Friday, 28 May 2021

Off to a cracking start

 A very apt title to this post😱😱😱😱

After a pleasant weekend with friends Mary and Ivan we were reunited with the good ship Petroc on Monday.   We were lucky enough to complete the unloading of the car before extremely heavy rain and thunder set in.We even managed a meet up for supper with Iain, Christine and Fiona in the Brasenose Arms in Cropredy.  Under new management, we had an excellent meal.

With two more visits to friends planned before venturing out onto the cut, we returned to Petroc.   Then it all went wrong!  Somehow, and I have no recollection, I slipped down the step getting inside.  Alcohol cannot be blamed as I had had one small glass of wine before driving back.  In fact if I had had more it would probably have been better!

As it was I landed in a tangled heap amidst the chair situated just inside having passed by the stove en route, thankfully not lit.

It was a good job there was no one on the neighbouring boats as they would have thought Geoff was murdering me, such were my howls of pain.

With some difficulty and with assistance from Geoff I managed to get to bed thinking I might have a few bruises in the morning.   However the pain intensified through the night and at 4am, by which time Geoff was blissfully asleep, I called 111 as I was convinced I could have broken my hip.   

This line seems to be a good triage system albeit there were a lot of admin questions before we got to the all important....What seems to be the problem?   However the promised call from a doctor was not long in materialising.  He was very reassuring and I was able to believe him that it was not my hip.   He ended by saying that if the pain got worse or I was worried I should go to the A and E in Banbury.   I debated the pros and cons of this for the the next few hours but the decision was made by daughter Emma who insisted I went if only for stronger pain killers.  

This managed to fill the morning.  Only 1.5 hours wait which could have been a lot worse and I then saw a very nice doctor who confirmed no hip broken, but a couple of cracked ribs and prescribed stronger pain killers.......

So here I am confined to boat and departure delayed.  Not the best start to our summer cruising, BUT, it could have been so much whilst I am exceedingly cross I also thank heaven for small mercies😎😎 

To a Mouse

On Turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough, November 1785.

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
          Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
          Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
          Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
          An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
          ’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
          An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
          O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
          Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
          Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
          Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
          But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
          An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
          On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,
          I guess an’ fear!

The best laid plans of mice and men

Monday, 5 October 2020

Another (very short) cruising season over

 After a somewhat soggy sojourn in Banbury we have made it back to base.

The sorry sight of Banbury centre at the moment
It used to be a lovely place to moor but sadly it is now a noisy building site.   However we mananged to find space around the corner after Tom Tolt bridge.   There we stayed hunkered down for three nights of heavy rain.   The one bright spark of the stay was an outing for supper to a local hostelry with Bones, Maffi and Susan.

Sunday saw a lessening of the rain so after coffee we decided to make a run for Cropredy.  We have never seen the locks with so much water

Walking across the top gates to work the paddles
 both sides was quite an adventure!
The tow paths were awash and in some places almost non existent.

However the rain held off and we had a easonable run back to Cropredy.   

Now all that remains is to pack everything up and abandon poor Petroc until the spring.   We are hoping it wont be such a long time away as this year.


Wednesday, 30 September 2020

ever onwards

Sunday saw the arrival of Gill and Ronnie complete with home baked cake!!  Slight pause in the diet for the next few days at coffee time......
We lunched in the Jolly Boatman which was OK apart from the mask wearing.   Now you have to wear it until you sit down and if you get up to go to the loo.......however we all seem to be getting used to it.

sneaking quietly out of Thrupp just after 7 on Monday morning.

Geoff has the bridge raised ready for me.
We stopped to water etc and then had a delightful cruise.  Extremely cold when we set out but sunshine and it did warm up.   The intended plot was to bypass Lower Heyford as the WIFI in the area is less than useless and I had a bridge game booked in the afternoon.   We carried on above Allens Lock in the hope of finding a better signal but to no avail.   I had to reluctantly give in and cancel my game.

 Tuesday was  a more leisurely start, somewhat duller but not as cold and it did perk up eventually.  We were definitely in search of better WIFI for this evening as I had bridge booked again!!

Alternative Balcony

Moored just beyond Ayno Wharf opposite what we call Rabbit field.
It used to be full of rabbits but no longer,  Not sure what happened to them.
However as you can see there are new residents.

Luckily there is water between the cows and us!

During the afternoon Maffi passed by with Susan and stopped for a chat.

The forecast for today was dire so we having a layover day.


Saturday, 26 September 2020

Back to Thrupp

 3 days in London for me whilst Geoff lingered in solitude just outside Thrupp.    Not completely devoid of company thpugh as Maffi and Susan paused briefly to say helloand his mate Fletch called by to whisk him off to the pub for a pint.  That was apparently not the best experience with the new COVID rules.   They had to sit to be served and when the waitress came over and was asked what beers they had, she didnt know!!!!

For me it was sights like this ........ this

That was after battling with underground station that were shut and tubes that never came!!!!   However British Rail (is it still called that??)  came good by being 5 minutes early into Oxford allowing me to just catch the bus I needed and not have to wait 1/2 hour for the next one.

Just tthe one lock to  Thrupp so a gentle little cruise.  Very blustery today.

Friends Gill and Ronnie arriving for lunch tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

northwards we go

overnight at Aristotle Bridge moorings
Very quiet here and moored opposite some lovely back gardens.  

Another early start today, probably the last if the weather forecast is correct.   It is Ok to have an early start when the temperature is reasonable as today but we are doing this for pleasure and once the cold and rain set in I shall be more reluctant to leave my bed too soon in the mornings!

The first part today was slow as expected as there are a large number of boats moored which reduces our speed,  There are also several lifting bridges for geoff to operate so he had a good walk along that stretch.

One of our small bridges to negotiate as we travel under a much larger road bridge.

Approaching Dukes cut, the other way to the Thames.

 Our goal was Thrupp but just after Kidlington Green lock there was space on the moorings so Geoff decided he would be quite happy there for the next few days whilst I depart for London and granny sitting.   Its a 20 min walk to the road to catch the bus to Oxford and thence the train to London so that will be my exercise for the day!!

Lockdown news is not good but no sign that grannies are to be incarcerated again have to make the most of it.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Down to the meadow

Nice little spot on the meadow
We eventually left our cosy little mooring above the lock and moved down to the meadow.   On Thursdy we met up with friends Dick and Jackie and took ourselves off to the Nags Head for lunch.  Good company but meal and service left a little bit to be desired.      Ah well...cant have everything.

On Saturday we availed ourselves of a Weatherspoon breakfast.  Not exactly gourmet cooking but fills a space and is dirt cheap!!  Whats more I dont have to cook it or wash it up.

Later in the day Giles and the boys arrived in White Velvet.

No room to moor near us so we took our contributions to BBQ and ate in their garden!    The hamburgers were 100% improvement on the ones we had in the Nags Head!!

Giles and the boys decided to stay the night, their first night sleeping on board.  

Sunday was the last day of our licence so we had an early start back to Oxford.   0720!!!!   Not used to these early mornings anymore.  We watered at the top of the lock and then had a pleasant run back, all the locks on self service.   The lock keepers seem to be on much shorter hours.

Stayed the night in the moorings above Osney Lock and after shopping today bade a fond farewell to the Thmes.   Such a brief visit this year but at least we made it.

Hardly a boat had moved this morning but as I approached ISIS lock a hire boat emerged and turned around to go back up.   Not a great drama as we were not in a rush and luckily the plan was only to go as far as Aristortle Bridge.   It might have been tedious if we were going further as it was a learner driver going at snails pace.    There is slow......and slower.

from wide river

to narrow canal

Goodbye River Thames

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Lingering above Abingdon

Sunrise from our mooring

view from our kitchen window.  I thought they were harvesting the wheat
but it turns out they were digging up potatoes

 So nice on the mooring we lingered yet another day but then moved down to the meadows in Abingdon.    Availed ourselves of the sanitary station at the top of the lock.  However despite a good flow of water we left before completley filling the tank as a large number of people were waiting.

Found a congenial spot although we had trouble getting the stern right in.......a bit we need rain????                     

Met old friends Dick and Jackie and took ourselves off to lunch in the Nags Head.  Good company, but service and food that left a little bit to be desired.  Despite having booked a table we still had to queue to get in and efficiency didnt seem to be much in evidence. 

Theres worrying talk of further lockdowns on the news so we are wondering what will happen next.