Wednesday, 20 June 2018

What a Day


Well as the title says what a day, It all started quite normal with a  good 07.45 start a quick cruise to the first locks that are about a mile from the main section of the Hatten flight what normally happens is you hang around until another boat arrives then you go together as I said yesterday it saves water and lightens the load. as we arrived at the bottom lock we were caught up by a young guy who asked if he could go along with us, he also said he had never done locks before and he was single handed. Well I must admit Noreen and I were not excited about doing the flight with a rooky as they are hard enough with experience crew But everyone has to learn and as far as locks are concerned you couldn't get a better teacher than Noreen things went fairly well for the first lock but it was very slow I offered to butty the two boats and take them through leaving him free to do the locks with Noreen. This he declined as he wanted the experience which we both agreed he deeded on the forth lock out of 22 he decides to inform us he is only going to lock 5 Noreen took it in her stride I hit the roof and explained that he should have informed us of that fact at lock 1 then we could have waited for a boat going the whole way Now we have to do the rest all 18 of them on our own thereby wasting water and doubling our work load. Anyway we parted having taught him the etiquette of locking. now the first five took 75 mins making about 15min a lock the next 18 we averaged 9 min a lock  but at top lock there is a little cafe where we had to get lunch and a brew but we were very proud of ourselves Now we at a few miles further on watching  Holby City
We have also managed to get a birth in a marina whilst we go back home where we are needed. It just so happens to be the same boat yard that Noreen stayed at when I was in Hospital in Birmingham quite Bizzar really Buggerlugs always ends up there in a crisis However they are great people and have remained friends ever since Noreen's enforced stay I have course remember nothing about that stay the first 10 days I was in a comma you should try that best sleep I have ever had it should be given free on the NHS ???
All things considered we should be in there by Sat Morning

The horrifying view of the Hatten flight from half way point

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Visit to Warwick


We have treated  ourselves to a couple of days off here in Warwick we stayed here a few years go when Noreen broke her wrist and we really enjoyed the place.  anyway this enforced stay has been just as good, I say enforced as we got here yesterday needing a pump out and diesel. We carry a couple of maps they are not for explaining where we are but they have got all the pubs marked, the places where you can get water, fuel, gas and pump outs but mainly used for finding good food,
We decided to fill up with diesel and a pump out here in Warwick as we know the two boat yards but on arrival Delta Boatyard who build excellent boats now do not sell fuel or do pump outs however Kate boats continue to do P.Os but do not sell fuel. Now as in the nxt two days from leaving here we have a flight of 21 locks the Hatten flight and then the Kingswood flight of 19 making 40 in two days I didn't want to tackle these with only have a tank of fuel you can suck up dregs from the bottom of the tank and that causes all sorts of problems. Noreen remembered that a mile behind us there is a large Tesco and that meant a fore court with fuel.  We turned around and went in search of fuel I made two trips to the garage carrying 20 Lts at a time I had forgotten just how heavy a full Jerry can is anyway I put on 40lts and feel better for it
So now tomorrow we make the Hatten flight as these are wide locks (two narrow in one lock)   we will  hopefully pick up a another boat who are heading our way a we can share the work.
Then on Thurs we will turn off the Grand Union and start on the   Stratford -on- Avon canal taking us towards Birmingham
Now you know as much about our next couple of days as I do But this is Boating and anything can happen
 Stay Good
God Bless

Nicholas Gardens

beautiful kiddies pool

The Gardens are really well kept

St Mary's

St Mary's

St Mary's

St Mary's

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Royal Leamington Spar

Hi Everyone

Today we made it to Leamington Spar maybe some of you are saying to yourselves that I'm going in the wrong way well yes you are right. We have turned round and we are now on our return journey
We have a problem with in the family and Noreen needs to be there the problem will occur in the next two weeks or so we will have to leave Buggerlugs in a marina whilst we nip home for a few days and any further south would have made it difficult and expensive.
So we are now making our way back, not the same route as the outward but this time via Birmingham as there are friends to see on the way back
Now that's out of the way Royal Leamington Spa is a dump beautiful buildings and a fantastic park  but the town is so so run down it was almost depressing to walk round it
Tomorrow we hit Warwick a place we know quite well so we are looking forward to that

Speak soon

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Off the Oxford canal

Hi you will all be glad to know we left the Oxford Canal early this morning in fact by 12.30 we had done 18 miles and 14 locks but the most rewarding part was at 07.45 turning west at the Napton Junction off the Oxford and onto a wide the canal we are now on the Grand Union Canal we will now be passing through Royal Leamington Spar, Warwick  then towards Kings Norton were I hope to call in and say hello to the people who looked after Noreen and the boat while I was in the Queen Elizabeth after my little accident.
The weather has been very kind to us, we had to get our wet gear on this morning but that was soon over it only lasted 45min but it gave the coats an airing bad new though for last night I couldn't get any telle Noreen was not impressed. But to be honest the only thing on is that very silly game where 22 men kick a ball around a field some have the ability to dive on the ground then go into a kind of act of being terribly injured and upset, whilst others procrastinate with a man in black (maybe he is the undertaker for the severely injured player, after the allotted time of 90mins they all start kissing each other, Anyway its a game I do not like and cannot understand why its on? unless everyone wants to see the actors and see how the perform either Shakespearian or Method either way I'm not watching Does anyone know how long this farce in on for???
We passed a field yesterday morning I thought we were on the Serengeti a large heard of huge Buffalo the last time I saw one that close was in Kenya just before it turned a mini over the two lieutenants sitting were not best please but what else do you expect blowing your horn at it to get out of the way with that in mind I cruised past very quietly (we!l! I don't know if they are good swimmers)    
Todays is my Brother Colin's 70th Birthday Kieth is catching us up he has always be good with his patience but he will get there. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OUR KID.

Tomorrow we are off to Royal Leamington Spar

Keep Reading

Moored up yesterday and this Honey Fungi was growing around a tree it
looked very pretty

 Who would believe it
they looked very relaxed and acted as they owned the place like most people with a passport

Napton on the hill what a lovely name for a village

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Old River Thames ??

Hi Everyone
On Sunday morning we left Oxford behind joining what I believe to be the River Isis though the signs say the Thames.  Isis or Thames it is the most beautiful piece of river its quite wide and flows with a gentle but forceful flow strong enough to remind you that it is a river and gentle enough to allow you time to enjoy the ride. The first quarter mile is very urban passing under the mail railway then turning past Bosom boatyard here the river opens up to about 180ft wide along oxford common as it was early Sunday morning the church bells were peeling it was like a scene out of the Archers so very very English. this gentle glide up a very gentle river seemed to wash away all the bad things about the Oxford canal into insignificance.
I will not attempt to describe the pure joy of that mornings cruise my command of the English language would not do it justice, you would have to be there to enjoy it as I did

But do enjoy the pis
God Bless

River starts to Open up

A little turbulence from a side weir  

passing the boat yard

Quite a dull morning so pics are quite poor

Their is always traffic wherever you go

many sights to check out

just a nice shot of Buggerlugs

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Oxford done and Dusted

Well that's Oxford done and I must say I was not looking forward to walking the walls of Oxford as I was here in 1967 Putting a roof on the biggest hanger in the UK this was pre Jumbo jet era. Though with Maturity and Noreens expert knowledge on architecture I have changed my mind it is really a very Beautiful and interesting City and well worth the effort it took to get here. the Oxford canal is by far the worst I have ever come across. It is obvious the CRT and Oxford council do not want boaters on the canal. The canal bank is so overgrown that it is impossible to moor a boat even on the designated moorings and the overhanging trees are that low they obstruct your Navigation. All the boaters we met are complaining about it also the fact that some of the best mooring have been sold off to Residential mooring. THESE so called boat are not fit to keep a dog in I doubt if any have a BSC (Boat Safety Certificate ) don't get me wrong, I will fight for the right for anyone to live were and how they want but if these boats were council houses they would have been given warnings and then evicted. but CRT cannot be bothered and the council don't care because they are having to house the people who are having to live in such a way.
Never the less Oxford is a very nice place cant say much about its residents as for 10 Good Mornings given out we would get two return nods or sometimes the brave ones would smile, Maybe its because its Oxford One thing I did notice is that most of the grave stones and memorials are inscribed  in Latin especially in the bigger churches such as Christ the King, in my right wing way that tells me that the Academia did that to express their superiority over the lower class stating that they could read Latin and we could NOT. Or maybe in my more Liberal way it was inscribed  as the Bible and most mass were said in the language of Latin Whatever I prefer it to be in English so ignorant people like me can look back an see who is in the whole. I did say to Noreen that I want mine in plain English with a twang of Mancunian Noreen says (she is not wasting money on that I have said enough already to last me in this world and the next)
So that's it for Oxford
Tomorrow we head for the a few miles up the Thames
speak soon


Christ Church

Just a few Bikes Students are now allowed to bring cars into Oxford

This is the place were the compulsory education system was born.

Noreen hoping we get back OK

Monday, 4 June 2018

Banbury Cross

Wait a minute after I wrote last nights blog Noreen said "did you tell them about the Naked walker.
Sorry I forgot,,  There I was watching the Oxfordshire countryside roll be then I spotted a walker nothing extraordinary about that we pass hundreds of them but was a guy on his own mid 50s thought nothing of it until he got closer then it dawned on me he was NAKED WALKER I gave a pleasant good morning and we passed the time of day I wanted him to know that I as not shocked, upset or embarrassed seen bigger than that hanging around the showers ?? however Noreen WAS MOST UPSET as she was down below and only saw the back of him and his little bum wobbling away into the distance, she was fuming! and wanted ME to give all the details Anyway that was yesterday
Today has been a much easier day the weather has been a lot cooler nice but cooler unlike yesterdays events we made good time and arrived in Banbury just on lunch time enough time to give Banbury the once over and Noreen some therapy as there is a nice shopping centre and the town is a real old fashioned town with proper shops quaint alleyways and some lovely selection of Victorian, Georgian, Edwardian and some earlier that I couldn't date but some very interesting architecture.
After asking in six different languages where Banbury  Cross was ( I know very little Polish) but my basic Arabic worked and we found the Cross. It is now in the middle of a roundabout with no access without taking your life in your hands. Actually if you want to learn all about the Bambury Cross and the fine Lady there are some great old photos and explanations in Weatherspoons (we had lunch there)and discovered everything we wanted to know.

We are now well moored up in the centre of the town ready for another day on the cut tomorrow
God Bless

That's the Banbury Cross Noreen is wearing it

Noreen this was before Weatherspoons

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Hot so bloody hot

Hi Folks
As wee had 11 locks to complete in the first 3 miles we set off very early hoping to get a head start however "the best laid plans of mice and men" it didn't happen we managed to get as far as the second lock before we hit our first problem which was some daft drunken bugger had left the paddles up and the gates open consequently emptying the pound above the lock (for none boaters a pound is a short stretch of water between locks) IF THE POUND IS EMPTY YOU CANNOT FILL YOUR LOCK , so you have to go to the lock above the one that is empty to bring water down this could entail walking a couple of miles and if there is a series of locks it mounts up anyway after a couple of hours we had it sorted and were now cruising along canals with water in it then believe it or not a boat going into the lock before us broke down in the lock. They had got something around the prop I heard the incident it sounded like metal SO we dragged him out of the lock, it was a hire boat so there was nothing I could do. we are warned not to assist on serious breakdowns on hire boats they could sue us for damage. We assist where can but nothing technical
The rest of the day has been very nice the weather beautiful this part of the Oxford is very nice though it has a thousand twists and turns you seem to be constantly on a bend, boaters today were a different kind most returned our good mornings most new what they were doing and most were courteous. Again mooring is a problem as all the moorings marked on the map are taken up with overstayers tonight we are moored at a place called Fenny Compton I squeezed in between two knackered boats I counted the boats on the visitors moorings there are 18 boats 4 are visiting the rest are Dossing most have no licence I have just email CRT about my concerns that they are NOT doing the Job WE PAY THEM TO DO
Noreen has just put my steak in the pan
got to go
This was weird

down here its called camping

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Changeing attitudes

This morning we pulled away from  Rugby leaving the high spots of the midlands behind us,and joined the gin swilling southerners and immediately you could tell the difference, gone had the cheery "good mornings from boaters and other folk on the canal, Gone had the sedate pace we had been traveling at replaced by the "got to get there first attitude". Unfortunate but that's how it goes. also mooring has become a problem as there are none, tonight we are moored in a nice spot out in the wilderness because all the recognised moorings marked on the map are filled with boats that have been their since the millennium leaving no room at all for cruising boats. I blame the housing market and the fact that some people find living on a boat cheaper that in a house. I don't want to go through that saga I could be here all night  The CRT notices for mooring "UP NORTH" they just say Mooring 24 hours, or 48 hours, seven days what ever the period might be. But here it also has the word Free or no charge WHY!! everything here is about money. Oh I am glad I don't live here uts very nice for a visit but that's it. Today we also passed some very extensive work going on at the side of the canal at first  thought it was a large housing estate But no it was is the new High Speed Rail so much work and the cost  FOR WHAT so some daft bugger can get to London 20 mins faster what a bloody waste of tax payers money what DH thought of that one its not even as if it was bringing employment have the work is being contracted out to the EU. I have just been told to calm down...... Anyway   the scenery is beautiful and  the canals are nice What I have to do is continue being a missionary and bring joy and love to these heathens I may even try and spread some happiness. just because they are miserable why should we.
Its now 20.11 the sun is still beating down my solar panels are giving the batteries a good charge Noreen wants to watch Casualty tonight.

Keep Smiling "we will"