Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banbury Canal Day

Due to one thing and another I have never quite made it to the Banbury Canal Day, but this year I am set to go and really looking forward to it. You can find out more about it here

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spiders Again

This is an odd sight. I was hanging my shirts up over the weekend post the white wash, and noticed this little number… quite extraordinary. he must have arrived post-wash, but he is dead and very stretched out. I haven’t moved him, naturally.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

There be swans



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spiders are out

My boss and I both commented this morning on the number of spiders webs we saw this morning.  The bushes and chimneys were covered in them; it was beautiful.




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Sapperton Church

Not brilliant photographs as I got in a pickle with the camera, but the church of St Kenelm in Sapperton is beautiful and well worth a visit if you are there. The walk down to the canal starts here.

The church had some wonderful featuresDSC07733

and I loved the wooden carvings



Monday, September 20, 2010

Cotswold Canal Trust and Aeroplanes!

Yesterday Nick and I took a stroll along part of the canal that is currently under restoration by the Cotswold Canal Trust. Some of it is in water, and some of it isn’t, but either way it is going to be absolutely gorgeous when it is finished.  Many parts reminded me of my lovely trip, with friends, along the Rochdale canal with the mixture of stunning countryside and the industry of times gone by.


We met up with some of Nicks great friends for part of the walk around Sapperton Tunnel which was the longest tunnel of any kind in England until 1811.

One end is Gothic:


The other isn’t

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Over lunch in the Tunnel Inn Nick happened to mention he had tickets to the local Battle of Britain of Air Show so we whizzed over just in time to chase the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire over to Kemble.plane1plane2

I was quite pleased to see the Vampire starting up (I like Vampires) and the transformation from the ground to air was stunning. It was so incredibly graceful! 


The Hawker Hunter was knee bendingly beautiful and I was rather taken by the sweet parachute that it used to slow down after landing.  It looked like something our knitting classes could have conjured up!

It is funny going to these things with a pilot because apparently some planes are ‘boring’ despite them doing all sorts of twisting and diving movements around the sky.  I heard some fantastic stories and learnt some incredible facts but I think my jaw has only just re-located itself from the floor up to the boundaries of my face. 

What a fantastic day! We finished it off with ice cream – which has to be the best ice cream I have had in a long time!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gorgeous Morning

Sometimes, if the light is right, my phone camera does me proud:




While I was doing the floor and carrying everything outside and creating a rather familiar scene of devastation a couple on the water point asked whether I was ‘the’ Bones. A little clarification confirmed that I was.  They were simply delightful and cheered my day up! I actually had my camera with me so I took a photograph. I forgot to see what the boat was called!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Out on our walk

Boots really perks up on new walks and I love the way he goes exploring.  This time we took a short walk down the footpath by Pigeons Lock towards Tackley and through the fields




There is a beautiful timber house at Pigeons Lock and from this little lane you can see the back of it. If you are there go and look – it is less than a minute down the foot path and well worth it.

This evening we walked up the towpath towards the quarry.  On our return there was a man, a dog, a horse and a tractor in the field below sunset in the sky and the risen moon.  We sat and watched for a while.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Mug

 Weepingcross sent me a new mug and I LOVE it! The website on the mug reads http://www.islandofdoctorgeof.co.uk/





Thank You!!!!

Boots and the Devotion

Boots had a lovely time on Morning Mist on Sunday evening watching “Good Women”. It was so good  that when we walked down the towpath on Monday after our day of boating, he stopped at the front doors and waited patiently for Kate.  Despite me hollering he would not move. Fortunately Kate did appear so we were able to go home after all.  Boots can be very doting at times.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Banbury to Heyford

On Monday I picked up a friends boat from Banbury and took it to their friends mooring in Lower Heyford. I very rarely spend 7 hours boating in one day, but on Monday, with the help of Nick, I did. It was glorious being out on the water on a bigger boat, this was similar in size to the first boat I lived on which was 63ft. I only took 3 photographs!

The new lift bridge  (200Ks worth) at Aynho which seems to be finished nowDSC07713

Somerton Deep lock


and Boots


Just as we were coming through Nell Bridge the owners of the boat were standing on it!  Apparently the sat nav had taken them that way and as they passed over the bridge they saw a boat that looked a bit like theirs. Low and behold, it was.  We stopped at the Great Western Arms to see them and have a quick drink together before we continued our journey again. I LOVE the Great Western Arms, the service is great, the people are friendly, the beer excellent, the food fantastic and the atmosphere wonderful.


I met these crazy Americans on Saturday night while walking home. They had hired a boat from Oxford and were making their way north, they were full of life having a great time On Sunday I saw them all and it was very amusing indeed such characters!!!


I arrived home to discover that Peter was there with his Barrow boat and he took me off to Shipton in it. It was beautifully quiet with its electric outboard and I loved the view from so low down in the water:


Then I helped Dr Saffin reverse her boat the mile or so to the lift bridge. I stood on the back having intimate moments with the hedges until I got the hang of standing on the back getting the speed just right and holding the tiller straight while Dr Saffin punted from the bow. Back past Granny ButtonsDSC07673

And then through the bridge to the audience at the Jolly Boatman where Saffin did a fantastic manoever and managed to wedge the pole in the side of the bank, not the canal!  I failed to discover forward gear in time but the stick was returned to us, without the end, by an onlooker.


Dr Saffin headed north, and I pulled my pins, turned and headed north with her.


It was a beautiful day for cruising!!! 

Boots spent his time sitting peacefully on the roof


or staring intently at bushes


Dear Granny and Grandpa

Oh dear. Mum says that I STILL haven’t told you about my antics two weeks ago, and I have to. I haven’t because we are in dispute. Mum thinks I was being norty, but I think I am quite old enough to take myself for a walk. Granny, I am nearly 3!!!! That is quite grown up. Anyway, home has been a bit unsettled recently because the floor vanished and turned into rubble and my basket smelt of dust so I decided to go and stay with my friend Molly next door. When mum came to pick me up home really hadn’t improved much. There wasn’t any rubble, just boards covering it, but my basket still stank of dust! Mum seemed to think that putting a nice rug on the floor made it homely, crazy!. Well, I went to bed and Mum went out. I thought I should follow suit and go out too, but the front doors were locked… however, on closer investigation I noticed that the back doors were open! I skipped out, danced a celebratory dance on the road, went up to the pub we usually go to but it wasn’t as interesting at all, and no-one I knew was around. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I came back to the one nearest to my boat and popped behind the bar where they had some delicious drinks (beer apparently) in containers below the pumps, then I sat in the restaurant. The chef lured me out with a piece of chicken so I sat nicely took it and went back to the restaurant to eat it as that is what one does. By the time mum found me I was having a lovely time with a lovely family on the canal side. Oh it was wonderful being out all by myself, everyone was very kind to me and I had a lovely time.

Anyway, apparently I was norty.

Lots of Love


Friday, September 10, 2010

Dear Granny and Grandpa

I have some wonderful news! Last night I went to see my friend Stanley and took Mum with me so she could eat Mr Paris’ cheese. On the way Mum managed to walk to HEEL for AGES without doing her hair, looking at the bushes, stopping to do her shoe lace up or losing me. I am so proud of her!

Lots of Love


Thursday, September 09, 2010

New Floor. Oh yes, a NEW floor!

Everything was piled up outside just in time for it to rain, but the great thing about being here is the plethora of tarpaulins.


We emptied the boat and found we had to replace another bit of floor


but that wasn’t too hard and we were able to begin.DSC07648

It went down pretty well but it was nice to have someone else there to help chivvy things along.


and here it is…


I just have to clear up now, tidy up and sort it all out but the floor looks great. Even Boots looked impressed when he came in, but now I am off for supper as Maffi has kindly said he would cook for me.

Today is the day

this morning Mark is going to come and give me a hand with the floor and Boots is very excited about it. Boots has been unimpressed with the lack of floor and is looking forward to the boat looking more like a civilised residence than a skip.  He has also been eyeing up the un-installed fire, so who knows, we might have time to do that too… or am I being optimistic!

Anyway, it has to be done for the royal parental visit – I can imagine my dear Ma walking in on Saturday morning and collapsing at the shock of the squalor her dear beloved is living in, seemingly happy. Any suggestion that the happiness is simply delirium will not sooth the quivering brow….

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

St Giles Fair Oxford

I am mostly un amused with the state of the boat so I decided to take some air and take in the sites/sights of Oxford.  I have always been away for St Giles fair but this time I am not. Here are some pictures. I remember now that Fair are not my favourite.  Remarkably some of the information I found on the web about it suggests that this annual fair runs each year (ref). Grump moan wibble.



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Monday, September 06, 2010


On this fine Monday morning after another weekend offering the opportunity of productivity I should really be sitting in my arm chair gently polishing my new floor with a socked foot, but no. I am instead averting my gaze from the piled up new floor in the corner and failing to care.  I do not have a new floor. Instead I  spent the weekend gazing over at NB Alnwick across the pond, chatting, chilling and taking it easy.


I didn’t avoid the good ship and the work needed in its entirety; I painted some of the new side panels for inside but only the primer as devastatingly (not) the shop didn’t have any top coat so I had to take the afternoon off.

With NBs Alnwick, Freespirit Rising and Clarence in the area, not to mention the delightful Dr Saffin who has returned from Edinburgh Fringe, I had a lovely time recharging my batteries.  I was particularly surprised when Wrens Nest replied to my 5:30am Sunday text (apparently Chris checked the phone just as the text arrived!) by inviting me to breakfast at 9:30!  Sunday finished with the arrival of Granny Buttons who I promptly took to Banbury to pick up his car and then visited Alnwick who, having left in the morning, had made it to Kings Sutton. 

A weekend of friends. Love it. I love it even more that I have no floor and it really really really doesn’t matter.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Historic Boats: Australia and Kangaroo

I had these two gorgeous boats moored next to me earlier in the week; what a glorious view when I opened my doors in the morning!  They arrived quite late at night having set off from Beale Park at 8am.  I didn’t get to have as long a chat as I hoped as there was some noise from over the tow path that I thought I ought to investigate.