Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Last run of the year on a beautiful autumn day

Starting down Hillmorton locks on such a lovely morning
It was quite a shame that we only had the short run to Clifton as, provided you were wrapped up well, it was a glorious morning.

St John the Baptist Church
Whilst we Geoff emptied rubbish and loo below the second lock,  I took a short walk to see this church which Geoff had found whilst out walking yesterday.   It is hidden away down the lane and was surprisingly much bigger than I thought it would be.   We have been passing here for 9 years now and only just discovered it.

Once we reached Clifton we  found they had left us a space on the wharf which was good.   Bisou were still there but left shortly afterwards.

Bye Bye folks...enjoy your winter in the sun!

Now begins the task of packing up to go home for the least favourite task of the year.

Later we had a call from Ian & Christine and they called in for tea, by which time we were glad of a welcome break from packing.    They also kindly called in at Maplins in Banbury to collect the mains power lead for my computer.  I only discovered it missing this morning.  I had abandoned it there when I went to purchase a 12V lead.  Tea stretched to supper in the pub!!!

Total distance:1.82 miles 
Elapsed time:2 hrs 

Monday, 19 October 2015

Onward to Hillmorton and out of the internet grey hole we hope

Up to the junction and goodbye to Braunston
The central moorings were quite full but there was space available.
Despite being 48 hours mostly there were none of the nasty £25 notices here that Banbury sports.
We find that strange as we would have thought this was as popular a place as Banbury
Just a hour to run this morning to moor at the top of Hillmorton Locks.   Bisou had moved on there on Sunday afternoon and reported a good internet signal so I was hopeful.   The last few days, whilst not being in a black spot it was definitely grey.   My phone would pick it up but my Mifi would not.  Hence not many pictures on my blog........I have sort of mastered the art of uploading a picture whilst on my ipad in blogger but it is not easy....and I have not worked out how to reduce the size of pictures on my ipad.  
Another crisp morning, chillier than the past two mornings but still no rain.......thankfully.   It was cold enough that we took turns on the tiller.

When we reached here Bisou were still here but they left soon afterwards to get back to Clifton to have their revamped side doors fitted.  

Wonder of wonders they were quite correct....a good internet signal catch up time

Total distance:6.34 miles 
Elapsed time:2h25m52s 
Average speed:2.61 mph (2.61 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Weekend just outside Braunston

Good supper aboard Petroc last night with Nick & Patricia......much chat!!!! They luckily brought a large powerful torch with them as they had to go home along a very dark towpath....

We passed this sight yesterday
Was it craned in......or did they dig out and refill?????
Today we went to Braunston church in the morning followed by lunch with Patricia and Nick at the Boathouse.   

The lunch was very acceptable and reasonably priced....providing you are an even number dining!!!!! They have this deal of 2 for 1 on main courses.  However their Roast lunch is £13.50 or £15 to include a pudding.   At two for 1 that is reasonable but if you are on your own £13.50 for what was provided was not good value.   The meat portion was small (1 piece of beef) and 2 small roast be fair when I asked for more roast potatoes they did bring us a dish of them.  
Notwithstanding it was a good lunchtime......

Geoff did the walking around Braunston with Barney as I am still suffering with sore toes!!!!
Back to Petroc for a cosy afternoon with the fire on........I could get used to these afternoons, such a pity we are on our way home.


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Dodgy wifi

Wifi is not brilliant around the Napton area.   I had it for a while yesterday and then it disappeared.
We set off early Friday from Fenny on a crisp if dull autumn morning.   No one else around until Geoff, who had been walking with Barney wanted to climb back aboard and whilst I was picking him up a boat appeared behind and we had to let him through.......first sense of humour failure for the skipper!  Shortly afterwards a hire boat pulled out in front of us and proceeded at snails thrown out of cot and tiller handed over to me.....,

So it was a slow run down all the locks to Napton, nevertheless I enjoyed it!  We were lucky to find a space on the moorings just above bottom lock at Napton so skippers sense of humour restored somewhat.   My first task was to light the stove that we have started to light it, it is so cosy below.

I want to upload a picture here but the wifi is not good enough.  I am connected via my phone hot spot to iPad but cannot get blogger to upload photo from iPad.....doh!!!!!!!  My computer refuses to connect via phone hot spot.....prima donna. !

Today another early start but only one lock to do......we hardly saw a boat all morning.  However we did pass Bisous and they have now also reached Braunston and are coming for supper tonight.
Yet another crisp autumn day but no sun.  It is not nearly as cold as the previous day's however but have still lit the stove.......Geoff says I have fallen in love with it...he could be right.

We have moored just short of the turn and Bisous tried to get in behind us where there seemed to be plenty of room , however there was a large rock or something just where their stern needed to be so they have gone round the corner.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Back at Fenny Compton

We planned to depart about 9am to put ourselves at Fenny about coffee time in the hopes there would be plenty of space by then.   We were moored just above Clayton Middle lock and just two more locks to climb.   5 minutes before 9 we donned plenty of warm clothes and proceeded with our departure routine.......needless to say we saw a boat just entering the middle lock!!!  It was sorely tempting to buck our ideas up as we could easily have been away before he emerged from the lock......BUT I knew how miffed we would have felt if someone had done that to us.  So we did the decent thing and waited and let them go past.......but a thank you would have been nice....

Objective was achieved as we arrived at Fenny to find our pick of mooring places.  I have often thought how good it is that they have a launderette here at the Wharf Inn but have never availed myself of its capabilities...until now.   With no 240 Volt power the washing machine is one of the losses.   It was my first port of call after arrival.   I cannot say it is cheap at £6.00 for a wash and £3.00 to dry but it was very useful today.

My second task was to light the first fire of the year.   It was a dank cold day with no sunshine so it seemed the time was ripe.   I had forgotten how cosy it makes the boat.   The only problem is that when cooking it becomes too hot!!!   Windows have to be opened!

Strange to see smoke coming out of our chimney.
All summer Geoff has used it as a base for our TV aerial!
It is a good job we cannot use the TV as there might have been competition for the use of the chimney.

Total distance:3.45 miles 
Elapsed time:2h1m20s 
Average speed:1.71 mph (2.70 lock/mph) 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

About Turn

Not straight away as we had to go through Banbury lock to use the sani station and then about a mile to the first turning point.
All the the mooring above the lock and some below has this mooring restriction now.
It is a very popular place as Banbury has embraced its canal and made it a pleasure to be there....however whilst I would not object to paying maybe £5 a night for the extra days I do think £25 is taking the mickey!

That said.when we moored up we happened to see the CRT man with his machine clocking the boats and explained that I had to go to London for a couple of days.  He was very accommodating and marked it down and we had no trouble with overstaying.   Whilst there are still a lot of boats around there was space left every night so don't think we were depriving anyone.

On our way back north now.  Rising in Banbury Lock
Two boats waiting to journey south as we emerge into the centre of the shopping area
Through the pedestrian bridge
and down the line of moored boats very slowly
What a shame Sovereign wharf is not open more often
Fridays 9-5 cannot give them much trade
Geoff is all for pressing on now as he wonders what is going to fail next on Petroc.   We are managing to charge everything in turn on a single 12V outlet.   Our second outlet appears to be non functioning at the moment.
However after 5 hours and 12 locks I was extremely tired and my feet sore again so much to the skippers displeasure I requested to moor in a nice sunny spot in the middle of the Claydon locks!!
Heigh Ho

As I write this at 8.15pm it is pitch black outside and a boat has just gone past do they see where they are going....and as for doing locks in the dark.....

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Long weekend in London

No narrow boats here on the Serpentine
No snow either so I guess this is the alternate sport
Or this one
This chap was watching over Trafalgar Square
A good time in London apart from the sad part of saying goodbye to Boe as she left for her new teaching post in Vietnam.
I went to my reunion where a lot of catching up with old friends took place and a lot of wondering where all the years had gone.
Geoff and Barney were not lonely in my absence as he had several visitors and he was picked up and taken away for a couple of days by Tony & Di.
So now back on Petroc, we have stocked up for the trip back to Clifton.  We will turn around tomorrow and wend our way not too quickly back up the Oxford.  I have returned with very sore feet, must be all those hard pavements in London!
The trip back will be all on 12volt power which seems very TV, Radio, and all the other luxuries of life....which of course we can exist quite well without.......well I don't know about my computer!!!!  However a trip to Maplins today and I now have a 12 volt charger.   Unfortunately, although we have 2 12volt outlets one of them appears to be not functioning so all our essential gadgets have to take it in turn...... luckily there is a launderette at Fenny Compton so that will be a necessary stop.