Christmas Cut. 5th December

Tom Rolt Bridge to Slat Mill Lock

The last push this morning as we wanted to be pushing off. About time too !!!

There is a lack of post offices where we’re heading so last night I’d packaged up presents that needed to go in the post, printed off a few cards all that was left this morning was to find addresses and take them to the post office in Castle Quay.

Time to move onwards

Whilst I was busy Mick cycled down to Morrisons for some of their peanut butter. Three jars were purchased (it’s the best in our opinion, only made with peanuts and nothing else), sadly their gluten free aisle isn’t what it was last year and there was no gf black pudding!

Once the post had been posted and a couple of things picked up from other shops there was one thing left to do. I took a deep breath and walked into The Cutting Bar for my annual haircut. I’d considered going elsewhere after last year, but here I could just walk in without an appointment. Only wanting a straight line cutting it should be cheap and I was determined to not let them put loads of gunk on my head..


There was a short queue, but after about ten minutes I was directed towards the sink. Here the lady who’d been sat on the desk gently washed my hair, she took so long I’d have been able to do it twice and have a shower at the same time.


Then another lady took over. I felt like I should say, ‘Bless me, for it has been twelve months since my last hair cut’. But instead I just asked for it to be cut as short as possible but still able to go back into pig tails. My lovely hair dresser in Scarborough knows what this means, this lady though added a couple of inches on, most probably hoping it would encourage me back sooner, little does she know!

Not quite a years worth on the floor

I was very quick off the mark when she reached for the blow drier and a hair brush. I’d noticed this year there were signs saying you could have a rough blow dry for £2 extra. This would be enough to get rid of the damp before going out into the cold again, but hopefully not involve all the brushing and curling under to give me a lions main. I had made the right decision, thankfully.

After. It can be Christmas now.

No products, no curling, no extra body. Phew! My ordeal was over for another year. At my reckoning it was going to cost me just over £20, so imagine my surprise when she said £15.95 please! Who was I to argue? This was £3 less than I thought it would be before the blow drying. Then the penny dropped as I walked out the door, I’d been charged the Senior rate! Excuse me, I’m not even 55 yet!! Blimey has my face become that haggard!?!

As I got back to the boat, Mick had just started to reverse back to the water point. I was picked up and handed a windlass to lift the bridge. We filled the tank and put on winter cruising clothes, time to make a move.

Dink and Malc’s

Last year as we left Banbury we came across ice outside Dink and Malc’s house, today it was clear. As ever a friendly wave from inside the conservatory and a big thumbs up from Malc as we passed. I wonder how many times he has to wave a day in the summer months to passing boaters.

Rising away from Banbury

Up Hardwick Lock, under the M40 and on to Bourton Lock. Here the lock cottage looks much the same as ever. All the windows shuttered up, wonder what it’s like inside.

We’ll try

We decided to pull up before Slat Mill Lock in an Herbie Award winning mooring. But before we reached there we crunched through our first bit of ice this winter. No body had been this way for a while we thought as we broke the cat ice ahead of Oleanna.

The award winning mooring

Up ahead on the end of the straight was a moored boat, we wouldn’t be on our own, but there was still plenty of space. We tied up and opened the doors for Tilly. At last! A new outside!!

A muddy moo

The evening was taken over by a phone call (whilst stood on one leg outside on the towpath freezing) to a new director for A Regular Little Houdini. Josh who offered me the job has sadly had to stand down as he has not been allowed to take time off Emmerdale to get the show up and running in Vienna. So this evening I had a lengthy chat with Tim the new director who will also be lighting the show. He is very much playing catch up.

Floating 1

Have to say it’s nice to have someone taking the lead. Communications between one member of the team have been somewhat lacking. I got a response to an email three weeks after I’d sent it. Constant badgering for information isn’t what I’d signed up for, so I have to admit I’d slightly given up. Hopefully now Tim is in the picture things will start happening, they’d better as the set goes into the theatre in a months time!

2 locks, 3.38 miles, 0.21 backwards, 1 lift bridge lifted twice, 3 parcels, 3 jars peanut butter, 6 inches shorter (bet you can see the difference this time Tom), 1 boater feeling older than she is, £5 saved, 1 confirmed, 1 turned down, 2 waves, 1 patch of ice, 1 new director, 16 emails, 2 fingers crossed things start to happen now.