Sunday, 2 August 2015

Parting, sweet sorrow, we'll meet again!

Friday 31st July to Saturday 1st August 2015

Up front, I have to say thankyou to Tom (nb Waiouru) and Paul (nb Manly Ferry) aka Transport Boy for both pointing out my error in the previous blog - the aircraft in the pictue was not a B-52 but in fact a C-17 - now go back to your walking and trainspotting !

I missed out on posting these exclusive pictures of Andy, the legendary jumping
chicken trainer in action.
Here is preparing the chicken to make the leap....

...and, immediate results - the chicken has been hypnotically convinced that
it can jump - not sure what Andy is planning next - maybe something with
a few bovines for Diane.

We headed off about our usual time with a rough goal in mind - about Northmoor Lock, but upon reaching it and talking to the lockie, he said that he hadn't seen the moorings that were marked in the Nicholsons, but he had only been there about 11 years.

New Bridge bridge - dating back to the 13thC

A new tiller pin by Andy

It was a sign that perhaps we should resist the desire to seek them out, so instead of that we decided that some exploration of Appleton would be more worthy of our time.

Again the friendly lockie came to the rescue, letting us breast up at the end of the lock moorings - on the proviso that we didn't stay overnight, otherwise he would have to charge us - no problems either way.

So off we headed across the weir walkway, up the hill  (in Diane's words it was a mountain).

just love a thatched roof

Not a lot to see, but there was a lovely little pub there - we seemed a bit eager - they had barely opened when we were through the door and at the bar.

Lunch seemed a natural extension and so menus were produced; lunch ordered; discussions directly with the chef and it was all settled.

There was only the expectation that it would be an adequate meal, but it turned to be quite lovely in all aspects - on the list of will return.

After all of that we returned to the boats via the small shop to pick up a couple of essentials and then we were away for the short cruise to Bablock Hythe.

A chance to sit outside was taken up; drinks all round; enjoy the cloudy sunshine; and just watch the world go by - it was quite pleasant indeed.

That evening Diane had read the blog Jamiesons Afloat by Irene and Ian and knowing that they were virtually just around the corner let them know that we would be dropping by.

We found Ian at home but Irene sensing that there might be a couple of crazy women stalking her, very sensibly headed for the wilds with cameras dangling from her neck in search of prey - strictly photographic.
Ian checking out the interlopers about to disturb his peace and quiet with Irene away

Eventually she returned and we were delighted to see her on dry land
and not on a passing boat.

Lazy sods we are - tea/coffee and stuffing our faces

Anyway she found it difficult to survive without sustenance any longer and was forced to return and confront them.

Before you knew it kettles were on, chairs appeared by magic, as did the biscuits and we were all chatting away - a typical boaters meeting.

I guess we were a bit in awe of Irene's exploits to seek the ever better shot of anything that was living in the area and when you see the results they are truly incredible.
Just one of the sequence of photos with Andy imitating a barn owl - maybe that's
what his next project will be

For Diane and I we needed to move on as Sunday would be a bit difficult for us if we didn't get a few more miles down before finishing for the day, but we sensed that Sue and Andy could have stayed for a few more days; they dragged themselves away to cruise some more and we can only say thanks for the chance of a few more hours with you both before the cord would be detached.
also, just like to see something different in naming a boat

Godstow Abbey

Finally mooring up at Godstow Abbey, we had a look around the ruins before eventually heading over to The Trout for the last supper.

This fellow was on the roof at The Trout and holding court with all of his subjects

The food was very good - cannot be faulted; the prices are not cheap, but we felt reasonable value for money.
A final walk back to the boats - we would be away early in the morning, but there would be two familiar faces acting as lock-keepers helping us through.

We will catch up with both of them again before the end of August.

13 Miles, 5 Locks
YTD: 657 Miles (1057 km) , 3562 Locks, 12 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 13 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3551 Miles (5715 km) , 2483 Locks, 110 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 164 Swing Bridges

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