An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Moving Leo No2 back to Stoke Bruerne (Day 3)

Painted Lady - see information at
bottom of today's blog
Well quite a lot happened today. I set off at 06:45 just as the moon was setting in the West and the sun showing behind the clouds in the East.  The first three locks (Whitchurch, Goring and Cleeve were all on 'Self Service') and then there was the long haul to Benson.  On that reach I saw a number of skeins of Canada Geese setting off for their days food gathering and a ballet of swans (yes that is one of the many collective nouns for swans and one I quite like) heading down river.  At Gatehampton railway bridge there were three EA mud barges but two had been loosed off on their front ends and took up at least half the waterway and put a huge strain, I would think, on the rear ropes.  I rang the EA and they were seemingly unaware of the issue.  Goodness only knows what would have happened if there had been any sort of stream running.

I bought some local honey at Benson, and made my way towards Clifton but at the same time my friend Steve (who looks after my car) rang about an alternator issue I have and I missed the turning into the lock cut but luckily managed to easily find a winding place and was back on track quickly despite my red face!

On to Abingdon for some diesel (it's a tad expensive there) and then on to just below Osney ready to either have a day off tomorrow if the promised rains come or start to tackle the southern Oxford.

I am surprised how little water there is in the river and how very few boats are enjoying what, has been so far, a lovely autumn.

I am quite pleased with having made Oxford in three days from Weybridge.

The photo shows a narrowboat called Painted Lady - many years ago Painted Lady was moored on the Woking pound of the Basingstoke Canal, ran public trips and was beautifully looked after.  She seems to have sunk recently but is such a sad sight.

Miles: 32 (69)
Locks: 10 (31)

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