Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Soaring To The Summit. 17th December

Elkington Winding Hole to Fenny Compton Wharf Bridge

P1440629smDespite a small amount of ice on the cut this morning in shaded parts we had a easy cruise up to the summit of the Oxford Canal. Every lock was in our favour, most probably they’d emptied themselves overnight as we’d not noticed a boat come past us. A few top gates needed an extra bit of a nudge to get them open, so two pairs of legs were needed rather than one.

P1440638smP1440639smAt Claydon Top Lock work men were busy moving machinery about, a couple of diggers and small dumper truck. As the lock filled a workman came for a chat. The slightly wonky cottage and out houses are being converted into two holiday lets. New roof lights were evident in the main house already. Apparently full planning permission hasn’t been given as yet so there is only so much they can get on with. Access to the site has been none existent up to now, so the chaps with the diggers were busy building a temporary track. Once the works were complete some other arrangement needed to be made for access. The cottages certainly will have great views to the west and over the lock.

P1440641smOn we pootled, now on the summit pound winding it’s way towards Marston Doles and Napton. There is no rush at the moment as Napton Locks are not due to reopen until 4pm Friday, we’re hoping it might be slightly earlier.

P1440649smP1440652smUnder our last lift bridge with a wonderful blue sky. Then an old railway bridge where there was plenty of good ivy hanging about. I hopped off whilst Mick kept Oleanna in what had been the bridge hole. Shears in hand I chopped away at the ivy filling a bin, hopefully I’ve got enough for a wreath for the bow now. Then on we continued to Fenny Compton Tunnel, here there was a touch of ice again. Maybe it was still hanging about from a few days ago, the tunnel more of a cutting keeping the water in the shade. As we passed the ice just rippled on the water and moved aside for us.

P1440661smOn the two occasions we’ve passed this way before, all the moorings in Fenny Compton have been taken and meeting another boat on the narrow stretches meant having to squeeze through. Not today though, plenty of room. There were a few boats before the water point and then four after the road bridge. Here we pulled in, hopefully a cats safe distance from the road. Tilly had a short explore but it didn’t seem to inspire her to stay out long, maybe there was a lack of anything to hunt.

IMG_20181217_185518smThis evening we decided to try out The Wharf Inn and it’s large portions. We needed an excuse, so decided that it should be our LTS Christmas do. Mick used to work for LTS in York as a telephone engineer and I was handed down some of his old t-shirts to use as painting shirts. LTS now stands for Leckenby Theatrical Services, so my fee from Chipping Norton would pay for our food tonight.

The pub for a Monday night, with not many boaters about, was quite busy. After hearing about the portion sizes we avoided having a starter and launched into the main courses. The pies sounded very good and a waitress said the latest batch had just come out of the oven, Mick opted for a Steak and Cheddar Pie, whilst I had a Rump Steak. My steak was fine, not as good as The Red Lion in Crick and not a patch on the one near Bugsworth, but Micks pie well and truly made up for anything it lacked.

IMG_20181217_192639smIMG_20181217_195405smWhat looked like a quarter of a large pie took over his plate with mashed potato, swede and carrot and peas with just enough gravy. The filling was ever so tasty and certainly not been skimped on, I did have a couple of tastes, yummy.

IMG_20181217_200138smWe decided that as our Christmas do might become a touch rowdy that we’d retire back to the boat and refrain from pudding in the pub (not enough space for it). We had plenty of wine on board so no need to spend my hard earned cash in the pub.

DSCF7114sm5 locks, 4.14 miles, 1 roofless tunnel, 1 last lift bridge, 2 slices toast with mushrooms, 0 access, 8 boats in Fenny, 1 disgruntled cat, 0 good trees, pah! 1 pint, 1 glass wine, 1 huge pie, 1 steak, 1 card, 1 Christmas do done, maybe we should have another one.


Monday, 17 December 2018

One Co-ordinate Out. 16th December

Cropredy Wharfish to Elkington Winding Holeish

A top up of water at the service block before we carried on  our way towards the summit of the Oxford Canal. As we were about to reverse out from the awkward water point/winding hole a group of canoeists pulled in at our stern waiting for a boat to come out from the lock. The boat cleared followed by the canoes and we then reversed doing a several point 90 degree turn to be facing north again.

P1440555smI was pleased to see that the guard dog at Cropredy Lock Cottage was still on duty at the picket fence. His surroundings considerably less green than they were three months ago. The local ducks and swans squabbled over apples in the water, large chunks being swallowed and slowly descending the swans necks.

P1440569smP1440578smAs Cropredy Marina came into view we kept our eyes open to see if we could spot NB Herbie moored up for the winter. Well it wasn’t that hard as they were the first boat you see! We waved and said hello even though we knew nobody was at home. Neil has just started his Herbie awards for 2018, these range from their favourite moorings, pubs gadgets etc from this years cruising. We nearly stopped at the winning rural mooring the other day and will be sampling one of the nominations for food this week. Well worth an amusing read.

At Broadmore Lock there was a boat a distance away from the lock that was either tying up or just starting to set off. I paused but still couldn’t tell, so set the lock for us. The chap had been untying, but wasn’t too bothered that I’d turned the lock as he was a single hander and not going far today, just doing his fortnightly move. His boat The Three Pigeons had a map and advertised a pub in Banbury. The pub is nominated for a Herbie award so we’ll try it out next time we pass through Banbury.

P1440596smA couple more boats were moving and our arrival at Varneys Lock worked well for us and the single hander coming down. The pumpkin farm had very neat looking fields. I wonder if they grow another crop earlier in the year or just stick to squash. We wound our way just past Elkington Winding Hole to where we’d moored on our way down. One other boat tied up here and not much footfall. We could carry on up the Claydon Flight or stay here for the night, the latter was decided on and Tilly was let out to explore.

We tied this outside up before, except it was on the other side. Last time I only had enough time to climb the fantastic trees, today I made sure I left time to find some friends too.

P1440603smP1440604smP1440606smOh but where to start?! The sideways trees are big round here and have big proper trees growing out from them, just which way to go? I managed to climb most of them. A good dig around in the field behind and then a hunt for some friends. She came out for a while and I helped try to find some ivy for a wreath, but apparently even though there was lots of ivy it wasn’t the right sort. I left her to it and found lots of friends to play with, they don’t seem to swim too well!

P1440614smWith a wide towpath and the temperature not too chilly Mick had a Christmas haircut all of his own. If only he could cut a straight line in my hair!  With both of us now looking respectable for the festive period (not that many are going to see us),Oleanna needed decorating. No suitable ivy was at hand here for a wreath, I’m hoping Fenny Tunnel might be better, but more lights and the Christmas Tree came in doors.

Our tree has loved this year and grown somewhat about four inches. Despite me turning it round in the cratch quite often to try to straighten it, it has continued to grow at it’s jaunty angle, which is very handy with the tumblehome of the cabin. If it survives another year I wonder if it’ll still fit inside, not bad for a fiver at Newark market three years ago.

IMG_20181216_161122smIMG_20181216_161136smWhat a day! First the great trees outside and then they brought one tree inside for me to play with. So many balls to bat around and chase. There are also big things in the windows that I can play with, hours of fun to be had. Except when I was trying one of them out she stamped her way over and shouted in my face! Apparently they are called ‘BAD’ and you have to say it very loudly, I think they must be deaf.

black pawDSCF7114sm4 locks, 2.21 miles, 4 boats moving, 21 canoes, 1 pair of very cold toes, 1 full water tank, 0 pumpkins, 2 ducks and 2 swans loving apples, 1 co-ordinate different to three months ago, grade 3, 2 possible ways up, 2 many to choose from, 1 tree inside, 2nd set of lights, 0 ivy, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.Elkington mooring

Sunday, 16 December 2018

A Good Sort Of Dark Brown, or, He Forgot The Mushrooms. 15th December


The forecast this afternoon was set to get pretty horrid with a named storm coming our way. We could have set off early and climbed up a few locks before things deteriorated but the thin layer of ice across the canal put us off, so instead we stayed in bed for a while as the boat warmed up. Mick then walked to the shop at the bridge for our Saturday newspaper, our first in three weeks!

Tilly was allowed out to come and go as she liked all day as we didn’t plan on going anywhere. A few return visits to the boat and then she came in for her morning snooze on the sofa in front of the stove.

Mick cooked us a breakfast as we’d stocked up at Morrisons. At the moment Morrisons seem to be soaring ahead of other supermarkets in their range of Gluten Free. A couple of options on black pudding and after checking the white pudding we noticed the one stocked is gluten free, even though it wasn’t in the GF isle. White Pudding is an extra treat on our breakfast plates, only normally found at Morrisons. This one however didn’t behave quite like the ones we’ve had before. Mick sliced it up and popped it in the oven as normal, but sadly this pudding should be microwaved or boiled, it just fell apart into a grainyness. It was tasty, but more fine gravel than pudding.

P1440528smAs he plated up our morning feast Mick exclaimed that he’d forgotten the mushrooms! He’d even left a space for them on my plate too, everything was tasty, however we both missed the mushrooms.

The ice was soon broken up by a boat heading for the water point backwards. Lady at the tiller, chap at the bow with a pole to help steer. That reminded us to replace our pole when we reach Braunston, you don’t often need one but when you do, you do! The canoeists had obviously been waiting for the surface to be broken up and they soon came out. Luckily either our position near where they start or the cold meant that they weren’t racing each other which creates the big waves that buffet us about so much.

P1440532smP1440535smWhilst at the shop Mick had wanted some bread, but there was only plastic sliced. With a bag of bread flour in the drawer I offered to make him a loaf before it reached 6 months past it’s use by date. As the weather deteriorated outside I kneaded the dough, made space for it on the proving shelf, knocked it back, proved it and then baked it all whilst having to open the door to show Tilly that it was raining. It was horrible out there, why would I want to go out, stupid woman! Tilly tried to persuade the weather to behave whilst sitting under the pram cover, but it disobeyed. We have to say we were expecting a lot lot worse, we’ve cruised in heavier rain recently.

My first loaf of bread in quite a while, it rose wonderfully but that meant the top of it reached the ever so hot ‘zoned’ area of the top oven. Mick being as diplomatic as ever said that it was a good sort of dark brown (verging on black!) and how he really liked it that colour.

P1440540smChristmas greetings were sent off via the internet, one sock finished another started and the last episode of The Little Drummer Girl watched as we waited for our jacket potatoes to cook in the stove.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1st newspaper in 3 weeks, 12 canoes, 4 hours in that! 3 hours 10 minutes added to my account, 0 mushrooms, 5 hash browns, 1 sausage, 1 bacon, 1 egg each, 1 browned loaf, 2 jackets, 1 sock,

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Breaking A Way North. 14th December

Tramway to Cropredy Wharf, nearly

P1440429smThermal vests, check.

Long johns, check.

Heat holder socks, check.

Hats, check.

Scarves, check.

Gloves, check.

Hand warmers, only one.

It was a touch chilly this morning, but nothing we weren’t expecting.

P1440425smP1440433smWe winded and then headed straight for the service block. Whilst filling with water, we disposed of rubbish, emptied the yellow water and emptied the pooh bucket. Last night Mick had chopped the big bit of mattress up into four so that it would fit in a Biffa bin, it took up most of the cratch. Luckily the bins were fairly empty so the blocks of foam fitted in leaving space for others. Just as Mick was about to add the narrower section of the mattress the ladies from the boat we’d passed with engine problems arrived. The cushion would do them and their five dogs nicely, we’re glad that someone could reuse it.

Now we were empty and full in all the right places we were happy boaters. It was time to wave farewell to Banbury for the last time this year, we’ve spent quite a bit of time here over the last three months with our first arrival on the 26th of September! Definitely time to get moving.

P1440445smUp the lock, through the lift bridge, say and wave goodbye to Kate Saffin as we passed (she may or may not have been in) and then back along the familiar stretch heading northwards out of Banbury. Once past the two winding holes at Hennef Bridge we were the furthest north we’d been for months. We could tell we were north when we reached Neithorpe Bridge, up ahead was a small patch of ice on the canal. We hadn’t been expecting this, it hadn’t been cold enough for the cut to freeze, but there it was with a larger patch by Malc and Dinks house.

P1440454smMick slowed Oleanna down and we carefully cruised past a plastic cruiser, the ice couldn’t be too thick but still we didn’t want to be responsible for any incident. The further we got out of town the expanses of ice increased, how far would we get? We’d hoped to reach Cropredy to be able to buy a newspaper tomorrow, would the ice stop us?

P1440460smAt Hardwick Lock there was a sheet of ice above, but as I filled the lock the pressure of the water created swirling holes by the paddles and the sheet soon broke up. Only about a millimetre thick we continued onwards. Oleanna was the first boat through today and the ice crackled, not too thick to inhibit steering, but enough noise to make us check our blacking on the bow, which was okay at the next lock. Should we carry on or should we moor? Tomorrow the weather forecast is bad so we decided to crack onwards.

P1440500smP1440509smP1440514smOnce up Slat Mill Lock we were on the canoeing pound into Cropredy. More moored  boats and the local population is predominantly bovine, we’d disturbed their peace, all of them taking a good look at us as we broke ice. Would the canoes be out in force in the morning, creating big wakes or would the ice put them off?

P1440505smWe thought about mooring above the next lock to avoid them just in case, but would there be ice there. Always ruled by Tilly and her safety, when we saw a mooring surrounded by water we decided to call it a day (shore leave for her can be cancelled when it is icy in case she tries to walk on it). The water point is just within view, therefore the shop is close and we have a view of the trees across the way that need climbing! Can we move across to get to them pleeeeease!

DSCF7114sm4 locks, 5.08 miles, 1 wind, 1 bridge, 1 empty wee tank, 1 new pooh bucket, 1 full water tank, 0 old mattresses, 1 boat with space again, 2 wrapped up boaters, 1mm thick, 2 in places, 1 more boat behind us, 1 cruising plan in formulation, 2 many closures, 1 embankment closed for months, 3rd route to be checked, 1 pot of sticky chicken on the stove, 0.5 of a Christmas sock knitted.


Friday, 14 December 2018

Officially Christmas Now. 13th December

Sovereign Wharf to Tramway

P1440398smA window of opportunity opened that we could fill at Tooleys this morning. We were told to be there at 10am, we managed to only be a few minutes late, we live at 3mph so our few minutes was guaranteed to be stretched out longer by the boat yard before they started work. A chance to finish the breakfast cuppa before I could get out the back of Oleanna, where we’d moored was across the entrance to the dry dock so the stern was the best option to reach dry land. I headed off into town leaving Mick to wait and watch.

Another look around the charity shops for Tilly’s Christmas present came up trumps this time and some extra lights were bought for the Christmas tree. Our now three year old tree quite liked this summer and has grown somewhat, so I’ve treated it to some more decorations. A few bits and bobs and my festive shopping was complete. With at least another hour for Oleanna at the boatyard I could get Christmas properly started and get my hair cut.

Banbury is full of barbers and hairdressers and I’ve spent quite a bit of time deciding on which one would receive my money and half my hair. Only having my hair cut once a year means I can afford to spend a bit more on getting it cut, but some of the prices in this town! Blimey!!! Giselle in Scarborough charges me a fraction of any of the prices I found here, but to reach her it would be a big rail fare. So it was The Cutting Bar for me in Castle Quays.

I actually hate having my hair cut, I’m not a normal woman. Giselle has cut my hair for over ten years in Scarborough, so we know quite a bit about each other and last years hair cut took a very long time as we were too busy nattering away catching up on two years worth of events. I’d rather not have to talk inanely about subjects I now have less interest in than I did when I lived on land and all I want is my hair washing then a cut that will last me at least six months with an option of extending that period to a year, a straight line and none of the spray or faffing that turn you into a lion with a rigid mane.

It started well, ‘a wash and cut please’. I had a choice of lady to do the job, Fatima would be fine. My hair had a very thorough wash then I was escorted to a seat. One lady was being finished next to me and during my haircut another three were seen on the other side for a spraydown haircut. A check on length I wanted my straight line cutting and Fatima was off. Lengths of my hair were pinned up, combed, snipped this way and that, a straight line involved an awful lot of different directions! I sat and watched thankful that I hadn’t chosen the stylist next door, I haven’t watched I’m a Celebrity for years and she most certainly wouldn’t have been able to persuade me to have my grey hair blended in.

P1440402smEventually all the snipping finished, marvellous I was done. That is when Fatma spoke for the first time, ‘A little drying’,more a statement than a question. ‘No thanks’, ‘But it’s cold outside’, she was right there. Okay just a little drying, I knew this would cost me extra, but just to get the damp off would be a good idea. But my idea of a little dry certainly wasn’t Fatimas! Oh well, you never know I might really like the outcome and rush off to buy a travel hairdryer to try to recreate the bouffant she was creating. This went on for ages, I was committed now and saying in my head ‘just because you’ve always done things one way doesn’t mean there isn’t another way to do them.’

She walked away, came back and before I knew it there was a spray above my head. Hairspray!!! That was one step too far!

A bit more faffing, an offer of more spray which was very quickly refused and I was set free from her hair dressers cape. As I stood I tried to tuck my hair behind my ear, bad move. All that blow drying had made what little of my hair that wasn’t rigid very very static! I paid, the full price, there went her tip.

Around the corner I caught a glimpse in a shop window, my hair had started to fight back. My parting wanting to show itself was cracking through the hairspray, my follicles now wanting to lie flat in the right direction, strands of hair heading for the ceiling like a  balloon that had just been rubbed on a jumper. I now knew that this wouldn’t be my new look and as soon as I reached the boat a damp brush would be put through it, bouffant would be flattened, parting reinstated. All I would have lost was half an hour of my life and a fiver I didn’t want to spend in the first place. My fleecy hat went on top to try to contain my new look.

P1440407smP1440410smBack at Oleanna the engine was running and Matt was still in the engine bay. A last bit of tidying and topping up was happening. It was still going to be a little while before I could get inside, it was cold so I took refuge inside the chandlers. Two cable ties and half an hour later the engine board was laid back down and Mick went inside to check we were getting hot water. We were and I was about to use some on my hair.

All done and paid we decided to move down to the Tramway before having lunch. We’d leave filling with water until tomorrow as there were already two boats at the services. By the time we’d eaten lunch and then popped over to Morrisons for the things we’d not added to our food order (as we thought we’d be in Banbury til Saturday) it was getting too late to move very far, so we stayed put. I had a shower to rinse off any remaining hairspray and applied a lot of conditioner to try to counter act the static. Thank goodness it worked. I can now declare that it is officially Christmas.

P1440424sm1 lock, 0.86 miles, 1 lift bridge, 15 litres antifreeze, 15 litres water, 1 filter, 1 thing of grease, 1 Tilly present, 3 secret things, 6 inches less, 1 straight line, 20 minutes drying! 1 squirt too many, 0 tip, 1 flattening down, 1 wash, 1 short haired Pip, 1 lesson learnt for next year, 2000 engine hours, 2 pizzas to celebrate.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

A Slight Delay. 12th December

Sovereign Wharf to opposite Sovereign Wharf

Our bed certainly has grown in height, but also comfort. Mick managed to sleep pretty well, he didn’t wake in the night feeling the hard wood beneath the mattress. He feels that he will try a different combination of pillows tonight and see if that makes things even better by giving him a little bit more space. I would have slept well apart from Tilly not being too sure about the new mattress. She normally sleeps snuggled up to me, behind my legs, when I want to move she does too. However, I don’t know if it was the fumes coming off the new mattress that made her uneasy but she spent the night sitting on top of me, my highest bit be it stomach or hip, no way did she want to touch the bed. Really hope she is more at ease tonight, she may be little but when perched on top of you, you certainly know she’s there.

P1440379smLast night was our last on the wharf. So this morning the washing machine started early to finish emptying the drawer. Tilly was quite insistent on being let out, but she still had to wait. Whilst we waited for the washing machine to finish and for a supermarket delivery to come I gave the galley a good clean and finally emptied some shelves to give them a dust. Just as I was finishing this I could hear the delivery van reversing around the wharf. Tilly locked away in the bedroom I unpacked the crates and stowed everything away, including the smallest Bramley Apple I’ve ever seen and some diminutive garlic bulbs.

We had been planning to head off northwards today, but our plans changed yesterday afternoon. Oleanna has very nearly reached 2000 engine hours and the other day Mick checked the concentration of antifreeze in the engine. This was a lot lower than he thought it would be so instead of just topping it up he’s decided to get the skin tank etc drained and refilled. This he could possibly do by himself, but he’s never done it before. On Lillian this was only done once by someone else in the first few months that we owned her. So yesterday he popped down to Tooleys to see if someone there could do it for us before we leave. Saturday morning was the first opportunity, so we’ll be staying in Banbury a little while longer.

We’d also been hoping that a chap two boats down would be able to have a look at our gas locker. A couple of times last week when we moored up I got a faint wiff of gas as I tied up. Mick could smell it too, so we wanted someone to investigate. The local gas chap from Cropredy is recovering from a broken hip at the moment, but the chap two boats down could investigate for us and see if we had a problem that would be easy to solve. Mick chatted with him today and he is snowed under at the moment, so wouldn’t be able to do anything until next week. However since we changed a gas bottle over on Friday the wiff seems to have stopped, so hopefully it was just a dodgy bottle. We’ll keep a nose/eye on it anyway.

P1440383smThe washing machine had finished doing a very hot wash so we could unplug the umbilical (hook up) and head off. Our tight mooring meant giving the bow a very good push off to get it well past the boat in front. This I succeeded with only to stand up and look ahead to see a boat coming our way. Mick stepped off the stern and held onto Oleanna whilst the small green tug stopped, went into reverse then came forward again, then waved us onwards, all a bit confusing.

P1440389smWe pootled up to the winding hole turned and came back. There was space just about opposite where we’d been at the wharf so pulled in. Tilly rules were recited very quickly, so as not to waste any shore leave and the back doors were opened up. It’s almost good here. Too many walkers and woofers, but I did find a friend who I brought back to Oleanna just before a greyhound appeared. This cut short my leave, the first in a week! How inconsiderate.

P1440392sm0 locks, 0.67 miles, 1 wind, 48 letters, 6 boxes, 4 bottles not 2, 2 bottle beer, 1 and 2 half bulbs of garlic, 1 delayed departure, 5 more skeins wool, 27 cards, 90C wash, 1 full water tank, 2 full hours not taken, 40 minutes on account, 1 friend, 1 stew bubbling on the stove.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Just What To Do With The Old One? 11th December

Sovereign Wharf

P1440339smGood job we didn’t loiter too long in bed this morning as Mick’s phone rang alerting us that a large parcel was soon to be delivered. The gates at the wharf are locked all the time except on a Friday when the office is open, so Mick walked up to meet the delivery driver. He’d said that he was in a pink wagon (sadly no photographic proof) and sure enough he was, Mick couldn’t miss him, big and bright pink. The wagon was too big to turn into the wharf so Mick was handed our parcel, almost six foot by two foot square and fairly heavy. He managed to get it back to Oleanna without too much hassle. We decided that unpacking it could wait a while until we’d finished our breakfast and sorted out room for it’s contents first.

P1440344smP1440370smFirst job was to strip the bed, putting all the linen straight into the washing machine. Then the old mattress was lifted, but where to put it? The sofa came in handy for a temporary place whilst we got things sorted.

P1440347smP1440348smP1440346smTilly was very keen to help, checking the bed structure was all okay as it was hoovered and then seeing what lay beneath it. The holes that Finesse had cut for ventilation are just the right size for our mini cat to squeeze through, sadly I wasn’t quite quick enough to get a photo of her hind legs straight up in the air as she wriggled her way into the drawers.

P1440356smP1440360smOur new mattress has cost us quite a bit, so we’d decided to invest in an underlay that would help to keep it away from the wooden base of the bed (Thank you for the suggestion from Jennifer on NB Cyan). The ventilation holes are good, but as this mattress comes with a ten year guarantee we thought it would be best to give it the best treatment possible to get the full life out of it. The underlay had arrived at my brothers last week and was quite a bulky thing to bring home along with all our presents. You can only buy it in fixed sizes which you then have to trim to fit. Out came the scissors and the main section of our bed had a layer cut to fit. We could have added this to the section that pulls out, but this would mean there would another thing to put in place when making up the bed on an evening and as this section of the mattress gets turned over every day we felt it gets enough airing. The remainder we will use under the dinette cushions.

P1440363smNow was time to bring in the large sausage of mattress and undo the bag that was holding it all in. Two pieces of mattress and a pillow (a freebee) all wrapped up together slowly uncurled. I hoped that the mattresses would bounce back into the dimensions I’d given as they were all a touch too big. Luckily as the foam relaxed back into shape the overall foot print reduced as the thickness of them increased.

We left the mattress to do it’s thing all day. Here’s hoping it is worth the money and that Mick can still fit on the bed without going diagonal and pushing me out the other side! We’ll let you know tomorrow.

P1440369smJust what to do with the old one? The narrow section sits nicely on the sofa, but the main section is too big for anywhere really and we don’t want it for anything else. So we need to find a way to dispose of it. Not having a car means we can’t take it to the nearest tip in Alkerton, some 7 miles away. It may be that we end up having to chop it all up and dispose of it in C&RT bins. If you happen to want a second hand foam mattress and can pick it up from Banbury in the next day, please give us a shout.

P1440376smThe washing machine has been very very busy, Christmas cards are made and Mick has even started to put the Christmas lights on the outside of Oleanna. A large food order has been placed which will hopefully see us across to Napton. Just a few more bits of present shopping to do, a wool order to pick up, a few boaty jobs and we can be on our way again.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 seriously bored cat, 1 pink wagon, 1 large box, 2 pieces of redundant foam, 2 new cool blue mattresses, 1 free pillow, 3 designs of card, 1 side with lights, 6 boxes on order, 30 interesting Tilly sized holes, 1 smelly new day bed, 1 very full boat.