How Very Thames. 7th July

Kidlington Green Lock to Eynsham Lock, River Thames

Mick pointed me to additional adjustments on the laptop this morning. Could I balance the contrast, brightness and colours to make the screen more comfortable? I tweaked a few things then started to type.

Whenever there is new tech on the boat and I am the new user, Mick can be seen wincing over several days until I’ve found all the things that have changed. The program I use to watermark the photos for the blog wasn’t there this morning, an easy thing to solve once you remember if you’d paid to have a better version or not. The next thing, which English? I can only put up with colour being underlined in red for so long. This is an easy fix and one I can do myself, it’s just annoying as I know my spelling is correct, in English English!

Drinkwater’s Lift Bridge

We pootled down the canal. Drinkwater Lift Bridge was wound up, no vehicles or walkers to stop. Then we slotted in at the waterpoint and topped up the tank very slowly, even slower as the washing machine was working hard.

As Oleanna dropped down Dukes Lock a small, varnished to within an inch of its life, rowing boat shot round the corner in front of us heading to Dukes Cut Lock, it did have an outboard motor. I walked round and at first couldn’t see the boat, blimey it must have shot through the lock too! No it was so small it was hiding waiting for the lock to empty, the owner clinging onto it’s red rope.

Does this paddle actually do anything?

It took forever to empty and it took two of us to push open the bottom gate. We may have just fitted in the lock along with him, but neither Mick or I wanted to try. I paced it out, borderline. Best not to share. The paddle was lifted, not even two turns possible. Was this actually doing anything or was the lock just filling by itself around the top gate. An extra push on the beam had the water leveling out quicker, the chap heading off into the distance upstream. Time to do it all again for Oleanna.

Pootleing away

Eventually we were up and level with the River Thames. Slowly past all the boats that live in no man’s land in Dukes Cut. Some are interesting, one very much afloat yet on such an angle! A couple sat in a clearing with a big big speaker blasting out what at first sounded like ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’, but it wasn’t Ant and Dec, something more modern.

Floating but on quite a list

The floating pontoon just before the junction was empty, we pulled over tying Oleanna up around the willow branches. Yellow water tank required emptying then we had lunch. Time to get Oleanna river ready, well yesterday would have been better, but it didn’t happen. The anchor chain and rope bucket were brought out from a locker, one end attached to the bow T stud the other to the anchor. Life jackets found in the shed.

Back on a river, deep and wide

Now, should we stay put in the shade? Or should we carry on? The hours on our schedule have decreased a touch, but being close to a road today would be handy. We carried on towards Eynsham Lock, the sun shining down on us as Mick checked our quarter wave.

Boats were nestled into the banks here and there, the further we got away from Oxford the fewer they got. The chap in his pretty rowing boat had pulled onto the bank a short distance on, enjoying the days sunshine to read his book.

The 24 hour moorings below Eynsham Lock were empty, we pulled in. On a bend in the bank, we started to pull along to get a straight edge to the high bank. The Lock Keeper came down to check we were alright and requested we pull right up to the other end of the moorings.

I said we’d need to see him for a license, he asked what our plans were and he suggested seeing the Lock Keeper in the morning, he’d not seen us today and the mooring for the night would be free, bonus! That makes our return journey and timings slightly easier.

In painting mode

A quick check around the area, then Tilly was given three hours to explore the nettles. I sent a message detailing our location to John at Chippy Theatre as some samples had arrived for me and he’d offered to drop them off on his way home tonight.

The afternoon was spent going through a costing list for panto that was about to be sent out to builders, painting in breadfruit leaves and round palms whilst Mick listened to the cricket. At 6:30 I got a phone call from John he was about five minutes away. It was a very quick five minutes as he was already at the locked gate envelope in hand. Hooray my samples, but not as exciting as I’d hoped, lots of dull green fabrics but some Chinchilla Habotai Silk that looks like a possible.

In for a dip

During the afternoon a group of teenagers had gathered on the opposite bank, many of them enjoying the river waters for a swim. That side is quite shallow so many of them could stand, what a lot of noise! At least they were having a good time. They were replaced with couples having a swim, a tent was set up was there fishing going on?We’re certainly back on a river.

Ideal location for our first night on the Thames

The chairs came out and two of the salmon fillets had a sprinkling of some Thai spices, some veg kebabs and potatoes were prepared, Mick lit the barbeque as three men rowed past heading for the lock. A short while later a couple came past standing up, rowing Venetian style. How very Thames!

But where is Montmorency?

2 locks, 4.8 miles, 1 empty yellow tank, 1 full water tank, 2 rights, 1 little boat, 1 slow lock, 1 anchor, 1 free day, 1 free mooring, 1 envelope, 6 shades of green, 61 leaves painted, 2 kebabs, 2 salmon fillets, 2 pimms, 1 big fat plane, 2 boaters and 1 cat back on the river.

One thought on “How Very Thames. 7th July

  1. christine geraghty

    I love the 3 men in a boat and the lads swimming who look as if they have jumped in from Howards End. Wonderful what you meet on your travels.

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