Dusty! 22nd November


This is now the longest we’ve ever been somewhere other than when we chose to moor up in Newark four years ago and that was mostly for medical reasons. Tilly is so bored! Even when I put her collar and cat tags back on this morning she only had half an hour outside before coming back in yawning at the lack of excitement.

First boat to go past this morning, backwards

In the last five weeks I’ve only been to Isis Lock and back, hardly a cruise. The prospect of getting moving again is quite an exciting one. Last night we had our first sign that things along the canal were improving. A couple of hours after dark we could hear the sound of a boat engine. As the stern came alongside we could hear ‘Hi Oleanna, we’ll see you in the morning’. NB Dusty had arrived. They headed to the lock, winded and came back past us to College Cruisers for the night.

Here she comes!

This morning it was obvious that Dusty was being restocked. We could hear the clanging of gas bottles, then a coal delivery followed by diesel. Mid morning they reversed their way back towards us. Katy, Jock and Billy their dog on the roof. We were remembered from last year and I was asked how panto had gone. There was plenty of time to have a chat and catch up.

NB Dusty arriving from the north

Mick undid an empty gas bottle, Jock replaced it for us lowering a new heavy bottle into the gap in the gas locker to save Mick’s back. Bags of coal were loaded onto the roof. The boat in front of us had a delivery of something too before they reversed back to fill our diesel tank. Glad we’d waited until today as the price had dropped by 1p a litre with the new delivery, and it was far far cheaper than from College Cruisers.

Heading to the next customer behind us
TV monitor dimensions

Feeling better today I got on with a bit of work. Dimensions of a TV monitor had come through so plans needed amending for A Regular Little Houdini along with letting the production manager know which fabric I would like for some curtains. I’d received samples whilst I was in Chippy, so now I needed to dig out the card I’d used in the model to compare colours. In the afternoon there was a phone call from Vienna to choose paint colours! Not an easy thing over the phone translating them into paints available in Austria, but we got enough sorted for the base coats to be laid in before I arrive in January. The set is starting to be built.

Mick headed off with a bike to collect a new printer from Argos, our old one having got cartridge confusion and now can’t print in black. The hunt for a suitably sized printer had taken a little while as the cupboard our office lives in is only a certain size. The box it came in though was ridiculous. Yes the printer is white, but is all the packaging really needed? Every surface was covered with a protective layer of plastic, instruction books had their own cardboard protection and plastic bag.

Thoughts turning to transporter bridges again

We now need to dispose of our old printer and all this packaging, most of which will be able to go in a bin up the way, but the cardboard will wait until we reach Lower Heyford to go in the recycling bins there. At least once the polystyrene has gone Tilly will make use of the box for a while.

The box is twice the size of the printer

NB Dusty had come down the River Cherwell section on Wednesday to Shipton Weir Lock, it was still in the red, but they had managed it without too much problem. We’d be going against the flow so it should be easier heading upstream. When they came through Thrupp there was some space to moor. So this evening we have been making plans for our escape, including a supermarket delivery. Fingers crossed that space is still there.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 better digestive system, 1 light head, 546 x 956, 3 moving boats, $100, 1 cat with cat tags, 28 minutes shore leave, 125kg coal, 36 litres diesel, 1 gas bottle, 83p, 1 giant box, 1 small printer, JS016, 4 yellow reaches, possibly 8th brick, 2 boaters and 1 cat making plans.