Up To Date And Overstaying. 12th October


Mick nudging us up yesterday worked a treat, only one train through the night that we noticed and no compressor noise! A good nights sleep all round.

This morning we had a quick tidy up as we were expecting a visitor. Paul from Waterway Routes had come to visit. He brought with him the 80th update of his canal maps, we were the first to receive them.

We’ve been using Waterway Routes since mid April and find it very useful. The maps include all the information you could want whilst boating, water points, moorings, access to towpaths, to mention only a few. All the positions on the maps are accurate down to a five digit grid reference and those who have the maps are encouraged to give updates or corrections as they cruise the network, therefore making Paul’s maps the most up to date you can get. Every month there is an update. Today he very kindly came out to see how we are doing with them and so that we could upload the latest version onto the lap top.

Paul, Mick and me

Mick checked to see if our contributions had been added and of course they had been. Paul doesn’t just rely on boaters giving him updates he also does a lot of checking himself. Earlier in the week he’d had a trip up to Scotland and cycled 40km to check the information he has on the Union Canal into Edinburgh. During the summer months he and his wife cruise the network collecting data and recording journeys on their boat to produce DVDs. This summer their plans had to change somewhat due to lack of water, slower than planned restoration works and canal closures.

There was plenty to talk about and catch up on, even Tilly woke up from her morning snooze to say hello. I passed on information I’ve been collating from the outsides we’ve tied up and Paul is considering how best to add cat friendly symbols to his maps. This may be on an overlay as not every boater will need them. Tom and her have done an overlay of their own for the winter stoppages on the Oxford Canal which they think will be useful this winter. Just hope those stoppages are near good rabbit holes.

After a morning chatting, Storm Callum was taking hold, the train ride I’d been on yesterday was not possible today due to the high winds and waves at Dawlish. The serious winds meant we weren’t too keen on moving so we decided to stay put for the day. I had quite a few work emails to deal with and Mick wanted to go to John Lewis with his phone to get it mended. Many branches and twigs had been blown off the trees along the towpath into the city. Whilst Mick went to sort his phone I also ventured out to catch a bus to Kidlington. I most probably could have walked there from the boat when we come to leave Oxford, but that would have been too late.

Kidlington Dulux Decorator's Centre

In the old days when we lived in a house and I had a work room at the top of the house, I had a full colour swatch book for Dulux paints and others for theatrical paints. If there is one thing I miss now it is those swatch books. Choosing paints from either a computer screen or a swatch book with a fraction of the colours is impossible. So a trip to the nearest Dulux Decorators Centre was needed. Plenty of buses head out to Kidlington and there was a bus stop bang outside, so I didn’t have to get blown too far to get some shelter.

Panto colours

I first perused a stand and picked out the best colours for various things I’ll be painting and then asked if I could look at their big bumper swatch book. They obliged and I found just the right colour, checked prices, thanked them and was on my way back to the boat. A successful trip. Mick’s trip wasn’t as successful, his phone is having to be sent away to be mended, it may be a couple of weeks before he gets it back, fortunate we’re staying on the Oxford so he can always get a train back to pick it up. He returned with his sim card and has managed to find an old phone to keep him going.

The wind is still strong, so we won’t be going anywhere today, hopefully any C&RT number checkers will be sensible and not report us for overstaying.

A Tilly imposter at Sainsbury's

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 good nights sleep, 80th update, 1 stoppage overlay, 1 cat friendly overlay to be worked on, 2 windy to move, 2 windy for cats, 2 bus to Kidlington, 1 Tilly imposter, 7 bus back, £88.60 for 10L, 1 poorly phone, 2nd snake nearly finished.