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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kidlington Quarry to Shipton-on-Cherwell.

Monday 19th January.

Kidlington Quarry to Shipton-on-Cherwell 3.3 miles, 3 locks and 1 lift bridge.


After a night of yet more rain, we both had somewhat of a restless night. Keith ended up getting up at 4am, so I got up and made us both a cup of tea. Whilst he played on his computer, I took my cuppa back to bed with me and tried to go back to sleep, but to no avail. Oh the joys of the menopause and the night sweats. Men you really do not know how lucky you are. Eventually when Keith came back to bed, we both dozed off for a while, before getting up at 9am as Paddy needed to go out.
We left the quarry mooring at 10.30am, destination Bakers Lock 8’6” to see how high the River Cherwell was and if it was possible to navigate it. When we arrived at Bakers Lock, we both walked down to the navigation board to see how high the level of the water had reached. It was just touching the red marker, so we then walked on down further to see how fast the river was flowing. Keith reckoned that it was fine and no worse than the River Wey which we did last year, which was running fast. So we agreed to go for it. Keith has had plenty of experience of boating on the Thames, so we did not feel the River Cherwell would be a problem and it wasn’t. We had a very pleasant cruise to Shipton Weir Lock 2’5”. I wish I could say the lock gate was as easy. It took every last ounce of strength I had to get the bottom gate open. I even had to use the wall of the bridge to give me some extra leverage. It really is a shocker to open and it does not help that the brick grips for your feet are in the wrong place. After the lock we then had the lift bridge, which was reported about on Narrowboat World, when a single handed boater jumped from the open bridge and broke both his legs. Our cruise concluded at Shipton Bridge, where we moored up on the 14 day moorings and this is where we will be for a few days, whilst we catch up with friends and family.
After some lunch, we walked up to Thrupp and Gunpowder Wharf to see Maffi on NB Milly M, where we were welcomed onboard for a coffee and a catch up chat.
Later in the day, we heard a knocking on the side of the boat and it was not coming from the towpath. I leaned out of the side window to see Maffi and Bones in her outboard motor boat coming alongside. Bones had got back from work and wanted to say hello. We made arrangements to meet up at The Boat Inn for a drink later on. Whilst walking up to the pub, we knocked on NB Ocelot to collect Steve (PJ) for an evening in the pub. We had a fabulous evening of good conversation and wonderful company. There was many a laugh, whilst we enjoyed a pint or two. For Keith and I this is not the norm, because we only really ever drink when we are out for a meal, but Bones, Maffi and Steve are wonderful company and good friends, with whom we would always want to spend an evening with in the pub. The walk back to Hadar, was under a star filled sky. It was incredibly beautiful and not a breath of wind, just the moon and stars to keep up company, as we dodged the muddy puddles. Back onboard Paddy and Marmite were laying in the back cabin ready to welcome us home. Marmite spent a good 10 minutes meowing, as if to tell us all her news from the evening. Paddy just rolled over onto his back and wanted his tummy tickled, typical male huh.
Our evening finished with a cup of Jasmine tea, before retiring to bed.

Tuesday 20th January.

It was a day of chopping up wood for the back cabin stove, selling coal and doing boat jobs. We did leave the boat to walk up to the sanitary station to get rid of rubbish. The sanitary station now has recycle bins, thanks to Cherwell Council, which is fantastic for anyone wanting to recycle their rubbish. We then walked up to the Jolly Boatman to book a table, as Keith’s sister is coming to see us. We walked back along the road to find the closest bus stop to Shipton-On-Cherwell, in case we should need to go and do a food shop before we leave. We found out online that the 59 bus runs every 33 minutes past the hour in either direction to and from Kidlington, which would be fine for us, if we should need to use it. During the afternoon, Phil Brogan, the BW Patrol Officer for the area, knocked on the boat. We had been in touch with him whilst in Banbury about the ice by email, and said that if he saw us on his patrol to give us a shout, which he did. We stood out on the towpath for a good hour chatting about everything from dredging to un-licenced boats. It was really nice to chat to Phil and it gave us the chance to clarify a few things with him, he is a really approachable person, so thanks Phil for your time.
With our evening meal and showers out of the way, we settled down to an evening in front of the TV. With an excellent digital signal here we could actually watch film4. The 9 o’clock movie was The Omen the 2006 version. Now I do not do scary movies, because I tend to have nightmares after watching them, especially if they involve a lot of gore and violence, but I wanted to see this version of The Omen and was not disappointed, it was very good and not to violent. The worse bit was David Thewlis getting his head chopped off. He will never see things the same way again ha ha. Keith is quite happy watching scary movies, he has the Alien collection. When I tried to watch them he had to screen them first, so he knew where the gory bits were, so he could warn me to look away. (Daft I know). When it came to the Alien Resurrection he watched it whilst I was at work, and told me on my return that I could not watch any of it as it was all too gory for me. I do not have a clue why I cannot watch these sorts of films, maybe something from my childhood, I really do not know.

3 comments:

MortimerBones said...

gosh! High praise indeed. Perhaps we ought to go to the pub again.....

Jill and Graham said...

We love Kirtlington Quarry, we were there in the summer helping a freind put on a BBQ for 100 of her Staff and freinds. We also used to walk the dogs there when we lived down the road in Bicester.

Keith and Jo said...

Hi Bones. Praise where praise is due. We enjoy our get togethers when we meet up. Oh the pub now that is a good idea, will discuss it when we see you later.

Jo

Hi Jill and Graham.
Welcome on board the good ship Hadar. We will make sure we stop there again, as it is so lovely. I would love to sit out at dusk and watch the wildlife come out to play.
See you on the cut hopefully.

Jo