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Monday, January 19, 2009

Kirtlington Quarry for the weekend.

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th January.

Kirtlington Quarry.

Saturday was a day of doing boat jobs. I began with sorting the coal out in the hold. It needed restacking and is now all ship shape and Bristol fashion in the hold for five minutes or until the next time I decided to have a tidy up. Whilst I did that Keith was adding switches to our smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, so we can switch them off whilst making up the fires, especially in the back cabin. Because when I make the fire up with house coal, 9 times out of 10 the smoke alarm goes off, even with the back doors open. With those two jobs done, we then set about cleaning out the engine room, which has become rather cluttered. With everything moved and tidied, mats swept, floor washed, we could once more see the wood for the trees. We now have a bag full of rubbish for the Thrupp sanitary station when we get there. All in all the whole boat got a good tidy inside, which was really cathartic.
During the afternoon we were joined on the moorings by NB Lazy Days. When the boat passed us, I thought I recognised it, but as we see so many I did not give it another thought, until later in the afternoon whilst making up the back cabin stove a voice shouted "hello" from NB Lazy Days. Alan and Francis had just got back from a walk around the quarry and so we introduced ourselves, and the fact that we both had blogs, which we had of course both read. Almost every boater we meet now has a blog of some description. It is always lovely to meet up with fellow bloggers and we stood outside chatting for sometime, before I announced I really should check dinner, which was cooking in the back stove, with that we both climbed back into our boats for the evening. During the evening we were deluged with rain and strong winds, which meant that smoke was blowing back into the boat down the chimney of the saloon stove, so we closed it down to allow it to go out.

Sunday morning began bright and sunny, which was a promising start to the day, although not so good was the fact that the back cabin stove was almost cold, so it would need making up again. But first of all Paddy was asking to go out for his walk. It was not long before he was on the hunt for bunnies to play with. He then decided to lie down for a few minutes in the middle of the stone maze.I told him he had to find his own way out. Ha ha.
Paddy has never been one for a lot of exercise and so takes every opportunity to lay down whilst out walking. It all stems from the fact that if he gets to out of puff, he walks around as if he was drunk. The vet that examined him said it is all down to the fact that he cannot take in enough oxygen, so Paddy is a dog of very little exercise and that suits him.Whilst Keith did us a cooked breakfast of bacon, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes on toast, I once again cleaned out the back stove fire and checked the chimney for any blockages. It’s a wonderful job for a Sunday morning, having your arm pushed up a chimney. Reminded me of when the vet, would come to the farm and put his arm up a cows behind, LOL. Amazing what comes to mind from ones childhood.
With a yummy breakfast swallowed down, we did very little during the morning. I did relight the saloon fire and back stove, bringing some warm back into the boat. After a hot dog lunch, Keith and I took a stroll around the quarry.Kirtlington Quarry was worked from 1907 to 1928. The Oxford Portland Cement Company, had a very busy working quarry here. Shipping of the cement took place along the Oxford Canal to the Midlands. Whilst the quarrying took place it exposed fossils millions of years old, making Kirtlington Quarry a site of special scientific interest.
Sunday has ended with strong winds and heavy rain, so we will be staying inside watching DVD’s until bedtime.

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