Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Thrupp. very pretty canal side village and pub. Loads of permies live on their boats here. I guess they work in Oxford. Not easy to find a mooring, but we have and have decided to stop an other day.
However, this is NOT an area to action a self pump out.  I think we would be turning a few noses.

Oh, and somehow I have put myself in a circle on the stupid goggle+.  But on the upside, Melva I have managed to get you in a circle. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Upper and Lower heyford, is a real blackout spot for all things techy. !!!!   No phone signal, no computer, and only Bbc1 !!!!  anyway............................

Thursday we did “boat jobs”, walked to the pub for a beer, but decided against trying their menu, when we spied ‘ ham and egg an chips - £11.95’ or “ Fillet ( not my fave, anyway) steak and chips - £22.95’..  Anyway that evening we had the first actual Towpath Tipple in the sun. then it got parky. Brhhh. Come on, summer.

Friday again “ boat jobs” and a nice walk to find the deer.  Following boaters coming this way – Peter and Jean etc.   Fuel at Banbury 89p per litre and at Aynho 93ppl. Then it starts to get more expensive, so we are keeping a look out for the fuel boat.

Saturday saw us on new ground or I should say new canal. We have never been here before and the Oxfordshire countryside is very pretty, indeed. Ended up for 2 days twixt Lower and Upper Heyford.  Very nice homes, plummy voices and plenty of labbies. It is quite a busy little towpath with loads of walkers, but that didn’t stop us doing another Self pump out, ready to deposit contents at the elsan in Thrupp.

A boater gave us some tips for the Kennet and Avon. They are having a problem with numpties, so he said enjoy the canal, but try not to moor close to roads, as the kids appear and make their getaways easily.  However, they seem to be targeting the hire boaters, as they know that they call at every pub that they can.  Unlike us, Mick( honorary Yorkshireman) and  Jim ( Scottish !), keep Maralyn and I chained to the sink and away from the pubs. !!!!! 

Saw the first moorhen chicks being taken on an outing with mum and dad Moorhen.  They are so small that they would fit into an egg cup. But they can certainly cheep away.

Sunday lunchtime pint or two at The Bell Inn  -Excellent, and on our return we will be trying their food.  Lovely pub, great people and dogs everywhere, and welcome.


Looked on the map for the Upper Thames and saw that we will be about1.5 miles from Bampton in the Bush, Sue Saunders !!!!!!   the home of Morris Dancing.   I have booked Mick some lessons.

 for your delectation. !   Peter Webb, you have to try this in Spiceball Park. !!!!

 Somerton Deep Lock. 

 one of the little moorhen chicks

 Moorhen nest.  Bit thick, this moorhen. !

 Ray and Bones, look I have found you a DORIS !!!!!

Friday, 26 April 2013

does anyone know how this goggle + thing works.  I keep pressing buttons, but haven't a clue what to do.   maybe I should go the the HELP button ??????  doh. !
testing testing.  Chum Sue, in Spain, has asked why she cannot be shown as a Follower and commenter, so am trying this out, Susie.   XXXX

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


So having had a great couple of days in Banbury, including a good 20 min hike to the Tesco Extra, in which we sent Jim on a recce to find the "boaters" pathway( well he was in the RAF, thought he was good at this stuff), and he went off in a large circle, bit of  a waste of time. Shopping done and loads of browsing.  Lots of chit chat with other boaters, and it looks like the world and his wife are off to the K & A. !!!
Maralyn gained another husband as we left Banbury .   The single handed boater in front of us, raised the lift bridge to allow all 3 of us to pass beneath. A "Suited and Booted", with a long face, had enquired of him as to " how long is the bridge going to be raised?" " as long as it takes, mate", he replied, in which Mr Suit N Boot told him off for being rude !!!!!!  to cap it all, he then told M that her husband was rude and had upset him.!!!!
  Eh ? What ? Maralyn told him that her husband was on the following boat , and that he should have a smile on his face on such a nice day. !  He stalked off across a car park.
Narrowboaters 1   Pedestrians 0
Nice cruise to Aynho, where we have pulled up for an other few days.  Boat jobs, walking and apparently a good pub with real ale.  oooh arrrhhhh

Monday, 22 April 2013

 Lovely moorings above Claydon Top Lock

 Eh ???? looks rude


 13 ducklings, hope its not unlucky

 Ahhhh, that one on the right reminds me of someone, but cannot for the life of me think who ???
Cropredy- useless for phone signals, tv signals etc.  Great for self pump-outs , which is working brilliantly.  We will be investing in pump and pipes, when we get home.
The mooring that we have been at for 2 days was fantastic. And Finlay managed to escape THREE times. !!!!!  the last couple of times, we left him to it, and he brought himself home, and the last one he fair flew onto the boat, jumped on the bed and fell fast asleep.  I think perhaps another dog may have given chase and frightened him.
Weather was great but not quite bbq type.
On leaving the lovely mooring on Sunday morning, we discovered one of the pounds was dry. Investigating, found that the last paddle in the flight of locks had been left UP. So we are blaming the boatful of lads on the p  -   drinking ale.
My hand made bread is better today.  The one I made 2 days ago, was so dense, that when I chucked it in the canal it sunk without a trace. I thought of those lads this morning  so gave the dough  a good pummelling.  However, I think Mick wants to have a go at kneading, so I will get him involved in the next loaf.
Monday on to Banbury, and stop there, again, for a few days. Lovely.
Banbury, and have a great mooring, and as we speak at 3.45pm. all moorings taken.  So we have had a foray into the shops, and made sure that the Jai Pur, indian rest. is open tonight for a meal( the best one in town).  Mick and Jim, went off to bloke shops, and tomorrow, we have a big event planned. A 30  min walk through Spiceball Country Park, to…………………….TESCO Extra. !  I am running out of gin. Cor, we do live life in the fast lane.  I think Tuesday we may move an hour down the cut to Ayno, and pull up again for a couple of days. !!!!

Friday, 19 April 2013

 we walked past this field in the pm, and the next morning, this fella was there.

 The farmer built this bridge for his daughters wedding, so that she could have pics taken. The lovely farmhouse is over to the right and the bridge is carved with " The Wedding Bridge MM1X" 

 Tonights mooring and possible tomorrows.

Found that we had a 12v/isolator problem, so had to hot foot to Fenny Compton, and a lovely bloke from Mitchell Narrowboats, helped us out and eventually got us going again.

On to this great mooring just above Claydon Locks.

So today has been a bit of a frazzled day.  Had a go at another self-pump out and it seems to be working great. and whilst we were doing this, Finlay sloped off through a gap in the hedge, and gave us a merry chase around some fields.  I was a bit worried as fields further on had sheep. So with the help of Ben the cairn, he eventually came back, although he got into the wrong field, which was completely fenced,! ,   Mick, was in the wrong field on the wrong side of the canal, that left Jim with a bad hand, to clamber over some barbed wire, oooh, careful there, get Finlay in his arms , pass him over a gap to me, and back to the boat,  No dinner for Finlay, an extra G and T for me, the stress, you know !!!!!!  and tomorrows another day.   but guess who is going to be tethered from now on.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Lovely, Lonely Oxford Canal.

So after throwing a bag of rubbish to Maralyn( to place in the biffa bins), I accidently threw it straight into Wee Ben's face.  He did forgive me , eventually.

Had  a go at de-pooping,with the self pump-outs, but at the moment its not lifting up our "solids", ( Mick's not mine, of course) ,so we need to mulch it down in the tank a bit more. Mick has found me 3 sticks to have a poke about with. Cheers, darlin'.
 Come one, chaps.

 Wee Ben

 This cat was the  most beautiful cat I have ever seen, very friendly, with huge sparkling eyes the colour of peridots. For you Chris Frost. ! 

 Get off me boat, duck.

 A shed for John Bates, Look its got solar panels.

 Start of the Napton flight.  That speck is Trundle

 Our veggi and salad growing box, complete with cloche all made by Mick
The Napton flight was great, if very windy , but we have made it to a lovely mooring with farm views,at a place called Marston Doles, and its so lovely and quiet, we are stopping for at least 2 days.  There are lots of bleating sheep.
So, tomorrow, is boat job day.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

sat 13th. D stands for disasters day

Friday it rained all day,, so we stayed put and did boaty jobs and watched some Game of Thrones dvd's. ( Excellent and not for the feint hearted or prudes).  Off we went on Saturday.  Oooh I will do some washing in my lovely mini twin tub.  after 2 washes and loads to go it decided to stop washing. It spins but no wash.  Tis is the 2nd one that has croaked on us.  So Cap'n Mick has made an executive decision with my help.  When we get back, we will have the bathroom ripped out, and a new shower tray and  basin put in, together with a automatic washing machine( small) pumbed in.  oooerrrr.   and a new cooker is one the cards.
That's was the 1st disaster.  2nd was M flooded her narrowboat while filling with water( don't ask), 3rd I offered to switch off the hose, and turned it on full bore, accidently
, while she was messing with the business end and she got soaked. ! good thing she can laugh, . So after passing Trundle's ancestral home of Weedon, we pulled up, had a sundowner on their boat, and went to the pub for a meal.  very nice ,too.
Came up Buckby Flight, following 2 hire boats out for the week-end.  Jolly nice folks, extremely posh.  They also had some posh-nosh on board by way of Melton Mowbray top of the range pork pie from Borough? never heard of it Market, in London. When we arrived at the top of the flight after them, they had cut us 4 pieces.   WOW. Best pie ever.  Chunks of meat, sweet jelly and thick fat, in a crumbly crust.   Mouth watering ????
Now moored up before Braunston Tunnel. This year we are having a go at doing Self PUMP OUTS. We have bought containers to put the poop in, and J&M+2 have the electric pump and pipe work on their boat. This will allow us to transfer IT to the container and throw down an Elsan( free)
CRT Pump out facilities are getting few and far between and the marinas are getting expensive. 
  However, as its very windy today, we will not endeavour to have our 1st attempt in the high wind, as Mick says he doesn't want to get covered in sh.. Poo.

Friday, 12 April 2013

 Hello Finno. !

 The one at the back is all mine. !!!  slurp.
The rest of our trip was fairly uneventful.  Except a lot of boats moving along the Nene were trying to find a friends contraption that she uses to turn the big wheels on some of the locks.  she had lent it to someone and they left it behind.  Then a boat called  Willow coming down the Nene and friends of the bloke that left it behind, was asked to pick it up, and try and pass it to us, by which time we were ensconced in the basin mooring at Islip. so it was a no-go. Are you keeping up.
So we arrived Northampton, and couldn't get onto Midsummer Meadow Mooring, as there was a small boat one end, and a large tree in the water at the other end, which Jim was unable to shift.  Ok we thought lets go up and Pump Out and water up.   Shock Horror, all the services had been dismantled. !!   So we and our poop are stuck together for a bit longer. We all have the hump, so a big shop up at Morrisons( don't like), and straight up the flight of locks. to Gayton.  Started at 12 midday and finished at 3.45pm.  Last night we all had a large drink before dinner.
The twonk in front of us going up the flight was leaving all the gates open. so before I could address the lock, I had to close the gate.   I shouted at him at one point, and he closed one gate.  As we got to the top of the flight, where it gets a bit slower going, he actually closed a gate, and lifted a paddle for me.  Ha, too little, too late Sonny. !!!
Oooh it feels so good to be on the canal and I always love the first morning. So, we awoke to the sound of birdsong and ...............................RAIN. Great !.  stayed in bed with tea, and a new Henning Mansell book.  Then Finlay announced he wanted a wee, so.     what am I talking about?  Finlay cannot actually speak, He's a dog. ! 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

 Waternewton Lock.  Lots of water rushing over the weir, means you have to go fast into the lock.  We did, but still managed to get tangled up in a tree.  Ouch. !

 Cruising Buddies.

 Islip Bridge. Grhhhhhh

So, uneventful, so far, except we had a bit of fun at Cotterstock Lock. The River Nene flows past the entrance to this as it is offset, so en exiting, the unwary boater can be turned around and end up facing the wrong way. !  Yep. Mick did.  Jim( he has bow thrusters, !), left the lock, and as he swept away, Little trundle turned around.  By this time I was crying with laughter, and some gongoozlers were watching with open mouths. Then Cap’n Mick, thought well I have to get her facing the right way, so 50 mph, straight into the side of the opposite riverbank. The nose held, and the current turned us around again.  He actually did a good job, but it looked very amusing from where I was standing. There was a lot of jerky movements from Mick and poor old Finlay, looked like he was being thrown about a bit.  I reckon there might have been a few choice words, as well.

We became members of the Oundle Cruising Club! And along with the AWCC card( 50p), this will enable us to use other cruising club facilities, should the need arise.

Hopefully the only need will be the need for a glass of beer- cheaper for club members.

Barnwell Country Park, was fab us usual, loads of small birds, and plenty of kites, flying quite low.

Monday arrived at Islip, and got under “ The Bridge”. With ease.  This bridge held us back for 5 days last year.  If the river rises, boats cannot get under it.  There is a lot of local politics about  this blessed bridge, YAWN.   But suffice to say, it can be a nightmare at times.

Gerry and Pauline on NB Dash.  We seem to have lost contact since my old email was hacked, so have left a note in your boat.

Today, we are at Irthinlingboro moorings, and are about 3 days away from the lock flight up onto the Grand Union.  Hurrah. !


Melva, am I looking for any funny pics this year ????