Monday, 19 July 2010
Saturday 17th July
We had a few heavy showers during the night but at least the wind had died down and I was able to put the flower troughs back on the roof again. Some of the bizzie-lizzies look a little worse for wear but other than that I think everything is OK. We set off down the Thames turning off at Duke’s Cut. This was a stretch of canal built by the 4th Duke of Marlborough through his land in 1789 and joined the Thames with the Oxford Canal higher up than where the canal originally joined the Thames. This enabled the Duke to supply the whole of the upper Thames Valley with Warwickshire coal brought down the Oxford Canal. There is a very small lock with about a 12” drop which separates Environment Agency (Thames) land from British Waterways (canals) land. It seemed strange being back on a canal, not only is it a lot narrower but the locks are narrow locks and we have to operate them!! There are a number of lift bridges which also have to be manually raised but they are usually extremely well balanced so don’t need much effort. We stopped for lunch in Kidlington and wandered up to the local Co-op for supplies. A little later we came to a diamond shaped lock where the canal goes into the River Cherwell for a short way. Once back on the canal we started to look for somewhere to stop for the night but really struggled to find somewhere as the canal banks are very overgrown. Richard wanted to find a wide section of tow path so he could finish painting the new seats he worked on last night. Eventually we found somewhere, tied up and had a cup of tea. As we were sitting on the towpath drinking our tea Millie joined us with a mouse and sat there beside us crunching away on it – we had only been stopped for about 15 minutes!!!