Wednesday, 28 June 2017

On the river at last

The moorings st the end of the canal are not the most salubrious as can be seen from the picture above.   This is just a little way back from us.  The boat, together with several other obvious long term liveaboards is moored just across from the canal on a small backwater.  We have been told (don't know the truth of this) that although the towpath (to the right and just out of the picture) is the responsibility of CRT, the land adjacent to the backwater belongs to Oxford City Council.  As for the water it is below ISIS lock so presumably the Environment Agency.   With 3 bodies involved they probably cannot make a decision as to whose responsibility it is to get the area cleaned up.

Geoff decided to take a walk along the Botley road to acquire some more dog food.......High Priority!

On his way back he looked at the East Oxford Road moorings just down on the river and they had lots of space so we decided to move down.  It is quite a tight turn at the bottom of ISIS lock and it was not made easier as a boat arrive onto the pontoon to go up the lock.  However all was achieved without incident.  We had taken our aerials off the roof as the railway bridge just after the lock and Osney Bridge are quite low.  In the event I think we would have just scraped through as the river is not very high at the moment.

We had our pick of places, although it filled up later on.  Mooring here is free for the first night and then £5 a night for up to 2 extra nights.  We think this is quite reasonable.  You have to ring in to the number on the notice and announce your arrival and apparently they call you back if there is anything to pay.  This seems more realistic than the notices in Banbury and Oxford where it is 48 hours but a £25 a day charge if you do they collect the money........

Total distance:0.53 miles 
Elapsed time:0h24m41s 
Average speed:1.47 mph (1.47 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Day trip to London

The end of Paddington Basin has altered since our last visit by boat a few years ago
The weather was promising to be iffy on Tuesday so we decided to stay over a day up at the end of the canal.  Since the station was so close it seems reasonable to have a little trip down to London.  Emma was free as this is the last week before she starts her new job, so plans were made!

We had a little wander and remedial cup of coffee in Paddington Basin on arrival.  The boat end is much as I remember it from our visit here on Petroc a few years ago, still very full of boats.  However the far end has been developed. there are small gardens and several coffee and eating establishments. There are also several mobile food outlets.    Although it was not doing so today (rain instead) I imagine the wind still whistles through the area because of the high rise buildings.  We shall not venture down this far on Petroc as it is too difficult with Barney.

After a short museum visit to the Welcome Museum  (Medical) we adjourned for early afternoon tea in the Park Grand Hotel Lancaster Gate.........

Tea was finished off with a glass of Prosecco!!
A good day out.......These little fixes of the hub bub of a city make me appreciate my quiet life.

Monday, 26 June 2017

On the move again

Not exactly a big trip today.  We had decided that if there was room just before Isis lock we would linger there for a couple of days and lo and behold there was a Petroc sized slot.

We are moored opposite the two pictures above.   Is it a pipe dream or will it happen.

See Future Heritage Group   The site does seem to indicate that they have planning far we can see no sign of activity.

Total distance:0.64 miles 
Elapsed time:0h54m0s 
Average speed:0.71 mph (0.71 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Weekend in Oxford

Along the Thames path en route to The Perch pub
Friday I took the bus up to Summertown.  This is definitely the upmarket end of Oxford.

The shops shout it out!!!  Even the charity shops charge more for second hand books than in other places............

The moorings where we are are, are  designated as `Quiet Moorings` as we are in a residential area and next to a children's playground.   We are asked to keep to a minimum the running of engines, no loud music and only to burn smokeless fuel.  They are all very reasonable requests but I have to say most of the noise comes from said playground.!!!   Not that we are bothered as that is what children's playgrounds are for.    As for the running of engines I am not sure who would hear them apart from other boaters.  The houses opposite are set so well back from the canal they could not possibly hear.

Saturday  we went up to Summertown for our weekly cooked breakfast.  This was in Joes Cafe where we had a very good meal........definitely not a greasy spoon!!  Then our first weekend visitors arrived. Tony and Di Fletcher.   We had a good walk across Port Meadow, round part of the Thames Path and found a delightful pub, The Perch.  Obviously a well known and popular pub but we managed to find a table in the garden where the fellows consumed a couple of ales before returning to Petroc for supper.

Sunday  A leisurely start to the day as the service at St Margarets was not until 10.30.  A big choir of adults and children, lots of children departed for Sunday School and there were two children being baptised.   Then we had our second weekend visitors Geoff and Gill Smith.   This time we had lunch on board before the 3 of us did the walk across Port Meadow.  Geoff magnanimously volunteered to stay  behind and do the clearing up.

Tomorrow the Thames beckons with vague thoughts of Abingdon towards the end of the week.   We are promised a change in the weather though.  Tomorrow looks OK but Tuesday does not so we shall see.

Whilst we have been here there have been very few other boat moored and there is room for at least 8 boats, we cant work out where they have all gone.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

and so to Oxford

Thankfully the day promises to be cooler than of late

The busy A34 is the high bridge and Geoff has opened the little one for me!
Not sure how effective these would be as the boat was moored in lovely shade

Waiting our turn
Wow....big trip today.  We didn't moor until 1415...unheard of on Petroc.   Cant remember why we were so slow....under 5 miles!!

We found a mooring by Aristotle bridge in what we think is a wonderful spot.   A park right opposite which is handy for short walks but just further we can go over the railway bridge into the vast Port Meadow and walk round to the river.   A two minute walk to a small deli....bit strange really...expensive and they don't take out Telegraph coupons.   However there is a pub adjacent and a church just round the corner.   A 10 minute walk takes us to plentiful buses going to various places.

Total distance:4.45 miles 
Elapsed time:5h24m38s 
Average speed:0.82 mph (1.38 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Still sweltering

We decided on an early start on Tuesday.  We needed water and shade!!

Thrupp has been a very congenial stop, the surroundings are pretty and well kept.  They have a plethora of Dog Bins which is very helpful.  Two pubs and a tea room, Sani station and a book swap...even a small shop withing a 10 min walk, and Kidlington a slightly longer walk.  There are also buses into Oxford or Banbury,  The only sad thing was that the Community Woodland has become very overgrown and one cannot venture too far without long trousers because of nettles.  Very sad as there are some lovely walks.

We knew there was a water point not far beyond Thrupp.  It is in rather an awkward place on a bend just after a long bridge.  It is almost impossible to moor conveniently and not obstruct the canal.   We just hoped no one else was moving yet.

The bigger problem was that the tap had a strange thread on it.  Despite Geoff rifling through his many variations of connector he couldn't find one that would fit.   Still we had to have water so he had to stand there holding it on and getting well sprayed...

Needless to say we just took on a minimum amount or we would have been there all day!
Luckily no one else was around so we were not in the way.   Only about another 1/2 a mile and before the lock we found a nice shady spot.   It is not devoid of sun but a definite improvement.

We decided to stay over for a day as Geoff had spied a barber in Kidlington.

 He went early before the heat set in and we have had another day of just trying to keep cool..
 However I did manage to wash one side of the boat before it became too hot.  I had no intention of doing this, just saw a few dirty marks  and decided to wash them off and before I knew it I was doing the whole side!!!  I waited until Geoff returned before climbing on the bow to wash the front windows.   I thought it might be foolish on my own as it is easy to slip in when wet.

There is vague talk of thunderstorms but we have taken a chance and not closed everything up as it is still so hot.

We have paid for our Gold licence so River Thames here we come

Total distance:1.18 miles 
Elapsed time:1h11m2s 
Average speed:1.00 mph (1.00 lock/mph)

Monday, 19 June 2017

Fathers day in Thrupp

Not a breath of wind at 9.45pm when Barney and I went for a last stroll.

For the last few days the only time I could venture out was very early morning or late has been hot

Giles and Zan and the children arrived for lunch on Sunday.  We ate at the Jolly Boatman where we did eventually find some shade and it was great to see them all.  The food left a bit to be desired however.   Giles and Geoff did best as they ordered steaks which they were very pleased with, but I had the roast which was overdone beef and veg including burnt roast potatoes and a very small Yorkshire pud!!  Zan opted for prawn and avocado salad to which they had forgotten to add the avocado.   When we pointed this out the very least they could have done was come out with some but no such luck.

Today has been just as hot so much reading done interspersed with cold showers!

Lovely cooler walk this evening though.