Still A View. 15th December

Fenny Compton to Ladder Bridge 129

A cuppa in bed with the papers, no need to rush today.

Not the right one

We pootled up to the water point, we never pass one without topping up at this time of year. The towpath here has been resurfaced with the little stones that we hate. Our anti-slip soles do a very good job of collecting the little blighters and then as we walk on and off Oleanna they get deposited, leaving a gritty mess everywhere.

We pulled up to the last ring, maybe leaving enough space for a boat behind us to wait for the one working tap, maybe leaving enough room for a boat to wind in the winding hole infront. A boat soon appeared behind us, not wanting water, but to wind. We were quite happy to pull backwards to make him some more room, but he said he’d see how he did.

A text book wind

His bow tucked into the off side, tiller over and gentle engine forwards. His stern came round slowly, maybe there’d be enough room. He lifted his rear fender and made a text book manoeuvre, perfectly done.

Blue skies

The sun was out, but the air was cold and blowy for our cruise along the summit pound. Plans for Christmas were discussed at length between us. We have family wanting to come for a night along with some friends and in January we could do with being in Birmingham. The whole journey is about 30 hours cruising, so not a problem. But being in the right place at the right time was.

Wormleighton Grange

Our original plan wasn’t going to work, so needed thinking about. Dates were double checked with our friends (who are keen to do some boating), opening times of supermarkets checked, a hire car changed to a different location and a rendez vous sorted with our friend Lizzie. Our new plan fitted together, we just have to hope that the weather plays ball too.

First glimpse of Napton windmill

Our mooring for tonight is one of our favourites on the Oxford and we hoped it still would be. The route of HS2 will cut across the valley below the canal. We’ve seen photos of works being carried out along the summit pound from other bloggers this year, but we weren’t too sure quite where abouts they were.

Still a good view

The radio frequency mast came into view, we rounded the wood and then had a choice of moorings, no other boats in sight. We pulled in with a gap in the hedge just long enough for our bedroom and galley windows to have good views. So far the valley doesn’t show any signs of disturbance (from what we could see). The farm below still has all it’s fields, all ploughed for crops and bird scarers dong their jobs. One of the fields had been ear marked by HS2 as a compound that would act as a home for around 100 workers, we were glad we didn’t have to share the view with them yet. More info in last years post (sorry it’s a post that lost it’s photos).

Where’s this HS2 thing?

They say they like it here, I do too. A touch on the blowy side, but plenty to do. A farmer had ploughed the field for me, so that needed running around and scratching in. The side ways trees are spiky but have the potential for friends and the grass along the cat walk tastes sweet. With my fur fluffed up I could stay here for days!

Hang on was that a friend?

As last year I put together a wreath for the front of Oleanna. Ivy, red and silver ribbons, all free. By the time I’d finished it and tied it on it was too dark to get a descent photo of it. If we have any spare lights this year I may just weave a few into it too. Sadly the strong wind has put Mick off putting the lights up, but hopefully there will be a lull in the next couple of days.

A rainbow to end the day on

0 locks, 3.17 miles, 1 full water tank, 3 boats going there and back, 1 mooring all to ourselves, £35 car, 1 route change, 1 rendez vous, 2 pub planned meals,1 flat sour dough! 1 wreath, 1 view, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval stamped on again.

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