped; turned; accelerated. Straight across the cyclist's path. The cyclist wobbled; swerved and..... fell in the canal. I lifted the bike out of the poor man's way and helped him out and G threw us a towel off of MR. We dried him off as best we could and he abandoned his bike ride and turned back for home. He was soooo nice about it. Of all the cyclists that I would gleefully have dunked over the years, this was not one of them. I briefly considered asking if I could take a photo for the blog but thought better of it!

Drawing a line under that rather unfortunate incident we've had some lovely walks along the Cherwell (but, sadly, no kayaking). 
 Then yesterdat we headed off up to Shipton Lock to wind and come back down to the Thames. Being a 'lozenge' lock we thought we'd get both boats in - so G tucks MR (the shorter by 3ft) into the side 
 to make way for NP
 maybe not then - Sue reverses out!
 we wind
 and come back down
 and Sue heads an orderly queue with a little boat
 plenty of room for both of these boats - the little boat is tucked neatly inside NP

 Stopped at the back of Kidlington and harvested and sorted massive of wood before setting off this morning and leaving some restorative bread pudding for the boat behind!

 quite busy as we turned into Dukes Cut
 through the lock and back onto the Thames
 Clearly this 18 inch drop requires 2 men to man the lock whilst I get pushed under the trees by the wind!