Friday, 31 July 2015

It's not a bloody kissing-gate, Andy!

Wednesday 29th July to Thursday 30th July 2015

We were outside not too early this morning to bid farewll to Linda and Richard, and of course to Muffin; they were heading backtowards Oxford for a meeting with someone at the weekend - we will be catching up with them on the South Oxford sometime after the weekend.

Our late departure time was dictated by the pharmacy and waiting for some of Diane's prescriptions to arrive; we made use of this with a last look around the shops - particularly the antique and charity shops; I headed off for a haircut - yet another charming lady hairdresser - I seem to be able to get these ladies to want to run their fingers through my hair - and all with Diane's approval.

As we were heading off for our walk into the village, our progress was somewhat barricaded by part of the bovine herd; seems there access to the river and drinking was right by the gate under the roadway; our attempts to move them were fruitless as we couldn't quite get on the side where they wouldn't charge at us - a walker coming the opposite way eased the situation and his presence behind said cows moved them pretty quickly.
It was only Diane that was apprehensive bloody scared of them and this wasn't helped by Andy darting through the gate and holding it closed (with Diane on thecow side) - he was proclaiming that it was a kissing gate and demanding his payment from her - until she yelled "It's not a bloody kissing-gate, Andy" especially with her too near to the bovines.

We popped into lÁrtigiano for morning coffee (and petite cakes) - all very nice indeed - when we come back it will be a visit for lunch, the menu looked quite good.

A little after noon was unmooring time and we were on the move for just under the two hour mark, finally mooring up at Kelmscott.

Funnily enough, it had been quite cloudy during the cruising, looking very much like rain, but just after we had completed everything, it started to rain - good timing I say.

Later on we made the decision that we would pay a visit to Kelmscott Manor which was very close-by - in fact, it was on the way to the pub.

This is a 17thC farm manor which has essentially been in the hands of one family until the 1930's when it was passed onto Oxford University and then in the 1960's it has been the property of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


It is best known as the country retreat of William Morris, the renowned designer and writer who took a lease on the house in the 1870's until his death in 1896.

The man himself

To me it was a quite warm and inviting house to live in and owes much to the additions during the mid 19thC.



the bedroom of William Morris

two persian brass peacocks

bedroom in the roof space

and more open space being utilised

the original kitchen

After looking around the grounds and visiting the outside loo with 3 side-by-side seats (we only viewed, and did not use), we exited and found our way to the Plough Inn for a drink.

the three loo toilet

even mucking around these two were still competitive



Charming in its own way, it appears to have lost some of its character with modern changes around the bar and interior in general, but retains it's popularity with the locals - plenty there for a drink and early evening meal.

Exploring further we found the church which held the remains of William Morris and also many of the Turner family, who had owned Kelmscott Manor for all of those 300+ years.



now it's official, she is preaching to all within earshot

it cannot be seen well, but the inscription is for that of William Morris

We completed a round trip and found ourselves back at the boats, a little more tired than when we started out.
Thursday morning was a bit of a contrast to the previous day, with a blue sky and sun brightly shining - we hit the river not too early, wanting to make it to
England in sunshine is so very nice 
Tadpole and moor up there - it seems that the moorings at the pub must be booked through the pub to guarantee a spot - one was already taken and we could have breasted up on the other.

This B-52 was buzzing us as it was completing circuits


Problem was that the boat that was booked in was there for the wedding and reception that would take place later in the day.
Not particularly fancying what might be a possible boisterous and celebratory night - especially outside on a nice evening, we headed off again and rather luckily found a nice mooring at Chimney - we did need to breast up, but it was peaceful and quiet; the late afternoon and evening sun was magnificent.

Both Sue and Diane had organised the washing machines during cruising and almost immediately upon mooring the washing lines were up on each boat and washing was furiously pegged up to take advantage ofthe windand the sun.
It was poetry in motion with the pair almost competing against each other to finish first.

It has been marked in the book as a must-try-and-get-into spot for the future.

Still quite amazed at the number of boats that are still coming by cruising at after 7pm - looking to moor up - along this stretch where there seems to be a dearth of available spots anyway, and they are by this late hour, already occupied - their problem not ours.

11 Miles, 5 Locks
YTD: 644 Miles (1047 km) , 357 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges

Totals: 3538 Miles (5749 km) , 2478 Locks, 110 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges