Sunday 4 October 2015

Sloe gin and Gandalf

We wanted to get up the eight locks at Claydon Flight nice and early, there were lots of hire boats around and we hoped they would all be having a leisurely breakfast while we got in front of them.  After the first lock we met The Cheese Boat who were also out early on their way the the Banbury Boat Festival and so we had all the locks in our favour.    

I haven't found a page for this boat but a reference from another blog  HERE  the owner who I now know to be Trevor, but on this occasion he did have a good helper, the owner in fact of the motorbike on the deck.  Corona is also on the way to the Boat Festival at Banbury. 

My favourite bird on this trip, all summer really, a grey wagtail.

A ploughed field with seagulls on it, Oh and WaL.

We moored up done for the day at about 10:30am.  On this stretch on the canal, the SE facing moorings are not too many, this is for the TV, tomorrow night is the England v Australia match.  We got WaL nicely snugged and well frankly we got the sun chairs out.  Well actually David went to fetch the car from god knows where and plant it some place else.  I finished my book.  But eventually David arrived back and enjoyed the sun too.

I just loved the sun gleaming on these yellow leaves against an unbroken blue sky.

Fabulous colours in this changing sunset all within a few minutes of each other.

Supper was Malayan spicy chicken that was on Mary Berry's Absolute Favourites last week on the telly.

The next morning was much greyer, it was cooler and we had to move the car on.  It was much further than David had thought and he had brought the car to us here at Claydon yesterday.  So today we went on a trip in the car with the bikes.
We came here to Burton Dassett Hills Country Park very close to Fenny Compton.   HERE  Its a viewpoint right across several counties  

Its  a disused quarry that mined the local stone "Ironstone", its all lumpy and bumpy now and has this structure on one of the hilly outcrops that no one really knows what it is...

I was actually photographing the field strips behind him, but he is kinda cute isn't he?

 Nearby there is this wonderful old church, All Saints Church, fairly old, 12th Century with recovered fragments  of medieval  wall paintings.  Pretty impressive.  An accomplished feat to have built this large church, on the side of a hill with the tower on the lower end of the slope, but they did it.

This was as far back as I could get, the uphill end dug into the hill and the tower downhill.

So we put the car at Marsden Doles which is the top of the Napton flight and cycled back to the boat nearly all the way downhill.

Sloes ripening up nicely.  One year David and I went a bit mad and made about 8 litres of Sloe Gin, I wasn't that keen on it  and didn't drink any.  I prefer a G&T.  They are still under the sink at home.

Fabulous autumnal colours going on.

Past a house with this carving in the front, Gandalf  and a hobbit which David was most unimpressed by, but very much more so by that vintage plough press behind it

and this old plough under his hedge.

A few houses in one village built with this "Ironstone"

This old cottage and extension is a glorious mix.

"The Manor House"

Supper was ruined by the rugby result, although I was marginally happy as I had made bets with three separate people for £500 each with David's money that England would loose....

Supper was Squeaky cheese starter then leek risotto and blackberry and apple with cream.  Guess what.....  we have finished that vat and are now blackberrying again!

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