Saturday, 31 October 2009

Sent to Coventry

Coventry Basin

The Weighbridge

We set off from Hawksbury Junction early this morning for a run up to Coventry.
We decided to do a return day-trip as there weren't any recommended mooring places en-route in our books. It was a beautiful warm sunny day and not at all what the weatherman had predicted. We didn't encounter any other boats during the 2hr 15min trip and we moored up in the basin with two other boats. The old part of the basin has been delightfully restored and the new shops have been built in keeping with the old.
We walked into the city to a humongous Ikea as we needed some bedding, then on to Argos to get a small 1kw kettle and Bottle managed to get the useful drill pump that he was after.
While we were having lunch on the boat we were entertained by children being instructed how to paddle their own canoes. This happens every weekend apparently and they were all enjoying themselves, especially when we left in our "big boat".
The return trip seemed to take a little longer as there was so much rubbish floating in the water. When we got back the Hawksbury, Bottle pulled a bag full of plastics and fishing line from around the propeller.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

It Was a Long Way

We set off early this morning, it must of been 9.45 hrs in dry and bright weather.

We moved onto Rugby by bridge 59 and moored 'in the park'. Maps checked, Google maps checked and so we set off on the straight as a die cycle/footpath.
We passed Tesco, will visit on return trip and then there it was 'Footpath Closed' sign, no diversion signs so followed our noses, mine actually as it is bigger and works better for direction finding.

We eventually made it into town past the donkeys and there was a market, now I had checked that there would not be a market, get Wozie into one of those and say goodbye to the rest of the day.
It turned out to be the 'Farmers market' and only happens on the last Thursday of the month.

Pasties were purchased and very good they are to, also some Oatcake yet to be sampled, I have the power, will power that is.

There are some nice things

Some weird things (pub sign)

and the HOW MUCH?

This is available at Asda for the small sum of £50 it is sound activated, it moves its head and it has a recorded voice (American I think).

Retraced our steps to Tesco but on the way saw a Homebase, suffice it say we are now the owners of an electric chainsaw.

On our return to the boat we ate a pasty each and decided to move on  a little way, there are building works right next to the canal and boy was it noisy.

We actually walked further, than we boated today, Wozie is a little tired and checking the inside of her eyelids.

Ah! well another day tomorrow, time to chill and maybe a single malt.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Well it all started when

a boat went past us at about 10.30pm last night.

We were expecting 'Onboard Energy' this morning at about ten but he was delayed by child care arrangements, it being half term.

I finished off the tunnel light and horn (polishing) this morning and got talking to a towpath walker, like you do and he mentioned the coal boat was the other side of the bridge, ah! the boat that passed in the night.

Quick walk up the towpath to arrange for 'coal' and diesel delivery, to cut a long story short, we moved forward to the fuel boat (Gosty Hill) just as the engineer arrived, got him onboard quickly and he started work as we moved off.
We reversed back ( I do like to show off my lack of skill in reversing) to our original mooring after the top up.

All very simple really but somehow it seemed like organised chaos.

The engineer will be visiting again next week, another part is required, I have learnt a lot though.

Meet Bosun, of Gosty Hill

We are now moored just below Hillmorten locks, bow to bow with Piston Broke, had a long discussion with Paul about some very important things whilst Lynne washed their boat.
Probably moving on tomorrow towards Coventry but there again, we shall see.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

It's Christmas

It must be because we went to the pub yesterday lunch time and the Christmas tree was up, decorated and it had presents round it.
Food was OK but nothing to right home about, so I will not.

Was expecting rain, this morning but it brightened up, so some brass cleaning was done, lunch is nearly ready and this afternoon we will chill aka. Derwent 6

Tomorrow we have 'Onboard Energy' coming to carry out the final, we hope, connections for the generator.

General idea is to then tun round and head off down the Grand Union, no particular destination just see how it goes.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Forgot to Reset the Clocks

Body clocks that is, so we were up earlier than usual by the clock on the wall.

It was  a dry morning and the sun came out very soon after we were up. Set to and tided the boat after breakfast.  Checked the bikes and pumped the tyres
 Off to Sainsburys, you know the one that is four miles away, six if you go the wrong way.

Only having two rucksacks does make shopping a lot easier as impulse buying is very controlled.
Very good offer on Guinness that had to be missed, will have to wait till we find a Sainsburys nearer the canal.

Returned to the boat, made a few phone calls and received some, lunched onboard as the washing machine did its work, now a relaxed afternoon.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Downloading pictures from Wozie's camera and found this,

Best we have got so far, usually it is a flash of blue and they are gone.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Not a lot

Since the last post, we have not done a lot, we returned to Braunston on Monday.

Our daughter and grandson visited on Tuesday, always welcome, our grandson has since started nursery and fitted in without any problem.
He is only going for the odd morning at the moment to get him ready for when his mum returns to work.

Wednesday was a generally non day, we just did some cleaning and walking.

Thursday was a busy day we had a visit from Mike and Gerrie (spelling?) from nb.Tubbs, they came to pick up some cobwebs for their portholes, we met them many years ago at Crick where they kindly showed us their boat and made us a cup of tea. [It is another Fernwood].

We also had a visit from Fernwood and Onboard Energy to ensure that the inverter and onboard generator communicate with each other. All clever stuff and it needs a computer and obviously a program to set it all up.
The number of parameters that can changed to suit ours and the boats needs are numerous.

We also moved on up the Oxford a little way.

Today Friday, we moved off latish and now moored just above Hillmorten locks.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


It started out a fine and bright morning and we decided that it would be a good idea to cut up the log half a tree that has been sat on the roof for the last two weeks or so.

Wozie set about wiping down the boat and I go the tree off the roof, well to say it was hard work was an under statement
When only half way through on the first cut I decided it was tooo much and placed the tree in the hedge for someone else to have.

Wozie decide she could do better, maybe she could but after a while Lynn from Piston Broke passed by and volunteered Paul to cut it up with their chain saw.
Paul duly arrived and we set to, it made the chain saw sweat so what chance did I have.

The ladies had gone shopping by this time.

We finished just as they returned or I think we did.
We were very grateful for the help and thanks to them both.

Lunch time was fast approaching so we decided to stroll to the Lock Stock Bistro by Hillmorten locks and had 'Sunday Lunch'.

An even slower stroll was taken on the return, we did help a Dutch couple that were attempting their first lock though.
The rest of the afternoon was taken at ease aboard Oakfield.

The Bistro

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sainsbury's Tour.

We have a handy booklet supplied by Sainsbury's listing all their stores and locations.
Having looked at a map on the internet and memorised the route we set off, all went well except they had changed the road layout and traffic being heavy we I missed the right direction so, we ended up in the centre of town but Sainsbury's in on the outskirts.
Visited the 'Sainsbury's Local' but they did not have the particular items Wozie required, they gave us directions to the Super store.
We set off and with the aid of some 'out of towners' we managed to find it, the coffe and toasted teacake, on special offer, went down a treat.
Would you believe it this large store also did not have the item, we did the rest of the shopping remembering that we only had two rucksacks.
Leaving the store I made the decision to return by another route, that memorised map, hit it spot on and the return trip was done in less than half the time.

I want to be a dog in the next life.
Have not updated recently because we have not had a signal but really not much has happened.

We left Banbury on Saturday and stopped at Cropredy overnight to be awoken by church bells on  Sunday, suspect Graham and Jane (Alnwick) were involved.

Sunday we travelled again to near bridge 126 and had a quiet night

Monday we moved onto Napton in beautiful sunshine, stopped for lunch and decided to stay above the last lock for the night.

Napton in the morning mist

Tuesday saw us on the move again to Braunston, another bright sunny day.

 Wednesday Rob and Kris from Fernwood arrived to do some minor work, lots of little items, the worst one for them was the 'black' tank gauge was not working, fault found and now appears to be OK.
[note to non boaters, 'black' tank is the one equivalent to a cess pit ]

Only one man operated (as far as we could see) bet he had some 'fun' in the narrow bits.

 Thursday was wet and dull so decided not move, visited the chandlers, silly move spent 'loadsa money' had a walk round the village, returned to the boat and lit the fire.

Friday travelled to just south of Rugby, near all those radio aerials, good signal hence the post.

Hillmorton Wharf

Wozie wants to visit Sainsburys today, it is only four miles away, the plan is to ride the bikes, maybe glad of the soft seats when we return.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Banbury and Onwards.

Well our visitors arrived, our daughter and grandson, unfortunatley her partner was working.
It was a wonderful day, he (grandson) is now of an age (7 months) when he has an interest in everything about him, a bit of retail therapy kept him interested for hours.
Sadly it all came to an end to soon as they had to get home.

This morning (Saturday) we got up early as we knew it was going to be a long day, walked to Morrisons and walked back with two rucksacks and two bags of necessities, think we will have to cut back on the necessities.
Thought of going to Sainsburys, for items only they have, but decided not to, instead we did some more shopping in the town, just some small items from Wilkinsons and Robert Dyas .
There is/was a folk festival in Banbury this weekend and a lot of street entertainers were out, morris men and the like all very entertaining.

Late afternoon we had to move, our time was up and we need to be in Braunston by Monday evening.

Now moored in Cropredy for a night and have two long days (for us) ahead.

Graham and Jane, if you read this, sorry we will miss you this time but our plans got changed at the last minute.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Oh! The Routine Of It All

When we arose this morning, there was a slight chill in the air, Wozie had a short lie in.
 Breakfast at leisure and after some tidying up and doing the washing it was time for a stroll route march to Adderbury, it is about 1½ miles the way we went, all on the road.

After a walk round the village we found this establishment in the High street, we had seen two other but favoured this one, well worth the effort to get here very friendly, homely place with good beer, food and regulars.

A row of cottages nearby, there are many like this and also a Tythe Barn (private)

We returned the way we came, just before we crossed over the M40 buried in the hedge was a sign for a foot path to Adderbury, cannot be seen going the other way so, if you moor at bridge 177 and decide to walk to Adderbury look out for the sign it is on the left just at the far end of the bridge over the M40, probably a far better walk than on the road.

We have visitors tomorrow, planning to meet at Banbury.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Aynho to Twyford Wharf

We took a leisurely move this morning, stopped just north of bridge 186, where a 'new' small holding has been set-up, there are free range eggs and sausages available, lamb will be available next year.
Short term mooring are available too.

After sometime and making a new friend (Billy) we moved onto bridge 177 Twyford Wharf, there are no services here it is a private residence now.

We had a walk into Kings Sutton, three pubs and a church, also small post office/store.

One face of the town that reinforces my reason for moving onto a boat.

Matching gardens how......

Another face

Returned to the boat where Wozie prepared some chicken korma with rice and peas, went down a treat after the walk.
The rain started just as we returned so we are now cosy inside and set to stay until at least tomorrow, may walk in the other direction to Adderbury.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

We Managed To Get Away

but only just.

We were up early enough but some how the time flew and it was coffee time, so a visit to Annie's Teashop was made.

Finally got away about mid-day on Monday, a nice easy journey to just past Lower Heyford, where we stayed the night.
Awoken in the early hours by some one emptying bath loads of water over the boat but it was only rain.
Eventually arose at about eight, showered, breakfasted we were moving by ten. All this rushing must learn to slow down a bit.

Have now reached Aynho and had a good meal at The Great Western Arms, refuelled at any combination we required, at the wharf. The owners are very helpful and deserve your custom if down this way.

Over the next week we will be making our way to Braunston, to meet with our boat builder, jut a couple of minor things to correct and for them to bring a bookcase that we ordered, it will match the boat.

To all those at Thrupp.
Thank you for a great week, we will be back. 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

There and Back Again.

Well not quite, we actually returned a little further.
We have been on the seven day moorings at Thrupp for seven days and it was time to move.
Not wishing to go into Oxford, we went as far as Dukes Cut (the short cut to the Thames) and turned there.
It took over seven hours, with a short break, the canal is full of moored boats and is also very shallow. So, even when there are no boats, travel is slow. (Slower than the normal slow speed we travel at). Now at Shipton -on-Cherwell a stones throw from Thrupp.
We did stop at Thrupp on the return for the important part of every boaters life, the cassette and the 'black' tank, we also filled with fresh water.

The little chap above did help at one lock, totally unafraid he came right up to Wozies feet.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Should We Go or Should We Stay

Friday was a quiet day, as it was a nice day, weather wise, we lit the fire.
Not as silly as it sounds, the multi fuel stove is new and as many of you will know the burning off of the 'newness' smell is something terrible.
We had doors and windows open, the only fuel in it was from the initial set-up and it lasted for ages, the boat was warm into the late evening.
So it was a success all round.

In the late afternoon we had a walk to Hampton Gay, all that is there is the church and the ruined manor house, the views are
It is one of those places that is very atmospheric, to stand and wonder at the events that had taken place there in the past was eerie.

Should we stay or should we go was decided to be, after coffee at Annies Tea Room with Maffi, Bones and Mark, stay as the wind is strong and rain is in the air.
That is one of the joys of being live aboard, you do not have to keep to a schedule as with hiring, three hire boats have passed us this morning all fighting the wind because they have to get back to the hire base.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Polishing and Oiling

A beautiful day weather wise, down to T-shirt but not shorts.

Spent the morning polishing brass, the engineer (Foxton Boat Services) arrived about lunch time and set too doing all the 'first' services on the engine, gearbox and the generator engine.

How he contorted his body into some very tight places and got out again, I do not think I will ever know.

Will be seeing Sam again in about 200hrs, engine run time, wonder how many days that is.

They (engine, gearbox and generator) consumed nearly 20 litres of oil between them but the cost was less than servicing my car, well pleased with the service and cost.

Went again to Annie's tea room, well I was tired after watching Sam do all that work, had a cream tea and long conversation with some friends and customers, one of whom is buying his first boat.