A lazy start to the day. Quite a few boats had passed us going in both directions so after a leisurely breakfast, we too decided to pull the pins and toddle off.
This house below has been completed in the three years since we came this way. I remember it having far more trees around it which appear to have gone elsewhere so that's a positive. I can hear Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs banging on about the beauty of the wood cladding and how it ages to be this adorable silver shimmering finish but I do not share that view and think it just looks tatty in a short while. A sad lack of planting to soften the harsh lines (and they are harsh), so all in all I won't be making an offer they can't refuse. At the very least its not ruining the look of all the beautiful period houses that adorn Cropedy proper as it's all here alone.
The water point is very tricky for a full sized boat here at the water point below the lock, so D just hovered while I ran and dumped the rubbish, another hire boat was just leaving, literally pulling out, so that meant we were to follow them quite a way.
|A few cows in the spa that were unreceptive to David's calling, (He's losing his touch)|
Then later the oh so sad sight of this lock cottage, falling down now. I wrote about its troubles before, it has no access by car, not needed back in its day and sadly liable to flooding too, mortgage companies are renown for being squeamish about such things so here it falls. It would make a lovely holiday home for someone with more money than sense, just saying.
It was a lovely home some years back as on time I picked soft fruits in the garden that had grown wild. Today gorgeous roses in full bloom.
|I thought I'd missed the yellow irises, but here are some beauts.|
|Unknown Pretty about to open.|
|My father in law called this Ox-Eyed Daisy.|
The next lock was amusing, if you had your sense of humour fixed in place, David didn't really... The oh so slow hirers finally got in. There were ropes being thrown up and down although it was a single lock and the boat was descending, the paddles were wound up only half way.
They were two boats travelling together with four couples of long long standing friendships but that hadn't prevented a mild falling out of the crew. I got all this from the one chap at the second boat to go down, he was boat holding the rope waiting, I could do with lunch he said, Oh I've only just had breakfast at 11:30 says I.
His wife approached... he's a bit twitchy for lunch says I on reflex.....
Eventually the last boat crept out of the lock slower than my mother could have pulled it out by rope on her own...
The next hirer coming up was a pair of guys who had "Lost" their crew in Banbury I'm not sure for a jape or they were intending to turn the boat around and had left them in the pub, but they were alone, they were quicker than the other boats but not by much, just as the boat was about to leave the lock and David had got ready to come in, the captain opened the cabin door and a dog FLEW out and cleared the boat rail and the edge of the boat landing neatly on the lock side,
"Oh I knew he'd do that" exclaimed the captain as the dog ran
"Why the bloody hell did you do it then!" said the crew
Not at all annoying....
Almost into Banbury and what did we see but the deadly slow two hirer boats with the mildly fallen out crews, stopped for lunch, we passed them quickly.
In Banbury we met a Hero.
We have for as long as we have had WaL had four stakes for mooring WaL, if we have to stake the boat instead of using the clippy on hooks or nappy pins as John calls them, we use two stakes at each end for a firm hold, on a river I'd like to use three and a river after rain I'd want to use six at each end.
When David cleared out HIS lockers last week only three stakes. We must have left on in the grass somewhere.
In the centre of Banbury is Tooley's Boatyard HERE
We weren't completely sure if he'd be here or indeed be in but yes. Banbury has changed a bit in the last three years with these whoppers on both sides of the canal.
|Goodness knows what this is going to be but boats still moored with clanging and banging all around going on, what could be nicer?|
|I think this had a board saying Premier Inn|
Here he is, Maffi. HERE, it's been a while but I Yoo Hooo'ed him across the way and his head popped up, Maffi I want a stake I called, he reached into a bucket next to him and said "Here, have this one"
Problem solved thank you very much Maffi. We hope to see you again in a few weeks or so on our return.
We carried on yabbering to the lock which he helped me with.
If anything they've made the fields into a park.
|WaL coming around the bend.|
I've included these two shots as I'm sure in a short while these old yards will have gone and there will be waterside apartments, already looking tatty and have weeds growing in the corners. In fact in 2014 when we first came down here on our way to the Kennet and Avon Canal we moored opposite the building site below and had a rude awakening when the workmen wanted us to move at about 7am. Seven years later and it looks just the same
If anything they've made the fields into a park.
|Thats the M40 in the background.|
Another sad story, last July I think it was someone decided to set fire to this cottage. I understand that this one was lived in but no more. Two boats were here waiting, waiting for over an hour as some kind person had thrown a microwave oven into the lock. CART had attended and fished it out.
It was here that I met a man, a younger than me man, who asked me how long it would take him to get to Tring (On the Grand Union Canal, close to where we had got to in May when we did long days and two boats in the double locks for ease.
You see he was out running and decided to change his life. He decided to live on a boat and had brought one.
He was on it now and moving it to Tring. Well that's quite a change of life style to decide on during a run, yes he said.
Have you lived on a boat before? No,
Have you been on a hire boat before? No,
Have you any friends on boats? No
So there you are. I sent him back to his boat as he was next to come in, I wonder how he's getting on.
I talked to the next lady, I can't quite remember how the conversation exactly started but she is a genealogist from USA, lived over here for 20 years loved boating and wanted to liveaboard but her partner didn't want to. She had done a DNA test on herself and discovered the disconcerting fact that her father who had raised her was not her biological father, her mother now deceased had denied this whilst alive (Well you would wouldn't you) so following this revelation her other four siblings had also done a DNA test to discover that three of them were in the same boat, but all had different fathers.... Had this news upset or divided your family I tentatively enquired Oh yes big time
I suggested writing a book and screenplay but changing all the names. She gave me her name which I don't think I shall ever forget and will be looking out for the book.
We moored up at Kings Sutton, put the tonneau cover on the back just in time for the downpour which lasted most of the night.
I'm still thinking about that American woman's family....