I had a free week before I started Uni so I decided to take Milly M up to Heyford to sort out a few things then back down to a quiet spot to spend a few days reading for my course. Due to my total disorganisation I didn’t leave Thrupp until about 4 pm, first having to reverse from the Wharf to the wide a distance of about half a mile. By the time I got to mooring up below Northbrook Lock it was almost dark. It has been some time since I have been in total darkness on the canal, it’s fun. I was sitting down to dinner when Andrew sent me a text to ask if I could take GRANNY BUTTONS to Banbury this week (this would take some juggling).
In the morning we (Molly and I) were up at the crack of a sparrows fart and suitably fed on our way through the lock. Northbrook is one of the nicest locks I have found on the Oxford. I arrived on the water point in Heyford at 08.30 to be met by Bones who was on her way to work, but had stopped to welcome the all conquering hero, well OK it was just me!
We had a chat about GB and I decided that given there were a shed load of boats at the Heyford wharf I would go back to Thrupp and pick up GB and bring her up here to Heyford instead of getting my boat sorted that day. At least GB would be half way there.
Granny had been moored on the Wharf at Thrupp for a week or so, pointing to Oxford so the first task after being dropped off by a member of staff at OXNB was to reverse her up to the wide a distance of about half a mile déjà vu! Of course with Milly its easy she has all the necessary equipment to do the job including an electric boat pole and a light tiller. Granny however has no such luxuries and I had to work it hard all the way. This was a great surprise to the of the occupants of nb Aynho (OXNB) who had I had disturbed yesterday while they were fishing as I reversed Milly back.
I arrived back at Northbrook about six hours after I had left. With an hour to go to Heyford I worked the lock. Off we pootled to Dashwood Lock where I met a man with an electric narrowboat. He asked me where he could moor up with no one around. He had to run his generator for 5 hours to charge his batteries and didn’t want to disturb anyone. Of course my thoughts are what’s the point? Why not just use his engine to get where he wants to be and his batteries will charge on the way. Well it does seem a bit stupid if you cruise along and expel no pollution on the way (very green) yet sit and dump 5 hours of pollution in one place, both noxious gases and noise!
On arrival at the wharf I turned the boat to make it easier to refuel. It was then that I realised Molly the Wonder Dog was missing. PANIC!!! I had no idea where she could be. The last time I saw her was at Dashwood Lock. I was very grateful to Bones, who upon hearing of the lost dog hopped on her bicycle and sped off down the towpath even before I had finished mooring GB. She, Molly, eventually turned up inside GB having pushed her way through the bottom door.
With Granny’s tank topped up I reversed to the winding hole and turned her around again, then off to an overnight mooring up the canal. So far this was turning out to be a busy week and it was only Tuesday!
I was unsure of when to make the rest of the journey and decided to sleep on it after dinner with Bones and Dave Parry on Dave’s boat.