Saturday 9 July 2011

Grand Union and Oxford. Shuckborough to Fenny Compton

It’s been a busy week. We’d planned to leave Shuckborough on Monday morning, but by the time we’d sorted ourselves out and had another last cup of tea with John and Jac it was the middle of the afternoon. We finally set off with our friends in our wake and pootled as far as Napton, where we moored for the night just before the bottom lock.
Now, pay attention, this bit is complicated. In the morning we hitched a lift on John & Jac’s boat back to Wigram’s turn, said a fond farewell, and walked back to Shuckborough to collect the van. We drove the van to the bridge at Marston Doles then walked back across country to Napton, which took longer than we’d expected due to there not being any footpath signs, or for that matter, any signs of a footpath. After a bite to eat and a brew we pulled the pins and set off up Napton locks to Marston Doles where we re-united Legend with Poubelle.
Pretty good for one day.

We’d chosen Marston Doles as it’s only a 10 minute drive into Southam where Ann-Marie had to visit the dentist on Wednesday morning. As Southam is fairly central and relatively easy to get to, we’ve both registered there. Coincidentally it’s also where Ann-Marie lived till she was 5 years old, so after the appointment we went to see her old house and school. The house was exactly as she remembered it, even the garage door that she banged her head on after Karen pushed her down the drive in the pram.

In the afternoon we drove up to Coventry to visit Kim & Luke. We thought we’d pop in to Wickes while we were there; moulding and wood trim is a lot cheaper there than anywhere else, but the petrol we used driving round in circles trying to find the entrance meant it wasn’t. We got some timber for the new cupboard in the saloon though. Kim made us a lovely lasagne for tea and we had a very enjoyable evening.

Ken’s Ebay listing finished on Thursday with no bids. Boo. He’s been outside Frankie’s flat which is “residents only” parking, and we needed to get him out of there ASAP. So Thursday was van moving day. He’s now at Ann-Marie’s Auntie Wendy’s house (where we mended his gearbox) for a week or so before we move him somewhere else.

On Friday we moved legend down to the 14 day moorings at Fenny Compton. This has been our destination ever since Kim invited Ann-Marie to her hen night/weekend at the pub here. After tea we said goodbye to each other for the first time in a long time, then Dave got in Poubelle and drove up to the Peak District for Luke’s stag night. The girls seemed to have better organisation than the boys; there were cocktail dresses and pink T shirts.
The lads just spent the weekend in a pub. On Sunday afternoon we were back together again for a barbeque.

The Boat of Many Colours.
We’re still at Fenny Compton, it’s a bit busier than our usual choice of mooring; we’re between the permanent places and a big pub near a big road, but there’s a little shop and free wifi in the pub and it’s easy access to Banbury. This has been very useful as Ann-Marie has a nasty scald on her wrist and had to go to A&E. Dave has started building the cupboard in the saloon and while the weather is good he’s started on the outside paintwork as well. So far he’s stripped the bow and gas locker lid down to bare metal and primed it. We haven’t had to buy any paint yet, we’re still using what was in the boat, but there’s going to come a time in the not too distant future when we need to spend a considerable amount of dosh on very posh paint. We think we’re going to stick to the colours that Legend already is; black, cream & maroon, but we’ll change the pattern around a bit. Or a lot. We’re going to do it in sections; bow, well-deck, roof, gunnels, cabin sides and finally, stern. When we got it sanded down through all the various paint layers we could see the original sign-writing and the name.
We sort of quite like the style of the letters, it’s a bit King Arthur-ish, so maybe we’ll be looking for something like that when we repaint the name.

1 comment:

Coops said...

My first propper read! Fabulous! :-)

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