Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Home Home to our floating clouds

We cruised back into our berth at Weltonhythe yesterday just before the heavens opened. Pete had been working the weekend, so the Bank Holiday was a rest day for all of us. The forecast was dismal, so we untied quickly in a slightly mizzly moment. The mizzle stayed with us around the Oxford/Grand junction, up the Braunston flight of locks, then met us again after the tunnel. Heavier rain threatened at Norton junction, but nothing threw itself at us until we'd tied up.  Whew! Pete was delighted for his reservoirs.

This very grainy shot is this evening with our swans, Wills and Kate, sleeping in the basin. The floating clouds making it all quite peaceful. And Pete has just spotted our bats, as yet unnamed.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Braunston beauty for a wee while

This is the view out the side hatch for today's coffee break. We're learning a new routine this long time out on the cut. Having used only 2.5 hours of engine time for domestic use since June, now that we have the solar panels to charge batteries, we're learning new times to do things.

In addition to making sure we both take our work-time breaks, we're doing laundry at the end of a work day and not the beginning, so that the BFG heats the evening's water. We used to run the engine for 2-3 hours a day to both charge the batteries and heat water, but no longer. What a wonderful change to our lives. Now all is as quite at this scene all day long. And only in the general flurry of coming home tasks do we hear an engine - and for only 45 minutes. In the time of putting away bags, sorting lunchboxes and walking Josie, we hardly notice the laundry being done.

Ahhhh.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Evening visitor

This is one of Braunston's swans, reflected in our sitting room mirror. We never feed them, as they'll end up being such bullies, but it always takes a few mooring days for them to figure this out.

Now in Braunston

We always end up in Braunston! After separating from our friends on Friday, we travelled south a little bit on the South Oxford, winded before Napton locks, then set off north. We moored at an idyllic country haven (the one where we had to manage snails!), looking up to Bush Hill and Flecknoe. Beautiful.

Saturday was a shockingly lazy start with brunch, then a saunter through Braunston onto the North Oxford. We moored up just past Bridge 88 to enjoy the sheep opposite. We walked up to the village art and craft fair where Elizabeth bought two beautifully carved walking sticks from talented Chris. They have already proved their worth as both support and a fabulous countryside style of Nordic Walking. E is hooked.

Today we set out to a bright and windy day to merely cruise for no purpose but cruising pleasure. We went north to just short of Hillmorton and winded for south. It was a rather hilarious moment (or half hour?) being passed by a hire boat as we were backing up for winding, which then asked if it could wind first, then admitted it was their first time turning around. Of course another boat arrived travelling south and a further northbounder joined the audience. A boating hoot of the highest order. Fabulous.

We eventually got turned, travelled south and moored up here in an ideal 14 day spot in Braunston. So we'll be here a wee while!

The shared holiday ends

We left you, dear Reader, in Radford Semele on the Grand Union, where Elizabeth was practicing walking post fall. A stick aided hobble was achieved to the White Lion, but all four of us (we're travelling with lovely friends' boat and crew) suggested that rest was a better idea.

The next morning saw us cruising up the Radford Semele locks, Bascote flight and the next two locks with Elizabeth stuck at the tiller (harumph) and Pete and friends doing a fine choreography of boat2 tiller, the lock we were in and then setting the next lock along. We managed to miss all the threatening rain and moored up on the Long Itchington aquaduct. Pete, funnily enough, was the only one to make the pub that afternoon!

The next day was the final leg of the two boats holiday excursion. We travelled up the Long Itchington pair, the Stockton flight then the Calcutt flight with Elizabeth a bit more graceful about having to stay at the tiller. A turn south at Wigrams Turn brought us to The Bridge pub moorings in Napton. Within the hour, our companions' car was fetched and Elizabeth whisked to A&E in Rugby. Suspected spiral fracture, but post Xray, perhaps chipped fubula.

The next morning we all did a dance of car hopping, hospital visiting with a step of Napton flight ascending.  The end result was that our dear friends are now travelling south on the Oxford Canal and we're underway north. Elizabeth has nothing broken and now sports awesome bruising and swelling. Weight bearing exercise with anti-inflammatories the cure, she's dancing for joy at the lack of plasters or crutches!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Yesterday's view

On one side was a hedge full of berries, on the other was a hill.

Beware the snails

Who knew? Walking Josie this night meant watching our feet for snails. Everywhere. We're moored in a particularly delightful quiet out of reach country mooring. This is the hazard. Snails.