Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Floor

Well, finally I have embraced the problem of no floor and yesterday I took the old one up.  And I mean the floor, not just the laminate, not just the underlay, but the whole floor – I even took some of the ballast up to clean underneath it.


The new floor is going to be the same as the rest of the boat and is currently outside airing after a good splattering with Cuprinol anti mould 5star treatment. I STILL haven’t decided what to put on top of the new floor. I had laminate before and I thought I might try wood this time, however, I think I will go for the cheap option again not least because IF I am going to pay 300pounds for a new floor I might want to pay more and do the whole boat and IF I am going to do that I think it would be worth paying someone to fit it for me.  It would be heartbreaking to get it wrong.  Plus I simply can’t decide.  I may put more laminate down or just get some thin ply and put it over the top for now while I investigate further and make a proper decision.

Last time I fitted the floor my sister and brother in law helped and we had a fantastic day. They won’t be able to help this time but I like the memories!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The canal opened after 24hours

The canal reopened and as I was feeling poorly I sat in my chair gazing out of the window expecting to see endless boats; there weren’t nearly as many as I had expected… which is surprising as the Oxford Mail, in their report yesterday, said “hundreds of boaters were left stranded…”.  In the link you can see my boat moored up in the boat picture 3rd boat down.  One boat broke the police cordon which I thought was a shame, but then aggression and misunderstanding seems to be on the up amongst boaters.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Body in the Canal

Yesterday a body was found in the Oxford canal near Shipton on Cherwell.  The canal has been closed from Bakers Lock to Roundham Lock every since, and although traffic can move south from Thrupp I imagine there are many frustrated people at Enslow hoping to make it down to Beale Park on the Thames for the IWA national waterways festival this weekend.  A closed canal and the delays will make it very hard for people to wait patiently, despite the reasons.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dear Granny and Grandpa

We went boating today and I had a lovely time because it was windy.  The wind is absolutely wonderful when you have ears like mine.  You can get one ear to stick out:


and with a slight twist of the head the ear starts to lift off.


It is great fun. Sometimes I would turn around to look at mum and my ears would be all over the place and she would giggle. This is not always good, especially when I was trying to tell her we were heading for some tree’s as she not be giggling but manoeuvring; apparently the more serious I looked the funnier I was.  Mum tried to take a picture but my ears returned to normal.. but I was still scowling.DSC07544

I don’t think she takes my role as look out very seriously.  We didn’t, as it happens, hit the branches.....

Lots of Love


New Lift Bridge, 189, at Aynho

For ages I have been past here and there has been a lift bridge in the field and non in place. Then, over Winter, BW replaced the brickwork which was heavily damaged. Today I came through and the new lift bridge is in place. I am not sure the bridge is finished…

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Charity Event: Annie’s Tea Room, Thrupp, Sunday 22nd August


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh Fantastic

Oh how I loved standing in the rain yesterday.17082010333

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

North Norfolk Railway

On our way home from Felbrigg we arrived at Holt Station just in time to enjoy a ride on The Black Five – 44767 ‘George Stephenson’



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Felbrigg Hall


I am a life member of the National Trust and always take great delight in visiting their properties, particularly as my membership allows me to get another person in for free too. This time it was Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk

I was rather taken by the insect life in the walled kitchen garden:


Two having words:


I liked this flower:


Coming in to land:


The one above was approaching its flower far more elegantly than the one below that was going for the dive bomb approach!


Monday, August 16, 2010

St Marks Ten Mile Bank


St Marks Church, a survivor of the Gothic Revival, in Norfolk was closed due to subsidence but due to the dedication of a group of people money was raised and the church is now open again. So great was the story we took a look. I rather liked these gargoyles on each side of the door – so snarly on the left, and so peaceful on the right:

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wonderful Day Banbury to Cropredy

The Addams family were meant to be arriving at 10am, but after a sat nav mishap they were a bit late, so I took the boat into Banbury to fill with water and visit Morrisons. 

On the lock in Banbury there was a new sign – the boat in front of me wouldn’t share the lock though:


I saw Moore 2 Life briefly. I do enjoy seeing bloggers on the waterway.  Having turned around and picked up my friends we set off for fairer climates. J was fantastic on the tiller, and apart from one incident with the bushes did a fantastic job and even managed to negotiate the boats in Cropredy without too much trouble.

Here is Bourton Lock cottage, I always like to go through and I do wonder what is happening with it.


Boots and I enjoyed having crew.


Cropredy is filling up but there aren’t as many breasted up boats this time, but there is still time!


Derwent 6 were just above the lock and I tooted the Klaxon as we passed but they weren’t in. I saw them on the tow path but I was too busy concentrating on J.  There will be plenty of time to catch up.

Cropredy is beginning to buzz with all the people. I am intrigued by Fish Therapy:


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Warwick Castle

I had a splendid weekend away with my parents and today I was meant to sort the floor out, but I didn’t. I did a bit, but spent the afternoon at Warwick Castle with Mark. We took the train and thus made use of the 2 for 1 offer from Chilton Railways (although you need to pick up a leaflet apparently).

I was VERY taken with the birds of prey. They were amazing and the commentary was perfect, and funny! Birds of prey are stunning creatures and being so close up to them reminded me that our world is a beautiful beautiful world.

eagle sea eagle


I thought the horse inside had a funny expressionIMG_1758

Blue plaque for Inland Waterways founder Tom Rolt

I was pleased to see that the canals made it into the local news in  Oxford. You can read all about it here

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Dear Granny and Grandpa

I had a headache yesterday so I took some Ibuprofen you should have seen the fuss Mum and Karen made… I was taken to the vet – the VET for  a minor HEADACHE (actually they were vile so I spat one out) !! Fortunately the Vet telephoned mum on the way and it was decided that I hadn’t taken too many and I would be fine.  It was just a headache Granny. Anyway, mum says I am not to help myself to medication in future. I suggested she hid them better. She suggested I stopped snooping..well, you can imagine how I felt about that.

She should know that I only ever eat cushions and chairs to excess and before you say anything I didn’t eat the varnish, I was helping.

Lots of Love


Friday, August 06, 2010

Dear Granny and Grandpa

I have had a very exciting week meeting lots of new people. On Sunday Uncle Nick came to help mum and I move the boat – this meant I could sit on the roof gazing across at the sheep while mum and Nick did all the work.  It is a difficult mantle to bear, but I did it well. I even stayed a wake for quite a lot of the journey.

I was thrilled when we arrived near one of my favourite parks; it is FULL of rabbits and there are lots of other people around walking their dogs. This is important because I read that it is important to socialise ones pet. I have taken this on board and ensure that mum is socialised as much as possible. I run off with my doggy chums while our mums and dads chat.  They get on really well, and mum is getting much better at behaving and not calling me back too soon.  I cured that trick of hers (she likes to get out of things) by not coming back until I felt she had done enough chatting. Now she doesn’t call me back until the very end (she says it is because it is embarrassing that I ignore her, but I don’t mind as it is for her own good isn’t it Grandpa)

While Mum is at work Karen, from RBC Pet Care Services, takes me out for a walk, and oh Granny, we have a wonderful time!!. Karen knows all about dogs AND boats so we have plenty to chat about. I meet dogs that live in boats AND in houses; it is amazing.  Here I am with some of my friends – you will be very pleased with me because normally I am scared of black Labradors but I LOVED these two (shh.. they are girls!)


I love my new dog walker especially as I am only here for a week and she doesn’t mind at all – just like Anita in Lower Heyford.

Apparently we are going to a music festival next week, but Karen said she would walk me so I don’t have to go – PHEW!


Lots of Love


Thursday, August 05, 2010

A morning of boats… and the train

A beautiful old boat


followed by a newer one 


with this in front


and resting in Banbury : Jupiter who are part of the re-enactment of Tom Rolt’s cruise on Cressy


The picture is blurred because I was hurtling past hoping to catch the train.  This time I managed to get my bike in the rack, heaven knows how two bikes fit in there.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Keeping them out - intruders

On Monday I was reading in bed when someone stepped onto the back of the boat. ‘uh oh’ thought I, here we go … I thought I was in for a some dancing on the roof, but no, I was in for an intruder.  Fortunately I had locked the back doors and despite trying they could not get in. They got off the boat, missed my bedroom side hatch, and tried the bigger one which they couldn’t get in either. Being the sharp astute person I am I had no idea what to do so I sent Maffi a text to let him know someone was trying to get in – unusually I had a text straight back - he told me to put a light on… so I did. I had no more trouble. Fortunately 8ch was moored nearby and came quickly to sooth my quivering brow and inspect the bushes for suspects.

There is nothing quite like an attempt to make one survey ones locks.  I decided I needed bigger ones so I went to visit B&Q and left with lots of bigger ones.  It took me far too long fit the new lock to the side hatch and then decide the old one was better. I put it back and then stepped outside to break in… I managed to lift the hatch and the side doors came off - I caught them before they dropped into the canal!! I put another lock inside to prevent that happening.  Drilling through steel is not easy with a hand drill and my battery drill wasn’t really up to the job; it is quite old now. I think I really do need to bite the bullet and buy a generator. At least I will always have power to hand in case I need it, and I always seem to need it, until now I have relied on Maffi’s boat – power station that it is, but that isn’t entirely fair! 

I have now turned my boat around so the side hatches are on the wet side.

I went to the police station to let them know that fishy things were afoot and I saw this sign:


I wondered whether one had to enter the station without a shirt on when it wasn’t hot. It wasn’t hot, but I kept my shirt on anyway.  They didn’t seem to mind.

Beautiful, yet tragic?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Bike by train – not even remotely funny

I decided I would bicycle the train station, get on the train and then cycle up to work – a lovely easy relaxing journey that should take 40minutes, which I thought was pretty good as I could spend 20minutes of that looking out of the window.  The train left at 8:55 so I arrived with my cycle, found the lift, got to the platform and waited. The train arrived and I started to get on but I was directed to carriage G. I was almost at carriage G when the attendant blew his whistle so I had to run to carriage G. I do not do run, especially with a bicycle. I was almost in full pelt (as much as one can be before a second cup of coffee) when I leapt onto Carriage G which was full of people standing around looking menacing.  I couldn’t stop and I managed to get on with half the bike. By this point I was wishing the doors would shut on the bike, cut it on two and thus reduce it to a more manageable size; they didn’t close and the train waited for me to get on properly. I eventually managed to get the bike and me and my satchel onto the train but I couldn’t get my bike into the specified bike rack. To get ones bike in the bike rack involves lifting said two wheeler without impaling oneself of ones fellow man – I am not sure that my coordination is up to that.


There were lots of useless suggestions so I said I would loiter just where I was (vaguely impaled and jammed up against the wall). This annoyed the ‘people’ most of whom left muttering under their breath. I would have left with them if my bike had fitted through the window and away from the train. It didn’t. I stayed, fuming.  The remaining cyclist who was jammed in by my bike pointed out the other rather large cycle rack that I had failed to notice as a launched myself past it onto the train.  I looked at it and out came a man, a suitcase and his harp. I know when a battle is lost and decided to continue to loiter where I was.


There was one final attempt to store the cycle sensibly but even that was beyond me so I waited. 

Oxford traffic is mad, especially when viewed through the fuming eyes of a cyclist. I arrived at work but I am dreading the train home.

Apparently one should take the slow train as there is more room for bicycles. I would have to pay an extra 5 pounds for the privilege, but picking up my motorcycle seems so much more appealing right now.

Where is the water?

I don’t think I have seen the water this low before. I was taken by surprise to see how low the water was on the way up to Banbury


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Saturday: Heyford to Aynho

It was tipping it down when I went for my walk with boots this morning so I donned my waterproofs and sloped up the path dragging the reluctant canine behind me. Eventually Boots decided that walking was possibly and OK thing and he joined in the merry stroll along the Heyford Countryside. By the time we were walking back and chatting to 8ch the sun had come out and I was boiling. Waterproofs were abandoned and I pulled the pins for Aynho. I didn’t empty my loo so I had to cross my legs all the way here (every time I thought about using the bushes there was a reason not to!)

This boat called Rosie looked lovely in the morning light as it languished below Allen’s Lock.


The views across the fields were beautiful, even the moon stayed up:


I never tire of this view


The wild flowers along the Oxford are looking splendid at the moment.

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I came across Ultima and Thule at Somerton Deep Lock

somerton deep butty

And as I came into Somerton I spotted this – it is full of onions which makes it a rather splendid onion shed!


As we came into Aynho we received a tremendous welcome from the dogs of a house before this bridge31072010241

I don’t understand barking, but Boots thought that was a good thing as they were being a bit rude. He stood up and scowled at them until we were past and then went back to his usual position when not on the roof

.boots back door

I was feeling very dozy by the time I arrived in Aynho and was amazed to see Moore 2 Life stop off at the wharf for supplies! I didn’t get a photograph, but I did say hello! 

I am off to the Great Western Arms for supper tonight. I have heard great things about it, and having had Sunday lunch at Easter I thought it would be good to try a non Sunday meal.