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.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Hot Hot Thrupp


Emma departed this morning, we were sorry to see her go.   She has had a very laid back week which was just what she needed.  

Later in the morning we had another visitor....Maffi appeared, lots of chat, tea, snack lunch and a beer later he departed.

I have decided that this is the ideal spot for a Tesco shop and drop so have commenced my list.   I had to go across to one of the cottages to ask for their post code and found a very friendly blues musician in the process of moving out.


Today it is too hot to do anything.....we managed our cooked breakfast in Annies Tea Rooms and very good it was too.

Bones appeared just before we went for our breakfast offering a lift for a Sainsburys shopping run which was very kind of her, however we declined as the shop and drop was organised and also it would have been very hot shopping!

The rest of the day has been spent down below just trying to keep cool.  I am hoping that later on it will cool off and I can emerge and maybe sit on the side for a quick Pimms!!!

Tomorrow, Father's Day, we have the grandchildren coming.   We had trouble booking somewhere for lunch as The Boat was fully booked.  However the Boat Inn has managed to find us a table for 2.30 so we will not starve.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Towards Thrupp

Shipton Weir Lock
Decided on a relatively early start as it was a very bright morning and I wanted to get going before it was too hot.

Geoff having an easier time than normal as Emma is there to help with the locks.   She is having a very relaxing week after her stressful time at work before she left.

Geoff walked ahead to see what was available at Thrupp.  Initially it did not look too promising as all the 14 day moorings before the Thrupp swing bridge were full.  Going through the swing bridge also did not look hopeful, however there was just space on the far end of the 7 day moorings with our bow on the 2 day!!  Before we had even boiled the kettle the boat behind departed so we were able to pull back.  Great spot and here we can stay for the weekend which is good as we are expecting Giles and the tribe for Fathers Day.

Total distance:2.04 miles 
Elapsed time:1h26m36s
Average speed:1.42 mph (2.80 lock/mph) 

and a bit further south

Not a sight we see often this far from the sea!!
Not an early start this morning as we had to wait for the shop to open at 9.  We needed the Elsan point and a new gas cylinder.

Emma, Barney and I walked to the first lock by which time it was getting a bit too hot for me.....musn`t complain about the sun!

The loose plan was to moor below Bakers Lock but who should we discover moored at the top of the lock??

Note Boots and Barney studiously ignoring one another.
At Enslow there are no facilities for visitors to moor.  After the pub there is a long line of visitors moorings and not a single space for visitors.

There was just room for us to moor in front of Bones so we decided to remain........after supper she came aboard for the odd glass of wine...or two.....a great evening with much chat.

Total distance:5.24 miles 
Elapsed time:2h27m40s
Average speed:2.06 mph (3.16 lock/mph) 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

...and a tiny bit further but still in Lower Heyford.

Off early this am to water the boat and get a mooring just after the water point so that we were convenient for the gas engineers visit.   Needless to say Emma stayed in bed whilst all the manoeuvring was going on!  She is having a very chilled out few days after finishing a very stressful job and before starting the next one.

As promised Clive the engineer turned up about 5.45.   He could smell the gas as soon as he opened the gas locker.   He was there just over an hour.  He found a leak at one of the joints and also tested all the gas feed to the cooker.  It took him a while to find the test point...apparently all boats have one somewhere.  Since we were not aware of this we didn't have a clue where it was.  We had to take out all the back cushions in the saloon and it was found lurking in a corner there.   He had some weird machine to set on it to do a thorough testing.

So leak is repaired and I am a much happier bunny!!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Day out in Oxford

An early start today to move closer to the station as the plan was to meet Emma and do some grocery shopping.

I caught the 9.45am into Oxford and Emma came up from Clapham Junction.

We had a lovely gentle day walking all along the river and round Christchurch meadows and having a leisurely lunch at the Head of the River pub.

We nearly met up with Maffi.  We saw his boat the Milly M across the river as we were walking on the other side.  No sign of anyone on board, but later had a message to say he thought he had seen us somewhere in Oxford....not sure where.

After a good lunch we hit Sainsburys to stock up on fruit and veg etc.    There is a small shop in the boatyard at Heyford, but not much fresh produce.  It was a slower walk back to the station as we were laden down with a rucksack of shopping and the dreaded wheelie!!  Still Geoff was at the station to meet us as we were wilting a bit by then.

Later I had another moan about the smell of gas which as usual fell on deaf ears as far as Geoff was concerned, but Emma added a little weight to my plea and a couple who had stopped to chat also confirmed they could smell it.  So decision taken I called the Gas engineer whose details we had been given.   We are promised a visit tomorrow, Tuesday after he has finished a job in Banbury.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Weekend in Lower Heyford

The moorings at Lower Heyford is conveniently placed right alongside the station.
However we chose to stay just north for the weekend in a lovely secluded spot with just one other boat there and no restriction on length of stay,

Saturday was a little bit of a domestic day for me, I had ambition to do some cleaning of our blinds, unfortunately by the time I had had a thorough damp dust and sweep through, the ambition had faded somewhat and they will have to wait for another day.

Sunday was Family Service in the local church where everyone was very friendly and they even served ground coffee afterwards which pleased Geoff.  We were very envious of the area at the back of their church where they had removed 8 pews and now had not only a very sociable area but also a kitchen and toilet.   It was all very tastefully done without detracting from the rest of the church where the pews remained.

Lunch at the Bell Inn followed, which was extremely food value.  Starter and roast for £9.95.

Of course we had to up the ante by being greedy and having a dessert as well.

We would have moved closer to the station later but since we had a good TV picture we didn`t want to risk losing it as Poldark was restarting!