Friday, 30 May 2014

Then and now.

IMG_6353 The Rose and Castle                   IMG_6444

This was The Rose and Castle, then re-named The Millhouse Hotel and today we know it as The Boathouse.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Has he gone mad?

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Today I cleaned the outside of the boat and eliminated most of the green algae on the cratch cover using Fabsil. This involves quite a bit of scrubbing action. When I’s finished the Cabin Boy made coffee for us. Then to my amazement he said would I like to go out for lunch! Well I never refuse an invitations like that, because he doesn’t ask that often. So we went to the Boat House for lunch AND pudding whilst watching the boats cruise past. The second shock was he said he would have a walk up into the village with me! We took the short cut up the footpath and kissed at the kissing gates. I took some pics for you, although everything seemed to look a bit skew whiff after the pub visit. There were plenty of people out enjoying the sunshine after all that incessant rain we’ve had. We stopped to chat to a few people including fellow blogger Garry who was busying himself with a few jobs on nb Muleless.

Tatty bye all you blog-readers.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Crick returns.

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President and Kildare came steaming around the junction turning left down the Oxford Canal. Then we wandered along to the Stop House to pic up the June issue of ‘Towpath Talk’ to browse through. While we were chatting to the lady on duty, I spotted this canal art picture hanging in the office, which adds a dash of colour.

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Many boaters have been returning from the Crick Show and telling us how muddy it all was, especially the car park. I like this little idyllic ‘room with a view’ with Clematis climbing it’s walls. There was a huge swathe of smoke hanging over the boats in the distance. I think in this drizzly damp weather the smoke is unable to rise above the chimneys. We have relented and re-lit our Squirrel to warm things up a bit too. On my return from shopping I heard someone sploshing through the puddles behind me. On turning round I saw the familiar face of Ian Gosty Hill and invited him in for afternoon drinks. We had quite a bit of news to catch up on between us. Later his friend rang to say she was ready to go, so he left to get a lift. It was lovely to see him again, and he told us that Gosty Hill is for sale at £30,000 if you are interested in acquiring it.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Moving on down.

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Well after spending twelve glorious fairly sunny days at the junction it was time to move on  before the rain set in. We had the tunnel to ourselves, so had a nice clear run through, with only one noisy boat following us. Two boats were just emerging from the top lock, so both our boats went in. Luckily there were plenty of boats coming up so we were able to swap in all the locks, perfick! I popped into the Boat Shop from the bottom lock to buy bread and milk. We then moored in the only 14 day spot remaining and had bread and cheese with our last speckled hen. The rain set in for the rest of the day so we put our feet up and had a restful afternoon.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


IMG_4606 Kingfisher IMG_4606 Kingfisher a IMG_3534 IMG_3534a

During the rainy season I have been practicing on Coral to enhance my phots I took some time back. Here they are. As you can see I have not managed to catch birds in flight yet!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

President and Kildare.

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We heard a toot on a steam whistle, out came the cameras and we went off to the junction to get a few pictures. President and Kildare had come up from Braunston through the tunnel.

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They turned left and made it around Norton Junction in one go, but I expect they have had plenty of manoeuvring practice. Then away they went heading up towards Watford Locks in time for the Crick show this weekend. This lucky little dog lives at the Toll House on the junction.


I hear leaves drinking rain,

I hear rich leaves on top

Giving the poor beneath

Drop, after, drop,

’Tis a sweet noise to hear

These green leaves drinking near.

And when the sun comes out.

After this rain shall stop.

A wondrous light will fill,

Each dark, round drop. I hope the sun shines bright

‘Twill be a lovely sight.


Friday, 23 May 2014

Visitors abreast.

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As there were  so many boats moored here at Norton Junction Graham and Jane have spent a few days breasted up with us. It is lovely to have such delightful neighbours and to be visited by “Paw” their cat while they are out during the daytime. He has been in and out of Oakfield like a yo-yo to be stroked, purring loudly. The weather has been fine and sunny while we have been moored here and Paw has been sunbathing. We went for a meal at the New Inn one evening and have enjoyed being on each others boats for drinks together and chatting.

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As “nb Alnwick” was booked in to moor while the Crick Boat Show was on we offered to help work it up Watford Locks. Graham wound up the engine, it awoke from it’s slumbers and the gert beast sprung noisily into life. We took off in full wet weather gear as there was thunder and intermittent heavy rain. En-route Graham went below to light the Squirrel and left the Cabin Boy in charge of the steering etc. Soon we were at the locks, booked in and luckily as there was no-one queuing, started our ascent straight away.

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We caught up with butty ( for our Ausie readers a ‘butty’ has no engine) “Raymond” that was being bow hauled slowly up by it’s volunteer crew. We had to wait in the lock below the top for a boat to come down into the pond, then we were into our last one, hurrah! As we entered Crick tunnel we could just see Nutfield towing Raymond in the distance near the other end. We made good progress through as there were no boats coming towards us. Emerging back out into the daylight we all had our eyes peeled for Alnwick’s allocated mooring spot in Zone 3’. Now, how the organisers expected anyone to read the wording on the A4 signage attached to the bushes from a moving boat I don’t know! I called out to one lady to see if we were in the right zone and she didn’t know. The moorings have been extended this year so it seems, and stretched from the tunnel mouth right up to Cracks Hill Footbridge! This consisted of a distance of over a mile and a half and if we didn’t see our spot we would have to turn and come back for another look. Of course it was still gently raining all the while. As luck would have it a few boats along, another boater was on the towpath and called out that we were to breast up with him. He kindly helped to haul us in to tie up to his boat. meanwhile Paw had been desperate to jump ashore to go exploring, as cats do. This meant shooting across the back of the two boats and then a long jump to land. We were all chatting when he returned and gasped when we saw him only just make it back over to the boat. Next job was to pin the plank out  to span the gap twixt boat and bank, so Paw didn’t fall into the mud soup below!

IMG_6396 Crick Tunnel      IMG_6350      IMG_6367

We pealed off our wet clothes and hung them in the warmth of the engine room to evaporate. Yes, blog readers you may have guessed that as soon as we went inside for a warm drink the rain stopped and it brightened up, typical. It had been an eventful, but very enjoyable day for us. Soon Jane arrived by car and we all went to The Moorings for a delicious evening meal together, perfick!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

In the galley.

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The evenings were cool and it had rained most nights, just the way we like it. So I cooked  roast lunch aboard on Sunday  We have been sharing the lovely local brews that our daughter brought for us and very nice they are too! I am the galley slave, but the cabin boy seems to have taken over doing the washing up, hoorah. He is also responsible for putting the ingredients into the bread maker for our daily crusty loaf. It smells fab when it’s done and he takes it out to cool down, making any passers by drool.. The small packet of Wrights ready-mix bread seemed to go mad rising right up to the top of the bread maker! This doesn’t take as long to cook as our usual half white, half wholemeal loaf does.

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Sometimes he forgets and we run out of bread and have to resort to our standby store of cheese and crackers. As I usually have eggs, milk, flour, lemon and sugar aboard so I also occasionally make pancakes for our mid-day snack. We eat these from our plates that were made especially for us! Another favourite meal is Broccoli Cheese-bake with Bacon and Chips, this can all be cooked together in the oven, perfick!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Siesta time.

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We are enjoying the countryside in the sunshine and are too lazy to write much on here.

Does anyone read it anyway?