Going Down And Stocking Up. 23rd November


Stocks of the yummy things I like to have in to cook with have become somewhat depleted over the last couple of months, it’s been a while since we did a big shop. So with our planned escape from Oxford imminent we’ve booked a delivery for Thrupp.

I give up!

With the winter months still ahead of us the freezer was switched back on this morning so that it could be stocked up too. The problem with the sticking drawer hasn’t been resolved yet, but we have ideas. I’ve missed being able to dip into it over the summer months, now we can have peas and a stash of gluten free bread along with mince and chicken amongst other things.

Nine, just

One last look at the Thames was needed before we make for the hills. Below Isis Lock the ninth brick was just showing and the weir from the canal to the river was a lot more sedate than it had been last weekend. We walked round through the station to Osney Bridge avoiding muddy towpaths.

Here the level has also dropped, but the flow is still crazy. Link. The blue boat still sits on a list, clinging on for dear life to the weir protection with the waters rushing by. We walked down by the side of the boats and chatted with a chap from one of them. He’s been stuck here for five weeks now, he’s learnt his lesson of coming onto the river in winter. His aim had been to get to Newbury, but when the river permits he’ll be turning round and heading back onto the Oxford Canal.

The cat boat by the weir
Le Boat on the lock landing

The Lock Keeper has opened up the toilets so those moored can access water and showers, his neighbour has four large water carriers so he borrows those to top his tank up. He did end up hiring a car the other week to be able to reach the elsan point on the canal to empty his cassettes. He told tales of a hotel boat hoping to make it through the bridge but having to pull into a gap behind him, a Le Boat (big hire cruiser) had had serious difficulty at least three weeks ago and had ended up moored on the lock landing. Mick also knows of the boat that had moored behind us at Sandford Lock with all the cats. When he’d come up Osney Lock he got pinned against the weir, he managed to eventually get moved up a little just past it. Today his back doors were open, cats free to come and go. Have to say Tilly would not be allowed out in such a place, if she fell in that would be that! Link to weir.

Still high below the lock

The bottom gates of the lock were wide open and below the lock landing was a few inches under water. When Mick came up three weeks ago he’d not had to paddle when he reached the lock, today wellies would definitely be needed. I don’t think the reach above Osney has been out of the red for five to six weeks.


We carried on walking down to join Osney Mead. Well we couldn’t leave Oxford without a visit to the Fish Market. It was just about lunch time and there were queues of people wanting to eat in the restaurant upstairs, all paying before ascending. What to buy? We looked at what was available on the central display today, not as packed as we’ve seen it before, maybe because it was a Saturday.

Our fish

We came away with a large Mackerel for tonight, some smoked mackerel and a very good handful of fish pie mix to go in the freezer.

Our meat

Next port of call Meat Master across the way. Here we hunted out a nice joint of beef for tomorrow, some gf sausages, mince and some diced pork, most of which were later divided up into meal sized portions and popped in the freezer.

Waitrose came next, my leg now starting to complain. We stocked up on fresh fruit and veg to last us a few days, enough to get a free newspaper before heading back to Oleanna.

Customers at Waitrose

On reaching the boat we both wanted a rest, after some lunch we decided to stay put today. It would be dark by the time we reached anywhere Tilly could go out and I certainly felt like I’d done enough for the day, still recovering from the other night.

As the evening grew dark it started to rain, fingers crossed that tomorrow it stays dry as forecast and the rivers stay on their downward trend.

Mackerel, tastier than it looks

PS the Mackerel was very tasty.

0 locks, 0 miles, 9001 paces, 5000 walked, 4001 hobbled, 5 weeks on East Street, 5 cats still hopefully, 1 mackerel, 378 grams fish pie mix, 1 pack smoked mackerel, 1 silverside joint, 12 gf sausages, 547 grams mince, 475 grams diced pork, 1 free newspaper, 6 boxes on order, 20 litres cat litter, 1 wet evening knitting.

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