Waiting For The Grey Boat. 7th October

Thrupp to Kidlington Green Lock 43

An apt boat for today

A dry but chilly morning, time to nudge one more step towards Oxford. Plenty of boats were heading north and at times there were several waiting for the lift bridge, we headed southwards for water and a suitable place for Tilly.

Knowing we’d be able to fill up ahead the washing machine had been active whilst we’ve been in Thrupp, the gauge now reading a quarter full. We pulled up at Langford Bridge which isn’t the best place for a water point. Just after a bridge on a bend. We opted for mooring with our stern in to the towpath and bow sticking out, a fender strategically positioned hoping that the freshly painted gunnels will survive a day un marked.

A useful sign

Once full, we pootled onwards having ear marked a mooring we thought would be good for Tilly. At Roundham Lock we swapped with a boat coming out of the lock and had extra crew to help us down as a hire boat awaited their turn accompanied by a lady sat in their bow playing sea shanties on an accordion .

For those from YorkPaws to protect the hull

With moorings above and below Kidlington Green Lock we pulled in above and I walked to see what was available below. I had a suspicion that the boat that would be our neighbour had a cat as there was an escape board pinned into the armco at either ends of the boat. Mick confirmed this on my return as he’d seen the cat having a bath in preparation for coming out of it’s cat flap. We decided as there was plenty of space below the lock with sunlight we’d move down.

Only two more locks to Oxford

A boat had just pulled in, most probably for lunch, they had a whippet who dashed along the towpath towards us. Maybe above the lock would have been better! Once we’d tied up Mick walked down to ask about their dog and how it is with cats. Not good was the answer and they were expecting another whippet to arrive shortly but would be moving on in an hours time. This did not go down too well with Tilly!!

They’d tied the outside up. She’d written down the magic numbers. The magic music had been played. There were trees. There was a big huge field to run around in. I’d been locked in for days, weeks, years!!! But she didn’t recite the rules, just a ”Sorry Tilly, when the grey boat goes” !!!!! We hoped that the lady kept to her word.

The grey boatShore leave at lastJust as she said they pulled off an hour later and as she walked past informed us that the dogs were safely on the boat. Tilly and I stood and watched the grey boat go past, a stairgate visible at the stern to keep their dogs in. It was now safe. “Three Hours, no friends home, dead or alive or putting them on the roof for later …..”etc. One happy cat.

FazilDuring the afternoon I finished off my first Fazil for panto. He still needs eyes a tongue and some markings, but the shape is good and he fits on my hand as well as Micks. A one size fits all snake. Another two to make, but I’m going to have a break from snakes whilst I do a bit more towards a big order I’ve got. Multicoloured wool put away and subtle cream and red back out.


As our roast pork cooked the sun set over the far side of the field behind us. What a lovely sight, whilst trying to encourage a still giddy cat to come home for her dingding!

DSCF7114sm2 locks, 2.33 miles, 1 full water tank, 1 accordion, 2 planks, 1 pawprint rubbing strake, 1 mark, 1st female DR, 1 aptly named boat, 1 snake, 4th pair started, 1 Sunday roast, 4 hours of pouncing, digging, climbing and running around like a loon!