Our new solar powered Christmas lights were looking pretty out in the cratch this evening, We’ve hardly seen any boats on the move recently, has everyone gone into hibernation early? On todays cruise we encircled Wormleighton Hill, with the Radio Mast appearing to stride over the landscape all around us like a Triffid. While we were waiting in Marston Doles Lock to go down I spotted this magnificent mangle over the wall. My granny had one of these and I was allowed to turn the handle for her on washdays. It was one of my favourite jobs as I liked hearing the cogs clanking together. I am reminded of this whenever I wind the gate paddles at the locks as they make a similar pleasing sound. The two locks here are so easy for me to operate and to step across the bottom gate opening. Once down Adkins lock we moored up overnight.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Another early start today after I’d taken the recycling over and bought milk from the Spar, at Bridge Stores.
We were doing nine locks today so I had an egg sandwich for breakfast. The sun slowly revealed itself on this special day for the Cabin Boy, but it was too chilly for him to be wearing his Birthday suit though! We saw yet another sunken boat which wasn’t there two weeks ago when we came down. What a shame.
The locks were mostly in our favour, we met a C&RT workboat and one other on the move, ‘Matilda Rose’! (Not the one that has a blog though) Then we passed Forge Farm at Cluttercote, with it’s wind driven water pump still standing intact in the field.
A bit of heavy pruning had been done along the towpath, then we reached Claydon Top Lock, our last one. We moored a bit further on in one of our favourite spots and collapsed in a gert heap with a cup of tea..
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
We pulled into the vacant 48 hr mooring just by the bridge, handy for the little shop and posting all my Christmas cards. I popped along to see Jane on nb Alnwick and was introduced to Paw the newest, fluffiest, member of their crew. Graham was at work, so we invited them along for nibbles and hot mulled wine in the evening, luvly jubbly! So, the afternoon was spent writing all my cards, posting them, then going for a stroll around the village. I perused the books for swapping in the Brasenose Inn and in the church. The sunset was so beautiful on my return, so I have included it for you.
Monday, 9 December 2013
On our run up to Banbury the sky turned from blue to grey once more, but we didn’t have any rain, lucky us eh? Grants Lock was our last one before arriving at the Morrison’s mooring B168. En-route we encountered this chap who was checking all the lock gear/gates and lift bridges, tapping the results into the device seen dangling in his hand.
Saturday the Charter market was in full swing as we went walkabout round town. The smell of food cooking wafted all around us and everyone seemed to be snacking on something. We trundled up to Wspoons for lunch and bought a few Christmas spirits, in bottles! We were up early next morning and on drawing the curtains a fisherman had already set up his gear in front of our boat,
After pausing at the services for a while we passed through the lock and under the lift bridge. There are great plans to erect a large glass canopy across the canal here, build an Hotel and Cinema complex, eateries etc, over some of the 1,200 car parking spaces. Where’s the sense in cutting parking space. more to the point there may be less boat moorings too. Have a look at the artists impression here http://castlequay.co.uk/extension/
We were lucky again today as we were ahead of another boat and all the locks were in our favour. oh and the sun came out too, perfick!
Sunday, 8 December 2013
We entered the lock quite easily, but had to fish loads of crud out of the water to open the top gate. the lock side cottage here is for sale and maybe the shabby chic barn/garage opposite might be included.
Plenty of leaves and small twigs had been blasted off the trees yesterday cluttering up every lock exit. The huge mill complex across the fields was as busy as usual with heavy lorries trundling across the little red brick canal bridge.
Twyford Wharf has a mixture of hire boats and winter moorers in situe and also offers pump outs now for £15 a go.