Autumn Half Term. 6th October


It started to rain as Mick got out of bed to make tea. Was it worth getting dressed before our morning cuppa to get the cratch cover back on before everything in the well deck got wet? We knew it made sense and put top layers on with water proof coats. After wiping water off the cratch board the cover was back on before 8am. Damp things removed we got back into bed for tea.


Soon after breakfast the stove was lit, the temperature having dropped by around 10C since yesterday. We knew the forecast was for rain followed by more rain today, so hadn’t planned anything. It felt like an Autumn Half Term holiday where either you spent it in front of the TV or were forced to walk around the Lake District in the rain because it was character building! We decided to do the former after Mick had walked to the Co-op about a mile away for our Saturday newspaper.

Chickpea flour, water and seasoning

A boy programme on trains was followed by a girl programme, GBBO. Then we decided to watch Mystery Road that is being shown on BBC4. Lunch was suitable soup with homemade chickpea flatbreads. The flour has been sat in a drawer for the last year and is just passing it’s use by date. They were an interesting experiment and I think next time I may add a touch of cumin. They also might be a good base for a flat bread pizza.

During the day my Panto snake puppet grew, it only needs a few more inches of body and then things like a tongue and some extra markings for it to be finished. Then there are another two to make!

Thrupp cottages

Late afternoon the rain dried up so we had a stroll around the village. It wasn’t a long one as the village is quite small. A row of Grade 2 listed cottages  sits alongside the canal. If you fancy one it would be a mere £425k in need of some modernisation. They do look cosy though. We studied the bus timetables to see if here would be a possible place for me to commute from, 2 buses and they run on Sundays, the advantage of being by Oxford Airport. Then we followed a path behind The Boat Inn which led us back to the canal at Shipton-on-Cherwell and the Holy Cross Church.

Holy Cross Church

Inside no lights were on and the small church was a touch gloomy in the fading light of the day. A flash was needed to be able to see just about anything, a small organ and two bells. We returned to Oleanna having decided to eat out at The Boat Inn tonight, hoping that their beer stocks had been replenished from earlier in the week.

John Thaw watching over us

We joined four other tables in The Morse Room. The Boat Inn was used as a location in an episode of Morse back in 1989 (The Last Enemy) and the walls have numerous photos from the episode. John Thaw looked over my shoulder as I tucked into a steak and chips. We’d heard the chap on the table next to us checking to see if their pies were just stew topped with a puff pastry lid or a proper pie with sides, the answer was yes they had sides. But what we forgot to ask ourselves was how our food would be served. They arrived on plates, but the chips came in a mini frying basket with a piece of paper under them. These were dispensed with very quickly, all the food on a plate where it should be.


The steaks were okay, still not had one to beat The Old Hall Inn, Chinley (The Red Lion in Crick comes second). They certainly weren’t triple cooked chips, more the variety that had once been mashed potato which had then been formed into chip shapes, then sprayed with a coating to hold them together. The only option I had for pudding was ice cream. A scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate in a glass with a blob of cream on top. You may notice that I call this ice cream as it had no medicinal qualities to it what –so-ever, just supermarket cheepo ice cream.  We decided to return to Oleanna to keep Tilly company for a second drink rather than spend more money on beer and wine in the pub.

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 bridges, 1 cratch cover back on before the rain really set in, 1 clean pooh box, 7 pencils, 2 pens, 1 handcuff key destined for the floor, 1 very bored cat, 3 episodes Mystery Road, 1ft of snake, 5 chickpea flatbreads, 0.5 of soup, 1 large glass wine, 1 pint, 2 steaks, 1 with 1 without onion rings, 1 stove lit all day, 1 very cosy boat.