Category Archives: Flowers

Empty. 4th April

Lockdown Mooring 2 to Lockdown Mooring 3, Calveley Bridge 104

The water gauge wasn’t showing anything this morning, possibly the lowest it’s been since we moved on board. So only one thing for it, an essential journey to the services. No shore leave was allowed for Tilly and she soon decided to spend the morning on the bed with her eyes closed instead.

Our ash can still hot from ashes added last night. This is normally kept on the towpath, only put here to cruise, with all the covers open

What now seems to be the weekly Geraghty Zoom conference call took place. Just about everyone had been to the National Theatre in the last couple of days. Next week it’s Jane Eyre, Kath said it is quite long, but we’ll give it a go at some point. Everyone looked well and with them we travelled to outerspace, various sound control rooms, the Starship Enterprise and a tour of Frans front room. Tilly also made a large appearance as we attempted to change our background too, but we both just about disappeared so gave up.

About to reveal our second lot of holes

At just gone 11am we untied Oleanna and pushed off. I wonder how many times we’ll moor in this spot over the coming weeks and months, just how many holes will be before we are allowed to move further afield?

Down to the winding hole where we turned to face north. A short distance on we passed our nearest neighbours, Barry was chatting to the chap onboard NB Plum. NB AreandAre would soon be following us to Calveley to fill their water tank also

Morning Barry

Out of the three water points on this pound, Calveley is the furthest from Lockdown Mooring 2, but this was chosen on purpose so as to give Oleanna a bit of a run and to top up the batteries. So we were definitely on an essential journey.

Passing one boat enroute

At Barbridge Junction a boat was just turning onto the branch, we pootled straight on and passed no other moving boats. The service moorings were free so we pulled in away from the pump out end should anyone else turn up.

The water point had a disinfect, so did our filler cap. The plants got the first minute of running water through the hose pipe and then the tank could fill up. Blimey it sounded empty as the tank started to fill. A washing load was put in the machine and turned on as soon as we reckoned we had enough water.

A bear hunt boat

It’s been a week since I cleaned Tilly’s pooh box and until this morning she’d only used it once. Despite her attempt to stare us into opening the door, she wasn’t allowed out. Her four paws had been crossed for much of the morning, she finally had to give up and climbed into the box, I could almost hear her relief as I gave the shower a good clean.

GET ON WITH IT!!!!!

NB AreandAre pulled in behind us and started to fill too. There was time and enough space for us all to have a bit of a chat, comparing notes on shopping etc. It’s nice to get chance to chat with people face to face rather than on the computer.

With our tank full we waved goodbye and pushed off, the washing machine still going. On route we’d decided to moor up by bridge 106 and do our best to empty the washing drawer so that we can make the most of Sundays fine weather for drying. There was plenty of space, so we pulled in leaving good gaps between us and the other inhabited boats.

Pretty flowers

I took a stroll back along the towpath to the garage in the afternoon in the hope of being able to get our Saturday newspaper. I was a touch surprised that the shop was actually open so you could walk in. The shop looked like it is usually reasonably well stocked with none perishable items. if you want porridge oats here is definitely the place to come. One large bag £1.99 isn’t such a bargain, but a box of ten would only be £10. I refrained from such a purchase as I’d not be able to get it back to the boat and if I did we’d have to adjust our ballast!

Oleanna with the whirligig up

Sadly their milk had a similar use by date to the 2 pinter we’d got from Sainsburys yesterday. That’s a downfall with online shopping at the moment, you can’t return things once you’ve checked them over. But we’ll try at the garage again when we pass in a few days time.

Think the towpath will be a touch busier here

0 locks, 3.97 miles, 2 straights, 9 Geraghtys, 4 moving boats plus us, 1 full water tank, 1 boat free of rubbish, 4 crossed paws, 1 load washing, 1 newspaper, 1 whirligig, 1 starter still a bit flat, 5 hours, 1 year since sentencing day.

Boaters Covid Support. 31st March

Lockdown Mooring 2

Oleanna seen from lour walk today

A couple of weeks ago Kate Saffin and a few other people started a facebook group with the aim of connecting small local boating groups on the network in relation to Covid-19, circulating information and supporting where help was needed.

We started as a group for boaters running local waterways based COVID support groups. That is still important – creating a network of small, local, responsive groups across the waterways with this group as an umbrella group to support anyone running a group. As things have developed we’ve been asked for help by more isolated boaters, so this also a network for any boater to connect to other boaters – for some practical help or just to know that there are others around your area.

Boaters Covid Support-National Network, Facebook

Existing groups contacted them and then there were people like me who wanted to connect to a local group if there was one around. This part of the Shropie didn’t have a group, yes I could have set one up with the guidance from the Boaters Covid Support, but as we’ll be moving on when we can it seemed daft to become an admin for an area we are (hopefully) only visitors in.

Tilly watching the mystery bird

I’ve been checking back to see if a group had been set up and today I found a growing list of such groups. Hopefully this link Covid Suppport Groups Listing will take you to the relevant page where you can download the list. A small group had been set up for the Northwich/Middlewich/Nantwich area, so we both joined.

So far there are ten members in our group, but I hope it will grow. These groups are intended so that people can offer help locally or ask for help should they need it through these challenging times.

On our side

Today we’ve been watching the farmers ploughing the fields around us on both sides of the canal. This is exciting as I may soon have a whole field to dig and run around in. Having my own pooh field as shore based facilities will keep Them happy.

And across the way

Our mystery bird returned and I tried to film it to capture it’s call. Here it is right at the beginning, before the White Tipped Tailed Tilly starts with her whingeing! Thank you for the suggestions so far. I think however it is possible that it might be a Turn of some sort and only calls when in flight.

This afternoon we set out on a walk. The Ordnance Survey map was checked to see if we could do a circular route and one was found that would keep us on this side of the canal.

Good chimnys behind the modern houses

We walked up towards Hurleston, stopping for a chat with Barry who’d been very industrious painting his plank and pole. Then we continued on along the towpath past the junction and on to where the fairies live at the bottom of the garden. Behind the canalside properties lies a rather nice looking house with great tall chimneys. Maybe we’ll head that way another day.

Along hedges, across fields, we were quite glad Mick had the map on his phone because other than at the occasional gate post there was no obvious footpath to follow.

Down that way

What until recently must have been thick mud now has a dried out top crust all cracked and in parts deceiving as you foot squelches through into the underlying softer layers. Then tractor tracks hard baked make the going hard, we did our best not to twist any ankles.

Tractor tracks

Grassy fields, old maize fields with the remaining husks long since devoured by wildlife.

Maize
Red Dead-nettle

Past a very large new barn being built, alongside the farm track and across more fields.

New barn

Down into the corner where a wrong footed style gave us a conundrum along with getting spiked by the holly tree that had grown round it.

Wrong footed

Here we could see our route across a small wooden bridge a style at both ends.

The bridge into someone’s garden

This then led us into a very well maintained garden! Hang on, we thought, we can’t go tramping up their garden. We checked the map. It suggested the path went up the left of the buildings, except these buildings didn’t look like they were L shaped.

A very inviting route up the garden

We tried round the other side of the hedge, no. Then up the side of the garden apologising as we went. In the corner by an area where chicken were fenced in there was a style, phew we could get out of someone’s garden.

Hello Mrs

We soon joined the track away from the houses and on a telegraph pole saw a notice saying that the footpath was closed until June, due to damage sustained by the bridge during the recent floods. The footpath on this map suggested that we should have walked right up through the garden! Glad we didn’t.

There’s some lovely looking houses about with their two tone bricks. A 4 bedroomed barn conversion is for sale, a mere snip at £570,000. Link

The one in the middle for sale

The road led us back towards the canal and our nearest southernly neighbours. from here it was back onto the towpath and back to the boat. A good three mile walk, slightly challenging under foot.

0 locks, 0 miles, 6 boats, 1 after dark, 2 fields ploughed, 1 flock of seagulls, 1 mystery bird, 1 poem ready to add, 3 miles walk, 2 kissing gates, 2 styles, 1 tennis court in use, 2 coats left outside, 1 big pan of chicken and sweet potato hash, yum.

Feline Freedom. 24th March

Lockdown Mooring 1. Cross Banks Farm Winding Hole

First off apologies to those of you who tend to read this blog in bed in the morning with a cuppa before getting up. If you follow us by email the latest post has normally dropped into your inbox at 8am, but not this morning. Due to posting twice yesterday my routine is all out of kilter and there wasn’t a post sat ready to publish this morning. We will see how the next few days pan out, but please don’t sit in bed waiting as your tea might get cold and unless you move around you may get bed sores.

Anyhow

Nine hours. Nine whole hours! Except She lied about that as they wanted an hour outside and one of us has to be on the boat at all times. I did however manage to make the most of the time.

P1230791sm

One

A new rule was added a few days ago to the list that She sprouts out each time I go off to explore. ‘Don’t let anyone stroke you!’ This goes without saying, strangers stroking me, YUCK! I have no idea why She felt She had to say it. But apparently since Tom Johnson started talking to us everyday I have to be even more careful of peoples hands.

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Two

 

 

They can’t harm me, but something might rub off them onto my coat. One chap did try today and I was cornered, but She sprouted steam from her ears and came to the hatch to sort him out. I think She may put a poster up.

 

The world is all mine!

Today there was yet another rule. I am now being encouraged to use shore based facilities. Apparently a company went bust a few months ago and the litter She mixes in with the wood stuff is no longer available and there may now be shortages of wood stuff too.

On Oleanna we all use the wood stuff, all three of us. Although I have to say Tom and She are far quieter than I am with it. I really don’t understand why they don’t want to prepare it like I do. Oh well it takes all sorts.

After worrying news that Jac my sister-in-law can’t get a flight back from Melbourne, Mick spent the morning seeing if he could find one for her.

He had a look at the route Ian and Irene from NB Free Spirit are booked on, admittedly from Sydney. Their route takes them via South Africa, this still looked like a possibility so Mick gave my brother a call and relayed the information. We wait to hear

Much of my day was spent with the model for The Garden. Painting garden fencing and base coating sideways trees and making autumnal covers, oh and a gingham picnic cloth. It took a while for me to get going, but once I did it was the best medicine for an anxious mind.

Model making to ease the mind

In the afternoon, when the second mate bothered to come home! we headed out to stretch our legs.

We’ve had quite a lot of people walking, running and cycling on the towpath today, very few of them keeping to 2ms away from Oleanna. Well the towpath is quite narrow here, but they could at least try.

We did our best to keep our distance. Towards the lock there were a couple of chaps chatting, one tinkering with things on his boat the other sat a good 3m away. As we approached the chap on the chair stood up and walked towards the hedge, plenty of room for us to pass through.

Our stroll took us across the lock and down to Venetian Marina. We wanted to see if the café might sell us some milk. But both the chandlers and café were closed, no bacon butty smell today.

They will be implementing new practices at the chandlers so that everyone can keep their distance and should you want to order a breakfast from the café they would rather you paid by Paypal.

New measures

During the day all the coal boats have been sending out messages on social media saying that they will still be trading. But please would everyone remain inside their boat at all times.

This lot are a hardy bunch, come rain, snow, ice and now Covid-19 they will top up your diesel tank and deliver coal

Seventeen boats have come past us today. This is the most in one day since possibly sometime last summer on the Thames. You may wonder why so many considering we are now in lock down.

We know of several boaters who are now heading home to their home mooring and some then onto their bricks and mortar. Other boaters are aiming for somewhere they feel will be best to be stuck, near services and shops. Hire boats are returning to base, peoples holidays cut short.

Hopefully after a day or two more the country will settle down into it’s new now. Boats will only move when necessary. In a couple of days we’ll have to fill with water and head to Nantwich to stock up on food for a week, then we’ll head off to find a wider towpath so that we can sit out should we want to, maybe even get the covers cleaned too.

Distant view

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 towpath saunter, 2 meters please, 4, 7.5 hours, 17 boats, 0 milk, 1 boater back to black tea, 0.5 of a model painted, 1 new project before the end of the week, 0 flights, 1 very tired cat, 1 pooh in the pooh box!

And STOP. 23rd March

This morning we could feel something in the water around us. A few boats were moving, most coming past us to wind and then head back towards Venetian Marina. We walked down the towpath to check out if there was space at the barbeque mooring as we’re wanting to clean our boat covers. One boat was pulling away leaving one, there would be space for us.

Celendine

Back at the boat I was receiving emails about my Dark Horse show, they were wanting my opinion on how the show might be realised with current restrictions. Obviously the play can only be performed once restrictions are lifted. I sent an honest reply back. Some elements won’t be affected much if on-line orders don’t get affected. Costumes, another matter. With social distancing I wouldn’t be able to do fittings with the actors, worst case scenario the actors would have to wear their own clothes, should the show go ahead. But my strong belief is that when restrictions are lifted, theatres and theatre companies will need to have a show up their sleeve, one that can be built and rehearsed quickly. So I can finish the design, we’ll have our meeting in a couple of weeks over the internet and then time and restrictions will guide us as to how much will be possible. My next payment will be on completion of the design, due in two weeks, this will go straight out to renew our boat licence.

The feeling we’d woken with was growing inside. If a lock down of the country was imminent then we wanted to be somewhere we’d be able to get water, shopping, diesel etc. We had lunch, headed to the winding hole in front of us, turned the boat and headed back to Cholmondeston Lock.

Back past our mooring

Here a boat was waiting below to go up, they were emptying the lock, we nudged in behind them. The chap opened up the gates and came to move his boat, I walked up and closed the gates for them and then operated the towpath side paddle whilst the chap did the off side.

We chatted from opposite sides of the lock. He was moving his freshly painted and spray foamed boat towards Birmingham. Tomorrow he’d pick up timber in Nantwich so that he could start to fit the boat out and then a friend was coming to help him up the rest of the way. When asked where we were going I explained that we felt movements would be restricted soon, so we wanted to be above the lock.

Venetian Marina

Once we’d ascended the lock ourselves, gloves were removed, hands washed, windlasses disinfected, we pootled along to the next winding hole. Here we winded again then reversed to some Armco. Hatch to the towpath. Here will do, it has a farmyard smell to it, we may get used to it.

Whilst we’d been moving we’d had emails from other boaters who’d been feeling the same vibe. An email from C&RT had come through asking boaters to limit themselves to an area. We would now be staying on this pound.

Approaching the lock

During the afternoon we turned the BBC on, the usual press conference at 5pm wasn’t going to happen, a COBRA meeting was taking place. All Brits who were abroad were being urged to return home as soon as possible. There would be a broadcast at 8:30pm.

Mr Johnson with fists clenched announced the new measures from No 10. We knew this was coming and to a certain extent it was a relief to finally hear it.

At 11:00 this email from C&RT dropped into Mick’s inbox.

Following the most recent announcement from the Prime Minister regarding the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis, we are asking leisure boaters to stop all non-essential travel. As a result, and to help those who live-aboard (along with those who would need to travel to their boat in order to move it) we are suspending the requirement to move every 14 days. The suspension will be kept under review in line with revised government guidance, applying initially until 14 April.
 
We ask everyone to be considerate and make sure at least a minimal amount of essential movement is maintained to keep vital boater facilities and services accessible to those that need them. We will continue to maintain boater facilities and pump out cards are available from our online shop. (We will be urgently reviewing the implications for face-to-face sale of pump out cards and facilities keys from our public offices). 
  
Please click here for the latest updates to our Frequently Asked Questions and up to date advice on where to get support.
 
Colleagues whose roles are critical to the safe management of the waterways, for example those managing water levels, those carrying out statutory inspections of canal structures, ensuring essential facilities for boaters are available etc will continue their day to day work. 
 
We will be doing whatever we can to support our customers and protect the waterways so we can return to enjoying them fully when the crisis is over. We will keep the situation under active review and update you in line with changing circumstances and guidance.
 
Thank you for your patience and forbearance and please stay safe during these unprecedented times.
 
Richard Parry
Chief Executive
Canal & River Trust

So from now until further notice we will only move for water and shopping. We’ll try to combine the two. Tilly will have to adapt too, rationing of the outside may have to be brought in.

Tilly trying not to use this outside up

Stay safe, stay well, stay at home my friends.

1 lock, 0.83 miles, 2 winds, 1 determined theatre company, 2 unnerved boaters, 1 set of covers that can wait, 1 pound, 3 water points to choose from, 1 town for shops, 2 Dreamies not 4, 1 pongy mooring, 1 country on lock down.

That Shelf. 10th March

Wheaton Aston to Shushions Bridge 21

This morning I received a phone call from York District Hospital. At my eye test the other week in Birmingham the optician wanted to refer me for a routine examination at a hospital. Where would I like to be referred to was todays question. The lady on the phone had spotted that I had two address in my notes, one Scarborough and the other Hackney, London.

So many Primroses

I was very grateful for the phone call as I don’t fit into the norm when it comes to appointments. The lady added to my notes that both addresses were valid and that I lived somewhere in between them. She could offer me appointments in York, Malton or refer me to Scarborough or further afield if I wanted. The first dates she had for York fitted in quite nicely with where we hope to be in June and would be the easiest to get to from West Yorkshire so I’m booked in. A letter with further information has to be sent, so that is heading to my brothers. I made sure I thanked the lady for her assistance and understanding.

Our shopping arrived on time, a few things substituted or in smaller quantities than we’d wanted. One thing that had been substituted was the third box of white wine! Instead of Pinot Grigio they had sent Chardonnay, not my favourite. Maybe Pinot Grigio is being rationed to two boxes per customer! I’m not partial to Chardonnay so it was sent back.

Turners for a top up

With all the supplies stowed we forced ourselves away from the bank, a reverse Andy was required to push the bow out. Luckily on the other side of the bridge it was sheltered and we pulled in at Turners Garage to top up with diesel. 64.9p today along with a new bottle of gas at £32.

Bang on

We pushed off again with the hope that we’d find a cat suitable mooring not too much further on. Blimey that wind! At least it was pushing us towards the towpath. After a small bend we were on a long straight of an embankment. We remembered trying to moor here on Lillian and the Shropie shelf being a problem but we now have tyre fenders.

Our first Pirate encounter

The first place we tried we discovered that our tyre fenders are a couple of inches too small for the shelf. We so should have picked up some car tyres in Birmingham, we’d seen at least four in our last few days. A touch further on, no. Still further on and we skidded over something not getting anywhere near to the bank. Our maps had a M further on between two bridges so we just hoped that the trees would be short.

That bloomin shelf!

The M lived up to itself, there was armco and we could get into the side. Nappy pins were needed, we nudged up to find a position with shorter trees on the offside. By now our second mate was in the window. Every window had a view of trees! If she didn’t like it here we’d be trading her in!

Look there are TREESSSS!!!!

Rules were read and off she went. A few trunks were inspected before finally she launched herself up into the twiggy canopy. One happy cat.

There’s this tree

There used to be an airfield on the offside just by our mooring, one used in WW2. Mick wanted to see if we could see much of it so we climbed over a style onto the bridge, but were soon confronted with barbed wire. Could we see anything from the other bridge ahead of us? Most probably, but the mud that lay between us and the bridge sent us back inside to look on Google instead.

And this tree

Used as a training airfield with three runways RAF Wheaton Aston was second only to RAF Lichfield in terms of aircraft movements. In May 1944 the airfield recorded a flying time of 8,773 hours during daylight and 2,605 at night, the equivalent of 15 aircraft permanently in the air for 30 days. After the war it was used as a Polish Resettlement camp until the 1960’s.

It’s straight round here

Early evening we sat down to work our way through Mick’s tax return. Because of rental income and a lump sum pension payment he now has to fill one in, not that he is anywhere near to paying tax. We could copy things straight over from my tax return with regards to the house, but there were new sections to fill in. We got there in the end. Sadly despite telling HMRC about rental income for the last few years they now say he is late with another two returns! A phone call is needed.

Mud mud mud

0 locks, 1.53 miles, 66 litres, 5 boxes wine, 1st pirates of 2020, 1 gas bottle, 4th time lucky, 1 very happy cat, 37 trees! 1 appointment, £1 owed to Mick, 1st Mrs Tilly stamp of approval for 2020, 2 glasses raised to Rodney my other Dad.

RIP Rodney so glad we bumped into you at Blenheim Palace.

All Hail The Haily Snowed. 11th February

BUMingham

With a gas bottle empty we’d thought about cruising out to Alvechurch to get it replaced and give Tilly some much needed countryside. How I fondly remember trees! But when we woke and checked the forecast for the day we changed our minds. 20mph winds, nowhere near as strong as on Sunday, but still not that easy to handle a narrowboat in.

I used to climb trees, now I just dream of them

After breakfast we made ready to move, one thing that couldn’t wait was water. Mick tried calling Sherborne Wharf a couple of times but nobody was answering. However when we looked out we could see a widebeam moored at the services, someone must be there. So we pushed off (well we didn’t need to push much as the wind did most of it for us) and headed through Sheepcote Street Bridge, pulling in behind the green widebeam.

The Polo boat

The BCN is narrow, so what is a widebeam doing in these parts?. Well it’s the office for the new development on Icknield Port Loop and they’d come for a pump out and top up of diesel.

Roses!

Once the chap was finished with them we got some more coal, topped up on water from the tap with good pressure, bought a new bottle of gas and disposed of our yellow water. Blimey it was chilly out there, just how are the roses going to fare?

Winding the old fashioned way

We moved along retracing the now familiar route to Monument Road Bridge where the wind assisted us in winding, then back round Oozells Street Loop to return to our mooring. We waved at NB Waterway Routes, you never know Paul might have been watching as we passed.

Hello Paul

The wind was now really quite blustery, at times more so than it had been with Ciara, there was also the occasional flurry of snow. So for the remainder of the day Tilly was confined to quarters. I might be wanting some boot polish if the snow continues.

Sideways trees

The afternoon was spent doing some work. Sideways trees were made for my model and extra layers to help change the seasons. I’m thinking that the greenery on the sideways trees might be quilted fabric, which has different fabrics added over the top.

My main concern is the method by which the seasons are added and taken away. This will be done by the actors and needs to be simple so that we don’t end up watching two people carefully placing rings on hooks for five minutes and then later removing them for ten minutes. My actors are great at acting, but having learning disabilities makes some tasks take a long time. But I’ll discuss this with Amy the Director who knows peoples strengths better than me and this is what a white card model is for. Only one piece left to make and the model will be finished, just the costume designs to do now.

Camouflage netting for Autumn

During the day C&RT stoppage notices have been coming in. Also the boating Facebook groups have been filled with photos of the storm damage caused by Ciara. The Pennine waterways have been hit badly as they were during the Boxing Day storms in 2015. Some boats have been left high and dry once the waters receded. In other places there has been damage to the canal infrastructure. Footage of the Figure of Three Locks on the Calder and Hebble shows huge mounds of detritus above the top gates and where the bywash normally is has been totally washed away.

Then the penny dropped with me. Figure of Three Locks is east of Huddersfield and west of Wakefield, making the only currently navigable route into Huddersfield the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. My show in the summer is in Huddersfield, then a week later in York. We’d planned on mooring in Huddersfield for the production week and then cruising to York. Right now to do this we’d need to go back through Standedge Tunnel and cross the Pennines by the Leeds Liverpool Canal. As much as this would be a lovely cruise to York it would take us far too long (109.5 hours) in the window between shows!

Of course things may change between now and the summer. So we will be keeping a close eye on the stoppage notices over then next few months. Currently it looks like I’ll be commuting to work.

0 locks, 0.68 miles, 2 bags coal, 1 straight, 1 wind, 1 right, 1 left, 1 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 1 gas bottle, 4 snowy moments, 2 soups, 4 sideways trees, 1 penny dropped, 109.5hrs instead of 27hrs, 2 boaters waiting to see what happens, 4 days till the next named storm!

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.