Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thrupp Cottages

Sometime in a moment of joviality at the tea rooms (there is a lot of that), it came to light that the thatched cottages belonging to BW were going to be 'dealt' this Autumn. We all had a look, scampered around the outside, planned our retirements and decided to club together to buy one of them. The main problem is the downstairs flooding 'issue' but it was concluded that an indoor swimming pool during the winter months could be regarded as rather chic (I was going to write chique but realised that is a species of flea, and I didn't mean that!).

After the excitment we returned to our normal lives and waited to see what was going to happen. It took a while, but yesterday the cottages became a hive of activity. The hedges have been trimmed, the gardens cleared, the garage knocked down and access made easier:

Somehow, I suspect, that were I to empty the tin on the fireplace I might not have enough to purchase one of these properties, even when it is flooded.


Last night I went to supper with PJ on nb Ocelot which is currently moored in Abingdon. The river is stunningly beautiful at this time of year - here is the picture from his side hatch....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Visitors, White Horse, Wayland's Smithy and Picnics

Claire has a friend called Stefan. I met him last year at Cropredy, and I met him again this year. In conversation it turned out he was coming to Oxford for a visit, so he came to stay on the good ship Bones for a few days. Maffi joined us for the meals and a fabulous day out boating on Sunday.

On Saturday Stefan went to explore the dreamy spires so Mr Paris and I went for a stroll/March/epic expedition to visit the white horse at Uffington. I think it looks more like a ferret, but Mr Paris wasn't impressed so I decided not to mention it again. We had a glorious walk over the hills, down the ridgeway and along to the neolithic burial chambers at Wayland Smithy

Boots and Stanley had a jolly good time marching around the area while Mark and I had a picnic. Mark knows how to do picnics!! Apparently it is my turn next time... that could be interesting.

On returning to the Boat Mr Paris helped me sort out my coolant system which hasn't been behaving. We pulled out lots of 'spare' pipe and now the system looks extremely sensible and seems to work - a job that would have taken me all day took about 30 minutes!

On Sunday Maffi, Stefan and I set sail for Thrupp. Stefan thought the canal was a bit narrow so we went onto the river for him to get some tiller practice. Once he worked out that aiming for dry land was a collision hazard he turned out to be rather good on the tiller, and mastered turning the corners pretty well. Back on the canal he went through the locks perfectly, and then passed out with a bottle of wine on the front deck. His trip was made even more magical as a kingfisher chased us up the canal from Kidlington Green up to Roundham Lock. On route we passed Kate on Morning Mist. I like Kate.

Despite some record breaking locking we didn't arrive in time for tea at the tea rooms, but I did see a glorious site when I came into the 7 day moorings. Oakfield was moored up. Mr Bottle and Wozie (the lovely Mrs Bottle) have been waiting a long time to live their dream afloat, and it was wonderful to see them, the boat and a living dream before my eyes. They look happy, the boat is lovely and I was very happy to see them. They are still here too!

Bottle and Wozie took Boots out for a walk yesterday. I was aching and exhausted after completely over doing it at the weekend, so I was very pleased they were able to do that, and I think Boots was too.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn Light

This is one of my favourite moorings spots on the Oxford Canal

I like this time of year as the air turns crisp and the blue skies frame this beautiful city. I love the way the dreamy spires seem to rest against the perfect sky bathing in morning light as the tree's drop their leaves around them.

Nothing like a bit of decaying matter to brighten up a scene.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Boots and Molly

On MY chair.....

go on girl, make yourself comfortable

Is that it?

DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!!!

Thrupp Canal Cruising Club...

..has a website! Here

Frolics on the river

There are times when you come around the corner and you just KNOW someone has been waiting for you for a reason...

and then this happened:

then this:

Anglesey Abbey

A few pictures from Anglesey Abbey

and this tree was hit by lightening on 5th July 1999, the second time in 12 years this Giant Redwood Sequouadendron giganteum was hit by lightening (or so the plaque says!)

The gardens at the Abbey are lovely, and when walking around it is as if walking through rooms with cheeky statues distributed throughout. The Abbey includes a room with 6 Pethers - beautiful pictures of the moonlight. If you do go, ask the warden to shine a torch on them and see them from a different light, literally. The windows come alive and people appear.....

Rubbish on the edges.

Ever since I fell in love with a sink at IKEA and had to re-do the bathroom, I haven't quite managed to finish it. One of the walls is looking very tired with the brown varnish, and the room is quite dark so I thought I would see whether a lick of paint brightened it up.



Last night I took the masking tape off to see how well the edges had come out and it looks AWFUL, the edges are rubbish. I have an edging tool I shall have a go with tonight instead.

next job - a second bathroom cabinet to fill the gap between the shower and the sink.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Now he is going to be insufferable.

Proper Job AKA PJ is insufferable enough, and I hate to think what he will be like now they have named a beer after him:

I spotted it yesterday when I was dining with Maffi. As I was driving I didn't sample it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sony H3 and H20? Have you got both?

I dont suppose anyone has a sony H3 and H20 or knows the difference? I have the H3 and my boss is thinking of getting the same camera, but we see that there have been two model changes since then. I have had a look on but I thought I would ask here incase anyone else has any input.

Theatre, Beer and Honey.

Last night Mr Paris and I headed over to the Burton Taylor Theatre for an evening of black comedy via a monologue called Siberia. This theatre is fantastic for obscure plays, and every one I have been to I have enjoyed. It is the intimate setting that does it.
The show was an adaptation of a book, the details of which completely escape me!

Afterwards we went to the Gloucester Arms and then to the Anchor

Mark gave me some of his home grown honey - it is DIVINE!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boots and the field

Boots seems to think there should be more photo's of him so here are some.


As I mentioned Radcot earlier, and as a few of my friends have had incidents with cows I thought I would mention this ACtually, I was rather brave around cows until I walked in a field of them with Boots at my side. I haven't ever quite left a field so quickly whilst trying to look so casual.

Radcot Topiary

I visited Radcot at the weekend and was rather taken by the lock keepers assistants:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dear Granny and Grandpa

Dear Granny and Grandpa,

Mum says it is good manners to write a thank you letter so I thought I would. I am not sure I am ready to thank mum for the curry she cooked earlier, so I am going to thank you instead. Thank you for my lovely holiday. I think Grandpa's compost heap is splendid

I have a lovely new toy, it is pink, but I think I can live with that because it is really good fun.

Mum throws it once and then I run around with it until I fall flat on my side from exhaustion.

I had a lovely time at Uncle Ians, he has rabbits (or he did) in his garden, and I like rabbit; it looks good in my tummy. I cleared up as much of the fluff as possible, but there was still a few bits in the morning. Mum isn't sure whether I should catch rabbits (uncle Ian does), but I am so fast there isn't a lot she can do about. I wonder if cats taste like rabbit? they look as fury.

I had a nice time at Uncle James' too. He had a go with the cooker. It was fascinating. He forgot my egg though.

I also had a go jumping out of the upstairs window, it was great fun and a nice young man found me and looked after me until mum appeared... she looked very tired muttering something about never having walked up a hill so fast (Uncle James lives on a hill). Poor chap was given a bear hug when she saw him with me. You may wonder why I jumped out the window... I think you would do the same, the wall paint is very very very bright, it is brighter than a bright thing on a bright day in brightsville.

Would you like to know my Christmas list? I need several new leather leads. Mum says I can't have one because I keep eating them, but I don't like the string one, it is a) yellow b) cheap and c) nasty. I keep eating it, but she keeps making more! Perhaps you could have a word?

It was lovely seeing you and playing in your garden with my cousins and having a walk at the abbey with my granny. I love my granny. (I love my grandpa too, but don't tell him!)

Thank you.
Lots of Love

The Thames

As part of my trip away I went down the Thames to Abingdon for a few days. Every time I go I enjoy looking at how familier sights have changed, or not. Here are some:

My shadow makes a good travelling companion when the sun is shining.

The boat house at Nuneham Courtney:

and the house:

A house in Lower Radley that I have watched mature over the years:

The top of swift ditch - good fun in a dinghy!

and some works are going on at the top of Abingdon lock

Kirtlington Quarry

Another favourite place of mine on the Oxford Canal is Kirtlington Quarry Not only does the trip from Heyford include my two favourite locks, Dashwood and Northbrook, but the tree lined canal is beautiful. Once there we met up with Mark, PJ, Vic and the kids and Charlie and Andy. They all went off to collect wood while I put the table out... Charlies idea of collecting wood is flinging a tree over your shoulder and sauntering back... I like her style!

The following morning Helene of Troy and the good ship Bones headed back to Thrupp. Charlie came with me and Andy went off with Mark. I was rather amused that Mark pointed Andy at the controls to the boat and then went inside leaving him to his own devices! It was rather comical as he disappeared into the distance... even Molly and Boots were fascinated.

Lower Heyford Stroll

At Lower Heyford lift bridge if you turn left and follow the footpath you come across some beautiful countryside. When I was there I took great pleasure in walking over the bridges, through the avenue of trees and up the hill. Often there were cows grazing, but frequently there were not. The rolling Oxfordshire countryside is beautiful.