Wednesday, 29 September 2010


After a day of continuous rain it has been a spectacular sunset, I'd rather have had a dry day and a boring sunset but no one asked my opinions.
It was good to see Sue from No Problems, they are moored a couple of bridges down. Sorry we can't make coffee tomorrow but looking at the weather it's the only day when it will be fit to move and a pump out is getting needed.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ladder Bridge.

One of our all time favourite moorings is at bridge 129, ladder bridge,

so called as it is a footbridge with steps either side rather than a slope, also it doesn't go anywhere, not even a footpath either side, just ploughed fields.

No, it's not Paris, I believe it belongs to Decca-Racal so is presumably something to do with navigation but probably not on the Oxford Canal.

On a misty day I could still see Napton windmill, it's on the skyline, dead centre, but is a bit difficult to pick out, look for a white diagonal cross, that's it, you've spotted it, well done.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Coal delivery.

Well after fitting the new chimney we had to try it out, we lit the stove and oh how happy Marmite was,

she nearly forgave us for the lack of treats the other night.

On a dull drizzly day, two thirds of the way up the Napton flight we awaited the arrival of


and Ally on

Gosty Hill for the first coal delivery of the winter.
We'll move on tomorrow, weather permitting, out into wildest, whichever county it is, which county is it? Oh well, it's roughly south(ish) from here.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Napton news and a sign of approachng cold weather.

Today I have fitted our new chimney, stainless steel, just hope it lasts a bit longer than the old black mild steel ones. They seem to collapse into a heap of iron oxide after a year or so. The only problem is that my sad little battery drill can't manage to go through the stainless so the coolie hat is just sitting on top, held only by the force of gravity. I wonder how long it will be before a slight contact with a bridge (I never hit them of course) will deposit it into the murky depths?
We stopped yesterday at Napton, The Folly is closed again, the new tenants having failed to make a go of it, they lasted four months. It also looks possible that the village shop may be on its way, it has been up for sale for eighteen months and has attracted no interest. The post office are closing the branch in the shop as well, could be the final nail in the coffin.
And on that cheerful note I will go and watch the semi-finals of the snooker.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Stop for recovery.

Just a picture to brighten up the day.
We are now enjoying a quiet time at Flecknoe, Jill won't let me put a sock on until my blister is fully healed so we can't move for at least another day. No, I'm not looking for sympathy.
Yesterday we had an entertaining time watching Ubique go up and down this length, three times they passed us. We hope they enjoy the Shroppie as much as we do.
The farmer gave up at about 2200 the other night and is now about three big fields over.
Yesterday was a glorious day, warm and sunny, last night we had a thunder storm and torrential rain and today it is blowing half a gale and raining, no wonder we Brits always talk about the weather, it changes so much.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Onward to Flecknoe with a stop for brekkies.

We started today by wandering down to the Gongoozlers Rest

for breakfast. A proper cafe on a narrow boat.

It is now under the splendid management of Avril (ex The Old Plough) who provides a breakfast that defies normal stomach capacity and probably makes the arteries go clang. Not to be missed on a visit to Braunston. Our next aim is a couple of days at one of our favourite country moorings at Flecknoe.

The sunken motor just beyond the puddle banks is still there

although the butty appears to be having a reunion with some equally decrepit friends. Can B.W. explain why these unlicensed wrecks remain here?

He's still here, the Flecknoe phantom farmer, we left him in this field last autumn and he is still haunting it, will he go on unti midnight again? Who knows.

This was Marmites reaction when she found there were no extras (gravy, meat scraps or something similar) on her dog food. Poor thing, we treat her so badly. If it was an Olympic sport she could sulk for Britain).

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A lovely trip out and some wildlife.

Today was a quick trip into Daventry to top up supplies. You can't say a lot about Daventry,

this was the most attractive street that we found,

but it was market day and our old gits bus passes means it was a free trip so I won't knock the place.

Ever since I threw a bit of bread out of the side hatch we have been under constant surveillance,

there are usually four youngsters and two adults out scrounging but once they saw the camera they became very shy, well no one likes the paparazzi do they.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Back in Braunston.

We are finally off the Leicester Arm. I left Jill in charge of watering while I hobbled (please note still playing on sore toe) round to get rid of the rubbish. Had a chat with Chris and Debbie on Ubique who were waiting for a Tesco's delivery.

Then the usual run through Braunston tunnel and hooray!

B.W. have finally sorted out the landslip at the end of the tunnel.

On the locks the community payback lads were doing a splendid job painting the gates, made working the locks a bit awkward though, all that wet paint.

A tranquil evening at Braunston, no telly though as there are trees in the way, missing the snooker, oh dear. Can't be helped, you just have to grab the first mooring you come across. Don't intend staying longer than we have to though.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Pain and snooker.

Still at Norton Junction, yesterday we took a walk down to Whilton Marina as the chandlrey there used to have a good stock of LED's and we need four more to complete our lighting, guess what, they don't have what we need, so we walked back up the locks. Three quarters of the way up I developed a socking great blister under one of my toes and finished the walk in agony, needless to say I made absolutely no fuss about it but today we decided to stay put to avoid unnecessary pain. The real reason was that snooker is on the telly and Jimmy White was playing this evening, no way I could chance ending up without a signal, I like my head this shape. Jill is happy now, he won.
Off to Braunston tomorrow, hopefully the toe will have recovered.

Friday, 17 September 2010

On to Norton Junction.

Well we have now arrived at Norton Junction after a most pleasant sojourn on the Leicester Arm. A quick resume since Foxton.

The only lock on the Welford Arm

and Welford Wharf, now a sanitary station.

Postman Pat greets you at the bottom of

the High Street.

The church has
the most splendid organ, catch the decorations, and

a fine memorial to Francis Saunders, Jills maiden name was Saunders, draw your own conclusions.
Any decent village has two important buildings.

The pub is, of course, the centre of village life (The Red Lion is a fine example, well kept beer and friendly staff, thoroughly recommended.)

along with the church, the tower is Hartshill stone

and the font is early Norman, interesting eh?

Watford Locks and now we are at Norton Junction, Braunston next? probably.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Brief update.

The summit level of the Leicester Arm has got to be one of the most remote stretches of canal on the system, apart from Welford at the end of its own little arm there are no villages within striking distance, the occasional church spire peering over the trees and here and there a farm seem to be the only signs of habitation, even the minor roads try to avoid contact with the cut.
We spent a couple of days at Welford, it's quite a pleasant village with agreeable moorings and some nice rural walks, we did a few miles out to Sulby Abbey and back, there isn't actually an abbey, just some humps and bumps in the ground but it was a decent bit of exercise. Jill says I need more exercise but bone idle is my chosen mode of existence so there is the occasional discussion.
We are now nearing civilisation, Yelvertoft is only about a mile from where we are moored but as it is blowing a hoolie and chucking it down I think that exploration can wait. We do have some photos' but not enough signal to download them so they will have to wait.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

One moment in time.

Evening on the summit, Classic F.M. is playing Vaughan-Williams The Lark Ascending and the sky looks like this, sublime moment.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

We eventually tackle Foxton.

No wonder I am a technophobe, settled down tonight to write the latest chapter in the enthralling work that is this blog and guess what, somehow a contents lock had imposed itself on my internet and wouldn't even allow me into my own blog, come on, I know it's not wonderful but it's hardly pornographic. I eventually managed to contact T-Mobile and of course I have no idea what the 'phone number of my dongle is and the serial number on it is unreadable, but after a friendly chat with the nice lady I eventually got it lifted and so the saga (not with a capital S) continues:

Foxton Locks? Nothing to 'em.

We arrived in the early morning mist and having made our number with the lockie off we went.

Jill was duty steerer and it was into the bottom lock,

red paddle first,

and when you open the white paddle the water rushes into the side pond, simple.

The lockie and I even had time to put the world to rights.

Five down, ( Or five up, depends on your point of view) five to go.
So we survived and I promise not to mention Foxton again. We are now on the summit level and moored miles from anywhere, bliss.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

More thoughts on Foxton Locks and a distance conundrum.

We are now ready to to tackle Foxton Locks, two five lock staircases, with side ponds, hmm.

You open the red paddle and that allows water from the side pond into the lower lock and then you open the white paddle and that sends water from the higher lock into the side pond and it all levels out and everything is fine.
The building at the bottom is the Foxton Locks Inn, to which you can repair when it has all gone belly up, as long as you haven't flooded it that is.

At the bottom of the locks are a nice new signpost and an old mile post, side by side.

In the nineteenth century these were the mileages from the junction,

twenty-first century and things appear to have moved, I blame the E.U., or perhaps global warming?

This is the first bridge below the locks and no sign of Zippy or Bungle. Perhaps they will turn up when we hit the locks tomorrow.