Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Picture Book

PJs parents, and Charlie came to visit this weekend, so we all decided to go for a cruise down the Oxford, onto the Thames at Dukes (Shuttleworth) and then down to the Watermans Arms (well worth a visit, I love this place!) for supper on Saturday night. We returned home on Sunday back up the Thames to the Canal via Sheepwash channel.

PJs parents have been boating for decades and decades and have many facinating stories to tell of boating in the 60s onwards - not only that but their unique perspective is educational and amusing. They were lock keepers on the Thames before they retired to sunnier climates.

I love this ruin of the nunnery at Godstow:

I was spending far too much time looking down the lens, and not enough time concentrating on mooring which got me a few scowls from the crew!

The stretch of the Thames towards Osney is lovely with the views over PortMeadow to the city:

and a blurred one (PJ is in the distance on the good ship Ocelot):

The river wasn't running too fast until I was pootling down towards Osney lock. PJ had already told me he was turning around there, so not wanting to be left out I suggested I might do the same. Charlie kept me company on the back and Maffi leapt off the front with the rope and wrapped it around a bollard. At this point I realised the river was running quite fast and wasn't at all impressed (Mr and Mrs PJ now tell me it is a dangerous stretch of river that one!)... I didn't think there was enough room to turn around so I told Maffi to move up a bit, which he did. We were tied onto a new bollard, and I still didn't think there was enough room, so we moved up to another one. Then the boat was really turning, so we were committed. Convinced we wouldn't actually be able to turn where we were I shouted to Maffi, who said 'loads of room'. Not entirely convinced I asked Mel who was standing on the bank offering moral support - she agreed with Maffi.

The long and short of the tale is the stern swung around and thanks to the soft rendering on the wall we made it around with me screaming for my mother, Maffi smiling sweetly, Mel looking a bit surprised and Charlie suffering from histerical laughter. Had I been able to scale the wall we were scraping along I think I would have got off the boat quick sharp!

Mel very sweetly told me afterwards that she is hopeless at judging distances! Had I had a handbag I would have swiped her! The moral of the story is never trust a blind man or a women who can't judge distances!!! Actually, it was my own stupid fault - I knew we were turning too early, but the stream took control - well, that is my excuse anyway. Maffi straightened out the sticky up (what IS that called) bit that limits the rotation of the rudder so it doesn't foul the prob, and the following day we headed home.

On our way up the Canal I spotted that they are demolishing part of the carriageway on the A34 - I am intrigued about what they are doing....

The icing on the cake for the already perfect weekend was the unexpected arrival of my dad. We picked him up at another of my favourite hostilleries
The Plough in Wolvercote and headed home. He had a go on my piano:


Blogger Adam said...

The A34 project is a complete rebuild of the Wolvercote viaduct, which is falling apart. It has to be done quite quickly, and if they closed one carriageway the whole of Oxford would grind to a halt, so they have built a temporary viaduct, and they're going to use it to keep two lanes open in both directions for the duration of the work. See Sadly they are not doing any upgrading works, such as the much-needed direct interchange with the A40, which would make my life much easier.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

ha, yes, I got a bit caught out at Osney lock last autumn - the current's pretty strong, and if you've just come off the canal at the lower junction, it's a bit exciting (especially on a little, light, boat)...

4:27 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home