Friday, April 22, 2011

Broadmoor to Marston Doles

It was a beautiful morning as we left Broadmoor lock and headed towards the top of Claydon.  Boots normally sits on the back hatch with me, but whenever I wasn’t looking he walked up to the front of the boat to stare at something terribly important. I don’t really like him walking about on the roof because his centre of gravity doesn’t suit us being hit by something.  I used to worry about the overhead branches sweeping him and the rest of the boat into the cut, but BW have done wonders cutting the branches back (I wonder if they have tackled those Willow Trees south of Wolvercote). He is funny. He gets to the front of the boat with very little effort tiptoeing between the various ‘treasures’ I have there, but whenever I try and coax him back he walks slowly through the clear bit and then where it isn’t so clear he just looks at me and says ‘you are joking – you want me to walk through THAT, it is a hazard – clear it, I will think about it’. Funny boy.

EP At the tope of Claydon Lock Elizabeth and Pete strolled off into the distance as I did the same in the opposite direction on the boat preparing myself for 3 hours of standing on the back of the boat being fascinated without a lock to distract me.

I was just beginning to lose the will to live at Fenny Compton when I noticed some people staring at me - Elizabeth and Pete had stopped in at the Wharf for coffee and thought they would watch me sail by, so I stopped for coffee too. Very very lovely indeed. With my batteries recharged I headed off with a huge grin on my face.

The summit from Fenny Compton is stunningly beautiful. The rolling countryside is out of this world and as I twisted around the fields to places you cannot get to by car I was reminded, once again, about how fortunate I am to live in this country.  The fields of crops reminded me how important it is to support our British farmers. When walking around the supermarket it is easiest to pick the cheapest, or not even to look, but by buying British we are investing in the views so many of us love.DSC08937

DSC08920 You see it all on the summit and as soon as I noticed an Oxfordshire Narrowboat preparing to set sail I noticed the chap was wearing marigolds. MARIGOLDS I tell you. Boating in yellow marigolds. I had seen it all now… you can imagine my surprise when I discovered it was Dan and Sarah Clacher with their grandson! They weren’t Marigolds – just gloves with yellow bits.  It was lovely to see them, not only are they fantastic company but sharing in the joys of their books (Muddy Waters series) is a delight. Half way around the summit and another moment of cheer to one along the way. They had some wonderful stories to tell of their travels and I left laughing after Dan told me about his sketch of some of the things he had seen.

This is their new boat which will become Muddy Waters at the end of the season this year.DSC08907

With another grin I set off. I was quite tired by the time I arrived at Marston Doles.  A friend, Rick, was moored half way down the Napton Flight and had invited me to a BBQ so off I went – he meant half way in locks, not miles so I was pleased I took my bicycle. Unfortunately I forgot that it was hedge trimming time of year which means the towpath is full of thorns and I arrived with a puncture. It is AGES since I fixed a puncture, fortunately Boots didn’t get any punctures and he ran all the way.  He was rather tired and at one of the bridges he ran off the tow path into the middle of the country road and looked up and down it as if saying ‘there must be a taxi here SOMEWHERE’.

I must remember to pick my bike up which was unceremoniously chained to the back of his boat. Rick walked me home which was rather kind of him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son James got one of those huge thorns through his shoe, and into his foot about 2 years ago around there I also suffered a puncture,but only after I was silly enough to pull the thorn from the tyre. It had been keeping the hole plugged.....and the air in!

11:57 PM  

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