Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Saturday 29 June 2013

Stressful day..

 Almost finished

We had just gone back into the boat  after enjoying a hour or two in the sunshine, (Joe had been  painting and I had been cross-wording),  to watch the F1 Grand Prix qualifying when we were disturbed by some Hooray Henry-Etta blowing blue murder on a boat claxon..

Poking our head of the side hatch to see who was making this racket we found it was none other than fellow blogger Mortimer Bones 

Just letting us know she was passing by
Thanks Bones

And as you can see, we soon got back to work after watching the F1


This morning I tramped into the village of Kirtlington, some 45 minutes walk away from Yarwood's mooring.  I have been into the village a number of times since Tuesday when we arrived here, initially to check the possibility of getting our mail forwarded to the Post Office, then to collect the mail and this morning the errand was to get fresh bread, milk and a Saturday Times. The village is substantial, attractive and apparently thriving.  There is enough new development to keep a primary school populated, a public house and a hotel in business and the condition of St. Mary's church in the centre of the village is in  better condition than most churches I have seen of late.  There is a single shop which is grocer, news agent, tea shop  and post office combined and is well stocked and busy.
I am thinking of leaving Joe and the dogs here next week while I go off to Essex to see my Mother..they will be able to get all they need from Kirtlington and our current mooring is just so lovely  they will be very content if I do go away.

 St. Mary's

 Not the best picture I am afraid but there is a section of medieval wall painting conserved inside the church

 Stunning tiled floors in the sanctuary

 The substantial vicarage, or former vicarage...indicative of the former standing and financial position of the

Village store
 The old bakehouse
 Limestone cottages/houses on the village green

Friday 28 June 2013

And so to Tackley

Within a couple of miles of our current mooring are the villages of Tackley and Kirtlington and according to the Nicholson's Guide (canal maps) both villages have a Post Office.   I needed a Post Office because I wanted to arrange for our mail to be forwarded to us so I checked the Post Office website to see that these outlets were indeed still in existence and had not fallen foul of the Post Office Closure Program before venturing out to see if they did Post Restante.  It is always worth checking because some Sub Postmaster's and their staff have never heard of Post Restante and you can find your mail being refused or sent back from whence it came which is a right royal pain in the proverbial...

I opted to tramp out to recce Tackley first and set off with the dogs back along the tow path to Pigeon lock where I picked up a cycle track to Tackley Halt rail station.

 The dog roses are in flower in the hedgerows
 This chap was turning his hay crop to get it dry before baling
 There are a pair of horses enjoying the shade of a tree here and I came in very useful as a back-scratcher while Floyd sat and grumbled at them...  They were both wearing  fly masks to protect them from the unwelcome attentions of horse flies 
 The track to Tackley

 A thistle in full bloom
A profusion of cottage flowers adorning the limestone cottages in Tackley
The Post Office in Tackley is now located in the village hall along with the village shop which is now community undertaking staffed by volunteers.   It took me 50 Min's to walk there, they did do Post Restante so I left my name in case I had mail forwarded there and then I headed back to Yarwood before checking out the next village, Kirtlington.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Bow Painting Day 2

As I type this the rain is belting down outside but for most of the day it has been dry, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny but good enough for a little progress on the task in hand. I managed to wash and wax the towpath side of Yarwood and Joe has 'flatted' yesterday's paint job on the bow and masked and painted a bit more.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Bow Painting Day 1

The gouge on the bow flare was recently acquired at a 'landing' for a lift bridge so we decided to effect a repair AND change the design of Yarwood's bow flare.
 Here she is rubbed down

 A little extra paint around the 'rivets' 

 First coat

 Nearly done

Masking removed...stage one complete

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Thrupp to Nethercote

Our Tesco delivery arrived promptly this morning...10 Min's early it transpired.  I got a call at 8.55 from a pleasant lady at  Tesco saying the driver couldn't find me.
 "He's not due for another 5 minutes and I am here waiting for him." I said.  The lady from Tesco then rang the driver and I waved him down as his delivery waggon came hurtling back towards me.  A very nice chap, he loaded the crates on to his trolley and trundled it down the towpath to the boat.  Service with a smile, thank you Tesco.
So with larder and fridge full we pulled pins and moved off to service Yarwood before taking our leave of Thrupp.
 Yarwood from the Sparrowgap Bridge next to the Jolly Boatman and my vantage point while waiting for the Tesco truck

 Thrupp lift bridge, otherwise known as 'Maffi's bridge', up and awaiting Yarwood.

 The control box for the hydraulically powered lift bridge, so much better than the usual four foot of chain that hang on to drop the lift bridges..

 Thrupp service point.  These services, managed by the Thrupp Cruising Club, must be the best in the system - floral displays everywhere, immaculately clean and  a book exchange.  I dropped off a number of hardback books that we had been carrying around for ages as well as some DVDs.
While we were servicing the boat we got talking to a three of men that were setting off to inspect railway bridges along this stretch of canal.  They had a sort of floating pontoon with scaffold on top and an inflatable with outboard to push the contraption about.  Prior to using this pontoon arrangement Network Rail used  to employ teams of abseiler's to do the inspections.  The team leader told us that every year he went to the Antartic with Bob Swan, the first chap that walked to both polar caps. We had a very interesting chat about climate change with someone who knew what he was about.

The inspection rig, going into Shipton Weir lock ahead of Yarwood

 In the lock together

 He's off again...a bit of R. Cherwell and he is up to five miles an hour

 On the brow of a hill overlooking the Cherwell...who is that listening to?

 Pigeon lock, the last of the day for us

 Coming in

 Moored up in splendid isolation at Nethercote

As the weather is apparently set fair we are going to stay here for a few days and get some painting done.  Another coat of raddle red for the cabin top and deck and repaint job on the bow flare.  


Monday 24 June 2013

Stand and deliver!!!

Tonight we went along to The Highwayman, one of the three inns in Thrupp (in the spirit of fairness/fair play we have tried them all) and had ourselves a curry; and what a curry!  Delicate spicy flavoured food, well presented and thoroughly enjoyable.
The pub has a 'relationship' with an 'in house' Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant  so you get you pint (a selection of real ales available) find a table and order your curry. Lovely service and a great atmosphere.

 The Highwayman Thrupp

 Service with a smile

Meal with a grimace..this is the best of a bunch that Himself took..never again will he wield the camera.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Around Thrupp

We are happily still settled here at Thrupp on a fourteen day mooring, not that we plan to stay for fourteen days.  Joe has ordered himself a new mobile phone and he will catch a bus into Oxford on Monday and collect the phone/package from the Post Office using the Post Restante service.  
I have arranged for a Tesco delivery on Tuesday morning and having spotted an Indian restaurant in Kidlington it looks like Tuesday's dinner will be the curry we have been promising ourselves for ages.  Come Wednesday we will be off again slowly wending our way up the South Oxford and exploring as we go.

So talking of exploring, yesterday I went walk about with the dogs crossing the canal at Shipton-on-Cherwell by the little canal side church and heading east across sheep pastures towards Hampton Gay.

 St Giles, Hampton Gay
Having crossed the River Cherwell and walked under the railway bridge you approach a tiny church sitting isolated in the midst of pasture land.   The medieval village that adjoined the church is long since gone,a  victim of gentry enclosures and a shrinking agricultural economy.

 St. Giles

 The ruins of Hampton Gay Manor House

Across from the church are the remains of Hampton Gay Manor, destroyed by fire in 1887 and now a Grade 2 listed building in a poor state.  The grand Manor Farm remains along with a number of stone cottages and barns but that is all that remains of this settlement now.  Apparently there had been a water mill/paper mill on the banks of the Cherwell that had provided employment for much of the village inhabitants but once that had closed it was the death knell for the village.

 All Saints, Shipton-on-Cherwell sitting on its embankment above the canal


Heading back to the boat alongside a field of either very short stunted oilseed rape or another crop that looks similar?