Freeze and Thaw

DSCF4032After a few days of being frozen in at Tom Rolt Bridge, Banbury, the thaw arrived on Thursday and so did our son, Jeremy, alias The Boat Man who had been doing a job at Cropredy. He stayed with us for the night and by the time I got home from work at Friday lunchtime he had moved Wrens-Nest down to the ‘facilities’ filled the water-tank and emptied the loo.

DSCF4033Not only that but he moved us on to  ‘Tramway’, conveniently near Banbury Station & Morrison’s. There was some floating ice on the surface when we arrived but it has now been dispersed by the overnight rain and the glorious sunshine today. It has been good to see our solar panels putting some charge into the batteries too.


WeatherWe better make the best of it for although there is more sun forecast for tomorrow the next few days are forecast to be wet and windy! There was a little more DIY on the agenda this weekend, but just confined to re-gluing a couple of the joints on the table and chairs which, I think,  had come loose with the heat from the stove.


DIY Projects!

I mentioned in my post back in the beginning of December that I had plans to convert the redundant space in the kitchen which was designed to house a microwave into more storage. Well, slowly the ideas formed themselves into actions and a set of three drawers were made.

Now, I freely admit that my carpentry skills are less than adequate so I bought some drawer body kits with steel sides and runners on line from Drawers and Things which were easy to assemble and fairly easy to fix into the unit.

One of my work-colleagues took pity on me and made the fronts for us from solid beech to match the other kitchen units. Everything is now finished except for an application of Danish Oil which I am assured will bring out the colour of the wood. The result is that we now have easy, accessible storage for cans, jars and so on.

Motion Sense LEDAnother find were some motion activated, battery powered LED lights which are ideal for inside the kitchen cupboards and for areas like the back cabin and the passage outside the loo which one tends to stumble through on those nocturnal excursions!

Dusty leaving Heyford Wharf
fully loaded in warmer days


We have had a little snow over the last few days and a couple of days with ice on the canal but yesterday our hero, Dusty the coal boat came through and broke the ice and brought welcome supplies of diesel, coal and gas for us.

What a star he is!

Stroudwater Navigation

Cheffy Jos
Jos The Chef

A trip to Gloucestershire on Tuesday gave me the chance to visit the restored Wallbridge Lock  at Stroud, where a new bridge has been installed which, one day may see boats to passing through there once more, on their way from the Severn to the Thames. See Cotswold Canals Trust for more information.

It was a beautiful sunny day as can be seen from the photos if not a little cold so I was glad of a warm coffee at The Star Anise Cafe with our friend Jos, who’s a chef there.

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Happy New Year!

OK so I’m getting old, but I have learnt that LOL does not necessarily mean “Lots of Love” (unless your name’s David) but more usually “Laugh out Loud” but this week HNY has appeared in texts and messages as in “Have a great evening, HNY x” . Both Joy and I thought it might be an abbreviated term of endearment, like “Have a great evening, Honey x”.

Of course, you know it means Happy New Year and we wish you all the very best for a Happy and Prosperous 1913!

2013-01-01 11.46.42aWe saw in the New Year at Pewsey, with our good friends of over 40 years Irene & Vic and in this morning’s beautiful sunshine we all took a walk up and down Marlborough High Street where we all used to live back in the early 70s in a couple of flats above Bollom’s dry cleaners opposite the Town Hall. We tried to remember which shops were what way back then, Norton’s Supermarket where Joy & Irene worked is now Nationwide, the White Horse Bookshop where Joy also worked is still in business and it was good to see most of the High Street pubs are still trading too. I’m reliably informed that Joy was once taken to every one of them on her birthday and came back still standing, which was more then could be said for her companions.

We have enjoyed having visitors over Christmas with our son, girlfriend and her little girl spending Christmas Day with us; we visited our friends Carol & Ted in Leicester and I braved the rigours of Ikea with them and then our friends Roy, Jan & Jackie came up from Gloucestershire on Saturday and treated us to lunch at The Wharf Inn .

G4-CAB12-BOver the holiday break I attended to a few little jobs on the boat which I’ve wanted to do for a while, I fitted some new kitchen storage items from Ikea, including a wine rack.
We paid a visit to Bedazzled and purchased some new LEDs which I fitted to the lounge, I installed two way switching and split the system into two circuits so we can use 2 x 5 LED lamps for TV watching and switch in 3 more 12 LED lamps when we really want to see what we are doing.


DSCF3991Bedazzled have a little showroom where they can demonstrate their products and they also have fresh eggs and veg for sale and a bric-a-brac  section where I purchased a nice clock and barometer set for the back cabin so DSCF3992I now have a nice little Nauticalia 4.5” Thames range Barometer for sale, contact us for details.

The planned extra kitchen storage mentioned last month is under way and details will be revealed when it is all finished.

Until next time.. Try to make those New Year’s resolutions last :-)