Tuesday, 10 July 2018

No room at Wallingford

Abingdon continued to try and melt us away......I managed a session in the pool again on Saturday but was unlucky on Sunday.   I went online too late and it was all booked up.  Saturday evening we had a lovely respite as friend Dick and Jackie cam to pick us up and take us to their house for a BBQ.  It was great to catch up and also to sit in their cool east facing garden.

Sunday I spent most of the day under the nearby trees.  Geoff made it to church but I couldn`t even face the walk there.

So Monday was yet another early start for a very
pleasant run down the river to Wallingford.  
En route we could only ogle all the lovely house which are way out of our price band......

At Benson lock Geoff had a very interesting conversation with a lady who was on a small plastic boat.  She informed him, for no apparent reason, that all people on narrowboaters were arrogant and that they should stay on the canals where they belonged!   This seemed somewhat harsh as we had squeezed up so that a bigger plastic boat could just get himself in.   Ah well...guess it takes all sorts......

On reaching Wallingford we were initially disappointed.  My hopes of mooring by the swimming pool faded rapidly when we saw that the whole place was full.  We tried a bit further downstream but any little holes were already taken.   However a swift about turn and not too far upstream we found a suitable spot under the trees.  It is actually much better than the moorings as it is in the shade mostly and whats more it is free!!  The moorings have gone up to £7 a night.  We have also heard that the mooring outside Tescos in Reading are now being charged at £9.50 per day even if you only stop to shop.......

mostly in the shade this will do for a few days.
We are close to the tow path and it is not far into town.   In fact if it were not for positioning ourselves by a station ready for the birth of the LoveGomm offspring we would probably stay here a bit longer.  D day is only 5 days away!!

TV reception good so after shopping and dog walking on Tuesday we were able to watch the RAF 100 celebrations.    This was a bonus on top of Wimbledon......I wont even mention the football......in which I have zero interest.

Later we were invaded by the grandchildren which was lovely.   Giles and Finley immediately stripped off and were in the river.   We obviously haven`t a lot of water under Petroc as Finley who is 9 could stand up alongside!  Oscar at 7 is not as keen on the water but spent his time climbing over and around the boat........I have forgotten how lively boys are at that age.   Giles reminded me that Finley is the age he was when we spent 3 years living on our catamaran.  Both he and Emma were the same and he used to shin up the mast with no problem amongst other things....how the memory fades.....


In my attempt to feed into my facebook I somehow managed to lose the whole thing late last night.  My original method was via networked blogs.  However that has been discontinued and the replacement SYMPHONY is a paying service.  So I am now frustrated and I cant seem to find a simple way of linking the two.....

Total distance:13.13miles Elapsed time:4h13m59s Locks:4 Bridges:10
Average speed:3.22 mph (4.31 lock/mph) 

Friday, 6 July 2018

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Just opposite our mooring, the pictures of the proposed  Jerico redevelopment are still there with no sign of any activity. 

But now time to leave the canal for the mighty River Thames, much against Geoffrey's desire!!   Only the disappointment of his elder daughter, if were were not withing easy train distance for the arrival of the Lovegrove/Gomm offspring, is luring him down this far!

The weather is still far too hot for our liking and so it was a very early start today.
Down ISIS lock.....goodbye canals

No lock keepers on duty at this time of the morning (7am)
But easy work for Geoff
We reached Abingdon lock before the worst of the heat of the day but then had a long wait to water.

The hunt was then on for a mooring with some sort of shade.  Initially we went through the bridge where we knew there were a few trees but we were unlucky.   I did manage to squeeze into a possible slot but it was extremely tight and the gin palace in front was clearly worried about his paint work.  I retrospect he did have room to move himself up a ring but no such offer!
So back through the bridge and settled for the sun.  At least there are trees nearby to which I can retreat.

Directly opposite us is the newly refurbished outdoor swimming pool/
However to get to it is a 10 minute walk!   A little bit of google investigation allowed me to book a session for this afternoon online.   A great way to while away 2 hours on a scorching hot afternoon.
Pre booking was essential as they were turning away people who hadn`t had such foresight!  I have already booked for tomorrow.......

This evening we were treated to this colourful sight
Total distance:9.74 miles Elapsed time:4h26m40s (Prolonged wait to water )
Average speed:2.19 mph (3.32 lock/mph) 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Lingering in Oxford

Last lock on the Oxford before the Thames
We have moved further down to the end of the canal.  This is very convenient for the station.  We have been taking it in turns to hop on a train to meet up with family.  Boe has arrived home from Moscow and Emma is getting very close to producing the next Lovegrove offspring.

It was Geoff’s turn yesterday which meant Barney spent almost the entire day sitting by the boat watching for him to return.  He wouldn’t even come aboard for his biscuit and a drink after his morning walk.

Thankfully we are in a shady spot as the hot weather continues.

Meanwhile Geoff enjoyed himself with his two daughters

Barney and I observed some of the local inhabitants on our morning walk

Mum with her baby

Parents + 3...Geoff is convinced there were 5 yesterday

Total distance:0.63 miles Elapsed time:0h24m51s Locks:0Bridges:Average speed:1.51 mph (1.51 lock/mph) 

Monday, 2 July 2018

Hot, Hot, Hot in Thrupp and a longer than planned trip down to Oxford.

A great mooring place in our favourite spot which would have been wonderful apart from the excessive heat.

Unlike most Labradors, Barney only paddles!
We did manage some socialising despite the heat, firstly with Maffi and Susan and on Sunday Hugh and Ann came to visit us and we had a good lunch in the Boat Inn.  We also managed a cooked breakfast at Annies on Saturday.

In between times there was a lot of sitting in the shade and desperately trying to keep cool.........

Love this notice at the entrance to the nearby woods
This morning we left at 7am to beat the heat but it turned out to be longer than we thought as we stopped to water at yet another slow tap and it was gone 11 by the time we moored at Aristotle Bridge moorings.  By this time I was feeling the heat and had recourse to the umbrella as a sunshade.......quite difficult to manoeuvre when going under low hanging trees!!!

Once settled Barney and I took ourselves off to the small park adjacent to the moorings and sat most of the rest of the day in the shade.   Geoff of course had his normal siesta!

Total distance:5.75 miles Elapsed time:4h12m32s Locks:Bridges:24 
Average speed:1.37 mph (2.32 lock/mph) 

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Welcome to Thrupp...both unfriendly and friendly

Similar picture to yesterday but just such a lovely spot.
If we weren`t wanting to get as far south as possible before the arrival of next grandchild, I suspect we might have lingered here for a few days in this heat.

Still needs must and onward to Thrupp.  There was no point in an early departure as we needed people to have moved off to make room at Thrupp!  The plan was to see if we could find a space on the 14 day moorings by the church.  Initially we thought our luck was in as there was room for a couple of boats so duly manoeuvred ourselves alongside.  However as we were mooring a lady from the boat just behind came and said if we were mooring please could we keep well away from her as she didn`t like diesel fumes!!!!   We duly obliged.  I then set off to explore in Thrupp itself to see what the possibilities were........as soon as I had departed, said lady came up and asked Geoff how long he would be running the engine for.  He said just until the batteries were topped up....we hadn`t been travelling long..... whereupon she told him that it was very anti social and we should get solar panels fitted!   By this time I had seen there was a space in the centre, albeit in full sun.   I had also found Maffi moored there...knocked on the Milly M to say hello and found him still in his dressing gown.......however it was a much friendlier greeting than the lady backalong.....

Went back and found Geoff already half way there.....the unfriendly natives were too much for him.

Another space had appeared so moored along a bit from Maffi.  Too hot to sit out during the day but the boat was relatively cool down below.

Hitched a lift later on with Susan and Maffi to Sainsburys and now the fridge is full again.
Total distance:1.76 miles Elapsed time:1h31m23s Locks:Bridges:6 Average speed:1.16 mph (1.81 lock/mph) 

Thursday, 28 June 2018

cool layover day in an idyllic spot

Ideal location just below Bakers Lock
Whilst we listened to tales of excessive heat we had positioned ourselves well today.   Just below Bakers Lock where the river Cherwell briefly joins the canal for a while, we had the ideal spot under the trees.   Barney an I were able to sit on on the wide towpath most of the day.......in case anyone is wondering where Geoff is.......Football!!

In addition to a cool spot we had good TV reception and miraculously good internet reception.   The only thing lacking (in some eyes!) was an adjacent pub......

Quite a few boats came past during the day in both directions including a large percentage of hire boats.   We are so lucky not to be in a rush.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Cruising in the cool

Or maybe walking in the jungle again!
Thankfully a cool start to the day, contrary to the WX forecast.   Early but slow start as we needed to take on water and the tap at Lower Heyford is definitely not the fastest in the world.   Still we were there so long the shop opened so we were able to get milk and the paper, sadly no eggs.

Barney and I then set off for our early morning perambulation.  Sadly once again it was not the most enjoyable as we had to fight our way through the greenery.   Luckily I always walk with a hiking stick which comes in very useful for beating down nettles.  This is not a good advert for what is supposed to be the Oxford Canal walk.

The pound above Pigeon Lock is obviously very full as it is spilling over into the lock.
Yesterday I emailed Customer Service about the bottom gate at Somerton Deep Lock but have had no response, not even an acknowledgement of my email....might try again today.

Geoff1s bruise coming out well now!
We refuelled at the boat yard just before the Rock of Gibraltar and carried on to the end of the permanent moorings where there was just room for us to moor.   By now the sun was showing its face but luckily after about an hour it went behind the trees.   A rest day has been declared for tomorrow...all these early starts.....however we may move just below Bakers Lock as the tow path there is much wider and far better for those of the crew who like to sit out and watch the world go slowly by......that is Barney and me!

Total distance:5.49 miles
Elapsed time:
4h32m30s  (1.5 hours watering!) Locks:3Bridges:12 
Average speed:1.21 mph (1.87 lock/mph)