Muddy Slipper to Somerton Meadow
We were up at normal time and wanting to be making a move. Somerton Meadows was only two and a half hours away according to Waterways Routes and that is where we wanted to be able to hunker down for the strong winds and rain that were going to arrive this afternoon. Our aim was to reach there before lunchtime and be all settled before the elements took over.
Coming into Lower Heyford we decided that we’d give over a proportion of our lives and fill with water. Slowing past the moored boats we could see a boat coming through the bridge towards us, an unusual sight at the moment. It soon became obvious that it was NB Dusty the local coal boat, Katy Jock and Billy were all at the back having a chat to someone waiting for us to clear the way ahead for them. It looked like they were stocked up with coal, hopefully diesel too.
Stoppages on the Oxford have meant that they haven’t been able to do their normal runs down to Oxford and up to Fenny Compton for a few weeks. But they had decided to do a mini run to stock up boats in between the stoppages near their home mooring. They were just making their way back from Aynho where they’d stocked up, perfect timing for us. They had diesel and were happy to pull over to fill our tank having a chat as it filled. If we’d have thought about it we’d have pulled up closer to the water point and got the tap dribbling into Oleanna’s tank whilst we did this, but hey.
As they pulled away from us it started to rain, only a drizzly bit, but this wasn’t meant to happen until 2pm! We pulled forward and started the tap, Mick walked up to the recycling bins and then onto the shop at the hire base to see if they had some eggs. We hadn’t calculated how many we’d need for kedgeree and a spot of baking. Luckily Mick returned with some so I can try out a Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil recipe I’ve been wanting to have a go at for sometime, photos tomorrow if it turns out well.
By now the rain had started in earnest, but being very close to the railway we decided to get wet and push on to Somerton. Both a bit soggy around the edges we worked our way through the lift bridge and up two more locks, pausing to close the offside cratch cover in the last one. I then left Mick to battle on whilst I went inside to heat up some soup for lunch. By 13:40 we were pulling in at the meadows, the rain (which started early) now being joined by the gusting wind. Luckily this helped push Oleanna into the side, easing mooring.
The remainder of the day we hunkered down listening to the gales and sideways rain as Tilly made the most of being allowed out, returning to leave her muddy paw prints over everything!