Monday, 24 June 2019

Dont be ridiculous...of course I won`t fall in!!

An accident waiting to happen!
The day started well (and relatively early) as we had decided to take the scenic route down through the last lock of the Oxford onto the Thames ……..
…….and all the way round  the back of Port Meadow......

…..where canada geese out in force
.... to Dukes cut and thence back to the sani station a couple of bridges before Aristotle.   It had been a few years since we had been on this stretch of water so it had to be tried again.  We timed it well at Godstow Lock as the lock keeper was just coming on duty but Kings Lock was on Self service so Geoff had his first exercise for the day.

A sharp turn after exiting Kings Lock and our wide open vista as we came along the Thames changed rapidly into a sombre and somewhat gloomy passage up to Dukes Cut Lock.   I had forgotten how drear this stretch was.

Another right turn after this put us back on the Oxford.  We were held up for a while by dredging operations but eventually moored at our goal just before bridge 239A.    The purpose of this was not only to Water and empty the loo but also to try and clean off all the mess we had acquired whilst moored down in Jericho.  Geoff had made the mistake of mooring under a cherry tree which was bad enough but all that lovely birdsong we had been listening to had not been very friendly!   The roof and both sides were covered.

Hence the picture above.    I was told to go up to Summertown and do the shopping as he (Geoff ) was quite capable of washing the offside of Petroc unsupervised and no of course he would not fall in........famous last words.

Even if he had not confessed on my return the change of clothes would have been a bit of a giveaway!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Wildlife in Oxford

Whilst I was granny sitting Geoff moved from Aristotle Bridge down to the end of the canal.  
This was however after he had an evening with Maffi and Susan..........who just appeared at Aristotle Bridge.   I gather it was a good evening and Geoff was up way past his bedtime!

I arrived back on Saturday to find Boe had already arrived and was busy trying to buy up all of Oxford.   I think this was her first visit to Oxford and she was quite impressed.  Later in the afternoon she and I took Barney across the meadow for his afternoon walk which was full of tourists enjoying the sunshine but also full of cows....very benign cows luckily.   Boe appeared enchanted by the cows and took many photographs!!

One of Boe`s pictures

Its Cygnet time of year...another of her pictures.
Geoff and I tried a new church this time.  We went to Sung Eucharist at St Frideswide`s.  Smallish congregation but highish Anglican.......just a pity they didn`t choose better hymns!!  We wee most impressed by one gentleman who was there on his own with his 3 children.....twins of 6 months and a toddler of about 3.  They all sat in the children`s space and we hardly heard a peep.

We would have liked to follow this with a walk over  Port Meadow to the Perch for Sunday lunch but were not enamoured of their price for this   £ can tell we are in the Thames Valley!   Instead we decided to treat ourselves to all sorts of M&S snack goodies and we took a picnic to the meadow instead.   

Onward tomorrow but not sure how far yet......we will see what the weather brings

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

A more pleasant trip to Oxford than anticipated.

The lady forecaster was full of doom and gloom about heavy rain and thunderstorms when we watched last night so we decided on an early start to try and get to Oxford before the worst.

In the event out 7.30 start gave us an extremely pleasant and dry run almost all the way to Oxford, we even had some brief showing of a watery sun.    We just caught a light rain shower towards the end and we would not even have done that if we hadn't been held up by a small incident.
After Dukes Cut we encountered our first signs of the dredging that we had been told to expect between Enslow and Oxford.   The work is not a problem as we could easily get by.

But then we caught up with a dredger going into the lock, and another coming up
This was not a great delay and the weather was still good 

However a bit further on we found a hire boat with problems, think he had hit something and done some damage.   The dredger driver decided to stop and help.   No one was going anywhere!
When the dredger driver gave up he then proceeded to meet his mate ahead and swap containers.....
Eventually everything was cleared and we were on our way again.
Nothing like two old men and a dog passing the time of day!
The promised heavy rain still has not arrived so we await with bated breath.    Moored at Aristotle Bridge from where I shall be collected by Emma and Dave for this weeks granny duties.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Lingering at Thrupp

Geoffrey's venture into tomato growing is not looking good.
I am not sure what brought on this latent desire of Geoffs to try and grow tomatoes on the top of the boat.  I am also not sure what he plans to do about the broken plant...…….my little plant that I was allowed to have in the spare hole in the grow bag is doing well.....

Thrupp is as delightful as ever.   Initially when we arrived it was very quiet but there has been more company over the weekend.   The 7 day moorings have been full most night although not all.  The buses run every hour into Oxford via Kidlington so we are not too remote.

The major event here was the demise of our TV!!   I thought Geoff would go into a non returnable decline.   However when we though the whole thing through it was remarkably easy to solve.   A new one with a slightly larger screen was ordered from Amazon Prime and delivered to Giles and Zan the next day.   
Since the next day was Fathers Day it worked perfectly as they all came to lunch.   Good lunch at the Jolly Boatman followed by ice cream for the kids from Annies CafĂ© and the unloading of the TV.

That should have been the culmination of a happy day but it was not to be...…...TV worked fine but Geoff was unable to get the set top recording box to work through it.  There followed a couple of hours of gnashing of teeth and wailing from Geoff whilst I hid myself in the back of the boat.    
I did venture forth eventually to offer my assistance but no joy.   Eventually all came good when he used his screw driver to tighten one of the connections at the back!!!!!!  Simple as that.... My relief was profound!!

Onward we go tomorrow towards Oxford.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

On the move again

Holiday away from the canals
So Petroc is on the move again...….I have had a wonderful week in the sunshine in a villa in Turkey with one side of the family and Geoff has had a restful time with Barney moored at Lower Heyford.

The picture above is our infinity pool in the villa..

.…..and now I have come back to this
Sitting in the shelter on Heyford station as it was the only place to get a signal!!!

Yesterday we took advantage of the slight break in the weather to move down to Thrupp.    Even allowing for the weather we are amazed at how quiet it is on the canal.   We passed very few boats and had no difficulty in getting a good mooring at Thrupp.   Here we shall stay through the weekend.

…..and still the rain keeps coming...…….

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Gentle journey to Lower Heyford

Mooring in remote places in the middle of nowhere for the last few days on the lovely Oxford canal.   I think this is still my favourite canal, lots of congenial places to moor in the countryside with wide towpaths so Barney and I can sit out and watch the world go by.     Geoff is not an outside sitter!!!!!

So to Lower Heyford, our intended destination for Geoff together with Barney to have a quiet time with no nagging wife ask  him to do things, whilst I swan off to Turkey with Emma and family for a week in a villa in the sun...….Geoff was invited but declined...…...

There are still things that need doing, such as pumping out the bilges......we are not leaning to post nearly as much as Geoff has pumped out several buckets but we think there is more to go.....

I am still trying to work my way through cleaning all the blinds from the grime accumulated over winter.   Never ever but narrow blinds, they are the devil to clean.....

We were lucky on reaching Lower Heyford as the water point was empty, so we spent a good hour there filling up...such a slow tap!  Even luckier as our preferred spot just beyond all the permanent moorings had a Petroc size space.  So we are comfortably moored for the next 14 days.

There are downsides as the phone signal is almost non existent and the Internet  signal almost as bad. It just seems to come through at certain times of day and you have to be quick to catch it!

The train station is just alongside and there are buses to Banbury, Kidlington and Oxford so not a bad spot to repose for a while.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Still meandering gently down the beautiful Oxford Canal

Yet another lovely start to the day, cruising gently towards Ayno Wharf.

The big total of 3 locks today!

A couple of deep ones

But light at the end of the `tunnel`
with my trusty crewman wielding the winch handle

The occasional passing boat

Past the Pig Farm
No stopping today as we have a full fridge
No one taking advantage of their comfy looking sofas

One of the many lifting bridge on this section.
All of them left in the open position

and finally another congenial mooring.
Washing out, chair and table at the ready when the kettle boils

Total distance:2.76 miles  Locks:3 Bridges:9