Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pylons and clouds

Our quiet spot near Sandford lock proved anything but. The local teenage yob group decided to have their disposable BBQ right next to Tardis Two bow, together with black smoke and equally dark swearing, which ruined our open-air tea, to the point where we jointly decided to move location. Lynne spoke to the lock keeper who kindly agreed to see us through before packing up for the night, which he did. We finally moored opposite the village pub on meadowland. Both were busy and fairly noisy for the evening. At one point an angelic girl strolled by singing a John Denver song at full volume.......shades of the 1960's.  Apart from very noisy ducks and geese the night proved to be peaceful. Lynne has an insect bite on her leg which has caused swelling and itching so we need to locate a chemist soon. My leg bullet wound still looks horrific but seems to be healing OK, but we both still consider I should have got it stitched. My panda feet still feet. Pylons and clouds fill the horizon this morning. We must be nearly home. Still warm and sunny though. Entry to Oxford via the Thames is a much grander affair than by canal, but choosing the right route is a still a lottery. Signage is at a premium and several times we considered ourselves lost, only to stumble over a landmark listed in the guide book totally by luck. This trip we opted to join the Oxford canal via the Dukes cut but this involved doing the curvy bit of the Thames and very curvy it was too. The Tina Turner of UK rivers. Even the turn into the Dukes cut involves an acute angle and the cut is narrow, dark and sinister with lots of apparently abandoned boats littered along it. Not a place for the faint-hearted. Half-way through is a tiny lock with a strangely unique mechanism. We finally made it through, more by accident than design, to a Tee junction, again with pathetic signage. Having double-checked our route guide we set off in what was later to be confirmed the right direction. Lynne hit complimentary problems with a lift-bridge which confirmed her weight was insufficient to operate it. A passing male boater provided the necessary flab and we were on our way again, collecting tablets and ointment for Lynne's bitten leg from a chemist in Kidlington.

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