Into The Clouds. 16th October

Soggy Slipper to Somerton Meadows


Misty, foggy was the view we opened the curtains to this morning. But the forecast had said it would brighten up. There were various work emails to deal with before we could set off today, our route would take us through a black hole of internet and bad phone reception, only one tiny hole at Heyford station would be available. Not so good when work is cranking up again.

A dribble of a tap

Pushing off around 11am we rose up Dashwood Lock. Here the mist got thicker, maybe it was still a bit early for the sun to come out. We pootled our way along the mile and a half to Heyford Wharf Bridge where we moored up and filled the water tank. We’d run the washing machine on the way to make the most of the very slow tap. Rubbish and recycling was done, then I worked a touch, then we had lunch. Just as the table was cleared our water tank made the small boom, a prelude to the bigger one that announces that it is full.

I’d been waiting for a response about a large stage manager and a table to come through so that I could instruct a carpenter what dimensions to use and just as we were about to leave the email came through, phew! Chris the chippy could get his saw going again.

Did you not hear me? You ran your engine!

The moorings in Heyford are most definitely not the quietest with the railway line only a few yards away. As the trains hurtle past the canal vibrates. So it amuses us that there are signs here requesting you not to run your engine or generator which would disturb the local house dwellers. Maybe they are immune to train noise, we certainly couldn’t hear our engine as the trains zoomed past!

Mill lift bridge

The key of power worked again at the lift bridge and a chink of phone signal brought me a message from my Director wanting to make sure I’d received the email I’d been waiting for.

Allen’s lock took us further up into what must be low level cloud. Planes and helicopters could be heard, but none were visible and the moisture in the air around us gradually got us damp. By the time we’d come up Heyford Common Lock we’d decided to have a slightly shorter day than originally planned and stop at Somerton Meadows. The first stretch of armco was empty so we pulled up to the end and tied up for the day.

Lots of room to run around and be a loon

I wasn’t too sure about this outside to start with. A serious lack of trees! They seemed to be concerned that I wouldn’t get on with the big friends here, but despite not talking the same language we got on fine. I did how ever keep clear of their bottoms! After a while I spotted some exceptionally good trees on the horizon, they kept me busy for quite a few hours.

A bovine view

Here at last we had good internet again and just as well as some proofs of a cloth that we are getting printed for panto were sent through for me to check . The detail in the scans was incredible, so much detail that I wasn’t aware was even there! As the sun set, yes we did eventually get to see it, the skies cleared and we lit the stove. Shame we can’t stay on this mooring for a few days, it’s lovely.

Sun at last

3 locks, 4.82 miles, 1 tasty looking peasant, 1 very big cloud, 1 hour 10 mins to fill with water, 1 litre milk, 4 boats moving, 1 idyllic mooring to ourselves, 37 cows!